Sunday, 18 August 2013

Of Wedding No.2

And so it happened; Wedding No.2. This time for the English relatives in Branscombe, Devon.
The weather was perfect. It was not too warm for the likes of me in a heavy wedding suit and it was sunny enough to bathe Branscombe in beautiful sunlight - as if nature had been dressed for the Blessing too.
If the weather delivered then so did the vicar, Reverend Hilary. She was just outstanding. She told me when we first met that she used to be a teacher and it showed during the service. She had beautiful exposition and it was clear to me that she knew how to "prep a lesson" and address and engage those in front of her. Her smile and energy was just infectious and I don't think anyone I've spoken to since has failed to comment on just how good she was.
The church is straight off the front of a chocolate box and is as charming as it is English. As I boy I once camped in a field to the rear of the church and somehow thought that one day the church would feature in my life and some thirty five years later I proved myself right.

Because the ceremony was a Blessing as opposed to a wedding we had the flexibility to include our own vows. Anna started with her seven and then I followed with mine. It was a bad mistake. I should have gone first for when the woman you love stands in front of you and tells you how she plans to love and take care of you for the rest of your life it's difficult not to choke.
We left the church to the best of what the choir, organist and bell ringers had to offer and it was good. Very good. As we made our way out the grounds I couldn't help but notice two doves perched high up on the church wall. I winked at Bertha and Harry and wondered if Anna had named them in her own mind Alexander and Alexey after her own grandparents now also long passed away.
What followed was a small but lovely reception. Every relative seemed to chip in something. There was singing, dancing, speeches, quizzes, art and craft, party games.

In the evening Anna and I reflected on what had happened. In Moscow we had enjoyed a terrific and very Russian wedding. In England we'd enjoyed a very English one.
Two lucky people in a great place in a wonderful world.

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