Well, it’s been a wee while since my brother got married now… and I’ve got back to India, I’m settled, kinda on the chair and able to write a blog entry.
I guess the wedding, itself started at the practice ceremony on the Wednesday night before the wedding. I’d spent the day screaming at the back of traffic that wouldn’t do more than 40 miles per hour on my way from Kilkeel (where I saw the lovely baby Chloe Stevenson (and proud parents James & Nico)) to Dungannon. Trek wasn’t the word, but a 60 mile journey took me 1 hour and 40 minutes. Stress levels were high.
So I got to Dungannon Presbyterian Church just on time… Bride-to-be, Groom-to-be, and the rest of the entorage were there. All good. So we got started… and such a job!! The Reverend seemed to have his own ideas on how the whole thing should go… except that conflicted with pretty much everything else that everyone else had been thinking. From whether the Bride-to-be should be first down the aisle, to whether the Father of the Bride-to-be should be allowed to stand beside the girl until he’d actually ‘given her away’ or even if the Groom-to-be should get to kiss the Bride-to-be in the church… it seemed a pretty odd set up he was proposing to me. Anyways, he lost (and actually apologised the day after to Mark about being a bit in a rush)!!
On the Thursday, my only task was to practice my speech… easy done, and we all got an early night’s sleep. And then the big day.
We rose early, although not as early as Clement who was at the house 20 minutes early… and significantly earlier than Rodney who arrived 30 minutes late… he’s nothing if not consistent!! So some photos at the house and we were off down the road with the horns a-tooting. As we got to the Church, it was raining, but spirits were high. We met up with the videographer, got some stills taken, and then got ourselves into the minister’s room for a quick move to the gents and a glass of water to settle any nerves.
To be fair, Mark, and the team, took everything in their stides… we were hashing away about the usual stuff that lads do when we decided after a little while to say a prayer together and head out to the church about 5 minutes before the Bride was due to arrive (I say due to arrive, but we all know they arrive late). So we chatted for a bit, then a bit longer… the photographer arrived and we took some cheesey shots in the church, and then we went back and chatted a bit more… nearly 25 minutes worth of hashing and chatting all told… I nearly married him myself to get the show on the road!!
Anyways, the Bridal party arrived, we got up, said our pieces and they shared their rings, and it was all good. Let the party start!! Well, nearly…
… for the next four hours, we posed and smiled, smiled & posed for photographs all over the place… in the church, in the hotel, outside the hotel… I guess in truth, Rod, Clem & I got an easy ride of it… we skipped an entire photo session in the gardens!! That said, I was kept busy by both the hotel and the guests and wedding entertainment. I can’t remember the last time I spent so much time on my feet… I was shattered by the end of it… running presents here & there, getting people paid for the work they did, or just showing people where to go for the bar/toilet/exit/whatever…
We eventually got the speeches and thankfully there were no tears (I’m not even sure anyone used the "cake in tiers" joke??) and the speeches went well. Mark was sentimental and sweet (with a few funnies in there), and the two fathers (of Bride and Groom) were short… Nicola said a few words which were heartfelt… and also proved how little her family really know her!! Several all came up & said they couldn’t believe that she had spoken with such passion and gusto!! I obviously know her better than some!! And of course, the main event, well nearly, the Best Man’s speech seemed to go OK… he even got applause at one point. Whoo!!
The dinner at Corrick was superb and the portions were huge!! We all ate merrily. If you’re ever down West & looking for a super evening dinner, I’d always recommend it.
And after, catching up with friends and family, when I got the chance in between running errands and the like, was lovely. In all it was a pretty stress free day… it all went smoothly… and we got the married couple away in style. All good.
I eventually got into the car at about 0230, having helped Da pack the last of the presents into his car & got the Family of the Bride to sign the guest book!!