I don't even know how to start writing about this wedding, it was amazing. How about the ceremony? I'll start with that:
I overheard someone say at the reception that it had been "a wonderful concert....and a nice wedding too." There was so much music throughout the whole week; so much music and community and love. Fabulous.
The whole thing started off with the local baroque orchestra playing a bunch of Purcell and one of the bridesmaids singing. (Three of the bridesmaids were professional singers.) The parents walked in to Handel and another bridesmaid singing, and then the attendants all walked in to an arrangement that Dave did of the Beatles "Here, There and Everywhere" And all that was before Sarah had even walked down the aisle! (We practised a lot during the rehearsal to figure out how long between each couple there needed to be in order for us to walk on the beat but still stay in the correct placement.)
A note about having a wedding full of musicians: we applauded EVERYTHING. Beautiful singing? Applaud! A nice reading? Applaud! A funny joke? Applaud! Some people walking into the room? Applaud!
Dave wrote a lot of music for the wedding, but the one piece Sarah hadn't heard beforehand was her procession music. Half the bridesmaids needed tissues before she'd even got to the front of the church.
We got to sing some of my favourite hymns, which was made all the more fun because I was sat between two of the opera singing bridesmaids- it was a wall of beautiful sound.
Sarah and Dave had chosen some really poignant and touching readings from Quaker Faith and Practice, and had various British groomsmen reading them. The Americans lapped this up with a spoon. (It was described to me later as "sounding like Shakespeare.")
And then they were MARRIED! My friends! My dear friends that I met so early on in my time in London, they got married. (see picture above for old school, unmarried Sarah and Dave. Wedding pictures will follow as soon as people start posting them online. My camera was being persnickety and not helpful in that regard.)
Then everyone sang "Jerusalem." A word about that hymn: it's practically a second English national anthem, has a wonderful tune, and some strange and excellent lyrics. All this combined to, in my mind, make it the theme song for the whole wedding week. Because the English groomsmen knew it so well it then became important for the bridesmaids to learn it and blow them out of the water (3 opera singers, remember? We could be loud) so they graciously taught it to us with inventive and hilarious hand motions and actions. It's been stuck in my head for the last three days.
So that was the ceremony. Here's another take on the wedding from my friend Nik who was one of the groomsmen.