Monday, 18 August 2014

Wedding Fantastic: The Location

The Barn in Kent which became Wedding HQ for the duration, complete with local Oasts!

Where to have our wedding was a pretty easy decision. My folks are eternal wanderers who make their home wherever they may be. They have the most magical lifestyle travelling all over Europe in their caravan, searching out the sunshine, culture (and orienteering events!). But, this made pinning them down to a traditional bride's side wedding venue a little tricky!! ;)

In contrast, the in-laws are much more settled. In a gorgeous old cottage in fact. Next to a dainty stream in the heart of The Garden of England, Kent. They have a lovely rustic bridge over the stream that opens up into a small field. It feels like a like alcove of a field, gently encased on one side by the stream, full of reeds and wildlife and on then other side sheltered by a large bank with trees, bushes and bracken. Suffice to say, it's the perfect setting for a party!! So we took our sweetest smiles to them to ask if we could host the party here. I'm sure if Win Stream Papa had the faintest idea how much mowing the whole thing was going to entail, he'd have said an outright 'Nope' there and then. But thank goodness he didn't have a clue, and they both agreed!!

Rather than risk a flurry of applications from strangers to get married in the back garden we decided not to apply for a marriage license, but look for a special second location for the ceremony (why have one when you can have two?!). We looked at some corkers and some crazies - no red wine after 10pm for fear of spillages? No stilettos for the ladies (or men for that matter!) for fear of denting the dance-floor? Sounded like being back at school. The in laws eventually abducted us and took us on a whistle-stop your of the local churches, in a misguided attempt to win us round to a church wedding. I was sceptical me, with a capital S!

St Peter and St Paul, Wadhurst

Ben and his Pa had scuttled ahead a little, so as I pushed open the big heavy door of the church I spotted them both down at the front. Instantly I could imagine walking down the aisle to Ben and my bottom lip started to tremble! (I know, I get my emotional side from my Ma, there's not much I can do about it I'm afraid. Apart from keep a good stock of Kleenex.)

After that I couldn't shake off the feeling that the church was the right place for us. The sense of history, of the many thousands of couples who had walked the same steps before us. The serious but serene atmosphere of the church. The simple but structured wording of the service itself. Oh and the singing!

It was the best decision. We met so many locals we during our time at the church who were incredibly welcoming, friendly and fun. Felicity, the curate who married us, was wonderful and her address at our wedding incredibly touching and personal. We both independently declared that the service itself was one of our favourite part of the whole day. Which is exactly what it's all about. What's more, we can now forever go back there, to celebrate quietly together, to remember our special day and be thankful for it and for each other.