The wedding, by common consent, was a triumph – from
the sublime church service to the sumptuous reception. If there were cock-ups, they were minor and
unnoticed. Even the rain let up for a
few hours. Jessop luck!
On Saturday afternoon this proud father walked Sara, a
breathtakingly beautiful bride, down the long aisle of Farnham’s enormous parish
church, blissfully aware of the gasps of admiration from the ladies in the
congregation and the audible ‘wows’ from the gentlemen. No wonder George, the waiting groom, looked
like the cat that swallowed the canary. Even
the bride’s mother, Martha, hankie at the ready, seemed too stunned with wonder
The church ceremony, a blend of Jewish and Christian
rituals – the vows recited beneath a linen Chuppah, strains of Alleluia!
mingling with cries of Mazeltov! – merged tradition with innovation. The blend produced an inter-faith pageant of uncommon
and moving beauty. The vicar, presiding
over his final wedding before retirement, looked a little apprehensive at first,
but was soon beaming with satisfaction, and offering thanks to Abraham, a
shared forefather, for having made it all possible. The cause of ecumenism was never better
The entire event was beautifully punctuated by the voices
of the choir, former colleagues of the bride and groom from the National Youth
Choir of Great Britain. The music soared
to the ancient rafters, infused with heartfelt passion and skill.
Later, the marquee in the back garden glowed in the
gathering evening gloom. The wine flowed
freely. Even the dinner proved
digestible. The speeches, it might be
said, lacked either quality – for which this writer offers the principal mea
culpa – but the audience seemed dutifully, perhaps even genuinely entertained.
The long weekend party over, this morning the last
house guests (mercifully) departed. The
house is ours again!
The clean-up begins in earnest. Even as I write, a crew is busy dismantling
the marquee. The overflowing dustbins are
lined up in a row outside the gate, awaiting collection – while I stand by with
a modest bribe for breaching the town council’s rubbish pick-up regulations. I shall be spending much of the afternoon at
The honeymooners, we learn, have landed in the Maldives. The best of luck to them; may they enjoy as
much of it as I have.
An event that will reside long in the memory …..