Monday, August 31, 2009


This past two months seem to have gone by in a flash - the wedding has come and gone, all the Australian, South African and American guests have departed these shores, all the loose ends have now been cleared up, our living room is back to normal and no longer like an event management warehouse, and to top it all the bride has just got her PhD.

As so many of you dear blog readers have asked about the wedding I decided that this post would give you a flavour of the event and then from next week I will revert to my normal 3Rs.

English summer weather is never predictable, but we were so lucky, the day before the wedding it bucketed down, but on the day we had blue sky, sunshine and puffy white clouds and the countryside looked lush.
The wedding was in Cambridge, and the reception was in Granchester Meadows made famous by the poet Rupert Brooke and by Pink Floyd,

I'm biased I know, but I thought my darling daughter looked absolutely beautiful in her 88 year old wedding dress. It was first worn by my grandmother in 1921, then remodelled and worn by my mother in 1948. My daughter had some minor alterations done so that she could be the third family bride to wear it. She and her bridesmaid carried bouquets from a very famous London florist, who had made my grandmother's, my mother's and my own wedding bouquets... four generations, so that too seems to have become something of a family tradition.

The guests who were at the ceremony travelled to the reception by punt, and I supplied each punt with a large basket of champagne, flutes, smoked salmon sandwiches and mini-madeleines. The sun was quite hot by then so the ladies in the punts had paper parasols to shade their complexions! At the Meadows other guests gathered on the river bank, and the bridal party was greeted with a blizzard of rose petal and lavender confetti when their punt arrived.

Eventually everyone took their places in the marquee for a supper of Roast Pork - a local butcher had supplied an organic Hog Roast, the pig in question was a
Large White sow from a farmer in the village of Somersham,
and a selection of fabulous salads from the Shelford Delicatessen. Drew, the chef/proprietor had done us proud, with spicy cous cous, roasted mediterranean vegetables, green salad, new potato, yoghurt, dill and fetta salad, baby cherry tomato salad in a fresh tomato and chili salsa.

The groom's father had supplied the most superb champagne and wines, and copious amounts were consumed as you can imagine. For those who don't drink alcohol there was the quintessentially English beverage Elderflower Cordial (made by my pal Mrs Dart) diluted with sparkling water - it was both delicious and refreshing.

Balzanos, who are THE Italian bakers in Cambridge supplied wonderful breads, and we had an all British cheese board consisting of Colston Bassett the reknowned Stilton, Lincolnshire Poacher a delicious hard cheddar type cheese with gruyere overtones, and Clava a soft brie-type cheese from Invernesshire in the north of Scotland. Clava has won several awards at international cheese festivals, beating the French at their own game! it really deserves to be better known in the UK - I urge you to try it.

After that there were strawberries and cream (12 kilos of berries lovingly hulled by us the previous evening) and we had a traditional 'Stop Me And Buy One' ice cream bicycle serving a variety of flavours of ice creams and sorbets.

And of course there was the Wedding Cake - or should I say wedding cakes, there were six of them - and it was a triumph. Made specially by JF, a friend of the DD's who is a superb and innovative cakemaker. Moist orange and almond cake layered with orange and lavender curd, wrapped in a honeycomb of white chocolate, topped with gilded caramelised orange peel and decorated with sprigs of
lavender, it was utterly delicious.

There were the usual speeches, much laughter, some tears, many toasts and then the dancing began with a disco of Sixties music - well, what can I say, OUR generation had all the best tunes!

Then as a surprise for the Bride and Groom a Brasilian Funk band arrived, beating drums, shaking xequeres, blowing trombones. Saravah Soul are a fantastic band and their music is absolutely compelling, within moments there wasn't an inch of space on the dance floor as everyone from three to 83 was giving it their all.

The festivities continued with the guests lighting nearly 100 Chinese air lanterns which drifted up into the night sky and probably causing some locals to think there was an invasion of UFOs

By midnight I was absolutely exhausted and my face ached from smiling so much, and so to bed, having had a wonderfully happy day and acquired a son-in-law.


Teuchter said...

Glad to read that everything went so well. Your daughter was a beautiful bride - and, being an Aberdonian, I thoroughly approve of "recycling" wedding dresses.

How long before you're back out to BJ?

Ash said...

It looks like it was an absolutely beautiful wedding. Well done on the organising!

Charlotte said...

What stunning details, from the 88-year-old wedding dress, to the parasols, the punts and the cakes! It sounds like you all had a wonderful time and I'm sure the bride and groom will never forget it.

Looking forward to your resuming normal service - you have been missed.

Bybee said...

Oh, wow. Just wow. I'm reading this post again and again, savoring all the beautiful details. Your daughter looked wonderful. No wonder your face ached from smiling.

Since cheese is difficult and expensive to get over here, I have to admit that I lingered lovingly over that paragraph.

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