Tuesday, 26 May 2015

View from the Other Side: 47+1 = 48!

I brushed back my well-coiffed hair (having had to thoroughly wash it in lieu of getting a haircut; PSA: it is impossible to get a haircut in suburban North Wales on a Saturday evening) and adjusted my suit for the 74,000th time as the sun sparkled through the windows of the cathedral, momentarily bathing everything in light. I glanced down at the cushion upon which I was balancing two differently-sized golden rings and flicked through the order of service I'd tried very hard to approve. My eyes roved across the aisle and I caught the gaze of the maid of honour, who flashed a mischievous smile.

Not long now.

The doors opened and 47 stood on the threshold, in full suit, accompanied by his then-girlfriend-and-now-wife, resplendent in a white dress - floaty but still functional. As we had rehearsed the day before, they walked down the aisle steadily, earning some admiring whispers fromthe crowd and a wink from me as they reached the front.

There was a pause...

...rather a long pause.

"Isn't there... isn't there meant to be someone here?" 47 muttered as the couple stared as the completely empty altar. He was right - there was.

But the vicar was missing.

"Where is he?" he mouthed, turning to me. I shrugged - I certainly didn't know. I'd just walked past him on the way to the bathroom, so he was definitely somewhere in the church. He'd also been there when I'd posed in 47's stead for the photographer. When I'd shepherded everyone in from the shuttle minibus we'd booked. When I'd asked Jilly to hand out the orders of service. When I'd gone to make sure I hadn't left the rings in the wrong place (I hadn't; they were right where I'd put them). He was there every single second. And then, just when we needed him to come in and marry my best mate, he had vanished.

At this point, everyone caught on and there was an incredible shout of laughter, at which point the vicar appeared and looked thoroughly befuddled as the congregation burst into applause at his very presence.

He took the happy couple by the arms and steered them back to the door so they could start again from the very beginning (it's a very good place to start).

"Start as you mean to go on?" I said cheerfully, at which 47's mother gave a laugh.

Nine hours later, everyone sang Bohemian Rhapsody in a circle.

And if that isn't love, I don't know what is.

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