The cultural differences between the US and the UK never cease to surprise me. I really didn't think there would be significant differences between wedding customs. (To be fair, this is a result of my own cultural egotism, whereby I just assume everyone does things the same way I do, because obviously that is the best way to do them. I mean, duh!)
The things I have heard about weddings here in the UK, for the most part, shock and horrify me. Luckily for me, they also shock and horrify the Pirate. He loathes, as I do, the whole commercial industry that has sprung up around weddings, so we're both keen to keep things as simple as possible.
We did want to have a nice reception in a pub somewhere, where people could gather, share a tasty meal, tell us how great we look, and call it a night. But we have a rather large guest list (over a hundred and growing) and we couldn't find a pub that could accommodate more than 80. Deciding that the people were more important than that decor, we've opted to keep the huge guest list and have the reception in the banquet room of a big, corporate hotel. What it lacks in ambiance it makes up for in convenience.
So here's how it's going to be:
Ceremony at 3 pm on a Friday afternoon in September. We will have a choir, and organ, and brass quartet, and the volume and joy of the music will blow the roof right off the medieval church.
Upon leaving the church we will depart through an archway of swords (Pirate's friends all carry swords, naturally) and oars. It might be a little goofy, but it's us. And hey, they're all blades, right?
The guests will wander across the street to the hotel where they will have drinks and canapes in the bar while my husband and I (!!!) have loads of pictures taken with family and blade-bearers.
About 5 pm or thereabouts we will wander in to the banquet room. Dinner will be served in three courses. (NO buffit.) The cake will be the desert, because that's what the fucking thing is FOR. It will taste good, because I will bake it.any of the English guests are annoyed at not getting a second dessert, that's their fucking problem. It will be decorated with fresh, edible flowers.
Somewhere in there there will be some toasts raised. Pirate's father will drone on at length. Mine will be bashful, tear up, and sit down as quickly as possible.
There will be a dance floor. There will be a DJ (one of Pirate's friends). He will play the music that we specify, and if the Macarena or Chicken Dance come on at any point in the evening, I will break both his legs. (And don't think for a minute that I can't or won't.) People will dance or sit and talk as they deem most fun. The DJ will close up shop at midnight, and that will be the end of it. Period.
There will be wine on the tables at dinner, and we will provide something bubbly for toasts (and non-alchy for the fair number of tea-totalers in the crowd, probably Appletizer). But the bar afterward will be a cash bar. Booze is just too expensive, and my parents are already effectively paying for this twice what with the exchange rate and all, AND they're throwing a second reception back in the states for the Yanks who can't come over, so.... no free bar after dinner, and that's just how it's going to have to be.
It will be fun, it will be simple, it will not get out of hand, and it will keep the focus where it belongs -- on the wedding.
Bloggers are welcome to come to the ceremony (I'll give more details later), but for obvious reasons I can't invite y'all along to the reception as well.