In the previous episode, we left our hero standing at the Registrar’s table, his bride beside him. Now read on…

Thankfully, none of the assembled folks decided to object when the Registrar asked if anyone knew of any just cause or impediment why Jules and I shouldn’t be married, and so we scooted through the vows and onto the signing of the Register. My handwriting may be increasingly unreadable, but as I signed my name and she signed hers, I thought of the words of Papa Lazarou: “You’re my wife now…”

And indeed she was. Papers were signed, and pictures were taken, and I kissed the bride and – to the strains of Gimme Some Lovin’, we exited the Regency Room as husband and wife. Pretty much out of sight of the guests, we giddily yelled ‘wheeeeeeeeeeeeee!’ and half-ran down the corridor like the overgrown infants we are.

At many weddings, the photographer calls the shots at this stage, ordering ‘female members of the groom’s family’ to stand with the happy couple, or sending a cousin to retrieve Auntie Susan from the toilet because she’s needed for a picture, but I have to report that the waywardness of all our guests meant our photographer had to give up on any kind of order to the pictures, and do what he could with those who were present. A comparison with herding cats would have been fair, so he had our blessing to go all free-form improv jazz with the sequence of his photos.

The Wedding Breakfast was held at 5pm, which must have been the latest breakfast I’ve ever had (and don’t forget that I was a student for a number of years), but due to the laydee’s clever planning and organization as regards both the table decorations and the seating arrangements, I heard a number of ahhhs as we entered, and a lot of ha ha has during the meal itself.

After the meal – much of which was locally-sourced and I suspect tasted all the better for it – came, of course, the speeches. The father of the bride wasn’t keen to do a speech, and since the day was about having a laugh rather than slavishly following tradition, we let him off, leaving it to myself and my Best Man to do the talking. Both Danny and I have some previous form when it comes to standing in front of people and talking, but I think it’s fair to say that we both felt a bit of pressure to come up with the goods.

Speaking for myself, I was pretty happy with the way my speech went – I managed to elicit tears from a few members of the gathered, and laughter from others, and thankfully at the appropriate stages in the speech; most importantly I managed to make it painfully obvious to everyone there – including my lovely now-wife – just how deliriously happy I was about marrying Jules, so the key point of my speech seemed to hit home.

Danny’s speech was top-notch, to my mind – honest about how we met and why we get along, and even when he referred to my feelings for Geri ‘Ginger Spice’ Halliwell, my bride didn’t flee in horror but instead stayed and laughed along with everyone else. It was just the sort of speech I hoped he’d make, and I was pleased it went over so well. If you’re reading this, Dan, many thanks – I knew you were the man for the job!

To be concluded…