Amid much happiness, our Eldest Son (ES) and his partner were married a couple of weekends ago. Long-Suffering Wife (LSW) and I had a lovely time in Edinburgh celebrating this huge event with them. What made it extra special for us was that ES and his (now) wife pared down the events of the weekend to a very intimate affair. Everyone who took part was someone very close to the marrying couple. That meant that every conversation with everyone in attendance felt meaningful.
The Registry Office was a grand building with pleasantly decorated rooms and an overseer of the process who achieved the right balance of formality and relaxed bonhomie. First Grandchild (FG), was rather unwell but nonetheless, was well behaved, wasn’t sick on anyone’s dress and loved playing with the room’s long curtains. ES looked smart and the bride looked stunning. As they shared their home-made vows, my tears welled up; their personalisation of the exchange was really moving.
Later in the afternoon and well into the evening, a wedding reception was held at the married couple’s new flat. The flat looked great and was just the right size for a party of about 30 enthusiastic relatives and friends. A few of the latter were fellow new parents who brought contemporaries of FG which added to the lovely, informal conviviality. Everyone was very happy.
The mantelpieces and tables had been beautifully decorated and set out by ES’s new parents in law. The caterers knew what they were doing (they had been under close instruction from ES’s wife), the food was excellent, and the drinks and conversation flowed. FG was excited by the hubbub and rallied at the important moments to be giggling sweetness itself, despite his illness. The speeches were short and heartfelt and the intimacy of the event shone throughout. We loved it – not only the fact that ES was now married, but that he and his new wife (especially!) had organised what seemed to be an ideal way of doing it.
On the following day, we refreshed with a sunny morning walk around the Royal Botanic Garden and then met up with a very small number of close relatives for a wonderful lunch at Timberyard. LSW and I had been there once before and had been very impressed by the food, decor and ambience. We were very impressed again. It was the centrepiece to another lovely day.
My Dad and sister went back to rest at their hotel. It had been marvellous that they had been able to come and they had made the most of their visit to Edinburgh by taking in a couple of art exhibitions as well as the wedding events. Meanwhile, LSW and I retreated to the Air BnB that we had rented for ourselves, our Middle and Youngest Son and their partners. There, we allowed our emotions to settle quietly in front of a second rate romantic comedy and assorted crisps. What a couple of days!
And then the fun went on! The Monday following the wedding was FG’s first birthday. Unfortunately FG was still unwell and relatively subdued but he enjoyed early use of some of the presents and a trip to one of the local playgrounds. Unlike him, we will remember his first birthday for ever.
We left Edinburgh late that afternoon leaving ES and wife to ponder how to manage FG’s illness while both are holding down a job working from home on the back of little sleep. At that point we assumed that the conundrum they faced would be only for a day or two – it turned out to be another week. Oh, the joys of parenthood!
Meanwhile, LSW and I set off for Dunkeld on the River Tay, on the southern edge of the Highlands for rather more rest and relaxation than the newly married couple were going to get.