Monday was our 13th wedding anniversary so we went out for an excellent meal at Il Convivio. Our wedding had a number of unusual features:
We chose the guest list
I was a late developer and didn't get married till I was 40. Mary's parents had probably given up on her ever getting married years ago. At that late stage we did not look to our parents for funding, we chose to pay for it ourselves and have full control. Though Mary's Dad, sportingly and generously, did pay for the church. Distant relatives were not invited, the parents' nominations were strictly limited, no children under 16 and lots of our friends.
We married in St Paul's Cathedral
Yes that one - designed by Sir Christopher Wren in 1675. Mary's original plan had been a quiet registry office wedding and a postcard to her parents from Italy saying, "Oh by the way we got married".
However my Dad was awarded the MBE for services to architecture in 1984 and one of the privileges attached to that honour was that he, or his offspring, could get married in the Chapel of the Order of the British Empire which is in the crypt of St Paul's.
Dad and Mum were already married as were Jane and Pete, Ian showed no signs so that left me with an offer we couldn't refuse. Mary agreed provided I buy her an engagement ring (obviously not possible under plan A as it would have given the game away).
The Party in the Bus
The reception was in Wimbledon (9 miles) so we hired two London double-decker buses to transport the guest both ways. On the way back John suggested a whip round, they stopped at an off licence (US: liquor store) and bought it out of champagne. Aunt Avril then led the bus in a sing-song of "Roaming in the Gloaming" till they arrived at the reception. We could tell by the flushed cheeks who had been on which bus.
Speeches before the meal
There were only two speeches: Pete, the Best Man, and me, on behalf of Mary's Dad. We gave them before the reception so we could then relax and drink without worry and apprehension. We were limited to two minutes each; I wrote mine on the back of a business card!
We went to the pub afterwards
At the end of the meal as guests started to leave, Ian, an old colleague of Mary's, suggested going to the pub for a beer as they used to when they worked together. So instead of the two of us relaxing in an exclusive hotel we found ourselves in the King of Denmark until chucking out time. But we did made it back to the Cannizaro House Hotel by midnight for a last glass of champagne in the piano bar.
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