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Simply Married

On Saturday Emma and I are having our twentieth wedding anniversary.  Like a lot of people, my plans for us to escape the family and work life and head to Edinburgh for a weekend of quiet celebrations have been disrupted.Emma and I were married in Wandsworth Town Hall at the council registry office on Thursday May 9th 2000.  I knew that registry office weddings could be something of a conveyor belt, with one couple coming in one door as another couple left via a different one.  So determined was I to avoid this, we got married on a Thursday at 11 am.  Not the first slot of the day but I felt if there was anybody before us they probably had somewhere else to go and would not be hanging around.  This also meant that Emma and I had a clear weekend ahead of ourselves for the start of our honeymoon in Paris.

I had always felt that for the bride and groom a wedding was rather a stressful affair and thought that it would make a much better order to have the reception after the honeymoon.  To me it meant that you would then be the most sun tanned and relaxed couple in the room.  It would be something to look forward to post honeymoon and an opportunity to catch up with everyone without the structure of a ‘wedding breakfast’.

So we had invited everybody to our reception, and only asked immediate family, the best man and my godchildren to the ceremony.  Emma explained that she had a number of close friends who insisted that they should be there.  If they wanted to take a day of work to witness us getting married that was fine by me.   So we ended up as a party of around 30 who came together to hear our vows.  The only person who was missing was the best man, he got stuck on a bus in London traffic!  He had been a reluctant best man so I had not entrusted him with the rings.  Better safe than sorry.

Emma and I arrived at the Town Hall independently.  We waited for everyone to assemble.  I loved it as Emma’s friends and their partners turned up for the ceremony.  It was great to have their support.  The ceremony was short but sweet and still very nerve-wracking.  I had to hold myself up clutching the table in order to complete the vows.

Then a few photographs and of course it was pouring with rain.  I remember thinking why is everyone standing in the rain?  But of course they were waiting for Emma and I to leave to get the confetti shot.  A short taxi ride later and we were in our local pub for champagne and pizza.  We hadn’t arranged a private hire, but there were very few day drinkers there that Thursday noon and by two o’clock, another taxi to Waterloo and we were off on the Eurostar to Paris.

So in these days when we are limited to the number of people who you can see and spend time with, it will still be possible to set up a wedding which can last twenty years.

As for the reception that is for another time, but as a teaser it involved an antiques warehouse in Bermondsey, a chocolate cake in the shape of Battersea Power Station and a DJ dressed as a Ninja.