During the build up to Sarah and Lee’s wedding the big concern was what the weather was going to do? The long-term forecast predicted the week of the ceremony to be very damp, but indicated that Wednesday may be the best day. And so it turned out to be. Monday and Tuesday saw heavy showers throughout the day and so was Thursday and Friday, but wonderful Wednesday was perfect! Sunshine, blue sky and puffy white clouds, great for photos and a reception in a marquee.
Saturday: Charlotte stayed over at Sarah’s and helped prepare things.
Sunday: Sue drove over to Tenbury Wells to collect Sheila. She was staying with us for the wedding. Charlotte and Sarah spent the day at Eden Hall on a Pamper day. I took the opportunity of a reasonable weather forecast to paint the balcony decking.
Monday: Sue and Sheila take Ellis and Lucas to Corby to enjoy Muddy Mondays (play scheme).
Tuesday: Sarah dropped Mia off for us to look after until she came back from honeymoon, Charlotte arrived and they both set off to The Blue Bell, Easton on the Hill to prepare the marquee with Lee. They stayed that night with the bridesmaids at a lovely cottage in Braunston in Rutland . Lee had separate accommodation with the best man and friends.
Wedding Day: I took Mia to a neighbour of Charlotte’ s as they were looking after her until Thursday. I then drove back to Harborough followed by Suraj and two very smart page boys, Lucas and Ellis.
After changing into my suit, Suraj drove me over to the cottage in Braunston while Sue took Sheila and the boys to Normanton Church on Rutland Water. On arriving at the cottage we were met by the photographer and waited while Sarah got dressed in readiness for the coming ceremony. The girls had been attended to by a hairdresser and stylist earlier that morning and the they all looked stunning, but when Sarah revealed herself in her wedding dress I was lost for words. I felt so proud that I was going to walk up the aisle with a very beautiful young lady.
The photographer took a lot photos of the girls in what was quite an idyllic rural scene.
Suraj left with the bridesmaids for the church and Sarah and I had a short wait before the wedding limousine arrived to take the proud father and bride to the church.
Most of the guests were already seated when our car swept down along the south shore of the lake and stopped a discrete 100m away. Things have changed since Sue and I exchanged vows. We had to wait for the registrar to interview Sarah, this has to be done just prior to entering the church and it was done inside the car. I believe that it is to confirm that the person on the previously submitted paperwork IS the person actually here today. I guess this is to prevent illegal immigration. The minor delay was useful as it gave an opportunity for a few late comers to enter the church.
As we stood outside the church on the promontory reaching out into the lake, I couldn’t help think that there was a theme going on here between my daughters. Both had chosen to be married just a few steps away from water! The Tenbury Wells church where Sue and I married, is next to the river Teme, I do wonder.
Though listening intently to the words of the ceremony I couldn’t help be distracted by the little white-sailed yachts, scudding past our windows, framed as in a scene painted by Enrique Simonet.
With the formalities completed, we all came under the direction of the photographer, who arranged our quite substantial party into a variety of groups and poses with the very picturesque church in the back ground. With every possible combination of family and friends exhausted, supplemented by even more natural, ‘I didn’t know I was being photographed’ being taken, we left for the reception.
The party from Nottingham had arrived at the church by coach, Sue, Sheila and I passed this on the way to the reception, beating it to one of the last parking spaces in the pub car park. We were presented with drinks on arrival and no sooner had we sat down to chat to friends and relations when savoury chicken on a stick was offered. A variety of games had been made available in the adjoining field for the children and these proved popular, keeping them occupied and quiet. After half an hour of mingling, thankful that the cover of the marquee was not needed on a lovely warm and sunny afternoon, we took our seats inside at the behest of the Master of Ceremonies, resplendent in his red outfit.
As usual the top table attended to the buffet first followed by each table as instructed by the MC. At the appropriate time the father of the bride was invited to address the wedding guests. I had prepared a few brief points to cover before the usual toast to the bride and groom however, the speech contrived to around 25 minutes, supplemented with quite a few additions that popped into my head. I am afraid I have to blame the demon drink, it is well-known for lubricating the tongue! Following an excellent (and appropriate length) response by the groom we were then entertained by the best man.
The cutting of the cake was unusual in that it was made entirely of differing layers of cheese and the knife was sabre, provided by the MC. Highly novel and very good fun.
With the formalities completed, the mixing and entertainment began. All, no matter what age, visited the Photo-booth and left their inhibitions outside as they dressed up and took up a variety of risky body positions. No doubt the earlier toasts contributed to many of these public displays of hilarity. Other entertainment was a singer/musician with a fine voice who had appeared on the X Factor and one of Sarah’s work colleagues who did a spot as a stand-up comic. The evening continued with the arrival of the obligatory DJ. The joining of two families can sometimes be a fraught with difficulty, but thanks to Sarah and Lee, this wedding had been planned down to the finest of detail, they had created a lovely atmosphere that just put a smile on everyone’s lips and the only tears shed were for those that could no longer be with us and who had thoughtfully been remembered in small but appropriate ways.
Late in the evening, Ashton made a couple of journeys to the William Cecil Hotel in nearby Stamford to take the Rothwells, Sheila, Sue, Jamie and I to rooms for the night. Glowing with a mixture of pride and alcohol I slept well.
Married Life: Lee and Sarah Price spent their first night in wedlock at the cottage in Braunston that Sarah and the bridesmaids had used the night before. They spent most of the next day in something called a ‘Duvet’ day?
At the William Cecil we all, except Jamie and Ashton who had left very early as they had to go to work, met for breakfast. Afterwards Suraj and I took a taxi back to the Bluebell to help clear up and collect the unused food items, while the rest of our party went window shopping in Stamford. Packing everything we could into Suraj’s car, he followed me in Sue’s car, back to Stamford to pick up the rest of our party and travel back to Harborough. I picked up Mia later in the day. I think she was glad to see me.
At 6am the following day Lee and Sarah arrived at Willow Bank in time for me drive them to Manchester Airport in time to meet one of her bridesmaids (Abby) who just happened to be flying to the USA with her family. I believe they met up in the departure lounge for breakfast. I travelled on to Salford and spent a pleasant three and a half hours with Uncle Stan. For a 95yr old his mind is still very sharp, though his eyesight is now poor. He is having a cataract operation to hopefully improve his vision on August 28th. On my return journey I was caught stationary on the motorway in a thunderstorm. Coincidentally, Sarah and Lee’s plane was also stranded on the runway by the same storm for an hour.
The rest of the week was spent entertaining Sheila, Ellis and Lucas, thankfully the weather was reasonable and allowed the boys be outside as much as inside on their ipads. Sue took Sheila back to Tenbury Wells on Sunday and on the Tuesday we (including Mia) and the boys returned Sarah’s wedding dress hoop to the bridal shop in Sileby and then checked on the house in Braunston, everything seemed fine. On our return to Harborough we stopped for ice-creams and a walk in Knighton Park.
It was Sue’s birthday on the 23rd. She went to see a film at the Odeon Kettering in the afternoon and in the evening we had a meal at Casa Nostra, a new Italian restaurant in Harborough.
The Rothwells have booked a week away in Normandy next week.
Sarah and Lee had a great time in South Korea (avoided starting any wars) and have now moved on to Vietnam.
At the weekend Jamie is hosting his first training seminar at the Hilton Hotel Liverpool on how to use his Binary Destroyer software. Next week he is purchasing an Aston Martin.