Saturday, April 28, 2007

Wedding Weekend

Straight from the conference, I headed south to T&E’s wedding weekend.

Around 16 of the wedding party had similarly gathered for the Friday night at a hotel just outside Nottingham, all primed to get a weekend of food, drink and laughter underway early.

On Saturday, following a leisurely morning, we headed over to the church for one of the loveliest wedding ceremonies I’ve ever had the pleasure to witness.

It was emotional on so many fronts (sadness and joy intertwined), but for me perhaps the most unexpected part of that was the deep pride I felt seeing our Stuart in newly acquired clerical shirt and dog collar.

He wasn’t just up there doing the minister role, he so was the minister. Thinking of the journey that’s brought all that family to this juncture, fair made a buddy proud.

His sermon was charming, humorous, compassionate and at times gently profound. It was also suitably concise – the lad could go far.

Post ceremony we head to Woodborough Hall, where canapés and Buzz Fizz greet us as we start the reception on the manicured lawns in front of a charming wisteria covered mansion under the bluest of skies.

Inside for the wedding breakfast, the food is good, the décor beautiful, the speeches truly entertaining and the happy couple radiant.

The party continues long into the night and wine gives way to vodka, gives way to cocktails.

People roam from room to room and inside and out, laughter is everywhere, adults party and kids (and then adults) run riot and have their faces painted. It’s notable how much everyone is mingling. T&E are wonderfully social sorts and it seems their friends and family, from two continents, share similar temperaments. Usually I’m not a big fan of the wedding do, but people this was a blast! By the time the DJ (with pre-selected playlist – wise move), hits the Madchester medley, we’re truly having it.

Leaving the happy couple to it (three words: trampoline, whisky, wedding-dress), we take the mini-buses back to our hotel and the drinking continues.

Five images will stay with me to sum up this weekend: Stuart in his garb; the grins on T and E’s faces as they positively bounced to Sally Cinnamon whilst encircled by their friends and family for the last number of the night; friends who were strangers 24 hours previously, chilled out together in the residents' bar until all hours, N slowly drooping forward into unconsciousness, whilst simultaneously gently placing his beer on the floor without spilling a drop; creeping in to the hotel room I shared with oldest ‘favourite niece’ at some ungodly hour, turning on the bedside light and glancing across in the hope that ‘this time’ I wouldn’t wake her, to see her lying spark out in her PJs, but with a face covered in the now smudged remains of face painted pattern that matched her top.

Being a good room mate I didn’t take advantage and get the camera out, but with any luck the very wonderful L (who had travelled all the way from Canada to perform chief bridesmaid duties), should soon be posting a photo-story of her face paint's demise on Fresh Fish Daily. If this woman is half as cool and entertaining in her blog as she is in real life, I suggest you add it to your feed read now.


Boatylicious said...

No pressure now... I miss you all already and wish more than I can express that I could be there still, now more than ever.

1 i z said...

Hey L! Did the photos come out ok? Maybe my sixth image of the weekend should be a strange and ever so slightly drunk Canadian chick, repeatedly, absent-mindedly itching her 'painted' face, swearing and then taking a self portrait on a camera ;-)

Good memories. Which tonight particularly, seem all the more poignant.

I'll share that wish that we could still be there. Hopefully they know that our hearts and thoughts stay with them.

sally said...

sound wonderful..a time to remember and treasure..I hope our 'do' is the same. xxx

Boatylicious said...

I do promise to post those pics... as well as the one of Nathan from Corrie and me in Picadilly Circus where I absolutely stopped him and insisted on a pic after the Liverpool football (see, I'm learning) match. He was pissed. I cared not.