Thursday, 18 August 2016

Sarah's Wedding

Weddings. So many people just love them. Can't say I'm one. They remind me of my many regrets.  I am utterly content with Bill in our everyday life, but that is in spite of being married, not due to it.  

However  I might feel about the subject, of course we attended Sarah's wedding back in June in Eyemouth, Scotland.

We  were due to drive up on Friday, the day they announced the results of the Brexit vote. The outcome was so astounding that we found it difficult to get on with real life

Even the bride posted on Facebook she was having trouble concentrating on packing. 

Eyemouth village green / cemetery; the stones have been moved to line the walls.

I managed to take all my wedding outfit and everything else I needed except for a change of clothes for a four-day weekend away. So Jane, my sister-in-law, and I found a charity shop and I bought a couple of tops to tide me over.

Never did discover what was this grand place..

Gunsgreen House, Honeymoon tower to right.

The wedding was held at a Georgian manor house, Gunsgreen House, also called the House of Secrets, owing to the fact that a previous owner was a smuggler. 

Everyone was fascinated with all the hidey-holes, but having visited a host of National Trust properties of late I wasn't as inclined to explore. 

One of those glasses is Jane's, held while she took the photo, honest!

The weather cooperated beautifully, clearing to a lovely day. The ceremony was hilarious, both bride and groom very nervous. When the usual the question was put to the pair, Sarah answered "We do" and everyone roared. I thought, 'She's answering for him already!' but later on we learned that it was supposed to have been a joint response, Gareth just forgot.

Helen read a story about dinosaurs which at first struck me as quite odd and more appropriate for a bedtime story, but then I've often observed that this family is slightly obsessed with the trappings of childhood. It seems to be a very British thing and in any case the dinosaur story turned out to be apt. Everyone laughed again when the couple exited to a pop song about dinosaurs. Sarah's attention to every detail was obvious.

Gareth was born in Edinburgh and so can claim Scottishness, though his parents are from Wales and Manchester. 

It seemed appropriate for Gareth to wear a kilt, but Bill never considered it for a moment any more than I would wear an Indian headdress because of being born in Oklahoma. 

On the other hand a number of the guests did choose kilts and interestingly one who seemed most suited to his outfit was Gareth's brother-in-law, a Frenchman. Figure that one out. 

Bill had written his speech as father of the bride and we had shopped for his outfit. Sarah had cruelly told him he could wear 'anything' and she's just lucky he didn't walk her down the aisle in a clown suit, that was such a red rag. 

I nixed any number of items that smacked to me of Italian pimp and we managed to get him kitted in something we could both live with. He bought a beautiful jacket and trousers and a black velvet bow tie. Bow ties do suit him well. 

Everyone cleaned up so well. I loved Simone's green dress with red apples on it!

The jacket was a plush grey and black paisley velvet which looked almost sober from a distance. The lining was a flamboyant floral silk which pleased him no end. 

Bill clearly enjoyed doing the father-of-the-bride thing. He didn't get to walk Helen down the aisle, but at least he got to do a speech. I'd forgotten about that.

I'm afraid I would have put him in the plainest black suit, but since his opportunities for wearing such a thing are limited to funerals it seemed a shame for him not to have some fun. 

The speech - the only one on the day - went really well. I don't think he said anything nice about Sarah - apparently that's appropriate - and he, rightly, gave all the credit for raising her to his ex-wife, Kathleen, for which she got a round of applause. He welcomed Gareth to the family, calling him a 'proper gentleman', which Gareth's dad liked, not like the 'itinerant busker' or the 'snake oil salesman' she'd brought home in the past; it took me a minute to realize he was referring to actual old boyfriends. 

I wore the same dress I wore for our wedding and for Charlotte's christening. The cost per wear is still ridiculous and I didn't see the point in buying another dress I wouldn't wear very often. I'm very boring, I know. 

Me and my favourite sister-in-law.

We stayed at a B&B about half a mile from the wedding venue. It was an odd place above a fish and chip shop. The entrance was through the back past the garbage and the mobile chip van and though the decor was lovely, it didn't quite remove that taint. We did have a lovely view of the sea, however and it was pretty much all there was available where we could stay next to Bill's sister and brother in law from Sydney. 

Gareth's parents took a house to share with extended members of that family. The bride and groom, and their siblings and families stayed at Gunsgreen House, though I gather the honeymoon suite was actually in a tower near by. Then they were off to their honeymoon, first a few days in Venice and then to Rovinj, Croatia. 

Uncle Chris. I can't say I'm very impressed with Bill's camera.

Sadly, the whole Brexit thing had me so rattled I not only forgot to take clothes, I left my camera in the B&B. Bill had his, but not being familiar with it, I didn't take very many photos. I have a few from Jane. There is one other I'd love to have, one of my happy memories of the day. Chris took a picture of Jane and me standing either side of Bill, holding his jacket open to show the glorious lining!

I remember escaping the party for a bit, sitting in a corner of one of the sitting rooms of the big house. The lady photographer came in to rearrange her film and such. We had a chat about the fact that my parents had been professional photographers and about the trend for taking photos during the ceremony, as happened on this occasion. 

Why you need a professional on the day. This is my photo; see the professional outcome below..

We laughed about my mom rolling in her grave. Another one of those old fashioned rules from my youth. Still, I do wonder as a bride, do you look at the minister or do you smile for the camera? In any case, this photographer clearly knew her stuff, as evidenced by her stunningly beautiful work.

I meanly teased them about this photo, that they had now officially ridden off into the sunset and lived happily ever after...I know, I'm awful.

I was pleased that Brexit didn't seem to take over the wedding as I thought it might. It never came up at our table over a delicious meal (including cranachan). However, I'm told it was heatedly discussed at another table where the younger members expressed astonishment that anyone could be so stupid as to vote to leave the EU. Unfortunately, Bill's ex-brother-in-law and his girlfriend were seated at that table and it turned out they had voted Exit, which probably explains why they didn't look like they were having a very good time.

After the meal was a disco and there was another photo opportunity out back in the form of a taxi and a set of costume hats and other accessories. The object was for guests to pile into the back of the taxi and pull silly faces for the camera. It was very popular with the guests, but I explained to Helen that I simply do not possess that kind of silliness. No amount of gin and tonic would tempt me.

So the day finally passed and I got to go to bed. Sarah kindly gave us one of the flower arrangements from the tables which they brought around the next day when taking their leave. I know fine well I took half a dozen photos of that amazing floral arrangement, but I have looked everywhere and cannot find them. I nurtured the leftovers as long as I could, perhaps too long.

The leftovers

I have read several times about people planting long stemmed roses and growing rose bushes with the aid of a potato for nutrients. I gave this a go with the roses in her arrangement, but have only ended up with a crop of potatoes...

I did however find a good use for the large vase.

Beach findings..shells and sea glass.

I may not be a big fan of weddings, but I certainly wish all the best for Sarah and Gareth.


Indigo Dragonfly said...

What a lovely wedding. I'm with you, too many past mistakes to really enjoy the event. I also find myself hiding out where there is a bit of quiet, away from the madding crowd.
As for forgetting to pack things, I went to one of my own weddings completely bare faced, having forgotten to put my makeup kit in the bag. My hair looked a mess too, hot rollers notwithstanding. Needless to say, the photos looked frightening - and turned out to be a dire omen for the next 12 yrs. Such is life.
And I like your thriftiness in purchasing things at the charity shop, and wearing a dress you've worn before. :-)
I hope Sarah and husband have a wonderful life together.

Shelley said...

Oh! "One of my own weddings" - we must be kindred spirits!

tess said...

How interesting to hear your musings. Hindsight is 20/20. A number of people I know would have benefited from gazing into a crystal ball before the big day. I wish you success with your rose rooting. A cousin told me to put plastic bag over the pot. Somewhere else I read a slip of willow will help with rooting.