The wedding was wonderful, everything went according to my sister’s meticulous plans and everyone had a very enjoyable time. As soon as my beloved has time to edit his photos, I will post a photo of the happy couple. (Postscript: Sadly none of them were worth posting so the header features the happy couple at another wedding!)
There were a couple of wardrobe malfunctions. No, not my beloved who thankfully was reunited with his luggage and wedding finery well before the big day. The most critical one involved the bride who had spent a sizeable sum on a truly magnificent dress made specifically to fit her. My other sister had been coached on the correct way to get the bride into her finery.
Saturday morning I was summoned to the bridal chambers to assist. The hook and eye at the top of the dress had pinged off: not a good start. My sister was having trouble holding the bride in the corsetted dress while simultaneously zipping and doing up the unfeasibly small hooks and buttons running down the back. In the end, it took four of us to effect the insertion. We were thankfully assisted by two old hands, or should that be two pairs of old hands, the two female registrars. My one sister pushed from the front, each registrar held a side while I inched up the zip and closed all the buttons. Thank goodness we all had our own short finger nails.
This was the second malfunction of the day. I had earlier donned my wedding finery to discover that I had brought the wrong underwear. I simply did not appreciate that the fit of the bra I was wearing when I bought the dress had been so critical. Sadly, the look now was decidedly aging porn star which would have had the male members of the congregation warming their soup spoons in case I popped out while eating our starters. I considered a mercy dash down to Rigby & Peller (well-known underwear shop) but there really wasn’t time. Fortunately I had travelled in a smartish outfit which went with my hat and most of the guests were none the wiser, it was after all my sister’s big day, not mine.
Importantly, my parents enjoyed the wedding. My mother, who was suffering from Alzheimers, had been decidedly crotchety the evening before at dinner but clearly enjoyed dressing up and watching all the goings on firmly ensconced between her two other son-in-laws. Everyone was really kind to her and while I’m not sure she truly appreciated what was going on, she obviously enjoyed her day.
As father of the bride, my father’s speech was given first. He really excels at this, making it look very natural lacing it with plenty of gentle humour. He’s a hard act to follow. My other sister, the poet laureate of the family, had written a poem for the occasion which was both delightful and amusing. The others, just didn’t stand a chance but struggled on bravely. Fittingly, the groom’s mother (suffering from terminal cancer) won the sweepstake and donated her winnings to Cancer Research.
It was good that the event was held indoors as the weather was decidedly British all week end: grey, overcast and drizzly. I had left Nice bathed in warm sunshine and landed in foggy Gatwick. Although I enjoyed living in London, that train has left the station. I would never go back. I love the French way of life, the weather, my friends and my cycling far too much. It’s the one place I’ve truly felt “at home”.