Monday, September 07, 2009

Happily Hysterical: Steph & Russ Tie the Knot

When two people you love profess their love for one another to the world, it is a deeply moving thing. This is my way of saying that I always cry at weddings. When you get to my age, summers are peppered with weddings and, increasingly, christenings (or naming ceremonies), and it gets harder to find something glamorous to wear that won’t have been seen at a previous event. It also seems to get harder to hold back the emotions that accompany such ceremonious happenings.

The latest do at which I found myself touching up smudged mascara and lending concealer to a complete stranger in the ladies’ loo was the marriage celebrations of my good friends Steph and Russ, who finally tied the knot last Friday after eleven years of courtship.

I wasn’t present for the actual ceremony, but was waiting outside Brighton Town Hall to greet the newlyweds, along with a full Samba band, who serenaded them through the streets of Brighton and onto the party buses which took us to the reception venue in Shoreham. I am not a great lover of Samba myself, but on this occasion it was a touchingly fitting tribute to the pair, who are well known for their love of hip-swinging tunes and for being committed purveyors of the carnival spirit.

But the thing that really lodged a lump in my throat was the groom’s refreshingly sincere speech later that day. In contrast to the best man’s traditionally humorous and anecdotal address, Russell’s speech was a gushing (but in no way sickly) appreciation of his new wife. The icing on the cake was their immaculately rehearsed spontaneous first dance, about as far from the improvised epic Bollywood spree Ant and I spontaneously chose for our wedding, but equally appropriate to the couple in question.

The entire day was bursting with joy, and as the above video testifies, even the most cynical souls were touched by the romance of it all. After throwing themselves into the festivities, the happy couple eventually departed to their swanky Kemp Town hotel, while their guests kept on celebrating - some into the next day I am told.

Personally I was happy to collapse into bed and steal myself for another misty-eyed ritual in the shape of my youngest nephew’s first birthday party the following afternoon. Tomorrow the older one starts school and I know I will howl when I see a picture of him in uniform. Thank goodness I have a festival lined up this weekend to recover from all this emotion - though I am certain something will make me cry during the proceedings. It doesn’t take much these days.
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