Saturday, 26 November 2011

Ceremonial Madness

Having made it past the ladybird and found the bar we spent an enjoyable hour catching up with friends (some of whom we hadn't seen in years) and watching the wedding cake being assembled. The cake was apparently a last minute surprise for both Rob and Rhona, as they hadn't intended to have one. Two of the guests (apologies for not being able to remember your names) decided that wasn't right and so set about baking. Rather than a traditional layered wedding cake, they had baked what seemed like hundreds of cupcakes, all decorated with hand painted sugar flowers. Apparently it took two days just to make the flowers! Now I'm not sure which of the cake stand, table or floor were uneven but there were a few nervous moments as everything was put together when it resembled the Leaning Tower of Pisa. fortunately it all got leveled out and survived quite a few knocks throughout the evening.

Unfortunately we didn't take any photos of the barn set out for the wedding. We were on one end of a row, away from the aisle and so not in the best place for taking photos as Rhona arrived, and then we were all asked not to take photos at any point during the service in order to not distract the professionals. This photo should give you a good idea as to how nicely the barn was decorated though.

Now I've been to a few civil services, and they usually consist of a couple of readings (strictly non-religious in content) and the playing of three pieces of classical music (arrival, signing, departure). This wedding was, however, quite a bit different.

Firstly the music was different. There wasn't a CD player pumping out classical music, but rather a choir and a keyboard player. During the service there were five pieces of music. Rhona arrived to the choir singing "If" by Bread which apparently is a favourite song of Rhona's. We then joined the choir to sing "It Must Be Love" by Madness. Topical and I know that Madness are one of Rob's favourite bands. the choir then sang Oscar Hammerstein's "Some Enchanted Evening". While the register was being signed we listened to a rendition of "Fields Of Gold" (this also made an appearance at our wedding as the music for our first dance). And then the ceremony concluded with "You've Got A friend In Me" taken from the Toy Story films. All together a distinctly different musical approach from any other wedding I've been to. Church weddings often include hymns that you are supposed to join in with, but hardly anyone knows the words/tune and they all sing quietly. You really needed to be there to see what a difference be asked to sing Madness makes!

Civil weddings usually include a reading or two. These are usually poems or something that any guest with a good grasp of English can recite. Rob and Rhona went for a completely different approach and asked two friends to talk rather than read. Firstly we had one of Rhona's friends who talked about Love. This was cleverly done and focused on the impact that love has on not just the couple but the people around them. Later in the ceremony one of Rob's old school friends then talked about Marriage. This talk included some funny tips on marriage from some antique books he had recently been given as a wedding present. Both talks were brilliant and I'm really glad I wasn't asked to give one of them!

All together it was a wonderful ceremony, that was so totally different to any I've ever been to, and one that I'm sure none of the guests will forget in a hurry.
26 November 2011 at 21:46 , GB said...

I can't recall when I last went to a church wedding. Civil ceremonies have the potential to be much more tailored to the individuals concerned and can be far more beautiful and moving than religious ones.

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