Tom & Emily's Wedding

August 8, 2015 - Bristol, United Kingdom

What an incredible day.

We walked to the venue , just 1.5km along the Bath Road from our hotel and a very plasant stroll in British sunshine and under clear blue skies. The happy couple couldn't have wished for a better day. As we approached the Paint Works a little before noon there was a group of obvious wedding attendees at the top of the steps leading down to the courtyard venue. In fact we spotted Bex as we got closer and Will had just gone down to reinforce with the celebrant there should be no religious references in the ceremony. We joined up with the group as they went down the steps as well.

There is a large hall for the event and there were tables all set out for the reception as well as a space to all gather around and a bar for the later festivities. Through from the bar was a second courtyard space and curtained off from the rest of the venue was the area for the formal ceremony. We met up with Sarah (Emily, Will and Caroline's mother), with Will and Bex, also Caroline and Owain with Florence and Eloise, as well as 

Matt and Rachel with Sophie and Hannah. Tom was wandering about looking very smart and relaxed.

Shortly, after a quick catch up with everyone, we were called in for the ceremony. As we sat waiting for the Bride to arrive we could see that Tom was becoming a little less relaxed. Soon enough the music began and we were asked to stand for the Bride. Emily's friend Amy walked her down the 'aisle'.. A nice way to do it without John to give away the Bride and avoid the use of a 'substitute' father.

During the ceremony Will read a poem by 'a much under-rated poet', himself, that told a bit of Emily's childhood and his appreciation of Tom as Emily's future husband. With the formal signing of the register and the presentation of Tom and Emily as husband and wife to the gathering of friends it was time to PARTY.

There was plenty to drink and canapes to nibble as we milled around chatting to family and friends. A slightly convoluted family it must be said but friends, most definitely. As we all chatted there was a cheeky 'Bravo' for the late arrival of Sam and Lucy with their children, Mabel and Alfie. They had been forced to a standstill in the weekend M4 traffic. They were immediately enfolded into the family circle. From the photos I have seen of John I had immediately placed the late arrival and was relieved to be proven correct as they were introduced.

After a short period of milling about and drinking we were encouraged to move to the tables and find our seats, whereupon a suckling pig was brought to each table and one appointed guest donned an apron to carve and distribute the meat. Hiding under the crackled skin was mainly shredded pork so the carving was easy. At our table it was Tom's brother Will that did the carving. I think each table had a member of the Wedding Party to carve for them.

After dinner speeches were made by Tom's Best Man, Harry, that followed the convention of telling tales out of school without being too incriminating, and finished by saying how Tom used to like Star Wars and now he makes Star Wars. Will then took the floor with a well considered and brilliantly delivered talk where he took on the role of 'Father of the Bride' much to the enjoyment of his audience. He concluded with a poem Sarah had written and he has promised to send a copy of both his poem from the ceremony and of his speech which we will ensure he does so we can give a copy to Sarah.

Everyone adjourned for photographs and the siblings lined up for Margaret to photograph. It was especially nice to see Sam make space in the middle for the absent Sarah and even feigned inviting her into the group and then putting his arm around her shoulders. It was very gratifying for Margaret to see them all coming together so freely. What a wonderful, friendly and comfortable bunch.

Throughout the afternoon we all drank freely, talked freely and nibbled at fruit and cheese. Mainly talked and drank as the Wedding Lunch had been plentiful. By 7pm there was more food on offer as there was plenty of pulled pork rolls or sausage buns with or without coleslaw salad. And then the party really got started with music and dancing. By 9pm we were encouraged to move indoors or out to the other courtyard to reduce the noise levels for the nearby residents.

By that stage Margaret and I were feeling the effects of a long day and loud dance music and decided to leave it to the younger ones to party on We went around to say goodnight to Tom and Emily and to all the family in particular. That meant another half hour or more to find them and make our farewells. We walked back to our hotel with Sarah K, who was going in the same direction. On our walk we resolved to meet up in the morning and have a coffee and maybe brunch before Sarah caught a train to London.

What an incredible day.


Pictures

The reception area
Tom waits for his bride
Signing the register
Presented to the gathering
 
 
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