13 June 2011

Wedding - Parts 1 and 2

So we are having a three part wedding. Part 1 was the legal bit at the Leeds registry office, Part 2 was the party at Katharine's Mum's house in Yorkshire and Part 3, yet to come, will be a party in Bergen.

Part 1 was on Friday the 3rd June. I hadn't realized that the Thursday was Ascension Day, so another religious excuse for a long weekend which meant that the flights were all chaos and expensive. So I ended up flying to Manchester. MAN used to be my main airport when I lived in Liverpool and it was strongly nostalgic passing through after being away for 10 years. I was picked up by my bro and we headed to Yorkshire. Not sure if it is the sat nav or whether Yorkshire only contains narrow back roads but I always have this feeling that I am A) lost and B) not going via a very direct route. We arrived in time for pizza.

Thursday was spent getting stuff ready, including mowing a large field of grass for car parking with two very small tractors mowers. Fun. The house and garden were looking fantastic and everyone had put in so much effort to make everything nice for us, it was moving. The reality was starting to dawn on me, I was getting married!
Two men went to mow, went to mow a meadow...

Friday we headed to Leeds registry office to do part one. There was Katharine and I, Sophie, Pat (Katharine’s mum), Laura Lolly, Les and Elin. We drove on small back roads (this time following Rik not the sat nav) and the traffic was terrible. The UK legal system insists that you go through a ceremony which is short and to the point. The woman who conducted the ceremony was lovely and it actually felt a lot more special than I had thought it would. The registrar selected some music at random and it was Greig, which was rather fitting and it all felt rather special.

We signed the register, took some photos and headed to a restaurant across the way for nibbles and champagne. Part 1 done!
Smiles all round

Back at Mytholme, folks had already started arriving and Friday night we had a very pleasant evening by the pool drinking and eating. Great to catch up with folk and the weather was stunning.

 A meal with family and friends before the big day

Saturday dawned overcast but that was fine, it was a bit cooler. People arrived, I was banned from seeing Katharine while she got ready. Dougal arrived with his E-type Jag which I held built into the service so I could take it for a spin. Les and I got into our kilts. This was the first time we had ever worn them (apart from trying them on Thursday). Felt good and Les quickly got over his initial reservations of “being in skirt that looks like a picnic blanket”. When we first unpacked all the stuff it was a minefield. We had no idea of what to do with half of it but we soon figured it out. We were wearing a Welsh tartan (St Davids). There is actually a Howell tartan but it’s not common enough that anywhere rents it.

Men in skirts- looking good!

So we greeted a few folk then climbed into the Jag. I had tested it with Dougal and it felt like driving a very fast, old car. Fun but scary. After a little bit of getting a feel we took it up on the moors and through its paces before heading back to Mytholme, after 30 mins of razing I felt ready to get married with a big smile on my face.

We arrived and stood in our appointed spot. Everyone else was assembled in the open tent. The musicians fired up the Hovis tune and Katharine appeared from the house looking gorgeous. We walked in together and the cameras were going like crazy.

 A very happy couple

Helen did a fantastic job of leading the ceremony that we had written and it all went perfectly to plan. After the ceremony we led the procession out and then greeted everyone at the main marque. Lots of old friends to catch up with and the time flew by. Then it was champagne and canopies before the speeches.

Laura was up first and did a fantastic job which included some pork balls and set the scene nicely. A lovely speech – we love you to Lolly! Then Katharine who was also great, followed by me. I was a bit surprised to find myself struggling with the emotion of it all. Les reset the mood very nicely with a speech that was, in his own words “like a skirt, long enough to cover the essentials but short enough to still be interesting”.

During the speeches  

Then the barbeque and some great food. Too many people to catch up with. Someone had calculated in a 6 hour evening with 120 guests that is only 3 minutes per guest! No wonder I didn’t get to speak to everyone. And that’s without time for dancing

The band came on and we did our first dance. Fortunately we had practiced so it wasn’t a total shambles. Then the band kept playing and playing. They were fantastic, it was like having my 50 favorite songs played live to me by a really good band! Hardly stopped dancing all evening. It was great night that finished for us at 2am. The DJ had quit at 1am and most people were gone home by the time we left for bed. A few hardcore folk partied until 4.30, good luck to them.


It was a fantastic day – its times like that you realize how many great friends you have. So good to see everyone together. And now we are married and it does feel different. I didn’t think it would, nothing had really changed but it feels better.

There are lots more photos on my flickr site include Chris D's excellent shots. There are more to come

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