Jim and Fiona's splendid Wedding Photos June 5th 1999.
Now it has to be said, churches don't come much smaller than St Nicholas' in Arne, a charming village on the Isle of Purbeck. But for charm, tranquillity, friendly and quaint it can't be beaten. We had originally seen the church when visiting a bird sanctury nearby, and had remarked on it's charm to the Aunts. They visited on one of their jaunts, and it was thought to be ideal for a wedding, and that since we had seen it first, we ought to be the happy couple.
This came as a surprise to us, as we had only thought of it as a nice place for them to visit
I'm still not sure whether this preceeded our decision to get married or not. Inside it has the right atmosphere, good heating and entirely candle powered lighting. Rather better than the kind I remember elsewhere, i.e. old fluorescent lighting and inadequate heating. The lighting contrast didn't improve the quality of the photograph but that's more the fault of the camera or the photographer than the building. The happy couple and their Vicar, The Rev Margaret Mulraine who does an excellent Wedding. Then it's back by coach to 6 Dingle Road for a party, arranged by the Aunts and the Cousins, and more than a few others. Here we were able to get everybody in and make a real do of it, in fact it turned out to be the original Hoolie-Do, since everybody had such a good time, the Aunts decided to do it again next year (2000) and again in 2001 and so on to 2004. However this is getting off the subject. Music was provided by Ben and Christine, here they are playing outside and below you will see them playing inside. Adaptable people, musicians. We were even persuaded to dance in public, something you won't see very often. You will have noticed the matching waistcoat, so I will let that go unremarked, save to say that it was made in the same small shop in Cerne-Abbas as Fiona's much praised outfit. We had both decided that serious dignified and quiet were expressions inappropriate to the fun we intended to have, I think we succeeded. We did a few of the traditional things like cake-cutting ( a special heart shaped Jo-Cake from Mum) and present opening. The speeches were mercifully short and only made by those who really wanted to, (and who hadn't hit the overloaded food tables yet.) The presents were exquisite, expensive and thoroughly welcome. And so the party started. Dancing, eating, balloons, speeches, (short ones) philosophizing, (had to get spellcheck on that one, and I think it may have Americanised it) drinking and more eating It actually ran for two days, although there was a lull for about three hours when all but the terminally over-exited dozed for a bit in the early hours of Sunday morning after the barbecue and before the early birds started looking for breakfast. Fortunately it was remembered that there were some birthdays in the near future or recent past, so the party restarted shortly after breakfast with cornflakes, coffee, kippers and cake washed down with champagne and orangejuice (actually it might have been cranberry juice). You need an iron constitution to get all the way through a Hoolie-Do. As the hours flew by lots of friends and relations found their way to the door, and those of weaker constitutions took a nap in the shrubbery. The band played on, and eventually were allowed some food and drink, before it was all gone, a worry that I think had occurred to them as this last photo was taken. All too soon it was time for us to drive back up to Bonny Scotland, pausing to put on the snow chains and pack the emergency rations (actually not usually needed in June) and say our good-byes. The party probably went on for some days before the supplies ran out. We both felt that it had been the best Wedding we had been to, testimony to the work and organising behind it by family and friends. Not bad when most people consider the occasion to be stressful, we enjoyed the whole thing, and I think everybody else did too. So we had another party when we got back, on the pretext of a house warming / conservatory opening way of using up some of the spare beer and wine. That went well too.
Still Married, still happy.