The night before the wedding it snowed. And it snowed and snowed and snowed. I remember staring out of the window as it came down in the dark, already thinking about the shovelling exercise awaiting me in the morning, and I set my alarm an hour early. The next morning the snow was seriously deep, but nothing a large bowl of porridge, a snow shovel and a bit of elbow grease couldn’t fix. Oh yes, and a couple of helpful neighbours to push me down our (as ever ungritted) road. The sun was out and it was going to be a beautiful day.
By the time I got to Hull the snow was well and truly on the melt and only the church needed a little bit of digging out by some impressive ushers (see below). Caroline was exhibiting at a wedding show for us on the same day and I was pleased to have my good friend and ace photographer John Hope along for the day. He slipped and skidded along the road to Tom’s house where the boys were making themselves dapper while I spent a really fun couple of hours in the company of Fi, her bridesmaids and parents.
Now the wedding service at The Vineyard church in Hull was like no other I had seen before. I knew it was going to be a little different having visited the church with Fi & Tom a few weeks earlier. For a start there was the music. No sign of an organ and a bashful congregation unsure of the words. Here was a mightily impressive band making a huge noise and a congregation belting out the words and getting very emotionally involved in the music. Nerve-tingling stuff. The ceremony itself was beautiful, uplifting and stirring; the sermon brilliantly written and delivered and the participation of the huge congregation in the whole thing was awe-inspiring. When Fi and Tom were finally pronounced man and wife and kissed, I can honestly say I have never heard a din like it, their popularity clear for all to see. I loved it!
Then it was off to the Guild Hall in the centre of Hull – another first for me. The Guild Hall serves as the main Council office and is stunning inside. A beautiful high-ceiling banqueting hall with stained glass windows, a sumptuous Reception room for drinks and a maze of wood-paneled corridors and impressive staircases as a backdrop for bride and groom photos – which we made the most of! The Wedding Reception continued in the same way as the ceremony had ended: full of high spirits, warmth and laughs. In the evening Fiona & Tom decided to dispense with the formalities of the first dance and launched straight into a rip-roaring ceilidh.
It was a wonderful day and I enjoyed it immensely. Thanks again to John Hope for his brilliant assistance and of course to the lovely Fiona and Tom for having us play a part in their very special day.