Friday, 23 December 2011

Lessons in Love: Part Two

        It’s twenty past seven. The TV has been dusted, the custard creams arranged on one of my best Whittards’ plates and the turtles placated with a large hunk of salmon. And I am sat bolt upright on the sofa, with a facial expression that looks like I am trying really hard not to fart.

        “Jonathan’ll be here in a minute,” Brawny says, rivalling Captain Obvious in the ‘no, dur’ stakes. I shoot him a disparaging look; the gesture is ultimately lost on him, mainly because he’s playing Batman on the XBOX. I am just contemplating changing into brown underwear, when the door buzzer goes.

        In a move obviously inspired by the Caped Crusader, Brawny leaps off of the sofa. His movements are fluid; he ejects the game disc and turns the TV off, whirls past the dining table, placates the turtles with a handful of mealworm, speeds down the hallway and opens the front door before I’ve even said “Can you get that babe?”

        I am incredibly aroused by this display. Then I remember where I am, and snap out of it.

        You see, I mentioned a few posts back that we had unanimously decided that our service had to be conducted by Jonathan, friend of the family and vicar of the local church. It was one of the easiest decisions of my life. The venue is perfect; spacious and bright, and the drama group where Brawn and I met is held in the church hall. Not to mention Jonathan himself, who is that fantastic rare mixture of kind sincerity and a good sense of humour.

        Upon arrival Jonathan was genuinely pleased to see us, enquired after our families, and graciously accepted my feeble offer of a cup of tea. He sat us down, gave us a little bit of reading material, and then told us to relax. Given how tense I had been until that moment, I almost trickled down the sofa into a puddle on the floor.

        First, he took down as much as he could about the ceremony. Given that it’s early days, we were only really able to give him the names of our wedding party. Jonathan went through the ceremony and where we would all be standing during each part. Unfortunately, most of the information turned to soggy cornflakes floating in the stale milk of my tiny mind.

Then, it was on to the vows. Sat on our sofa and gazing into each other’s eyes, Brawny and I talked through our vows to each other, with help from Jonathan.

Normally whenever Brawny and I have to focus on something important, it automatically becomes the most hilarious thing in the world. But this time, it was different. Marriage vows are a strange thing. Each one was a small transaction between us, in which we promised to care for and love each other in exchange for support, understanding and patience. We’d given each other so much already, and it is still only the beginning.

After an hour or two, Jonathan left us with a promise to catch up in the New Year. There’s apparently a gathering for the soon-to-be-married couples, which we’re both looking forward to. As always, I’ll keep you guys posted.

Just so we leave on a warm and fuzzy note, I’m going to feed you a few ‘wedding’ facts that you may or may not know. Jonathan actually quizzed us on a few of the more traditional ones – being the little Teacher’s pet that I am, I got them all right and sat there with an insufferable Hermione-Granger-like smirk. Let’s see if you can do the same.

The term ‘Best Man’ originates from when Scotsmen would team together to abduct a bride! In this case, the ‘Best Man’ was the most forthcoming chap during the abduction. Luckily for him, we won’t be expecting our BM Phil to cart me off over his shoulders.

The Groom stands and sits to the right of the Bride all throughout the wedding day, so his right hand (his sword hand) is free to ward off suitors who might steal her away!

Bridesmaids wear similar dresses so as to confuse evil spirits. Long ago, they would dress similarly to the bride for the same reason.

In Medieval times, the couple’s family bought many cakes to the reception. They would then pile them up one by one and have the couple kiss over the tiers, going as high as they could!

The wedding veil ensures that no other man sees the bride’s face on her wedding day before her husband does.

The veil also prevented unscrupulous Medieval fathers from ‘swapping’ the bride – which they sometimes did if there was an unwed older sister in the family! For the same reason, C of E marriages seldom take place in the evenings.

It was Pope Innocent III’s idea to put a waiting period between betrothal and marriage – so you can thank him for engagement rings!

Snake-shaped wedding rings with rubies for eyes were popular in Victorian Britain.

A couple marrying in a church must post the Banns three weeks prior to their wedding. This was originally to ensure that the Bride and Groom were not related – anyone in the community that knew they were could speak up before the wedding. If they miss their chance, they could speak up after the Officiate says “Speak now or forever hold your peace”!

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