Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Of Mrs and Mrs Phillips

And so, on Saturday last, Anna and I were finally married. Anna told me the following day that she really didn't like the registry office but I wouldn't have wanted to get married in Russia anywhere else. It had a plain old Soviet feel to it which reminded me of my first great adventures in Russia and Poland back in the the early 80s. For me the building had a simple egalitarian message of matrimony. There was nothing ostentatious going on; everyone arrived and was treated the same. What mattered were the couples themselves and their happily-every-after was down to them and them only and the sorts of things that privilege, status and money just couldn't buy.
We were introduced to one smartly dressed bureaucrat sat behind a desk after another as we made our way around the building signing documents as we went.
And then it stopped. And we were led in front of a large pair of doors as friends and relatives gathered behind. Suddenly the doors swung open and we glided forward into a room lightly coloured gold as a bunch of babushkas to one side plucked "Here Comes the Bride" on a variety of stringed instruments.
Half way into the room yet more bureaucrats at the end asked us to pause. One of them began the ceremony in Russian and (as previously arranged) when Anna squeezed my hand I replied "Da". We slipped on our rings that were perched on a nearby plinth. We kissed. One of us blubbed as he punched the air.

Thereafter we enjoyed a fabulous reception with some wonderful Russian traditions which we shared with some truly lovely people. Anna's family are just delightful and there's not a bad bone in any one of them anywhere.

It was Anna's mother, however, who left me with the most beautiful memory of the weekend. As we're leaving Moscow the plane is taxiing to the runway when Anna's mobile sounds. Mrs Phillips answered (for the Russians don't seem to to observe the rule that you shouldn't use a phone in a plane) and she explained it was her mother with a message for me. As she held the phone to my ear I listened and heard her Mum in her very broken English fighting with the language to tell me that she was very happy that I'm now her son-in-law. I blubbed. We took off.

1 comment:

  1. One more Barry's talent I've opened now -) He is a great commentator! I hardly have something to add. But one thing I really want to add to his note.
    We got everything to consider our wedding unforgettable: beautiful dress and suit, rings, professional photographer, good food, drinks, wedding cake, huge car for all people, heaps of russian traditions to celebrate and even doves to let them fly away.. Just one thing we both really desired - Barry's parents to be with us in this memorable day!
    But it'll be one more even more beautiful wedding specially for them! :-)