Eat, Drink and Be Married!
Yesterday was the day!
The reason for our sojourn across the globe, and the highlight of our trip by far. In warning, this is going to be a long blog – it has to be to give justice to the fantastic past few days!
Alice and Graham’s Wedding!
Friday afternoon saw the Stewart/Stuarts packing our bags and heading off to the Boships Lion Farm hotel, a lovely classic hotel, set on 17 acres of land. This would be our base for the weekend, along with many other guests to the wedding.
It was great to meet so many of the extended family, and finally put some faces to the many names (family and friends) that we’d heard so much about over the years. That’s one of the great things about weddings – you always come away with more friends than when you started!
Saturday morning was a flurry of activity – we met up with my dear godparents, Chris and Pat Moy, and before we knew it, we were waiting impatiently for the shuttle bus to take us to the venue – I don’t think the poor bar man at the hotel knew what hit him! 5 very excited Australians, and numerous excited poms ready for the marriage of the year!
Upon arriving at the venue, we were greeted by an amazing sight. Broyle Place is one of those gorgeous romantic country houses that Australia just doesn’t have. The beautiful thing about this kind of place, is that the more run down (within reason of course) the more charming it becomes. Broyle Place had just the right amount of historic character, and paired with a large group of friends and family dressed in their finest, the location was simply stunning.
Graham and his 13 groomsmen (I’m not even joking) were mingling with the crowd, and when I asked him how nervous he was, he joked that he was alright now, however ten minutes prior when he’d had to sign the paperwork he felt like he was being grilled on Alice’s life story and hoped he had gotten it all right! That’s one of the great things about Graham, he is so laid back and calm – he quickly makes everyone around him feel at ease. This attitude was reflected in his excitement for his bride to be to walk down the aisle. Before we knew it, we were seated and the music began. And then, there she was – Alice was walked down the aisle by her six bridesmaids, and her proud father, my uncle Richard.
Alice, in a word, looked exquisite. She is one of those people with a constant, infectious grin on her face. Her happiness was shining out of her as she walked towards her soon to be husband, and you could easily see, it was reflected back by every single guest who watched her. Thinking back on it, her choice of flower arrangement was incredibly appropriate – I don’t want to gush and be ridiculous (just count yourselves lucky I didn’t have a blog for my own wedding!), but the guests were like sunflowers, and she was the sun. Every eye in the garden was following her glow. (Okay, enough soppy stuff, I promise).
The ceremony itself was great – all the official stuff was short and sweet, and the readings were fantastic as well – an excellent retelling of ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’, and a rousing rendition of a famous ditty by Curtis James Jackson the Third (a.k.a 50 cent). His 21 questions (minus the inappropriate parts of course) were incredibly moving and, when you think about it, a lot deeper lyrically than he is usually given credit for!
The weather held out, and they were pronounced husband and wife.
Ahh, I want to get married again!
Lots of bubbly, a few photos, and a dangerous game of Jenga later (note to self, playing Jenga on a thick bed of grass is not the most easy thing to do), and we headed into the marquee for the Wedding Breakfast – and it was 2pm. For further explanation of why we ate a breakfast at lunch time, please see here!
What follows can only be described as a fantastic party. There were all the elements of a merry occasion – lots of alcohol, a fantastic cake, hilarious and touching speeches, and to top it all off, the hog roast, vodka luge and photo booth – combining three of my favourite things in one amazing night!
The following day I was feeling particularly sad and sorry for myself…probably something to do with the dozen bottles of flavoured vodka that came with the luge! However, I had to perk up as the celebrations were not yet over – we were now in for a post-wedding brunch hosted by the Groom’s parents!
England pulled out all the stops, and it was a gorgeous sunny day. Perfectly matched by the Hawaiian theme of the brunch, we were quickly dressed in leis and pineapple sunglasses, and sat back to recover in fantastic company. There was a copious amount of hangover appropriate food (read burgers and pasta and potato salad!) and we were stuffed to the brim and lounging in the sun like lizards. I did bring myself to have another cider (just a half-pint!) and enjoyed what was left of my time with Chris and Pat. To top it off, Grace caught the bouquet (the bridesmaids were too busy wrestling over the honour and missed out completely!).
Before too long it was time to bid the newly-weds adieu. They are off to Barcelona for a quick honeymoon on Tuesday, before a longer honeymoon in Tobago in January (no surprise why the wedding was travel themed). We drove back to Tonbridge with sore heads, full stomachs, and fond memories.
I have to say, it is so nice to be able to have such an amazing, close family. We may have our ups and downs, but the thousands of miles and different time zones have not stopped us from being there and celebrating with each other for the imporant things in life. I truly wish Alice and Graham all the love and happiness they deserve as they embark on their amazing life together. As the celebrant put so beautifully, we’re not here to celebrate the beginning of a new relationship, but rather to commemorate and celebrate the strengthening of a bond that has already been so deeply set. Alice and Graham have found their match and now the world is their oyster.
Congratulations once again, Mr and Mrs Bromelow!