The reason for this was that since the wedding was in the godforsaken wastes on the very edges of civilisation (Marlborough) there was no public transport available so Rach had kindly volunteered to give us a lift and, coincidentally, a bed as she was driving home that night as well. As a bridesmaid she was going to have to be in Marlborough for a hairdressers appointment at 10am so we decided it would be easier for her to gather us in early.
So it was up bright and bushy tailed (!) on Saturday morning, me with my bulging handbag, both in our glad rags and we headed over to Reading station to collect Marta, the fourth member of our quartet in those days. None of us had seen her for absolutely ages so chat in the car as we headed into Marlborough just in time for Rachel's appointment was pretty animated. A delay in hairdresser availability gave us a chance to hit a tea shop and chat some more before splitting up for a bit, Marta to get changed into her wedding togs and Rach to get her hair done and go bridesmaiding. We mooched around mostly in a CD shop for an hour before rendezvousing with Marta to find somewhere for lunch. There was a reasonably nice quiet pub on the main street so we slipped in there where I had mussels in white wine which I've always been tempted by and was really really nice! We'd worried about how we were going to waste away the day but actually, once ensconced on the pub sofa we were settled in for quite a while and just fitted in a quick trip to Boots before hopping on the coach they'd hired to take us to the service.
The service itself was in a very pretty rural type church - the bus didn't really fit down the lane! Small but pretty full, including a section at the back reserved for Kitsch 'n' Sync, Suzie's (and Joe's I think) accapella singing group. Departing somewhat from their usual 80s repertoire they'd be singing the processional hymn and for the signing of the register. The weather was really dramatic, never really raining hard but blowing an enormous gale which nearly drowned out the voice of the minister as it howled round the little church. The service itself was an odd mix and I wasn't entirely comfortable with some of it. The second reading, from St Paul, was on how marriage is like the relationship between Christ and the church - the man should protect the woman and the woman should worship the man. The sermon seemed to veer between this very old-fashioned idea of marriage and a more modern one - he presented the couple with chopsticks as a symbol of marriage because they need to be equal and work together (he also mentioned they they're tricky to get the hang of and if you get it wrong, you make an awful mess). I can't imagine Suzie as a worshipping protected wife - I noticed that they didn't have obey in the vows.
As the weather was so windy the photos were postponed to back at the house (the venue for the reception), which meant that us amateur photographers didn't get many of the best shots, but I managed to nab a couple of Rach in her bridesmaids gear (she looked fabulous!) and one of Suz with all her bridesmaids around her. The dinner was pretty good and Alex, Marta, Rach and I were all together so we could chat away. The disco was just turning from 60's fun to 80's kitsch when we left which I thought a lucky escape. Rach was so tired by the end of the day that we ended up singing our was home to keep herself alert - we just need a bass and then we can form a quartet to busk next Christmas :)
Overall, it was a lovely day. It's strange to think of Suzie as a wife but I guess I'll get used to it. I wonder what she's making of it. We're all going to have to make an effort to stay in touch now as we're all in different cities - I hope we do and I think we will. It was so good to see everyone again that it's renewed my enthusiasm for organising meet ups :)