Friday, 12 October 2007

Laughter, tears and crazy dancing

28 Sept 07

Reception continued...

Dan stood, as the Master of Ceremonies made the announcement, and, in accordance with traditional, the father of the bride gave his speech first.

Dan talked of his pride in Kathryn and our pleasure in her choice of partner.
The usual thank yous were followed by words of admiration of the bride, bridesmaids and all assembled “…the two first ladies, Barbara and Sarah have also scrubbed up well,” he said, “but they have had a year to get ready.” The guests responded with laughter and applause and Dan relaxed into his speech, delivering his jokes with perfect timing, often adlibbing.

As he spoke of Jon, “…who is with us in spirit…” I had to bite my lip, force back the tears and concentrate on being happy. Glancing around the room, sympathetic looks turned to applause for Jon.

For the inevitable anecdote from her childhood, Dan told how Kathryn aged seven produced her own newspaper, Kag's Rags drawing in pictures for photos, ending his speech with, “Well, she has her very own photographer now. Let’s toast the happy couple.

Refusing to have a drink before the speech in case he made a mess of it, Dan now relaxed and downed the waiting dinner wine and champagne while he listened to Aaron relate how he and Kathryn met on an assignment in Faliraki, Greece, while covering the ‘lager lout’ story. Aaron had been sent by default because another photographer, Pete couldn’t go, or they may never have met and none of us would be here.

His professions of love for Kathryn brought tears to Lizzy and her girls who sat directly in front of the top table dabbing their eyes. He thanked Lizzy for her favours (she made the ladies’ favours herself). She replied, "I'll do you a favour anytime, Aaron."

The two best men did a double act using the data projector to show images of Aaron in various embarrassing pics and poses from his childhood, ending in full combat gear in Afghanistan. Their witty commentary and banter with Aaron was such that only long time best friends could pull off.

The best, best man read out messages from people who couldn’t make it. One was from Jon:

Congratulations on getting married. It is with deep regret that I can’t be there. It is my hope that your marriage proves to be as fulfilling and rewarding as the union of our parents.
All the best and the best of luck,

Handkerchiefs were out again, mine included, dabbing away the pain.

Their grand coup was a videoed message to Aaron from a high-ranking politician who he regularly photographs, joking about their escapades in locations around the world, finally berating him for getting married at a time when his skills were most needed by the party, but congratulating the pair.

The emotion generated by tears, laughter, sorrow and joy were still circulating around the room bringing a feeling of warmth and togetherness, I’ve never experienced before.

Kathryn stood, “I’m not going to make a speech,” she announced. “I just want to thank everyone.” As we all applauded she told Dan and I that we were the best parents in the world, and told everyone of her love for Aaron (hankies out again) and how they were made for each other. “The evening’s just beginning,” she said grinning widely. “Let’s party all night.”

That’s exactly what we did.

With arms full of gifts, flowers and cards the evening guests arrived, filling the room. The usual lull while people sought Dutch courage from drink, didn’t happen. The dance floor was full from the start.
“Don’t let mum disappear,” Kathryn told Dan. “We’ve got a surprise.”

The surprise was Black Elvis, the impersonator we’d danced to in Fulham on the night, after we’d ordered the men’s morning suits. “You kept that quite,” I said to Kathryn, who like me, can’t keep a secret.
“Yes, we didn’t think he’d travel up North, but we paid his fare and he did.”

Black Elvis sang Can’t help falling in Love softly while Kathryn and Aaron danced their first dance. Everyone followed jiving, rock 'n rolling or generally moving their bodies around as Elvis gyrated, belting out a repertoire of the King’s music.

The DJ announced twice during the evening that Maple Court hadn’t seen such a party. After six encores, with the crowd stamping, shouting and whistling for his return, the lights dimmed and Elvis left the building. The DJ continued through the night. Kathryn, still wearing her wedding dress, standing tall on a chair in the middle of the room, swaying, waving her out stretched arms wildly above her head in time to the music, was the iconic sight of the evening. Eventually, maybe from fear of her falling on top of him, Aaron joined her, holding her hand, swaying, laughing, together.

In the lounge bar where the party continued till after 4.00 Dan said, “This has been the happiest day of my life.”

Copyright © 2007 BarbaraAttwood


Anonymous said...

How very sweet. Sounds like a dream. :)

tslandry said...

dont believe it could be more prefect than that! enjoy the memories!

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