And on to the wedding of Andy and Helen. I met Andy 10 years ago (I gasped when I worked that out) when we were both on the same year out scheme. He was a perpetual student with a love of the word naughty and cheekiest of grins. It seems some things don't change. I met Helen just a couple of months ago (although by the wedding day her welcoming enthusiasm meant it felt like I'd known her for a lot longer). So off I went to Bath, to enjoy some fabulous hospitality from Helen's next-door neighbours and be awoken by a steam-train going past my bedroom window, to be driven in a 'Downton Abbey' car, and to take a whistle-stop tour of some of Bath's highlights - the canals, Bath Abbey (which provided the humdinger door), Parade gardens (which provided the deckchairs), and the wonderfully grand Guildhall venue.
A few of my favourite things.
The magic something: I can't find a word for this (which is vexing me) so I will have to describe. There was something about the way this couple were so delightedly celebrated in all day. Now, of course, this is true of all weddings, but here the sense of sheer delight seemed especially palpable. It showed in the stories that were shared at the rehearsal the night before, during the prayers and the speeches, and as a guest on the bride's side commented to me, told of a man who was very well loved by many and very deserving of meeting his match in Helen. (Golly. I appear to have become mushy.)
The music. A sterling job by the band led by Pete in the morning and Kate in the evening. They filled the church with their craft and I enjoyed seeing a congregation in their element. Then in the evening they transformed in masters of soul and funk, and Kate, what a voice ... which leads me on to ...
The dancing. Somehow this group (I don't even know if they were a group, or strangers converging over commonality), were not in line when inhibitions were doled out. In the best possible way, they danced with the freedom of five-year-olds who've not yet been socialised out of complete abandon. It was a marvel.
On to the photographic highlights ....
(Oh and accompanying music? Well, it's strange to call Andy 'Andy', since I have only ever known him as Swanny, but the only song I know about Swans is Sufjan Stevens 'Seven Swans' and is a bit dark for such an occasion - and I've spent far too long trying to think of something else so will instead suggest you find your favourite Stevie Wonder track (as long as it's not from the 80's)).
All images ©KateCooperPhotography2011