Call me Russ L

The Big Wedding

Posted in Modern Living by Russ L on 15 August, 2006

Saturday the 4th – the big wedding! Ooh, it was so exciting.

It was a typical wedding in the sense that it was absolutely lovely despite the fact that everything that could go wrong did. Sarah and Daniel (‘Trigger’) were married and are ready to begin a new life together, and I wish them nothing but happiness.

My usherin’ day started early, as Mike (brother of the best man Ste and individual without whose efforts this wedding really would not have gone ahead. I always thought I was the one Trig gave the crap jobs to, but I now know better) and I raced up to The Burlington Hotel in Birmingham where the meal/reception/do was later to take place. Our mission was to inflate a shedload of balloons with helium, tie them onto strings and arrange them on the tables in the (very impressive) function room. This takes longer than you might expect. Halfway through we noticed that the rubric on the side of the helium canister stated that it lasted for three-to-five hours. A concerned call back to the groom’s house led to a spot of consultation and the reassurance that they’d used it before and it lasted much longer than that.

Two-and-a-half hours and a big hole in my finger (numerous layers of skin were flayed away through repeated balloon tying. The difference between cheap and good-quality balloons, as far as I can tell, seems to be that the latter are more difficult to tie up) later, we raced back to young Daniel’s house to join up with the rest of the groom party. Suits (blessedly the rest of them had turned up, after all of this nonsense) were donned where applicable and after a short while we walked around the corner to St Pauls, joking that ‘Reservoir Dogs’ music should have been playing as we advanced through the streets be-suited. My fellow ushers (Dom and Joe, Dan’s half-brothers) and I installed ourselves behind the little table we had (my demand for a swivel-chair and cigar to go with my ‘desk’ went unheeded), and it was time to hand out orders of service (gripping them between thumb and middle finger to avoid my balloon-hole weeping over them) to the attendees trickling in, and play the waiting game.

For quite a while, it turned out. Not only had the electricity gone off at Sarah’s house in the morning, but her limo was late too. The customary half-hour lateness for the bride was doubled. Dan looked ever so slightly off-colour.

Sarah arrived, and everything became perfect. ‘Radiant’ is a clichéd word to describe a bride, but apt; the light seemed to shine from her. The service went ahead and no-one shouted out at inappropriate moments. Tears nearly came to my eyes. Reader, they married each other.

As we came outside for photos, someone got a call from the hotel. The balloons had lost their helium buoyancy and descended to the tables. We warned them… oh well. I was needed for photographs (although I only turned out to be in one), so Mike led a merry band in a dash into town to re-do the central table’s worth of balloonery. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Mike made this wedding happen.

The convoy assembled (a limo for the happy couple, limo for the bridesmaids and bride’s parents, and a minibus for those of us important enough to be in the wedding party but still plebs). The plan was then for some photos to be taken at Leasowes park, near Halesowen, but (naturally) the drivers didn’t seem to know about that. We told ours. Nobody told the driver of the limo taking the lead, and he started heading to town and gave us the chance to witness the amusing spectacle of two stretch limos trying to do u-turns on the Hagley Road.

We eventually found ourselves at The Burlington and there was another long wait (I don’t actually know what this was about, but it gave me chance to drink some free wine) before the meal. Dan and Ste’s speeches were both spot-on and very well judged, and the meal was fantastic (with some of the best-cooked turkey I’ve ever had).

Then, of course, the do. More free wine was drunk. Lots more. Oh dear…

~ Russ L, more happy for Sarah and Dan than his limited verbal ability can express.


One Response

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  1. helen said, on 16 August, 2006 at 11:51 am

    I would just like to mention Keys, I will say no more.

    I hope they will be very happy together, my wedding day had its disasters to, but we are very happen and laugh about them now. (it didn’t bother us on the day either come to that).


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