A week ago I wrote about the run-up to the wedding. A busy week, though it was so good to spend time with both my sons, and also good to get acquainted with Becky's family.
So, Saturday morning dawned... sunny, and not too cold. Just as well, since my outfit wasn't particularly warm, and I really didn't want to have to wear tights. Around 10.30 we drove to the house where Daniel has been living... he seemed quite relaxed:
It wasn't until we'd been there about half an hour or so that I noticed that he had shaved off his beard!
Around 11.45 we departed, to have lunch with my three siblings and their families near the Cathedral, leaving Daniel in the hands of his two 'best men': Tim and Euan.
By the time we arrived at St James' Church, around 1.20 or so, Daniel had - as another friend put it - scrubbed up nicely:
As the extended family arrived, he was happy to sit and chat:
Gradually the church filled up. In addition to the family, plus a very few long-term family friends (such as godparents) there were several of Daniel and Becky's colleagues and church friends from Carlisle, most of whom had had some part in preparing for their special day. There were also a few ex-Doulos friends who had been able to come for the weekend.
Shortly before 2.00, Daniel and his best men sat in the chairs put out for them in front of the pews:
John, the Vicar, chatted with them, then went to check that Becky had indeed arrived. He came back to report to Daniel that there was a reason for him to be there... and as the music started for the entrance of the bridesmaids and bride, he, Tim and Euan stood up to await them:
The camera was rolling, the Vicar ready, Euan and Tim mildly curious to see how the girls would be dressed... and Daniel had a wonderful look of anticipation on his face!
Becky's brother and his wife are worship pastors at a church in Canada; they had agreed to lead all the singing in the service, and did so competently on guitar and piano.
It was, of course, Daniel and Becky's day. But I couldn't help a tinge of extra pride when Tim read - extremely well - the passage they had asked for, the classic one about love from 1 Corinthians 13.
The sermon followed... we all wondered what was going on at first, since John simply sat in his chair, as if waiting for someone else. But it quickly became apparent that it was part of his talk... when he eventually stood up (the pause was probably no more than a minute, though it felt very long) his opening words were, 'Love is patient!'
He spoke very well, directed towards the happy couple, and was refreshingly brief. Then came the most important part of the ceremony. Earlier in the service Daniel and Becky had given their consent ("I will") to his questions. Now they had to make their vows and give each other rings:
After that, John invited them to 'greet each other in a culturally appropriate way'. But it didn't feel appropriate to take a photo at that point...
Then came the legal requirement, that of signing the registers in the vestry. In fountain pen. First Daniel:
Tim and one of the bridesmaids were the official witnesses.
After that, we all went out in formation, returned briefly so that a group photo could be taken from the balcony, and then outside for many more official and unofficial photos. Here's one of Becky with her three bridesmaids:
The bride and groom then left with the official photographer for some more pictures around Carlisle, and the rest of us gradually made our way to the community hall where the reception was held, about ten miles away from the church. There was plenty of time to greet people we knew, and be introduced to some we didn't know. There was a table for any presents that had been brought to the ceremony, and - an idea I had never seen before - a table with cards for people to write special messages, if they wished.
Food started being served around 6.00pm, beginning with soup, followed by spit-roast lamb and other alternatives, and a wide variety of salads. All produced by one of Daniel's colleagues who used to be a chef. Desserts were many and varied, brought by several of Dan and Becky's friends. Then it was time for speeches and toasts:
Richard managed to record the second part of Daniel's speech (most of which was taken up with thanking everyone) and all of Tim's, which was deliberately brief. Rather echo-ey, but here it is anyway:
Then the tables were cleared and pushed to the sides, and it was time for the evening ceilidh. Daniel and Becky were invited to open it with a special waltz, but although they'd been primed by Euan, their minds apparently went blank and he had to take to the floor too before they got started:
That was followed by a standard and very enjoyable barn dance. Several guests had to leave around 8.00 to get home, but there were a good number who stayed to dance until the taxi arrived about 11.00 to take them to their honeymoon destination. By then they had changed into ordinary clothes, so the band got the rest of us to make an archway to see them off!
All in all, a wonderful day. I don't quite know how my firstborn can be old enough to get married... twenty-four-and-a-half years seem to have gone in the blink of an eye. But we're delighted that he's found such a lovely girl, and hope and pray that their marriage will be happy and fulfilled.