Yesterday is a day which will be forever etched in my memory - well possibly the date won't as I am crap at remembering dates of when stuff happened - but the day itself was lovely.
It was the long awaited day when our son Michael wed his lovely lady Cherise Sellars got married, They have been together eight years now and have a son, Eden (5 and a half), but Cherise has been planning the wedding for years.
Both the ceremony, wedding breakfast and evening celebration were all held at a hotel called Lazats, which is a smashing place, not too far away from us, and just enough in the country to be surrounded by fields and trees. It was not too hot, but it was a bright, dry day, with a little breeze to keep it comfortable.
The ceremony was due to start at one p.m. so we arrived at 12.30, together with our friend Jack Nichols who had travelled up from Lowestoft for the wedding. It wasn't long before we were shown into the room where the civil ceremony was to be held, all the chairs with white covers and a purple organza bow on them, and ours marked with little cards for the father and mother of the groom. Graham promptly took his card and slipped it in the band of his hat, so he was for the rest of the day 'reserved'.
When everyone was assembled the registrar explained the order of the proceedings, and when we would be allowed to take pictures - at the end and not before!
Mike looked lovely in his suit and lilac coloured waistcoat (Eden had a matching outfit too), but we couldn't wait to see Cherise's dress. The two bridesmaids and maid of honour - Cherise's sister, Laura - were in lilac and looked lovely and stylish too. Cherise looked a picture when she processed down the aisle on her dad's arm. Her hair had been done in a loose and deceptively simple style with a sparkling clasp of crystals and silver leaves and flowers around the back and side of her hair. Her dress suited her beautifully, with a corsetted top and full skirt with a short train, she really did look like a princess.
During the ceremony they both gave and received a ring, we found out afterwards that Mike's was cobalt, which is a white metal neither Graham nor I had seen before, and Cherise's was white gold.
Mike managed to get through his vows nearly flawlessly, but Cherise's voice broke with emotion and she had a job saying the last few words, I think it brought a lump to the throat of most folk there, and I saw a few tissues being passed out.
When it came to the signing of the registry, Cherise's dad shouted 'Don't do it Mike!', but the registrar said, 'You are too late, it's the exchanging of the vows which makes the marriage, this is just registering the fact.'
Here is a pic of Cherise and Mike signing the register. I took it from where we sat, behind the best man Danny Smith and Cherise's dad, Peter Sellars.
After the ceremony we went out onto the terrace and had drinks and canapes, while the photographer got to work, creating groups of various people. Of course, when Graham and I were called to our turn in the firing line, Graham had just got himself a pint of Carlsberg. 'Without the beer please.' said the photographer, so Graham dutifully put it down out of sight , 'And now with beer!' said Mike, so the beer will be featured after all.
While the photos were being sorted, we chatted with Rowan Wildash (our friend who has just opened her own business Ninefold Tattoo Studio) and her friend Darren, and other people who introduced themselves, or were introduced to us as friends and relatives. There were quite a number of friends who were from the online game World of Warcraft and who we knew by their in game character names first of all. When we went in to the meal afterwards, I saw that many of them had been put together on one table and their place cards were all given by their character names.
The tables looked lovely, with white, lavender and purple flowers, candles in crackled holders, and the wedding favours we had made a couple of weeks ago at every place setting. Each name card had a little piece of folk belief or wedding lore, and these had been matched to suit whoevers card it was. Grahams said 'It is lucky on your wedding day to see a rainbow or a black cat' and mine 'snake rings dotted with ruby eyes were popular wedding bands in Victorian England - the coils winding into a circle symbolised eternity'.
A two piece band played during part of the meal, a guitarist and double bass player, belting out rock and roll hits from the fifties and sixties. Everyone seemed to be having a lovely time, there were happy faces everywhere, and the conversation and laughter so loud it was drowning out the amplified musicians. There were many compliments on the bride and groom - and the wedding favours went down well too!
At the end of the meal, we had speeches from the bride's father, then the groom, which was very funny, Mike said he was used to speaking in public, but usually giving a power point presentation, so if people would care to fall asleep half way through, he would feel right at home. Then Cherise gave a speech too, which was a lovely break with tradition, and finally Danny, the best man. I thought they all did very well,
And right at the very end the bride and groom's parents, bridesmaids and best man were given gifts too - which was very unexpected as far as Graham and I were concerned. But we shall have no excuse about not remembering the date of the wedding as Graham has a hip flask, with 'Father of the Groom, 6.6.2015,' and I have a pretty jewellery box engraved for 'Chrissy, Mother of the Groom 6.6.2015'.
I am sure Mike and Cherise will be happy, they are both lovely folks and we love them very much.