Liz and Matt were married in Shropshire at Rowton Castle on Tuesday, the exact anniversary as she’d promised her best friend Amy, of our daughter’s marriage to Guy at Alvie Church last year.
The celebration nearly didn’t happen with the original venue that Matt and Liz had chosen going into receivership a few months ago and so many places already committed to hosting weddings in May. Matt is relentlessly secular. "No hymns nor prayers for us." It was a civil ceremony overseen by the County Council Registrar of Marriages with discrete civil music and sober civil words; nonetheless solemn and none the less – they both said later – scary – making vows to stay together, man and wife, for the rest of their lives.
Amy with Liz’s sister Catherine were bridesmaids, Amy wearing low heels to equalise her height. In the middle of the afternoon Liz threw her bouquet as had Amy the year before
Later at the marriage breakfast – and we had fasted and got up an appetite – Matt’s brother quoted the words of Louis de Bernières in the mouth of John Hurt’s Dr Yiannis of Ionian Cephalonia to his daughter Pelagia, Penélope Cruz in the film Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, about what does or doesn’t last after ‘being in love’:
When you fall in love, it is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake, and then it subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots are become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the desire to mate every 2nd of the day. It is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every part of your body. No… don’t blush. I am telling you some truths. For that is just being in love; which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over, when being in love has burned away.
Our marriage present will be our son Richard’s photographs of a day set in the most English of landscapes.