My husband's friend Smithy got married in England a few weeks ago, and we had the great pleasure of attending. (Sorry for taking so long to post pics, Leena!) We had a ball! And it was my first real English wedding (since I was too busy to attend Will and Kate's...)! I actually didn't go in thinking it would be any different than ours, but there were definitely some differences.
While in the UK I met a girl by the name of Chloe who recently started her own wedding planning business (lucky!!). She told me a couple things I hadn't realized before. Apparently the UK tends to get most of their ideas from the US, which is interesting. I guess I hadn't thought about it, but I only follow one UK wedding blogger (now two, including Chloe), and, oh, 8 million from the US. I guess wedding blogs are few and far between over there. And for some reason the US is more creative ;) Ok, she didn't say that, but according to her, the US tends to come up with ideas and they gradually make it across the pond. She also informed me that in the UK you can't get married outside!?! Apparently to be legally wed, you have to be married inside some sort of structure. Crazy! I wonder why that is?? All the places I've seen Americans get married... I can't imagine such a limitation being put on here!
Now that that's settled... Leena and Smithy had both their ceremony and reception in a beautiful hall in the countryside. This hall, to my knowledge, has no other purpose but being a special event venue. It was pretty cool how they transformed it in so many ways throughout the day.
The ceremony was lovely, but I couldn't really get any pictures! I'm too short :( and I guess that's a major disadvantage when you're in a room full of Olympic swimmers.* When we stood up it was even worse! I could peek through heads and shoulders to see, but my camera couldn't do the same. Damn you (lack of) height! So the only pictures I really got during the ceremony were:
1) hats (and fascinators)!
2) pictures of the happy couple while they were "signing their marriage certificate". Basically, I've been told, in England the couple sits down to the sign the certificate after a registrar of sorts signs it, and they sit there for anyone to come up and take pictures. I mean, the preacher actually says, "If anyone wants to come up and take pictures, do it now." I practically jumped out of my chair (since not being able to get my zoom lens to focus between all the tall heads).
After the ceremony everyone went outside for pictures with the couple - that was also something different (and cool). It wasn't just the family, and it wasn't just the photographer taking the pictures. The couple took pictures with everyone. I was included in the all girls picture, which was nice, but it was funny when the photographer said, "Now talk to the person next to you" (for a different, non smiling shot). Um... yeah. I didn't know any of the other girls, except the bride, and even though a woman at the grocery store last week told me I was really friendly, that's not exactly the case. Lol.
THEN we went to the upstairs loft area for a little cocktail hour.
Cones filled with confetti we were supposed to throw on the bride and groom but I missed the cue because I was trying to get a good picture (double fail). Cute nonetheless!
Another hat! Yay England!
Another hat! Yay England!
THEN we came downstairs for dinner.
THEN... you waited a few days for Part II.
*The groom is a former Olympic swimmer, and therefore so are many of his friends.