Last night I was at a loss for words and a part of a very special experience.
"Hells Bells" said my prince as we drove along Albert Road, Woodstock "This is an unusual spot for a wedding". "Hells Bells" said I as we parked our car and headed towards the crowds assembling on the pavement. This was just the beginning of the experience.
29 March 2014
blue skies, warm sun
crystal flutes with perfectly chilled pink bubbles, white cloths, handsome barmen,
beautiful girls, touches of Gatsby, boaters,
headbands, feathers and pearls
all on a pavement in Woodstock
entering the chapel - the fairy tale begins
swing music playing, gasps and an excitement in the air
"Can this be real?"
The bride knows about making her own fairy tale and how to get the excitement to a fever pitch level
the room was buzzing, programmes became fans, flashes, cameras, phones and iPads taking pictures
and the music was perfect
The music changed. The crowd stood and the groom led his troop of bestman down the aisle, in single file. They were followed by the bridesmaids, to a different tune, beautiful girls with beautifully styled hair.
The music stops. The bride and her dad frame the entrance and pause. The music changes yet again. The bride is beautiful, her dad so smart, tall and proud. She is bold and striking and at the same time, soft and gentle with a fur over her shoulders. Her dress is magnificent and different and a colour hard to describe - dove grey with soft blue hues and, in some light, silvery. Beads and beautiful lace. (Sorry, no pictures as I am not sure about the right etiquette)
There is a young and energetic minister who leads the blessing. We say a prayer or two and he gives a short lesson in love and giving and ends off with this lovely blessing while the couple hold hands:-
Blessing of the Hands
These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and
full of love for you,
that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever.
These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future.
These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years,
and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other.
These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind.
These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes;
tears of sorrow, and tears of joy.
These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children.
These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one.
These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.
And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged,
will still be reaching for yours,
still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.
The couple leave the church and bounce down the aisle to the "Happy" song. The bridesmaids follow, dancing. The crowd want to dance (well I wanted to dance). The bride waves her bouquet in the air. A glance at the mother of the bride shows glistening eyes and a smile nearly as wide as her lovely second daughter.
Throughout the time in the chapel I could see activity in the courtyard through the beautiful wrought iron windows. Heads of waitresses buzzing around with trays. Nothing, however prepared me for what awaited us as we stepped out of the chapel. Fairies had been.
"Always check the cake and dessert table first, Jennifer",
a fat aunt once told me
"You don't want to eat too much food and miss out on the sweet stuff"
This table needs a whole chapter in the story book
There was something to see around every corner
The evening was still and grey clouds gathered, not a breath of wind and about three drops of drizzle
The sun started going down and the wine continued to flow
Lights started going on and candles were lit
I could have been in Tuscany or Morocco
the set changed, yet again
Chairs in the chapel disappeared, like the white rabbit and the music man jumped out of a hat
Alice through the Looking Glass had nothing on this
and all I ask is a tall ship
and a star to steer me by
I know you expected me to comment on the wine but the food, too, was incredible. There was a continual stream of waiters and waitresses bringing food around on big white platters - roulades, fillet on sticks, sushi and Thai chicken, calamari in a cone, small bowls of lamb curry and couscous with tiny silver forks. Small espresso cups with white and dark chocolate mousse with tiny silver spoons. At midnight we received a snack box containing a mini hamburger and chips "To eat or to take home", said the waiter.
There was more wine (have I mentioned the wine?) and a cheese table that would win awards at an international food expo
people left their seats to dance
some people never sat
there were flowers (and perfectly chilled wine)
and what is a fairytale without a fountain?
and what is a wedding without a barman chatting up a pretty girl
(or maybe the other way around?)
It was wonderfully, different and special wedding that I was honoured to be a part of and will never forget. Lovely new friends made and special time with Gareth, Hayley and her special and warm family.
Two people who you may know
(taken before the fairtytale began and before Jennifer turned into a pumpkin)