July is supposedly the most popular month for getting married which is tricky in Scotland when you are planning a woodland wedding. But look at the potential for accessories. Forget the fascinator! Angela has just sent me these great shots of the Pond Cottage wedding of the year. Well, ok, the only PC wedding of the year (so far) but there will surely never be another one quite like it.
And the bride wore…white wellies. Unfortunately you can’t see them but I know Fran invested in her footwear long before they booked yurt, marquee, hog roast, florist, or humanist celebrant. (I’m remembering Dougal was told not to call Gillian a minister when he made his best man speech).
We know a lot of young friends who got married in July. Sadly we missed the chance to see Rob ride across Leith Links on a horse to marry Dolly in true Hindu style but we were back from holiday in time to see Fran and Jared overturn most western wedding conventions. Apart from the kilt and white dress.
Almost exactly a year ago, when they asked us if they could get married in the clearing, I don’t think any of us (including the happy couple) knew what we were letting ourselves in for. I must admit our apprehensions grew with each new email under the heading Pig Out: Hog Roast and we graciously accepted the offer of a night in a local hotel a safe distance from all night celebrations.
But the night before the wedding Dougal sent a text, “The place looks amazing” and next morning I wandered round marvelling at what they had done: the dressing up tent, the lights in the trees, the bar, the chill out zone, the music, the yurt, the marquee, the toilets and the campsite including a tent for the newlyweds.
It was all absolutely magical. And the sun was shining too, at least for as long as it took for people to gather in the Boys’ Brigade marquee for a glass of champagne in the clearing which (before we arrived at Pond Cottage 14 years ago) used to be the neighbourhood dump, now festooned with flags and adorned with wellies (“I haven’t seen the same pair twice,” Angela whispered, happily snapping people’s feet).
“How does a humanist pray for no rain?” Ray asked as we waited for the bride to arrive. Gillian held up crossed fingers and beamed.
The humanist prayer worked for at least 30 minutes, long enough for Fran and Jared to exchange vows during one of the simplest but most moving wedding ceremonies any of us had been to. Then, just as the official signing began, a big black cloud opened overhead. The downpour arrived in perfect time for us to sing the closing ‘hymn’ Always look on the Bright Side of Life beneath umbrellas. Doo-dudoo-dudoo-dudoo-dudoo. The wedding march followed on white kazoos (come on, any other colour would be tacky) and it would not have sounded the same in sunshine.
But the sun came back. During the speeches, Ray and I got more than our fair share of thanks and the gift of a specially named Pond Cottage rose. What can we say (apart from thanks to the wonderful clear-up team who magicked away the mess), we wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Ray did have to prize me out of the clearing and on to the get-away coach which arrived much too soon as the bonfire and the dancing was just warming up. But I don’t regret the hotel booking.