Forever (Mr & Mrs) Young
I seldom get invited to weddings. Well, OK, I seldom get invited anywhere
(perhaps I should seek help). But yesterday was our family's Day Of The
Year, as my niece Andrea married her fiancé Aidan Young.
The ceremony was held at the Holt Lodge Hotel just outside of
Wrexham. It's a great idea to have the wedding in a hotel; it means you
don't have to go anywhere else for the rest of the day.
The weather wasn't too promising: in fact, there were a few spots
of rain as we arrived at about 12.45. But we went inside and watched
the growing frenzy of the groom, the best man, the usher and the
bride's parents as showtime approached.
Finally, at 2.00 pm, we made our way through to the Orchard Room
for the ceremony. There are some people who still insist that a wedding
isn't really a wedding without religious rigmarole, but I
totally disagree. While the ceremony yesterday was far less formal than
you'd find in a church, it was no less meaningful for that. It was
uncomplicated, true, and it lacked the rhetorical flourishes which are
the stock-in-trade of the priestly classes. But there was a sincerity
to it, and a joy which has been absent from all the church weddings
I've ever attended. Those officiating were businesslike without being
bossy, and informal without any loss of solemnity of purpose.
Well, I'm showing my bias again, but it really was beautifully
done. The happy couple (there have to be clichés, you know) had
asked me to give a reading, with the stipulations that it couldn't be
a) religious (which they wouldn't have got from me anyway), or b) mucky
(which spoiled things just a tad). So, after the exchanging of rings, I
was called forward to read a piece I'd found online. It's usually
referred to as the Apache
Blessing, but I suspect it of having been written in somewhere
like Pittsburgh in about 1972. I honestly didn't expect the round of
applause which followed it. Relief, possibly. I know it was for me.
The ceremony concluded with the signing, and then photographic hell
broke loose. Having not taken any pictures during the ceremony (partly
because I was too tense, but partly out of a lingering sense of
decorum), I managed to snap a few. Here's one:
(After the signing. Back row: Jodie (bridesmaid), Andy (best
man), Corinne (bridesmaid). Sitting on the table: the flower girls,
Caitlin and Morgan)
Afterwards, we made our way out to the bar area, to greet Mr &
Mrs Young. Of course, their son Ethan Alexander was present:
We then found our way to the garden for the photographs. This
seemed to take an age, but the rain had gone, so it wasn't too bad. The
'official' photographers were guarding their 'exclusive' quite
zealously, but we bumbling amateurs still managed to get a few:
After all this palaver, we went back inside for the reception. The
food was good, and there was a goodly amount of it. This was followed
by the speeches, and the toasting of the newlyweds.
Sometime after 5.00, we were gently turfed out for the hotel staff
to make the room ready for the night 'do'. I took a stroll around the
grounds. The weather by this time was very pleasant indeed (this is
when I took the photo of the hotel at the top of this piece). After a
while, I needed recharging, so I went into the Lounge to, well lounge,
actually. The speakers were playing a pleasant mix of light jazz, which
I found very relaxing as I tried to doze in a deep sofa.
Then, at 7.00, we all went back in to the banqueting room for the
evening event. There was a disco. I love music, but not at great
volume, so I dodged out into the garden again at regular intervals.
This didn't prevent me from catching a few moments:
The bride & groom take the floor.
"Help! I'm with two pissed women!"
"'Ere! This spring roll's empty!"
Caitlin boogies on down.
As night fell, I stood in the garden looking at the sky
and pondering that, for all the pain in the world, there is still a
preponderance of people, things and events which are truly good. Or, as
song says, "Some Times In This Life Are Beautiful".
(This, of course, was before I uploaded my pictures to my PC and
found that everyone photographed indoors had been given such a bad case
of 'red eye' that it looked like I'd attended the union of two tribes
of zombies. I'm clearly still learning how to work this camera. Thank
goodness for Paint Shop Pro, I say).
File under: Yay!