So. Some wedding trivia at long last. By the way, the friend who got married is the bearer of salt and vinegar crisps who visited last December. I realise, I haven't even given her a blog-name. Well, let's see...what about Cleo(patra), as she is of Egyptian descent and looks every bit as beautiful and "oriental" as the eponymous queen regnant. Unlike the majority of Egyptians, her family are Copts, i.e. Orthodox Christians. To Cleo, religion is a very important part of her life and therefore her future husband (a native Brit) had to convert. I'm glad he obliged as otherwise I'd have missed out on a truly fascinating ceremony. In a nutshell: there were several priests (one was busy taking photos all throughout the ceremony...) and chanting deacons (?), the bride and groom got to wear robes and crowns (!) fit for royalty and got kissed and hugged by the priest(s) a lot.
B., Cleo's other friend from Vienna and I were the usherettes which meant we got to wear hired "fascinators" (see bottom picuture) in our hair and to hand out the (32 pages thick, with bookmark!) orders of service at the church entrance. Altogether not too demanding a task and we fell in love with our feathery hair-decoration, not taking them off until we went to bed.
After the ceremony, some 200 members of the congregation convened in the church hall for snacks, wedding cake and small talk with the newlyweds. A very impressive gospel choir performed, too.
Afterwards, the bride got rid of her veil and the detachable straps of her dress and we all (well, not the whole congregation, but a party of 40) headed for the venue of the formal dinner, the picturesque East Lodge in the Peak District, about one hour from Manchester by car. B. and I shared a room on the ground floor which obviously was one of the lodge's handicapped-friendly chambers. The toilet was mounted so high you barely had to bend your knees. A rather novel experience I must say.
It was all very nice, the food was good (we got served beef as a main course so if you notice anything even MORE mad about me in the near future, you know where that came from), the bride was stunningly beautiful and conversation at my table very enjoyable indeed. The only thing unusual for anyone who's ever been to an Austrian wedding was the total absence of music and dance as the place wasn't "licensed for music" as it turned out. We were all safely tucked in our beds by midnight.
The next day, the couple's immediate family plus us usherettes and the (American) Maid of Honour all visited Chatsworth, where Pride and Prejudice was filmed. I got on B.'s nerves by wailing "Why did my camera have to desert me yesterday of all days?" in 2-minute intervals. It WAS pure torture for a photo-junkie like me not to be able to take picures of the beautiful house and gardens. Ah, well.
Wedding and sight-seeing inside, I managed to squeeze a bit of shopping in (surprise), buying mainly souvenirs of the calorific kind for the office, tonnes of magazines, Christmas cards and little bits and pieces. More about recent acquisitions on the bag-front coming up.
Labels: on the road