The wedding was *lovely*.
It was at the Cambridge Registry Office. The sun shone (though I was glad of my pashmina, for the wind was a bit on the chilly side first thing in the morning).
Tabitha and Gareth were there (usefully!). So too were: The Builder and me; Freyja and Mark; Ian; Gareth’s mum; Gareth’s dad; Peter and Joan; Paul, Carol and Claire; Tabitha’s school friend Kumiko; their pal Marryk; another pal Batch; their mate Alex; Bob and Marcia Stephenson, who Tabitha has known since she first moved to Sheffield.
Freyja had surprised me in the morning by appearing dressed for the wedding in a sailor dress with a white sailor cap. Alex surprised me even more by turning up in full naval officer kit. It seems that the “theme” was going to be Blue Cool, then it morphed into Naughty Cool which of course requires Nauti-cal dress!
Taffa was wearing a beautiful blue/grey dress. Gareth looked magnificent in a purple shirt which I’m sure should really be mine. Marryk and Batch scrubbed up amazingly well. They’re good looking lads!
The ceremony was presided over by a charming registrar. There was lots of laughter. Nobody cried. Marryk stood as best man, Freyja and Alex stood as Tabitha’s Best Alex and Best Freyja; Kumiko and Batch stood as witnesses. Marryk positively TOWERED over the registrar when he was handing over the rings :-P
After the ceremony we trundled out into the sunshine and Paul and Ian took thousands of photographs. We all milled about and chatted. Then most people climbed up Castle Mound. Peter and Joan went home at this point. Joan was beginning to find the standing around a bit hard. I have to say, both Peter and Joan were looking remarkably well, particularly Peter (when you consider how ill he has been this year).
Everyone came back down the mound. Gaz, Batch and Marryk climbed up a tree. I can’t tell you why. But it’s definitely the first wedding I’ve ever been to where the groom has ended up up a tree!
Then The Builder, Freyja and Mark took our car back to the guest house, followed by Bob and Marcia who brought them back to Alex Wood Road. Tabitha, Ian and I went back to AWR to prepare lunch. Everyone else went to the pub. The boys had been standing around uttering the word “pub” in mournful tones since about 5 seconds after the ceremony finished. I think they might have been suffering the after effects of the previous evening’s impromptu party.
Ian prepped the meringues and turned them into mini pavlovas. The party pies and sausage rolls and vegetable puffs all went in the oven. I left the rice mix as a rice salad rather than making rice balls. The mashed potato patties and the pea and sesame patties cooked up beautifully. Ian did a magnificent job frying up the marinated lamb. There was Greek salad and tabouleh to accompany the rice salad. The wallpaper pasting table that Gareth had bought in lieu of a banqueting trestle was positively groaning. Freyja and Mark did the fetching and the carrying. It was a grand team effort.
We were very glad of the marquees. The Builder had organised them against the (highly likely, given the summer of 2008) prospect of rain. In fact, we were glad of them for preventing our heads from being sunburnt! The drinks table was glad of them too. It was sat out in the blazing sun until somebody noticed and it was moved under cover. Batch’s girlfriend joined us for lunch. So too did Bernard the Hippo, Sleepy Hippo and Tabitha’s little tiny lion Frank (though I’m sure she used to have a small tiny hedgehog called Frank).
I’m not sure I prepared enough food, however. There was only a bit of lettuce and some bits of pita bread left and most people only got seconds and thirds. I’m certain I didn’t make enough meringues. Should I ever cater anything like this again, I’ll make double the number! My bride and groom biscuits were very cute. The jam tarts weren’t too bad either.
We even managed to get Austin to the reception. Skype and web cameras are wonderful things :-)
It was a lovely afternoon.
Ginger Rich turned up later in the afternoon. Various people who were going to the evening do started to roll in. The party was to be a grunge rock party and people had to come in music based fancy dress. Tabitha, Freyja and Kumiko went as the Chipettes (you can Google it yourselves!). Marryk made a fantastic Freddie Mercury. And I don’t know who Ginge was dressed as but he looked wonderful. The venue had had another, last minute change of address. They had been booked into the Cambridge City Football Club, but the person who had organised it had moved to Cambridge United (who’d have thought that Cambridge would be big enough to need two football clubs!) and the party venue went with him. I think this was an improvement. Certainly Tabitha referred to it as an Upgrade when she told us all about it.
It really was a lovely day. And to make it even better – Taffa and Gaz gave me a Dalek money box and a Tom Baker Dr Who Doll as a present for making all the food. (The Builder got 4 bottles of local to Cambridge beer for the marquees, Paul got a picture of The Backs (I think it was The Backs) for taking the photos and Ian got a huge tea towel of Cambridge for helping with everything)