My first UK wedding, wherein there were hats

Only a few, though. The bride's mom and the groom's mom had them, and then some of the guests did as well. There were much feathers.

I'm happy to report that the groom was there and very much alive, despite his idiot groomsmen's best efforts. I just had to not look at any of them or their huge English wedding ties.

The bride was 20 minutes late, which is pretty good over here, I am told. WR said you just have to wait until they show up, even if it takes an hour. I told him that if took longer than 30 minutes I wasn't going to give them my gift. Then it could kind of be like the pizza delivery system where you don't have to pay if they take too long. Or maybe you could start taking cash out of the card in increments.

When the bridesmaids appeared, the organist abruptly stopped playing and this dramatic musical score that sounded vaguely familiar and reminded me of sweeping Western vistas started booming over the speaker system. The four bridesmaids walked slowly in kind of a clump down the aisle, and I had to resist the urge to giggle at the gaggle. WR's sister was in the group and she looked a tiny bit nervous but lovely. I understood then why she had been nervous about tripping while walking down the aisle. If one of them stumbled, they would all go in some huge Bridesmaid Pileup. Then the bride came in with her dad and she was, of course, gorgeous. I could not get over the part though where people were marching down the aisle and playing the soundtrack to Legends of the Fall in the chapel. (I found out later that's what it was, which is good, because it would have just driven me crazy all day.) It was a whole new world, people.

There were talks and speakers and stuff, and the only horrifying bit was when this dry tickly cough I thought I was finished with decided to make an appearance. Just as I was about to leap over WR and bolt for the door so as not to be remembered as That American Who Ruined So-and-So's Wedding his mom tossed me a water bottle that she keeps with her. Bless her.

So then the wedding part was over and it was on to the reception and to The Lunch. And friends . . .

It. Was. Amazing.

We all milled about in the hallways at first while the bridal party did pictures, but caterers started coming through with trays of canapes containing things like smoked salmon and these little crispy ceasar salad bites and fried dumplings with vegetable curry inside. As a lover of all finger foods and hors d'oevres and Costco samples, that was right up my alley. I could happily live on the stuff. WR, though, didn't have any, because "little foods" just don't do anything for him.

Finally we made it into the cultural hall/gym, which had been made up all pretty, and saw that the back end of the hall contained a bunch of caterers and chafing dishes, but also an Entire Roast Pig on a spit, and an Entire Roast Lamb on a spit, and then they wheeled out 30 Roast Chickens on a spit.

I could not stop staring, and sweet WR looked as though the gates of heaven had been unexpectedly opened just for his Carnivorous Big-Food-Loving self. "This is the Best Wedding Ever!" Of course our table was closest to the food, and of course we were the last to be called up and got to watch everyone else get their food first. Only we didn't have to worry about there not being anything left when we got there, because Oh My Gosh that was so much food. There were roast potatoes and rosemary potatoes and roast vegetables and stuffing and mint sauce and pitchers of gravy and 8 bottles of sparkling juices on each table. It was like eating Thanksgiving Dinner, and I felt just about as full afterwards.

Then they brought out the desserts and Oh My Gosh the desserts. There was a meringue with berries and lemon cheesecake and blackcurrant cheesecake and dense chocolate fudge cake and then wedding cake (a fruitcake layer and a white sponge cake layer). Three guesses which one I got.

Once the feasting died down and people started raising their heads up from their plates and reacknowledging the presence of those around them, the toasts started. The sound system had a bit of trouble in the beginning, but that turned out to be a good thing because then I could only hear parts of the Best Man's speech. Once he got started, though, I nudged WR.

Me: Hey, is that the guy who organized the Stag Night?

WR: Dunno, probably . . .

Me: (eyes narrowing) Hmmph.

The bits I heard were all rubbish/slightly offensive stories about dumb things the groom did when he was younger. And he got out a ball and chain for the groom to put on. Whatever. Bouncers, people. There will be bouncers.

But then the bride's sweet Greek father gave a toast and said he was sorry there wasn't room for traditional Greek dancing, and then said sweet things about his daughter. And then the groom got up and thanked everyone, and got all choked up when he talked about how much he loves the bride, and that's when I started getting teary.

Turns out I always cry at weddings.


j alfred said... [reply]

That was the nicest food I have ever tasted.

jaime said... [reply]

I really only have one word...WOW!!!!! It sounds amazing, and I wish I could have been there. I'm glad you had a great time at your first UK wedding.

Oh, and I always cry at weddings too. Not to worry... :)

Stanclax said... [reply]

Hi Nemesis,

This is your old friend Stanclax from the great and spacious glass building. I just wanted to tell you that even though this is my first comment, I read your blog all the time. And I read quite a few posts outloud to Steve becuase they are so enjoyable. (Actually all of them are enjoyable but I know which ones Steve would really enjoy.) Keep up the good work. And hello to Parcelax and Dalton Girl if you read this.

Julie said... [reply]

I have been to many weddings in the UK, but have never experienced that much food. If you get invited to any more please let me know!

Glad you had a good time.

daltongirl said... [reply]

Sorry not to really comment on your post, Nem, because it was great, and I was going to, but STANCLAX!!!!!! Yay for Stanclax! We all miss you ever so much.

daltongirl said... [reply]

Turns out I do have a comment after all. Or Lola does, anyway. I showed the fam the photos of the food, and told them about WR's "best wedding ever" comment, because WOW. Also I thought that was a sentiment DB could get behind.

Lola then said, "Oh my gosh, WR is so WEIRD. From what I know about him anyway, no thanks to Nem."

What in the heck does that MEAN, anyway? WR, I hope you will not take offense, because the rest of us think you're lovely, and Lola may be suffering from appendicitis even as I write, so she can't be responsible for what she says. Delirious, you know. Also, she's eleven, but still. Who's the weird one?

Cicada said... [reply]

Yeah, and doesn't Lola think that Viper is weird for being named Viper? Yeah. I think we all know that Lola is off her rocker.

Also, STANCLAX, I am so offended and if we were still speaking, we would no longer be speaking. You are dead to me now.

Also, Nem, the food sounded so delightful that I think I'm going to sneak into the kitchen to gobble down a little more of my mother's cooking.

CoolMom said... [reply]

Sweet Nemmmy, I'm just wondering why you haven't told WR that we eat like this every Sunday. I guess you didn't want to spoil the surprise, huh?

stanclax said... [reply]


Reveal yourself! At least give me a clue. Thanksthanksthanks.

Savvymom said... [reply]

The bouncers was my idea, just for the record. I wish I could've been there. Everything looked delicious

The Divine Miss A said... [reply]

That sounds absolutely amazing! I was totally wowed. I can't imagine actually being there.

I really don't know what logic there is in having the people who sit closest to the food be the ones last to eat. Such torture! Someone should elect to begin social change at eating events and that should be the first custom changed.

daltongirl said... [reply]

Stanclax: Cicada went on a mission to Italy and left her fiance, who promised to wait, and then broke up with her while she was gone, due to the fact that he had certain issues.

I think you should apologize to her so she'll speak to you again.

Also, Cicada: Lola IS off her rocker. 'Nuf said.

stanclax said... [reply]

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, Cicada, now I know who you are...practically my fellow countryman! (After all, our firstborn IS a Canadian citizen.) Oh Canada... Anyway, I am very very sorry to have not asked about you. If I would have known you were reading this blog, I, OF COURSE, would have asked if you were out there.

And thanks for the tip daltongirl. You have always been a life saver.

Nemesis said... [reply]

J. Alfred/WR--Yes, that was a special, special time.

Hee, Jaime. Thanks for being my Sister in Wedding Weeping.

STANCLAX, Yay!!! So glad you're on here and that you commented! I hope Oregon is treating you right.

Julie, I think every wedding I got to from now on will be a letdown as far as the food is concerned. ;-)

Dude, what's Lola smoking? WR isn't weird. But Lola is darling and made me a Christmas card so I can't actually hold it against her.

Cici, please say hi to your mom's kitchen and its foodstuffs for me.

Shhhh, you'll spoil the surprise, Mom! Actually, the part where my jaw was resting on the gym floor probably gave away the part where I DON'T eat like that every Sunday. :-)

Yes. Everyone, the bouncers were Savvymom's idea, possibly. Only maybe I thought of it first.

Miss A, you get right on that movement and I will be the first one to sign it. Bride, Schmide. The person who can smell the food the most needs to eat it first!

sakhmet said... [reply]

Sorry, Nem, to crowd your blog with messages for Stanclax, but HELLO STANCLAX! It's parcelax, here. I just picked a new name. It's lovely to (sort of) hear from you!

redlaw said... [reply]

It sounds lovely - can I come to England and crash a wedding with you??? Please???? We could buy hats and forget Library School - we could just go find weddings to visit.

April said... [reply]

Wow, I've never been to a wedding as fancy as that before. That's a lot of roasted animals. Mmm...

STANCLAX said... [reply]

Daltongirl, Sakhmet/Parcelax, and Cicada, I don't want to annoy the rest of the Nem-blog fans by more messages to you all...maybe we could email? I'd love to catch up with you guys. I'm not going to give my email on the blog, for fear that I may receive hate mail from the people that are annoyed from all of my comments:) but if you want to email me, I'm at (just fill in the blanks with the info you know) my first name_my last name@yahoo.com If you want to drop me a quick email, I promise I'll send you a nice long one back.

Nemesis, I'm going to keep reading as always, but I promise that if I comment, it will be ON TOPIC. Sorry.

Anonymous said... [reply]

It all looked good until the charred bodies. I don't think I can eat anything for at least an hour now *gag*.

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