The bride was nicely pregnant, not waddling yet but with a triumph bump just showing through the lovely dress borrowed from an aunt who had herself needed the cross straps that let out if necessary. As the bride’s father pointed out, she had attended her parent’s wedding at about the same age, a fecund family.
After all the planning, the discussions, the compromises, the choosing of music, hymns, bridesmaids, the anxiety over the weather, the flowers, the best man’s speech, the day dawned with fierce sun, sudden showers and bulging white clouds, There were several tents for impecunious friends and relatives and a big marquee for the wedding feast. The couple had powerfully held views about – well just about everything but their particular bug bear was carbon foot prints. Those who eat defecating cows are guilty of heinous irresponsibility so their wedding would be a veggie one. Very good it was too. But back to the rules and regs of going to a carbon foot print wedding. We were encouraged to walk from church to reception, intrepid friends marched purposefully, those of us, the frivolous you might say, after eating hearty ham sandwiches for lunch, drove guiltily to the reception hoping the married couple wouldn’t see us. We are the kind of family that has divorced, remarried and sired a bevy of enterprising children who have cast aside the stranglehold of class and convention. The hippy set wore dreadlocks; multicoloured bits of clothing probably gleaned from the local charity shop and stashed away the comforting presence of an ounce or two of dope. The elderly favored morning suits stretched over prosperous girths, the riff raff favored almost clean shirts and the also rans wore cheap badly cut suits. Well, bugger everyone else, I felt appropriately dressed in a marks and sparks best with a hat to match.
The service was touching in its naivety. Neither party was particularly religious and stumbled through the rite with delicious charm helped by splendid organ music and a gospel choir who entertained us with the kind of songs that makes you want to sway – but at a wedding! There was a point when all the children were given a candle and invited to surround the beaming couple with hair raising lit candles waving and swooping dangerously near the delicate veil but all was well and soon the couple, mindful of their carbon footprint, marched into the sunshine and a cart pulled by a very large white horse. I noticed they left with a glass of bubbly.
We bumped into old lovers, even older husbands, people whose faces we remembered but names escaped, we swore eternal friendships, praised the lovely couple. I counted eighteen grandchildren – I said we were a fecund lot and the soon those who writhe were writhing to music while the ancients sat and nattered about lives and loves. Over tired children sat under the tables eating strawberries, the doddery made their farewells and the news went round like wild fire that very plush loos had been supplied, and how.
Tottering on unaccustomed high heels, faces stiff with makeup we partied into the night till the yawns overcame us and we drove, oh so carefully back to our rented house. It was a joyous, happy event.