Yesterday I was at a wedding. Had mixed feelings - although a wedding is always a happy occasion, there were a few things that bothered me about this one :(
Disappointingly, circumstances meant that the bride's family weren't there and a few people were suffering the effects of the volcanic ash and still stranded overseas awaiting flights home.
This lovely couple already have three children under the age of 4 and the bride is only 21 while her husband is 11 years older. We had known him from his teenage years when he lived in the village and used to spend quite a lot of his time with us while he was growing up. She has been very good for him and his wild ways have calmed down a lot.
I was so sorry that the groom's mother missed the vows as she was outside, along with her daughter in law, during most of the service walking around with their two sons who didn't like being constrained in a box pew. Meanwhile, our curate in training, who was there to observe the service prior to taking one herself next month, was rocking their 4 month old daughter to sleep in the vestry!
They had hired caterers to do the wedding breakfast in the village hall, which was excellent and my hubby was able to get in while they were setting up to set up the stage for the band ready for the barn dance later. I was glad it was a local event as we had to make a couple of trips back home to collect forgotten or supplementary bits of kit.
The place settings had been done with a scrolly sort of stamp in black ink and then the names handwritten -looked very nice. The speeches were a little unusual, as the bridegroom's father had given the bride away and as he had not known her in her childhood his speech was mercifully short as he "could not tell us how awful she had been when younger"! He said it felt strange to be giving away his future daughter in law to his son. The groom's brother/best man made a brilliant speech with the refrain "I couldn't have wished for a better brother!" after each recounting of the exploits of James' youth. This was particularly poignant as James was adopted into this family (of 3 girls and a boy) during his childhood. Knowing something of his background I am thankful that his godly adoptive parents took that step, as I dread to think where he would be now if they had not.
It was great to catch up with some friends we had not seen for a while and meet some new people. At the end of the speeches, the arrangements for the barn dance were announced and people were asked to stay on. Some did, but many had long journeys to make and left during the early evening. Knowing that you need a certain number of people to make a barn dance work, we were then tasked with the job of recruiting extra dancers from our neighbours and church. Thankfully we did get enough to make it a successful evening, although it ended a little earlier than planned.
I did a few dances but fortunately managed to avoid Strip the Willow which is terribly confusing to dance but hilarious to watch, as the music speeds up and the dancers go faster and faster.
A friend who was driving back to Guildford offered to take Mr and Mrs to their hotel - "I've never been a wedding car before",she said ...
After that there were a few more songs and dances. I was so proud of my 16 y/o son who was singing the solos as well as playing violin or guitar. Then we cleared up and I swept the hall with the large broom which brought back a lot of memories - haven't done that for 8 years since I left the Pre-school team.
Now my thoughts are with James' family, particularly his mum, who has care of all the children for two days (in addition to her elderly mother in law who lives with them). I know how exhausted I felt last night and I hadn't done very much at all compared to her. Then they are going to have a family honeymoon in a holiday camp where there are activities for the children.
If you're still with me, well done for reading my ramblings and here's the card and tag I made for the couple. The gorgeous rose paper I got in a swap, base card Bazzill Bling, gold wrapping paper, recycled lace, other items from stash. The image on the tag is an Inca stamp. Thanks for looking.