I’ve never been married, but after attending many over the years as a guest or as part of a string quartet, I have a decent idea of the sort of wedding I would like.
Picture this: a Christmas theme, held in a beautiful hotel in the countryside, with lots of candlelight, a simple ceremony and beautiful food, celebrated with a small group of our closest family and friends.
It turns out, one of my oldest and dearest friends, Charlotte and her partner John, clearly have similar tastes, and The Bloke and I have just returned from one of the most stunning weddings we have ever attended.
Charlotte, or Charlie as she is usually known, is a friend from university, and while we have only seen each other in person a handful of times since we graduated, we talk on the phone regularly and over the years she’s been an absolute rock. She’s been through a lot, and I’ve always admired her for her strength and ability to carry on amidst the various challenges that have been thrown at her.
A few years ago, after being single for a while, she met John, a pilot in the RAF, and it didn’t take long to realise that this was it. Within eighteen months they had bought a house and moved in together, and during a trip to Thailand John had proposed, and they’ve planned their wedding in just a few months.
It was held at Bibury Court, a Jacobean mansion (built in the 1600’s) in the beautiful town of Bibury in the Cotswolds. It’s renowned for it’s beauty, so much so that it has regularly been used in Hollywood films (Bridget Jones and Stardust to name a few), and even though I grew up in the countryside I have to admit that I was overwhelmed with how gorgeous it was, even in the dull and grey weather.
True to form, The Bloke and I arrived ridiculously early, to find the wedding party sitting down to breakfast. To avoid disturbing them, we decided to explore the grounds…
After they had finished, we checked into our room, relaxed and watched some TV, and then got ready for the ceremony that was being held in one of the rooms downstairs. As John is in the RAF, he and his friends were dressed in full military uniform (complete with swords), and the guests looked beautiful.
This is a summary of the day:
- Unbelievably gorgeous decorations.
- Beautiful dress.
- John’s face was a picture in itself when he saw Charlie for the first time.
- Simple, intimate, beautiful ceremony. (I also did one of the readings, which thankfully went well – I was so nervous!).
- Walking under a presentation of swords from the RAF boys (I love the pomp and circumstance that comes with being British).
- Candlit meal. Stunning.
- Betting sweepstake on our table to see how long the best man’s speech would last. I was three minutes short.
- We ate our desserts without using our hands (long story).
- Disoranno and lemonade. Several of them.
- Winter leaves, Christmas trees, pine cones, cinnamon sticks and more candles.
- Pork and stuffing ciabatta.
- Dancing, singing, talking with the awesome people who shared our table.
- Sore feet.
- Sticking snowflakes onto the bald head of one of the guests.
- The best ’90’s playlist ever!
It was a truly fantastic evening followed by a great sleep in a ridiculously comfortable bed. I’ve never seen Charlie look so happy… And she absolutely deserves it.
What about you guys? What have you been up to?
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