Not a secret wedding this time.
The Builder's son was getting married to his Canadian fiancee in Winchester yesterday afternoon. So The Builder and I came down on Friday, staying in The Old Mill in Salisbury. The Builder's mother had also been invited to the wedding, so we dropped by her place yesterday afternoon to pick her up, and off we went.
The wedding was held in the (beautiful) church at The Hospital of St Cross, an ancient almshouse. It's in an out of the way corner of Winchester. So out of the way that The Builder, who lived in Winchester for nearly 20 years didn't know it existed. Nor did many people who currently live in Winchester. I certainly didn't know it existed. I am hoping to have the opportunity to come back and look at it as a tourist rather than as a wedding guest. You can't really go wandering about a church poking about in its nooks and crannies when you are at a wedding service!
The wedding was also beautiful. I was a bit puzzled by the choice of the first hymn. "Abide with me" is more usually associated with funerals than weddings - but it turns out that yesterday afternoon was the time of the FA Cup Final; "Abide with me" is the hymn sung at the beginning of the match; Ian is an avid soccer fan. Makes sense when you make all those connections! Gwen was sat at the very front of the church, in the only wheelchair spot. We were sat just behind her, so she wasn't entirely isolated. There were lots of Ian's family and friends present, and a smattering of Canadians. Lisa's father came, on his first foreign flight ("If you don't count Hawaii!"). Her brother, niece and sister were there, along with a few close friends. Another celebration will be held in Saskatchewan in a week or so's time.
When we came out, the gloomy weather had turned into an absolute downpour. No photo opportunity outside then! So everyone went into the assembly hall, which was (unfortunately) up a flight of quite steep stairs. There was no way we were going to Gwen up there, so she and I took shelter in the porch, while the photos were being taken. Then the bridal party and family came and had photos taken with her.
Then everyone parted company and we took Gwen home for a cup of tea and a spot of dinner.
The reception was an evening affair, held in the Cart and Horses in Kingsworthy. It was a lovely evening. Delicious food, lots of laughter and merriment, very convivial.
You will find my photos of the event here:
A Winchester Wedding
The weekend of celebrations continues today. Yesterday was Rebecca's 18th birthday. We couldn't have a proper celebration yesterday - we were all a bit busy. So this evening we gather again in celebration of Rebecca's move into adulthood. First, though, The Builder and I are off to the seaside.