Sunday, 6 May 2007

A country wedding




Saturday was the day the village had been waiting for – the wedding. Friday had dawned grey and cold and we’d all been a little worried at the prospect of partying in a barn. But as I opened the curtains, the sun was glimmering through the high clouds and the air was distinctively warmer.

We arrived at the church as the bells were peeling, and a crowd of fine hats, posh frocks and smart suits stood outside the village pub, next door. The groom was looking handsome in his kilt suit and soon we were moving to take our seats in the church. And then the bride arrived – a vision of loveliness beaming as she walked down the aisle on the arm of the proudest father in the neighbourhood.

Our next door neighbour is also the village priest and he has watched R grow up to become the beautiful woman she is today. It made the ceremony especially touching as he was able to recall firsthand memories to share with us as he conducted the ceremony with pride. R has three sisters and they made such beautiful bridesmaids, along with flower girls who are nieces and a nephew as ring bearer.

The church was decorated with hand-tied posies of flowers and wicker obelisks hung with wooden hearts and cream lilies. The obelisks had been made by the father of the bride, at home on the farm, and were truly stunning.

Soon, we were back out into the warm sunshine and the bells rang out in celebration as we threw home-dried rose petal confetti, collected from wicker baskets held by the flower girls, and wrapped in individual cones of brown paper, stamped with gold hearts. The photographer was wonderfully swift in his work and we were reversing on our drive before we knew it. The dogs had a quick run around the garden and then, after changing into my more comfy shoes (!) we walked across the lane to the farm.

Pink champagne waited at the gate and we moved though the line-up kissing and hugging and saying our congratulations. We emerged into the courtyard and R’s cousin was playing the keyboard softly in the background as we milled around and chatted. There were old wooden advertising crates filled with packets of our local Tyrell’s crisps and bowls of plump, shiny olives, along with plates of the most delicious home-made cheese straws. The whole atmosphere was relaxed and happy and we brushed past terracotta pots filled with rosemary and lavender.

We were called through into the barn – and what a transformation! Two weeks ago, it had been the cow shed and, as such, looked just like …….. a cow shed. Now, it was white-washed and draped with cream muslin – an indoor marquee. An old wooden farm gate was hung on the wall and decorated with wooden hearts, at each place setting was a brown paper name tag, tied with raffia and decorated with rosemary sprigs and dried rose buds and the table was adorned with terracotta pots of young rosemary plants, alternating with thick, cream church candles. Bottles with crock stoppers of home-made cider and perry, from their own orchards, were placed in groups down the table, along with wine and jugs of water.

The hog-roast was fantastic – Gloucester Old Spot (not their own!), with bowls of salad, potatoes, homemade pickles and chutneys, plus a vegetarian alternative of homemade quiche. Afterwards, there was a wonderful cheeseboard (provided by our neighbour – and, yes, there was Stinking Bishop!) and wedding cake. Not your usual wedding cake either. It was a tier of individual sponge cupcakes, decorated with cream icing and topped with a single rosebud. I really can’t describe how wonderful and different this was – and we each received our own individual cake with our champagne for the toasts.

Speeches were made and we alternated between crying and laughing hysterically – a rollercoaster ride of emotions. The best man was, in fact, a best woman and she did a wonderful job (of course!) and R’s father paid moving tribute to his daughter, the bride, as tears coursed down our faces.

Eventually, it was time for the two of them to leave and we all gathered as the bouquet was thrown and we cheered and waved them off. It was 7.30pm and we said our goodbye’s, hugging and kissing new and old friends, and then we wandered hand in hand back across the lane to our little cottage.

We changed out of our finery, put the kettle on and sat outside as the sun slowly sank down behind the trees. It had been a wonderful day. A true “country wedding” – simply stylish and full of honest, good old fashioned love and laughter. The very best kind of day.

22 comments:

UN PEU LOUFOQUE said...

How wonderful it sounds like an ideal country wedding. Bon chance to the newly weds from France!

toady said...

That sounds fantastic, what a day to remember. Toady

muddyboots said...

sounds fantastic, & as for stinking bishop - my favourite!

@themill said...

A lovely country wedding - just as they should be.

snailbeachshepherdess said...

Gorgeous!

ChrisH said...

Brilliant. Glad it worked out so well.

Eden said...

Sounds idyllic. What a great day -- perfect blend of tradition and fresh ideas. good luck to the couple.

Julie said...

what a lovley day such lovley wedding x jep

DevonLife said...

SOUnds fantastic and you've bought back all the memories of my own wedding which - cliche alert- really was the most wonderful day of my life. it was! Honest!

The Country Craft Angel said...

Hi woozle

Ooooo, it sounds just my cup of tea. What a lovely day+great reception idea.

warm wishes
xx

Suffolkmum said...

It sounds fantastic Woozle, nothing like a country wedding. I love Stinking Bishop too. Lovely to see' you!!

Blossomcottage said...

What a great day, I did the phtographs for a country wedding on Sunday, very tired after, but lots of fun.
Blossom

Pondside said...

Sounds gorgeous - loved all the details!! What on earth is Stinking Bishop?????

Pondside said...

Ok - I re-read and see that it is a cheese - I love stinky cheese, so I'll add it to my list!

Fennie said...

Sounds absolutely delightful
and beautiful pics

Pipany said...

Woozle, that was wonderful. It sounds like such a perfect day and you two look lovely. Ah romance xx

ellen said...

What a wonderful post...enjoyed it so much. I am smiling and feeling the warmth and joy that you conveyed.

Posie Rosie said...

Oh I love weddings, thank you for taking me to this one, it sounded absolutely wonderful.

elizabethm said...

what a great day and what a lovely blog to tell it. just a wedding should be.

annakarenin said...

A perfect start to married life, what a blessed couple and beautifully written about by you.

countrymousie said...

A lovely account of a wedding - the photos are super - cheered me up no end - love mousie

Exmoorjane said...

Absolutely gorgeous! It reminds me of a wedding I saw pictured in a mag somewhere - with the whitewashed barn and all (hmm, might have been in a certain magazine!!)....I always thought how lovely it looked. That picture of the bride and groom is stunning......
Glad they didn't eat their own pig!
Not on their wedding day somehow?!
jxxxx