OK, so maybe it wasn't the Society Wedding of the Year - but it was the family wedding of the year. It's where the Old Bat and I were last weekend - down on the farm.
The bride was my cousin's daughter. She had hoped to get married in what used to be their village church, but the village no longer really exists and the church is long since unconsecrated. Unfortunately, the bishop would not give permission for the wedding to be held there. This was a pity, as I had visions of the bride and her family and friends trooping across the two fields between the farm and the church all Thomas Hardy style. But of course that would never have happened and we would all have driven almost a mile to get there.
So the wedding was at the church in the next non-village. The collection of buildings consists only of the church, a farm, and the big house, known as the Grange. A delightful church, with a board listing vicars going back as far as 1326. It was probably as well that the ceremony took place here as the bride's first choice of church would have been too small.
There being room for no more than four cars to park outside the church, we were directed to park in a field a hundred yards or so along the narrow lane, round a blind bend. Rather than risk the road, access to the church was then through a kissing gate and into the Grange by a back door, up the stairs, through the kitchen and into the garden, then through a gate into the churchyard! It transpired that this is the regular route for wedding guests.
Anyway, the bride and bridesmaids arrived at the church in an open-top 1920s (I think) Lanchester:
After the service we all returned to the farm for the reception. About half a ton of gravel had been used to provide a level base for the marquee and there was a smaller marquee with covered straw bales, colouring books, crayons and other things for the children. And a bouncy castle. The barn dance and disco kept people going until the early hours - although I was in bed and asleep long before that finished!
We were so lucky with the weather - a perfect English summer's day. Some guests were not so lucky with the travelling. There were huge traffic jams on one motorway which meant some guests arrived at the church right at the end of the ceremony. The official photographer didn't get there at all, but fortunately was able to call upon another professional who was very good.
To my mind, this picture - not by the professional nor me - of the bride's nephews and nieces sums up the day beautifully.