|Corn and Butter|
They also have a family tradition of beating the shit out of boiled potatoes and spreading butter onto them. That is also very delicious!
Anyway, last weekend I got married to a corn lover. (Who also beats up her potato). Buffy Cowtan is now my wife.
The weekend started Friday evening when me, my mate Chuck, my brothers Chris and Gareth with partners Emma and Tracey and our friends Mark and Kate went to The Grove for a drink and meal before the big day on Saturday. A goodnight was had and no cheese, rain or mosquitoes spoilt the evening.
Saturday was set up day - apart from the tent and toilets for the wedding which had been delivered earlier in the week.
We all headed out to Anola to Meg and Brent's house and spent the next 4 hours getting ready for what was expected to be a mellow ceremony. No real dress code, short speeches and BBQ style food whilst lounging in the back garden on blankets, pillows and chairs. Sit where you like and drink till you are merry were our philosophies for the party.
|Lazy bugars erecting the tent!|
So led by Kris, everyone set to getting ready. The chairs were put out, drapes draped Tracey made a beautiful bouquet from flowers in the garden and the beers were carried upstairs and chilled in tin tubs and an old bath alongside the copious amounts of awesome wine chosen and collected by Buffy's Dad Jon. Me and Chuck also headed out to erect roadside signs showing people the directions to the venue.
|Chuck putting out signs.|
|We parked here..|
|The dancefloor - carnage would follow later|
|Chairs - perfectly set up/|
|Lounging picnic blankets|
|Buffy and the boys before the ceremony|
|The cowtan and mutchmor fellas!|
The ceremony started at 4pm and as is traditional Buffy arrived a couple of minutes late.
She approached me down the long driveway to music written by her and some friends on the bus tour where we met. Buffy was flanked by Susan and Jon. For the first time I saw the dress which Susan has spent so much time and effort to make for Buffy in the last 4 or 5 months. It was stunning - absolutely amazing - I could not help but beam with a huge smile. Buffy looked absolutely beautiful in it.
|Me and Joel wait while Brent starts the proceedings.|
|They are here!|
|Stunning bride and wonderful bouquet from Tracey.|
The ceremony started and passed by in a flicker. There was a speech by Pat and Stefan and a reading from Gareth, chosen by me and Buffy and including quotes bout zombies and time travel, before we came to our vows. No matter how hard I tried I hadn't been able to completely memorize my own vows so had cards to help me along. Buffy had no such problem and brought tears to mine and many other peoples eyes when she spoke about choosing me!
Chuck brought up the rings and then the marriage certificate was signed - witnessed by Adam and Alena, before the final part of the ceremony saw me and Buffy share a beer from New Zealand. (Actually Buffy stole the beer from me and I had to get myself another). Then that was it, we were married.
|We were quite happy here!|
After a play with Sturgis the dog Andrea took the official posed photos and the party moved to the back garden.
|Go on squeeze her!|
Food was pretty good - pulled pork (Buffy's favourite) Chicken, a couple of salads and a rhubarb and strawberry crisp - Plenty of it to fill the stomach before the carnage to follow.
|Gareth and Chris helping set up the bar|
|Thats my girl.|
Speeches were next - Jon and Susan were great as were Gareth and Chris - to be honest I only remember my emotions - very happy and close to tears as they talked. I will try and get a copy of their speeches to jog my memory. Joel's speech as Buffy best friend was also great - Again I dint remember much, but cannot forget his prop of a Burger King Crown!
The music started and me and Buffy took our first dance - Moon River has always been our song and I have never heard a better version than the one played by Jon Alexiuk and friends who played wonderfully all day. It was weird to think that a northern knobhead like me would have a 4 piece jazz band playing music at my wedding!
After the live music and dancing things started to get crazy. For the last few weeks we had been checking out the weather forecast daily on multiple weather websites. It had been expected to be sunny one day and the next storms. But on the day the afternoon was warm and cloudy with a high chance of rain in the evening. That was OK though as we had a tent to move the party into if it got too wet.
|Before the craziness|
The rain started around 9 or 10 pm, first with a few spots which stopped quickly. But then the rain got heavier and more prolonged. We expected people to move into the tent and a few did, but more stayed in the rain, suits, shirts and dresses beginning to soak through as the rain and dancing got crazier. Buffy was in the middle of it all - still in the amazing wedding dress.
Nobody knows what happened next, but suddenly shirts were removed by the men and thrown unceremoniously onto the porch banister. Naked bodies were everywhere and the dancing got even crazier. Paradise by the dashboard light saw the men on one side and the women in the other singing the verses at each other as the still pouring rain soaked its way into memories that will be forever hazy but never forgotten. Shouts of 'This is the best fucking wedding EVER', were heard from all over as more men got topless and more dresses were soaked.
THE FOLLOWING PHOTOS MAY DISTURB YOUNGER VIEWERS - PLEASE ASK FOR ID BEFORE ALLOWING ANYONE UNDER 23 1/2 TO SEE THE NAKED FLESH
This went on for hours. Beer and wine flowed as fast as the rain fell and unfortunately the water washed away and protection from Mosquitoes, who became uninvited guests for the evening and had their own buffet on the flesh of many of the half drunken party goers. Did this ruin the night though? Fuck no - nothing could ruin this night. It was mental, funny, knackering, hedonistic, heartwarming and unstoppable. Yeah, maybe it stopped too soon when someone managed to fall on their face without dropping a drop of drink, but there will likely be murmurings about this night at every wedding I ever attend from now on. Sorry future wedded couples.
The next morning people were up for bacon butties, cooked by Susan and we spent a couple of hours chatting and tidying up before leaving for a couple of days at the cabin.
The day for me at least was a blur. I loved every minute and will forever look back at what was an amazing day.
For everyone involved - whether you helped arrange, tidy, clean up or just attended the wedding - Thank you. It would not have been as good if just a single one of you wasn't there.
To everyone who in the last few months, has spoken to me and Buffy and had us go on about the lists, spreadsheets, making things or any part of the planning for the wedding - Thank you for listening to my endless moaning and not telling us to shut up.
To our friends and family - Thank you. There is no way we could ever repay you all for your help.
Seriously, we love you all.
Enough of this soft stuff I hear you cry!! OK, its done. I'll go back to being a moody Englishman, who most people can only understand when he swears. Buffy can now concentrate on her new job and the upcoming choir season. We will get some potatoes and corn and a lump of butter and rub them all over each other. (The vegetables not us obviously....)
This may have been our wedding but it was your party.