The Royal Wedding.

The Dress.

After an eternity of Royal Wedding fever, we can now relax, content in the afterglow of a spectacular day. The weather was wonderful, the royal correspondents were at their fawning sycophantic best, and the dress was white, long, and expensive (who saw that coming?).

But, there are other details for which the day will be remembered. Some of them were new ideas, such as the bride walking down the aisle alone. It may have been a move brought about by circumstance, but the Megan Walk will undoubtedly become the new standard for brides from this day forth.

The Royal Wedding will change weddings forever, but what about that address?

Who stole the show at the ceremony?

One of the most reported parts of the day was the address performed by The Most Reverend Michael Bruce Curry, the 27th Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church, or the crazy-arsed American Pastor, as he will be remembered around the world. There is barely a newspaper in the land that does not have a headline saying ‘the royal wedding preacher who stole the show at the ceremony’.

But, not only did he steal the show, he stole some of the ideas. From Me.

Traditionally, the address, or reading, is the part of the wedding ceremony where someone reads an appropriate and meaningful passage from the bible, often relating to love, marriage, and relationships. Two years ago, when my step-son got married, I was asked to do the reading during their ceremony, under the proviso that it was different from the norm. I believe the brief for the job went along the lines of: ‘It can be whatever you what, it doesn’t have to be any of that religious shit’. So, after some thought, I created a piece encompassing love and laughter.

A wedding with a difference.

Allow me to set the scene.

In many ways, it was just like the Royal Wedding, although, some aspects were slightly different. The wedding wasn’t covered in the press quite as widely as that of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and there weren’t hundreds of strangers invited to enjoy the day from an adjacent field. Nor were there hoards of people lining the streets to wave flags as the bridal car sped past. There was a fly-past, admittedly, not by the Red Arrows, or 633 Squadron, but a microlight buzzed overhead and dropped confetti as the bride arrived. The marquee was packed with friends and family and everything was perfect for the big cider festival wedding of 2016. 

The ceremony began, just as the Royal Wedding did, with the vicar setting the scene and performing the formalities. Then, after the briefest of introductions, I was on.

For those of you not lucky enough to have been invited, here is the address from that day.

The Address.

§

I’ll not keep you long.
Not because I don’t have much to say, but because if anything stands still for too long, Tash has a habit of sanding it down and painting it white.
 
We are here today to celebrate the marriage of Tom and Tash.
But what is marriage all about?
What is this thing called love?

According to William Shakespeare
‘Love is a many splendored thing.’
But what does that mean?

Poets and songwriters have represented love in just about every form possible.
The Beatles sang:
‘All you need is love’

Queen called it a:
‘Crazy little thing called love.’

And Kiss said:
‘I want to put my log in your fireplace.’

But, at the root of it there are two things.
Sharing, and communication.
So let’s look at them in turn.

Sharing.
Tom has always been willing to share.
When he first brought Tash home he was so excited to share the news, he couldn’t wait to introduce her.
That’s why I’ll always remember meeting Tash for the first time.
Not just because Tom was so obviously pleased to be introducing her, but because I was sat in the bath at the time. 

Before you linger too long with that image, I ought to add that I was fully dressed and resealing the silicone around the edge, but don’t let that stop you.

(I always hoped they’d get married, because I always wanted to use that line.)
 
Tash is one of those people who is never happier than when she is sharing.
Her nights out, her family, her opinion, her news, her gossip, her food, her arts, her crafts, 
In fact, if it weren’t for Facebook, she probably wouldn’t have bought half this stuff or invited most of you here today.

But, they also share between them.
I seem to recall Tash getting a puppy for her birthday.
And yet, she shares him so much, you would think Scrumpy was Tom’s dog.
 
And this brings us to an aside issue.
Names.
Everyone loves Scrumpy the dog
And we all understand why Tom was so keen to give him that name.
However, someone needs to tell them that this naming convention won’t work for everything.
I refer, of course, to children,
Thatcher, could be a good strong boy’s name.
But I can’t help feeling that there could be problems in school for a little girl called Orchard Pig.

Now, let’s move on to Communication.
Tom is a great communicator.
He may not be a public speaker, but you put him in any pub in the land, and within ten minutes, or three pints, (whichever comes first,) everyone is his best mate and they will be offering him work or accommodation. 
 

Tash is one of those people who is never happier than when she is communicating.
Her nights out, her family, her opinion, her news, her gossip, her food, her arts, her crafts, 
In fact, if it weren’t for Facebook, she probably wouldn’t have bought half this stuff or invited most of you here today.

 
If anyone knows about the loves and lives of country folk in this part of the world it’s Thomas Hardy.
In ‘Far from the madding crowd’, the character Gabriel Oak (appropriately, a sheep farmer) says to the woman he wishes to marry,
“And at home by the fire, whenever you look up there I shall be— and whenever I look up, there will be you.”
That tale is nearly a hundred and fifty years old, and yet some things change little.
I can hear Tom now…
“When we are at home by the log burner, whenever I look up, there you will be… On bloody Facebook.”

So there you have it.
Share.
Communicate.
Love.

So, the next time you attend a wedding with an address based on love and laughter, remember, the idea didn’t originate at Windsor Castle, during a Royal Wedding, performed by an American pastor. It began in Devon, during a cider-fest wedding, performed by a crazy-arsed writer.