by The Curious Scribbler
My daughter was married last Saturday in the 18th century mirrored Music Room of nearby Nanteos mansion. Welsh weather can be relied upon to be unreliable, but the showery day brought great clarity to the air and rich tones to the oaks and beeches of the Regency parkland beyond. Her flowers were a blaze of burnt orange and burgundy. Raids with the secauteurs to kind friends’ gardens provided dark red hydrangeas, ice plant (Sedum spectabile), Garrya elliptica, and the last few surviving deep purple dahlias to complement commercial flowers in the floral arrangements. The hedgerows yielded deep red hawthorn berries, sculptural ivy flowers and orange rose hips.
After dark the party moved on for dinner at the Conrah Hotel at Chancery. For the table centrepieces we grew our own pumpkins, removed their tops and filled them with dahlias, chrysanthemums, ivy and autumn berries. Warm white LED fairylights hung in swags around the walls, and when the music started they could be switched to twinkling mode around the dancers.
I wrote one of the readings for the ceremony, which was conducted with just the right mixture of solemnity and joy by the Registrar Melda Grantham. While I hesitate to place myself with the other chosen authors, Mark Twain and Roger McGough, I reproduce it here. I was immensely flattered that several guests felt it would come in handy at their own sons’ and daughters’ future nuptials.
A marriage starts with vows exchanged
And hatted, suited guests all ranged
To witness you, the gilded pair
Who shortly will descend the stair
With gleaming rings as tokens of
Your freshly burnished vows of love.
To reach this point you’ve both used skill
Negotiating good and ill
Establishing a shared existence
Through compromise and calm persistence.
A complex mixture – Life is varied –
Won’t be simpler now you’re married.
But we wish you all those things
Symbolised by giving rings.
Mutual comfort, never lonely
House or Hovel – warm and homely
Worthwhile jobs and cheerful babies
Dogs, and cats, and chickens maybe?
Holidays in sunny places
Kindly wrinkles on your faces
As the passing years progress
May you want for less and less.
Counsel often comes amiss
Proffered by parents at times like this.
But with the privilege of my station
I offer just one observation:
Happy is not a continuous state
It comes in small parcels and sometimes you wait
Through bad times and sad times or moments of strife.
Keep the happy bits coming
The whole of your life!
©The Curious Scribbler