The Big Day finally arrived.
Miss DD and I went off to have our hair done while the boys made the final preparations for the PA system at the church hall venue. I raced backwards and forwards between Beckenham and Orpington, held up by the usual Saturday morning drivers. Finally, extremely hot, flushed and sweaty, I threw on my carefully prepared outfit and some make up and set off for the church with Eliza’s friend Annie.
Reflecting the wedding of two people who had found each other later in life, from two different faith traditions, the layout of the church was unconventional. There was music from the Newstead Singers and James read from Khalil Gibran, about loving each other but maintaining ones individual identity. There was both Methodist and Quaker worship, with two Quaker ministries.
Mingling for post-ceremony photographs were people who represented the many and varied interests of the Bride and Groom: Church, Quakers, Art Club, Embroiderers’ Guild, old friends, former colleagues, family. All presenting different pieces of this complex jigsaw puzzle. It seems that people were playing a Who’s Who guessing game. I was complimented on my three beautiful children (I have two,) and I enjoyed the following conversation:
Guest: So do you belong to this church?
Guest: Which church do you go to?
Me: I don’t go to church.
Guest: Oh, I suppose you’re too busy.
Me: Yes. (THINKS: actually I don’t believe in God, but this is a joyous occasion and I’m not about to have a debate and make a scene here.)
Hey, it makes a change from being asked what I do!
James and I rushed home from the church hall reception to prepare for our garden party for close friends and relatives. With some care we arranged the hired tables and chairs with lanterns and rose petals in the garden, aiming for a scene reminiscent of Chocolat. And just as we finished, Champagne on ice, as predicted, it started to rain. At first a low level drizzle, and then a tropical downpour which abated only when the last guests were leaving. God was obviously watching me and having a laugh. We moved inside with our guests who, after a non-alcoholic afternoon, were happy to celebrate the Happy Couple with Malbec, Sauvignon and bubbles. All in all, a memorable, unconventional day.