Dan and I were up bright and early despite the long journey, breakfasted, dressed and packed. It’s my sister’s wedding and we were determined to be there and to enjoy it, so we were!
Ted and Dee picked us up and took us to Cornhill Manor – the reception place, and then went on to Canons Ashby for the afternoon. My mum and Beckie shepherded us in, cameras, bags, wheelchair and all, and we were surprised by being served lunch before anything else happened! After lunch Mum showed Dan around Cornhill (it’s a place we as a family know very well) while I went upstairs and helped Anne get her 2 little girl ready. Dressed, brushed and shining, we were ready to go.
Since there wouldn’t be huge amount of walking around at the chapel, Dan elected to leave the chair in the back of mum’s car while we were there. We stood outside a while, chatting with friends and family, taking some pictures and laughing at one particular character who had obviously been dared to come along in some outrageous costume.
The various song we would be singing were printed on a handout that was (obviously) handed out as we went in. There was no bridal procession, Karen is far too shy to have survived that experience, and in another slight departure, she wore a long pale blue dress instead of a more traditional white or simmilar colour. Blue is Karen’s favourite colour, who were we to deny her that on her big day?
The service started amid great laughter, with the confession that we’d almost been sent home because they had stuggled to find the safe key to get the registers out, but it had been found so everything could go ahead. A friend of Karen stood and spoke a bit about her, and a close friend of Caleb did the same for him.
Amid several songs and hymns, there was a reading that produced a few blank looks – Solomon asking Hiram for wood to build a temple. The focus was actually on the properties of the wood requested and sent. Attractive, tall trees, long-lasting, attractive scent and with properties that protect the things around them.
The wedding vows were simple and fairly traditional, with the normal giggle over how difficult it is to get the grooms ring on his hand. The applause , as it always does at weddings, bought tears to my eyes. My baby sister, so shy, so worth of love, has found and married a man who will love and care for her always.
At the reception my dad was the first in the line for speeches. He hates the things and was visibly shaking, but made us laugh and gave a good speech too. Then Caleb spoke, and made us smile although to my shame I can’t recall what he said. Aaron the best man bought smiles to faces and tears to eyes as he described the close friendship that he and Caleb have shared for years, and some of the highs and lows involved in that. Finally there were a few bits of information about food and toilets and after a short prayer to bless the people and the food, the feasting began.
It was quite a feast, rolls with at least 4 different fillings, salad items, pizza slices, fruit in enormous baskets, cakes and biscuits and even hula hoops for the wee ones! So 200 or so people filled their plates with food and their cups with tea, coffee or fruit punch and spread themselves around the ballroom and the adjacent lawn to eat and chat. (It was a beautiful day weatherwise)
As the feasting slowed, it was time for photographs and there were a variety of formal and informal pictures taken, again, amid plenty of laughter.
As the picture taking ended Dan reminded me that I’d wanted to visit Noel’s grave and also show him my grandmother’s grave. Both are buried in consecrated ground in the Cornhill grounds. I was just saying that we’d get a cup of tea and go down there when my brother David told us to go back into the ballroom because they were about to come and cut the cake; so we set ourselves up and took some pictures of that and then waited for cake to come our way (twas very nice, and made by Caleb’s mum!)
Finally we managed to make a short visit to the burial ground and I managed to show Dan the graves of a few of the people who were important to me. then we whipped back into the house just in time to make a cup of tea before Ted and Dee and the van came to take us back to Lincolnshire. The rest of the Wedding Party were going to Leicester to the newlyweds’ home for a barbecue but with all the travelling and the big day we’d just had there was no way I would have coped.
Thank heavens, the journey to Lincolnshire was sooth, no accidents, diversions or roadworks to fight, just listening to some music and watching the sun set. We got the van partly unpacked, had some supper and then went bedward with a cup of tea
Mr and Mrs Davis, congratulations, it was a lovely day and I felt privileged to help you celebrate it. Much love.