The Father of the Bride's speech was short - but very, very sweet.
He quoted that song Val Doonican used to sing, rocking
back and forth in his rocking chair. The Special Years it was called.
"From pig-tails to wedding veils,
And in between are the special years
Time never can erase!"
Dad," wailed the bride, "I haven't cried all day - until now!" She wasn't the only one round the oval wedding table with tears in their eyes.
Every wedding is
special in its own way. The same day we were celebrating our niece's wedding, our friend Von was out in Cyprus, watching her son tie the knot. I hope she had every bit as lovely a day as we all did here in Wales.
When Mr B and I arrived the day before the wedding we were told that a table had been booked for us at 7 p.m. How very thoughtful, we told each other. What we didn't know was that the bride to be and her intended, plus almost all the wedding party,
would be gathered together in The Tavern for a Getting To Know You evening. Such a lovely idea, given that we would be spending the whole of the next day in each other's company. By the time we went to bed we were like old friends.
The bride was wishing she was staying the night too - but when it came to it the next morning she was oh, so glad that she had travelled from home to her wedding. It must have been a magical journey, travelling along the narrow, winding
roads to Lake Vynwry. Was it an emotional journey, I asked her Dad. "No, we told jokes all the way!" was his reply.
At breakfast we all said we wouldn't eat too much, given that we would be sitting down to
the Wedding Breakfast (why is it called that, do you think, when it's usually timed for mid-afternoon?) at 2 p.m. Fat chance, when we saw the buffet table and read the Hot Breakfast menu. "Let's hope we can still get into all our finery after this!" joked
Karen. The jest seemed about to misfire when I came to get All Dressed Up and found I couldn't get my dress on. Fortunately I realised that the zip was still fastened up before I started to cry....
just 19 people in the wedding party so we were small but perfectly formed. The wedding ceremony, against the stunning backdrop of the lake, was simple and heart warming. I love weddings. I love hearing two people pledge to love, respect and support each other,
to stay together for ever, no matter what life may throw at them. I always want to weep because nobody knows what the future will hold but the promises made on that One Perfect Day will surely help cement a loving relationship. Mr B squeezes my knee which
I initially take as a loving response to the emotions of the occasion, till I realise that he is struggling to heave himself out of the squishy sofa in which we are sitting to take a photograph of the new husband and wife signing the register.
We toast the happy couple with Something Sparkling and eat canapés - then it's out into the grounds for photographs. It's not as chilly as we thought it would be though the bride is protected from the cold by a beautiful
shawl, hand-knitted by her Mum, with love in every stitch. It's a classic example of love keeping you warm.
One of my favourite memories of the photo-session is of the bridegroom's mother, almost 90 years old, being
pushed across the grass at break-neck speed by her grand-daughter and another guest so as not to miss out on the photos. Her face is alight with laughter, despite the somewhat precarious journey. "I wasn't sure I was strapped in!" she confessed at breakfast
the next morning - but she had obviously thrown caution to the winds.
We all sat round one large oval table for our delicious wedding meal and, because by this time we were All One Happy Family, the conversation
and the laughter flowed easily up and down and round the table. At each place, beautiful wedding favours, hand-made by the bride - pieces of slate, carefully selected from her local beach bearing our names. Envelopes each containing an Earl Grey tea-bag. Pretty
wine glass markers, each one different, made especially for us.
After our meal, we repaired to the room where the ceremony had been held, for coffee, cake and chocolate truffles. It was rather like Downton
Abbey but without Mrs Patmore. Though she could just have been in the kitchen, who knows? We all compared wedding photos, zooming in to check who had their eyes closed. What did we do, before digital photographs? Don't forget, sandwiches and chips in the a
Tavern Bar at 7, we are reminded, together with cup cakes, lovingly cooked and decorated by the Happy Couple for their guests. At 9 p.m. my sister-in-law, aka the Mother of the Bride, decides that we need to go for a brisk walk. It is seriously dark outside
but fortunately Rachel has a torch light on her mobile phone. She only decided at the last minute to come with us on our Night Time Stroll - what a good thing she did. We might have vanished into the lake, never to be seen again...
This morning everyone said goodbye and headed for their respective homes. All except Mr B and I as we are staying on for an extra day and night of pampering and Life of Luxury. I didn't have time to blog yesterday (too busy eating
- as you all know, I am Always Thinking About My Stomach) so it's been great fun this morning to sit here in the lounge overlooking the lake, remembering the events of a special day and recording them here for you to read, if you wish.
Thank you, Ginny and Jon, for inviting us to share your lovely, unforgettable wedding day. Take care of yourselves - and each other. Be happy. I love you both, very much.