Saturday, 29 September 2007

The Wedding

28 Sept 2007

“I’m not going to drink anything before the wedding,” Kathryn said.
“Me neither,” I agreed. “I want to have a clear head.”
But our good intentions didn’t last long.

With our hair coiffured to perfection, Emma the beautician proceeded with Kathryn’s makeup in our bedroom. The photographer hovered around assessing the best pre-wedding photo opportunities. The bridesmaids sat on the living room floor, resting their feet on The Independent newspaper, painting their toe nails claret with one hand, and eating sandwiches from the buffet I’d made with the other.
“It’s nearly eleven o’clock. Those minutes keep ticking away,” Dan said asking me to help him fix the wedding ribbons to the Mercedes we’d hired.

My turn for a makeover, but I couldn’t sit still. “The flowers have arrived,” someone shouted from downstairs. “What are they like?” I shouted back, as Emma patiently continued to apply the slap. “They’re beautiful,” Kathryn shouted excitedly. “Mine’s a tear-drop with deep claret red roses mingled with ivy, and the brides maids are cream and claret rose buds, hand tied. Amazing! There’s diamante’s attached to each rose.”

Another knock on the door and I heard the voices of the ushers who’d come to pick up the order of service and their button holes. Deep, male voices making jokes, laughing nervously. “Want a drink,” I heard Dan ask. “No, but we’ll have a sandwich.”

We’ll run out of time. Oh! When will my makeup be done?

“Crack open the champagne please, Dan,” I shouted, when the butterflies got too fluttery.“We all need a calmer, especially me.” Glasses of Bucks Fizz and champagne circulated around the house, upstairs and down. I gulped down a glass and immediately started to smile. “That’s better,” I said feeling the alcohol calming my stress while the bubbles lifted my mood.

The bridesmaids once dressed in their claret satin gowns performed their duties tenderly, helping Kathryn with dress, veil and tiara. The classic car, a matching claret colour, pulled up outside “Don’t panic,” said the driver, “I’m fifteen minutes too early.”

Thank God for that I thought, gulping down another glass of bubbly. It’s all going to be fine. It’s all going to be fine. The weather's cool, autumny but dry; hair’s done, makeup’s done, everyone’s dressed, fed and watered. It’s going to be wonderful.

At twelve o’clock I left in the Merc, following the bridesmaids in the classic car, heading towards the church. Aaron was standing by the church door, looking handsome in his morning suit, laughing with the ushers and best men. The bridesmaids, both five foot two, petite and pretty. The air was fresh, guests were arriving, kissing, hugging, complimenting each other on their outfits, chatting until the ushers ushered them in as the claret classic car appeared again in the church driveway. “She’s here. The Bride’s arrived.”

Standing in the front pew, listening to the Bridal March, looking down the isle, watching Dan approach with our lovely daughter on his arm, I got that unreal feeling again. As though I was an on looker. That this was just a wonderful, wonderful dream. Tears welled as they got closer and I realised this was real, as Dan stumbled slightly, perhaps with nerves, but looking prouder than I’ve ever seen him. Kathryn, tall and slender, was a glowing vision of pale gold crushed silk, her veil gently framing her face, the crystals on her tiara, veil, earrings, necklace and dress twinkled as they caught the light shining from the stain glass windows.

Kathryn and Andrew sat at the side of the altar holding hands, while
those gathered, watched, listened, sang and prayed.

A reading, by Jenny, Kathryn’s cousin.
…Love is always patient and kind; it is never jealous; love is never boastful or conceited; it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offence, and is not resentful… St Paul’s to the Corinthians 12:31-13:8
The bidding prayer, a poem by Maya Angelou Touched by an Angel read by Kathryn’s friend from uni, Sam.

Handkerchiefs dabbed away escaping tears, as Dan took Kathryn’s hand and placed it into Aaron’s officially giving her away. At the front of the altar, they exchanged their vows, Aaron laughing, stumbling over his second name.

Following them up the isle, with the wedding march filling the air, I felt so glad for Kathryn, for Aaron, for Dan and for myself and all our family. They seemed so right for each other. Let life be kind to them.

Outside their happiness was contagious, spreading like a virus, infecting the guests with their joy. The ushers, keen to fulfil their duties, all shouting at once, organised us into groups. The photographs were fun; the smiles so natural; amateurs and professionals clicking from every angle, until the pair left smiling and waving through the car windows.

Copyright © 2007 BarbaraAttwood


AndrewM said...

Sounds great.

No clangers so far.

Anonymous said...

Even I was getting tears welling up. Lovely description.

It's progressing nicely!

tslandry said...

Cant wait to read about the rest of the day.... best wishes to all

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