Why a Shakespeare wedding? Well it took place in Stratford-upon-Avon, William Shakespeare’s home town. The ceremony was in the town hall and then drinks in the bar at The RSC ( Royal Shakespeare Company) but as you’ll see, there were more thespian links to the day.
Jack and Kate got in touch with me in April. By coincidence my daughter was on a school trip to Stratford and the RSC that very day. (She got filmed by a BBC news crew ‘playing Juliet’ but I think it only made the cutting room floor). But those first emails described their plans for a relaxed day that would include a conker tournament!!
The day began, appropriately enough, at The Shakespeare hotel, with bridal preps. Outside it was tipping down. It is maybe one of the shortest walks a bride has to make from hotel to ceremony venue. But still the bridal party got swallowed up on the narrow pavement by shoppers. The ceremony took place in an impressive room with Shakespeare and Garrick looking on. As with many ceremonies there were two readings (and even a song!). Most of the time a friend or relative will shuffle up to the front and read something from a sheet of paper, head firmly down. This time it was a sonnet by Shakespeare and a comedy monologue by music hall entertainer Robb Wilton.
( The day I got married, some years ago,
I’ll always remember the scene…
Me and Jim Lowe, married Maudie and Flo
Who were twins sisters and always ‘ad been.
We were married alright at quarter past two…..)
But then when your godmother and your father are famous faces from screen and stage, as they are for Jack, it’s somehow ‘cheating’ – luckily no-one had to follow their performances.
The ceremony complete and bubbles on the town hall steps, Kate and Jack led everyone down the street and up to the bar at the RSC theatre. This was the first part of the reception. After drinks, it was time to jump on the bus and head just outside the town, to Alveston Pastures Farm, for more drinks, croquet and Jenga. By now, in the sunshine. There was even a nod to those who couldn’t be there, as Jack wore Kate’s grandad’s suit all day.
It was then time for speeches after the meal. Jack’s brother, George, may be an architect like Jack but entertaining must be in the genes, as he delivered one of the funniest best man speeches I’ve heard. You can only get away with that sort of speech when there is a strong family bond. Now with the sun dipping behind the trees and the air turning distinctly autumnal, it was time for the chaos of the conker competition. But the entertainment didn’t stop there. The wedding guests had another surprise. A specially formed band for the day, The Crisps, including Jack and his brother on guitar and drums and also their father, David, on lead vocals. They played for an hour – as good as any band you’ll see at a wedding.
Who would have thought that Argus Filch from Hogwarts, could sing like Jagger!? 😉
Then a surprise for the couple and the magician Robert Pound, before the first dance. I stood next to him and watched him tear up that newspaper and still can’t work out how he did it!
A great wedding…..here are a few images from the day…..