I’ve seen a number of wonderful and unusual things in my thirty-four years, but a bride and groom, dressed in their full wedding outfits while feeding fish to a group of excitable penguins is certainly a first.
The Bloke and I attended the wedding of Mary and Sven yesterday – Mary is our friend and former colleague, and over the years we’ve managed to keep in touch. Their story is truly a modern day romance – Mary is from the UK, Sven is from Belgium and they met online playing ‘World of Warcraft.’ Awesome.
I suppose the title of the post is slightly misleading – the actual ceremony took place at a little church near the zoo, but after the ‘I Do’s’ had been said and the hymns had been sung, we took ourselves off to the reception area of the zoo, where we became a little tourist attraction in our own right as we posed for photographs in the glorious sunshine, right across from the orangutan enclosure. There was a little bit of time before the meal and speeches started, so we were given wristbands and told that we could go and spend some time in the main zoo area. I decided to wear trousers and changed into flat shoes after the main ceremony – it had rained heavily that morning and the ground was still rather soggy, but I wasn’t envious of lots of the ladies were in their dresses and heels.
So, off we went – the wedding party and guests all wandered round in their finest, prompting some rather amused glances from the general public as we attempted to negotiate our way through the mud while trying to remain as clean as possible.
It was an absolute blast – we watched Mary and Sven feeding fish to the penguins and then The Bloke and I managed to see most of the animals before we got back to the main building for the meal – I kept laughing him attempting to juggle his SLR and lenses while dressed in a full suit, tie and dress shoes, particularly when one of the elephants decided to do one of the most epic urination’s I’ve ever seen… It’s the little (or in this case, bloody enormous) things…
The Bloke and I weren’t originally supposed to be going to the meal, but we ended up being ‘Peter’ and ‘Leen’ for the evening – after the awful terror attacks in Brussels two weeks ago there were several guests who couldn’t make the wedding due to lack of transportation, (and the ones who had been able to make it had faced paying for taxis from Manchester to Birmingham and then flying home the following day via Germany and Holland), so we found ourselves on a table with a group of Belgians. Luckily, the girl sitting next to me was lovely and made a real effort to talk to us. The meal was nice, and the speeches hilarious (although I won’t share the joke about Wales), and then we went out into the main area for an evening of dancing and drinking. Unfortunately (or I suppose fortunately for The Bloke), they had closed the children’s play area which involved climbing frames and netting, and I’m sure that, had it been open, he would have had to remove me from it at some point. However, I made up for it by getting my boogie on, and even managed to convince The Bloke to join me in the obligatory performance of the Village People’s YMCA that seems to be a staple at every British celebration at some point. Mary is a Scout Leader, and some of my ex-students (who also happen to be among my favourites) are in her scout troup, so as an added bonus, we rocked the dancefloor at several points throughout the evening together, and they promised that they would tell their friends that I sat in a corner and drank orange juice all night. I also got the chance to meet lots of new people that started working at my former school after I left, and it was nice to finally put faces to names as I’d heard lots of positive things about them…
We eventually got home at about 12.30am – totally exhausted but it had been a pretty fantastic day. And let’s face it, with food, dancing and the odd penguin thrown in the mix, I wouldn’t have expected anything less!
Congrats Mary and Sven – wishing you a lifetime of happiness xx
You can find more photographs on my Instagram account – http://www.instagram.com/suzie81speaks