Before today I don’t think I had ever actually heard the wedding march played at a wedding, outside episodes of Friends. The groom was a Brit, the bride was American and the service was a cultural hybrid. Apparently a key part of American weddings is the Installation Seating of the Mothers, which I also haven’t seen before, not even in episodes of Friends. Maybe it’s just a Baptist thing. They send the bridesmaids down the aisle, one at a time, like a couple of practice shots. Then the mothers are escorted in to take their places at the front, in case they are unable to do so themselves. Best Beloved murmured that it will never catch on over here.
Nor have I seen the bride holding her hands up in praise during a hymn before. But this was a Wycliffe wedding so it may be normal.
I always favour smaller weddings over large ones, because I know from experience that the smaller the possible guest list, the more attention you pay to inviting exactly the right people. You want them there. (Even if I did deduce we were on the B-list, only getting the invitation a fortnight ago, but obviously we were at the wanted end of the B-list.) Half the congregation were recently graduated students, suddenly finding an excuse for a reunion. People were happy, and the expression on the groom’s face when his intended appeared at the end of the aisle would have lit up the whole place on its own, with a little left over to power the microphones.
The bride’s brother delivered the address. I tried to picture my sister’s reaction if I had offered to do the same, and delivered a lengthy exposition of the various theological points contained within the reading. Actually, best left unpictured.
The service was in the college chapel and was the first wedding to be held there for six or seven years. The entrance to the chapel is officially through a pair of double doors leading in from the outside. They hadn’t been opened since the last wedding, and the Academic Administrator plus groom had to rugby charge to get them to shift.
Inside these doors is a space of a couple of feet, and then a pair of interior doors. These open easily, because during the last six or seven years this space has been used to store equipment. It had all been cleared away, so only the cognoscenti – i.e. most of the congregation, and me because my wife told me – knew the bride was making her entrance out of the A/V cupboard. And why not? She was a sound vision, ba-boom.