Being the father of the bride made the snapping of pictures very difficult but I managed to get a few. No doubt there will be more pictures of the great day on this blog in future posts.
Frances looked so lovely and as I walked her into Tideswell Church I was almost overcome with emotion as the assembled guests in their best clothes turned to greet us. The first hymn we sang was "Jerusalem" with words by William Blake. It was a very beautiful service conducted by Stewart's father as sunshine pierced the stained glass windows.
And then we all travelled two miles back to the wedding venue which had been prepared with much forethought - mostly led by Frances's vision of how she wanted it all to be.
It was a day filled with sunshine, happiness and joy. There was so much love around as people let their hair down, ate good food and drank like fishes and oh how we danced! The band were superb and when they left around midnight it was disco time. Lightweights began to drift away but a hard core of twenty or so - including the happy couple remained partying beyond three o'clock.
There is luxury farm accommodation a mile and a half from the wedding barn. Some of the guests were staying there but had no idea how to get back safely on foot. At three thirty in the morning, as a crescent moon curled above the dark Derbyshire fields, I led this drunken party of ten home along a public footpath I know by heart. It wasn't something I had contemplated doing but they were Londoners and this landscape was unknown to them so I felt obliged to walk them right back to their doors.
Cows loomed in the darkness and the grass was heavy with summer dew and of course I had to get back to the wedding barns on my own. I locked up the party barn after turning off all the lights and finally got into bed at 5am. The last man standing.
It had been a truly joyous day - almost magical - far better than anybody imagined it would be and at the centre of the celebrations was my lovely daughter with her new husband dancing deep into the night. Yes that my friends - that was a wedding! Certainly one of the proudest days of my life. Never to be forgotten.
|The wedding cake - made by my amazing wife|