March 25, 2009

Dance me to the end of love

One thing about having friends who are late bloomers in the marriage-and-kids department is that even at the grand old age of 35 you still get invited to quite a lot of weddings.

Now, I'm not the world's biggest fan of weddings (hence my choice not to get married), but I take a Jean Brodie-ish attitude of 'For those who like that sort of thing, that is what they like', and try not to shake my head to visibly during the bits of the ceremony that really bother me (anything to do with having children for Jesus' sake, generally) or during the invariably lame speeches. All that said, we went to a lovely wedding last weekend which restored a little bit of my faith in why people bother to put themselves through it.

So many weddings we've been to have had a formulaic feel, mainly because they are based on the venue's 'wedding package', but this one felt exactly like something the friends in question would do, from the bride taking off her shoes as soon as the ceremony was over, to the tables laid with red-checked tablecloths and simple cutlery.

I've never been at a wedding where the bride and groom have been so relaxed and actually had the time and opportunity to not only talk to all of their guests, but to actually sit down and have a real conversation with them about non-wedding related topics (instead of everyone just smiling and agreeing that it was a lovely ceremony while the bride scouts over your shoulder trying to spot who she's missed having this scintillating conversation with).

Of course, it wasn't perfect - the groom's dad made a hideous addendum to an already not great speech, about squeaky bunks and vomit-y sheets, and only half the lunch table was shaded, so the rest of us ended up with sunburn - but by the time we stumbled back to our B&B ten hours later, I really felt like we had shared something special with our friends.

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