Last Saturday Diana and John had a London wedding. The ceremony was at St Vedast alias Foster – an elegant Wren church that is a stone’s throw from St Paul’s Cathedral. The reception was at The University Women’s club in Mayfair, a stone’s throw from Park Lane. Those are the locations but weddings aren’t just about locations. They primarily about the people. The characters, the personalities and in particular those of the wedding couple themselves, are what set the atmosphere of the day. Saturday was about smiling! 🙂 From their wedding invites declaring, “Fish & Chips, Gin & Tonic, Bangers & Mash, Tea & Biscuits” to their choice of music for the first dance, “Bring me sunshine” by Morecambe and Wise. It was about being relaxed and enjoying the moment! This is a creative couple – a filmmaker and a copywriter (soon to be author!) and they planned to enjoy it! Hopefully the images below reflect this.
So to begin, at the church. There is an iconic photograph of nearby St Paul’s cathedral during the Blitz that became a symbol of wartime defiance. St Vedast’s was within that surrounding firestorm you can see in the photograph. It was gutted. All that stood in the surrounding area was the battered baroque church steeple, now surrounded by modern office blocks. Rebuilt inside with a collegiate chapel feel, it’s an elegant setting for a London wedding. (Actually I have to mention everyone who works there too. They couldn’t be more helpful, not just on the day but when I came over to have a look a week or so before. This is not as common as you would imagine, many churches treat wedding photographers as they were confirmed Satanists!)
It was also where I first met John and his best man….er….John. A nice coincidence too, that John ( the groom ) and his family are Stokies, just like me! (John, the best man, was a top bloke too, despite being a Port Vale fan!!???) 😉
The ceremony itself wasn’t without laughter and smiles. From Tony’s ‘inadvertent’ comedy timing when it came to give his daughter away, to the dropping of the wedding ring as it was about to be blessed. See Diana’s expression! There was also time for a quick dance during the signing of the register, to piano accompaniment, but only after Diana had reversed her jacket to reveal the roses – she was now Mrs Rosie after all!
The plan next was to depart in a hired London taxi cab and dash around some London sights for pictures. The wedding guests headed off for their own bus tour of London. But the taxi driver hadn’t ‘read the memo’ it seemed. We were five minutes behind schedule and he “finished at 4.30!”. He seemed keen to head for Mayfair straight away. But an exploding bottle of fizz later, we headed down to the Embankment for pictures and applause for the couple from passing tourists (I saw some of this, when I wasn’t having to argue with the driver about the time left and where to pick us up!). So kissing by the river Thames and cuddling in the middle of one of London’s busiest roads before the traffic lights changed and under the gaze of some traffic cops. Diana and John were enjoying this. (If you ever see a couple in a brown suit and an Audrey Hepburn inspired wedding dress, running hand in hand around London landmarks in years to come, giggling like teenagers – now you know who they are!) 🙂 They wanted more…
Would the taxi driver do more? There were a few grumbles about not having enough diesel but John’s offer to include going to an ATM swung it. So The Mall, Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square were added to the list. Leicester Square is where they met on their first date, a smidgen under twelve months ago. It was then time to get to The University Women’s Club for a few drinks and then the bangers and mash. Speeches came after the meal, with everyone who had been eating in the Drawing Room coming into the Library. Now if my memory serves me right, I seem to remember a couple of highlights. Something about the best man getting a ‘love text’ from the groom ( by mistake I should add ) and the groom managing to ‘propose’ to his future father-in-law as he sought permission for Diana’s hand?
Then it was the dancing – best just look at the pictures below. Eric Morecambe would be smiling! Diana and John are now on a gastronomic road trip around France looking for oatcakes. Well, maybe not oatcakes. But there was a suggestion that they may well linger in the Champagne region. When they are back, it is farewell to London for Diana as she joins John in Market Drayton. (Another coincidence, the land of my ancestors, the Beddall’s being generations of blacksmiths in nearby villages – before the family headed Manchester way).
A cracking wedding for a lovely couple!
Here are a few images from the day…