Friday, 16 August 2013

An Old Rectory Wedding: A Celebration in Three Acts (1)

With apologies, dear reader, if this is too dull for words.  I wanted it to act as a record of events for me but it is likely to be the opposite of entertainment for you!

See previous blog 'An Old Rectory Wedding: Setting the Scene' for background...

Act I: An Unexpected Guest

I went to get dressed at about 1130hrs.  The caterers and the Humanist celebrant were due to arrive at 1230hrs and all would begin at 1300hrs.  My dress was Next's finest.  Only £70 but I am unlikely to wear it ever again (long navy lace is not my usual thing!) so didn't want to spend a fortune, although the dresses at Monsoon are glorious.  H said it had a touch of the Vera Wang about it. Hmmm...

I had to wear a vest - it was cold and I needed something old.  So, if you're going to go 'old' then you might as well go the whole hog.  I carefully selected one of those grubby greyish things that are comfortable to wear but you'd never admit to owning.  I made S scrutinise me from the back to make sure you couldn't see it.  'No', he assured me.  Luckily, I donned my cardigan after the 'ceremony'.

Spot the Vest Competition - Everybody Else Did! 
At 1215hrs, the telephone rang.  It was my sister-in-law to say that she was on the train, daughter in tow but also her husband, my brother, E.  I haven't seen him since my father's funeral, over three years ago.  Suffice to say, for the purposes of this blog, there are issues.  He had sent a very formal card, declining our invitation.  This announcement of his imminent arrival caused a bit of a to do and a certain amount of friction.

I met the celebrant in the marquee and told her what was happening.  She responded calmly, said that she would cope with whatever happened and, unruffled, added him into her words. Luckily and by some mysterious fluke, we had one place still available at the tables so with a bit of rejigging we could accommodate the unexpected guest.

He arrived in the pouring rain and ran straight into the marquee whilst his wife and daughter ran into the house. This meant that ice could be broken before the ceremony began.  Interestingly, he had brought his Northumbrian pipes with him.  Someone (was it S?) suggested that he pipe us in.  It was a great touch and set the scene nicely for the rest of the ceremony.

Although initially disconcerted by his imminent arrival, I was delighted that he came.  There are certain events where families should gather, whatever the situation between them.  Weddings and funerals in particular, times when people gather to share in their celebrations or in their sadness.  Although it rained, there was so much warmth emanating from all our friends and family.  I was so pleased that my family were there to play their part, either as witnesses or taking roles in the ceremony.  It made the day special.  And particular thanks to the three children.  As a second marriage, it couldn't have been easy for them, although there is no acrimony between me and the boys or S and H.  However, they made the effort to be there (D flying in from abroad), played their parts with grace and seemed genuinely pleased for us.  My eldest brother was to speak after the lunch and the absence of my other brother would have left a gaping hole.  The arrival of the unexpected guest helped to make the day even more special for us.

Northumbrian Pipes - Nothing to Blow Into (Photo Courtesy of JG)

Northumbrian Pipes: Arm Action Only (Photo Courtesy of JG)

Lambs to the Slaughter (Photo Courtesy of JG)

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