This weekend I attended the Royal Wedding; THE wedding of the year – that of the self proclaimed ‘King of Bolton’, my cousin Michael. It was such an incredibly wonderful day, filled with sunshine (believe it or not!), laughter and far too much wine! The lack of posting yesterday may have something to do with the fact that I don’t seem to be able to ‘bounce back’ from a night out as my 20 year old self may once have done, but also something to do with the inevitable ‘summer’ cold which has hit – sneezes and sniffles make for a lousy Nat. But every bit of my delicate state (and the more severe ones amongst my family) was worth it as I think it was one of the best occasions I have ever attended.
It was remarkable, but not too surprising given the incredibly lucky nature of the groom, that the sun dared to show itself so that Pimms could be taken on the lawn at Rivington Hall Barn. I have a sneaking suspicion that it was this which ultimately led to the shoeless bouncing which occurred during the dancing portion of the evening. However, I cannot blame it entirely as the band was unbelievable! Live Wires were incredible, not your average wedding band and had the dance floor well and truly crammed throughout both their sets – a rocky version of Can’t Take My Eyes Off You to send off the happy couple proved a perfect end to the night. Although a classy shot of pink sambuca tried to numb the pain in my toes, the shoes never returned leading to a bare footed incident with an unsuspecting snail on the walk home. They still ache today, some three days later!
I don’t usually drink a huge amount, and although clearly very merry by the tail end of the evening, it was not the alcohol which declared this an amazing night. The love story which brought the happy couple together is a terribly sweet one. Growing up next-door-but-one from one another on a street of around six houses, the Bride and Groom had known one another for the best portions of their lives. Their immediate families spent years in close friendships but I doubt contemplated such an attachment. However, as soon as it came into being, it seemed almost ridiculous that it had taken so long for them to find one another. They are truly perfect for one another and the sheer joy for them both, which emanated from the congregation, was so tangible that it wrapped one and all in hope and love and beauty.
Added to this, as ever, is the bubble and squeal I feel at having my family around me. Complete with the Thai contingent (I admit, the ‘grape juice’ may have caused an overly sensitive tear or two on saying good bye to my Uncle who lives in Bangkok) we managed to gather all but two of our number under one roof. But my how we were dwarfed by the Bride’s family! That in itself is no mean feat. Large, loud, northern families are something to experience – terrifying I suspect for any first time additions; Poor Steve met my aunts, uncles and cousins in waves which I think he appreciated. I always feel a little sad for those who do not have the wealth and warmth of such an extension, they will never know the true strength that one can build from knowing the army of people on their side; the countless kitchen’s in which to have a brew, the innumerable sofas on which to crash, and the comfort of so many hugging arms and kisses. I count myself extremely lucky and in the company of so many characters, extremely happy as well.