Sunday, December 07, 2008

John & Rich Get Married

The wedding yesterday was excellent. The weather was cold but clear and sunny, the ceremony was nicely brief and to the point. Afterwards there was a photo-call at a nearby Jacobean mansion which was lovely. Then we were on to lunch at a restaurant in Bexley which was better than most wedding breakfasts I’ve been to before. There were mercifully few speeches.

By the time we were finished eating it was around 5pm and the whole party walked back to the house, clutching glow-sticks and the chemical handwarmers that had been handed out with the sloe gin on the coach. There were a couple of stops to watch a firework display and to send up some heart-shaped mini hot-air balloons (very pretty in the sky, but a bit too romantically-cute for my tastes.) They had a snow machine blowing over the front door and the house continued the ‘winter sparkle’ theme of the wedding. The patio doors now led straight out into a white marquee with a mirror-ball and dancefloor and there was a life-size model of a young Fallow Deer doe (which inevitably got christened ‘Bambi’ by everyone) in amongst the snow-decked Christmas trees at the rear.

On the TV there was a continuous slide show of photos of both the happy couple and the guests, including some hilariously old shots of a few! I got off fairly lightly but there were older photos of Brett in there and a lot of John’s old friends in full 80’s teenagehood. They had caterers in to keep everyone topped up with food and drink, all of which was good quality nosh, and had a new version of their ever-popular chocolate fountain; a two-spume affair pouring milk chocolate down one side and white chocolate down the other.

Mid-evening a few of the guys got back from a Far From Kansas gig and that kick-started the singsong part of the evening; Simon S was pressed into service on the keyboards, songsheets were handed out to the guests and we mixed traditional Christmas Carols (including the audience-participation version of Twelve Days of Christmas) with Come What May and All That Jazz.

John & Rich did a speech of thanks to people, after which Rich surprised John with an early fortieth birthday present; he handed over a silver envelope which contained details of an arctic cruise that he has apparently booked for them both next March.

After that the evening continued with more drinking, dancing and chatting. I carried on as semi-official photographer of the day, making a record of some of the shenanigans. The best part of the latter evening was dipping my oar into a discussion between Martin K and Andy, Nicola K’s partner, who is a serving police officer. They were roaming freely over the topics of discrimination, equality and sexual politics. I hope I can catch up with Andy again in future – which I’m sure we will – as it was quite an engaging discussion and I should like to pick up some of its threads at a later date.

Having managed to remain remarkably sober myself, I poured Brett into a taxi with Nicola, Andy, all our gear and a mountain of wedding cake slices that Rich had pressed on us and we all headed home around 1am.

Today I spent a while picking out and processing the best of the pictures and then publishing them on Facebook before we headed off to Trevor G’s winter party. Sadly the party was poorly attended and didn’t reach critical mass while we were there so, as we were pretty weary anyway from the day before, we made our excuses after a couple of hours and headed home. Rather sad for Trevor and Kenny as they’d clearly done a lot of prep work and their summer parties are always fabulous.

Instead we came home and watched West Wing episodes after putting up the Christmas decorations.

One other thing to remember; John G suggested resurrecting the Brunch Club that Ping used to organise a couple of years ago. It’s rather fallen by the wayside since he’s been splitting his time between London and Kuala Lumpur and it was a great way to catch up with our friends. I shall try and book some dates for the coming year.

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