It's been a wonderful time, everyone getting together to celebrate Rachel and Ray's wedding.
Here they are, the happy couple.
The first dance.
Cutting the cake.
We made an early start yesterday and in spite of dire warnings we made good time, 3 hours 15 minutes including one stop. Peter and I fled grim urban life 20 years ago so didn't know what to expect of Birmingham the second biggest city in the UK. We were pleasantly surprised to find the wedding venue, the Westley Hotel in a leafy suburb that was easy to reach from the motorway. The day itself after a few worrying spits of rain was bright and sunny.
Once settled into our room, which was enormous and well appointed, we changed into our glad rags and joined the other guests in the bar. Most of the men were wearing dark grey suits which made it hard for me to spot Peter in the crowd. Usually he's in his distinctive red and black gig club sweatshirt and cap.
Romas and Laura traveled from Stoke by train and were also staying in the hotel while Vytas and Sally had left it too late to get a room in the hotel so they were staying in a nearby hotel. It was so good to see them all and it was great to get to know Laura better as we've only met her once before.
Here's the venue set up for the wedding ceremony.
Bride and Groom with their immediate family.
Here's our immediate family; Sally, Vytas, Romas (blending in with the purple accent colour) and Laura, eagerly awaiting the wedding breakfast ie lunch. Apparently the first meal after the wedding which breaks the fast is called the wedding breakfast. The lunch of fresh tomato soup followed by roast chicken with roast and new potatoes and a selection of vegetables was excellent. The chicken was served to us but the vegetables were put out on the table which suited my boys' large appetites. The dessert of profiteroles was also very tasty.
Then it was outside for the official photos with many calls for 'the bride's family', 'the groom's family' etc. We were touched by being included in 'the bride's family'. The next few hours were spent socialising and napping before the evening buffet and disco. The music got a bit loud so we ended up outside and when it got chilly we took over the hotel lobby. After a long busy day we were in bed by 11.30 and as usual Peter dropped off to sleep immediately. His snoring got so loud that I was worried he would disturb any guests in the room above us so I kept prodding him to quieten him down. Pulling the duvet over his head helped a bit too. I listened to the radio on my MP3 player and didn't get off to sleep until after 3 am. I woke up in good time in the morning but Peter didn't wake until I had turned on the tv, made tea and generally clattered about. Breakfast was buffet style which I thought was a good idea as you could choose exactly what you wanted and in Romas' case go back for seconds. Then it was time to say our good byes and give Romas and Laura a lift to the station.
The traffic was quite heavy on the motorways but we made it home in 3 hours 5 minutes again with one stop. At the tiny service station there was a charging thing for electric cars, a sign of the times.
Today has been another sunny day so after downloading my photos I went out and mowed all the grass. I think we might have an early night tonight.
PS The bride's new married name is her mother's maiden name! No connection between the 2 families.