What a wedding!

Finally!  After years of wondering if he’d ever get hitched, the last of our four children found the woman of his dreams and tied the knot.

Unlike his sisters, he and his bride-to-be opted for an unconventional wedding to say the least.  The only vestige of tradition was that it was at home, although not that of the bride’s parents but at our house. 

August is a tricky month for outdoor events; the weather can be unpredictable.  Some even say it’s a winter month, but with climate change you can’t be certain of anything these days. Anyway, an outdoor wedding it was to be and so the planning started. With bride and groom both in their thirties our parental duties were primarily to cough up.  Mrs A and I had visions of a marquee on the lawn, a catered sit-down meal, speeches etc.  How boring!  Our nuptial pair had very different ideas. Planning started in January.

The bride is a graphic designer by trade; our boy has an artistic bent too.  They wanted something Bohemian. Just how bo-ho we were to discover.  Over several weeks several vanloads and carfuls turned up to disgorge - how can I put this without causing offence - junk.  Gradually our barn was piled high with old sofas, rugs, hat stands and general bric-a-brac.    What on earth were they up to?  Mrs A and I looked on askance in bemused puzzlement.

“We spent the weekend making bunting!” announced the bridal pair.  Why not just buy some? Was my first thought.  Wisely I kept my own counsel.    A chap pitched up from deepest Devon.  He was to supply some Tipis (apparently these days that’s how you spell what I thought were teepees).  “Have you got some cash?” enquired Mrs A insistently, in a tone I have learned not to question, “He needs a deposit now to secure the booking.”  And so we handed over several hundred pounds to a chap we had never met before, who promptly disappeared.  But his word was his bond and come the Tuesday before the given Saturday, the Tipi man reappeared with a crew of riggers and set about erecting a structure of wood and canvas that looked for all the world like Hiawatha’s country mansion.

August was already making attempts to break all records for the wettest month ever.  We scanned the forecasts hourly, trying to reassure each other. Thursday - D minus two – started promisingly.  The bride’s sister turned up with her partner. They have a coffee business running takeaway vans into outdoor festivals.  What grafters they turned out to be.  First up, the home-made bunting, strung across our courtyard. Magnificent! It drew the eye to our large barn doors which, suitably draped with charity shop curtains, formed a kind of proscenium arch, the backdrop to the wedding ceremony itself.

Bench seating was laid out, again artistically bedraped.  Under the imperious eye of the bride, sofas and chairs were careful placed in discrete seating areas.  I have to admit it all looked spectacular.  Then the heavens opened and we spent a frenetic hour getting it all back into the barn. 

Having rained all day Friday, Saturday dawned free of rain.  It was warm.  We thought we’d chance it.  And we were lucky.  Come the ceremony, a speech turned into a song specially written for the happy couple and performed magnificently.  Magnificent too was another speech in the form of doggerel. 

The was a special bar serving “add your own botanicals” gin.  Food was from vans, one serving tacos, the other fresh pizza from a high-tech oven that could knock one out every forty seconds.

The whole day was amazing.  The following morning I happened to hear on Radio 4 that the top fashionable wedding fare these days is tacos and pizza.  Who knew?

Smugly,  Mrs A and I basked in the glory of the best wedding ever.