The hotel Ballroom: Chandeliers subtly dimmed; tables, their white linen cloths brightened by the glow of glass bowled candles, grouped together;n610906420_1827029_5047 the bar comfortably stocked with neatly set out potables, dispensed wines and liquors to eager devotees, and over all the sound of laughter, excited chatter and vibrant, pulsing music, echoed on the polished floor by fancy dancing feet. Lighted by their candled beacons, beribboned ‘Thank You’ cards strategically placed on each table, bore a message of welcome from our hosts, Martin and Catherine. The evening’s festivities were their special gift to the family and friends, who had traveled from far and near to celebrate this Very Special Day. n610906420_1827149_3725 The stunning display of ‘goodies for the guests’ was awesome. Fascinated revelers stood before the  splendor of dessert laden tables, with much vocal admiration and gastronomical anticipation, their eyes delighting in the glories they saw: a fountain that poured forth an endless waterfall of sweet, rich chocolate; strawberries, ready to be dipped into the thick liquid, waiting at its base; the balancing act of a tiered display of strawberry and cream cup cakes, reaching upward, layer by layer, to the pristine white wedding cake topped with real red roses, which crowned the summit. Set around these marvels were various other delectables, items designed to delight the eye and tempt the taste buds. The entire display was a true photographic moment, which the ever-present cameras immortalized. And moment it was, in no time the aforementioned delights were tasted, savoured and devoured. n610906420_1827055_9065 Knife in hand, Martin, standing beside his Catherine before the wedding cake tier, in admiration of the creation and loath to mar it, at last stepped forward and, raising his knife, sliced down into the beautiful simplicity of the cakes design, carefully missing the clustered roses. Removing a fairly large piece, he turned and offered it as a token to his bride. Taking the gift from him she broke off a section and placed it in his mouth. They then fed each other, morsels of  cake, intimately shared, hands passing hands, in the way of lovers. n610906420_1827078_2769 Later, when the newlyweds stepped on to the ballroom floor to share their first dance as a married couple, the on lookers formed a large enfolding circle around them. A lovely poignant moment. Smiles were on every face and tears in the eyes of many as we gazed enraptured at the happy couple, swaying together, in love and loving it.n610906420_1827082_3431 A great hit of the evening and an inspired touch to the occasion was a photo booth, placed by the bar. People flowed in and out of it in a continuous stream, all evening. They went in singly, in twos and threes, or more, with many attempting to be photographed in larger groups, which, in the attempt, caused much hysteria. How it worked was: you entered the booth; closed the black curtain; posed in front of the camera’s eye; pushed a button and. . .Voila! Your memorable photo would be handed to you a short while later, by a personable young man sitting at a desk behind the booth. Just like that! There must have been hundreds of visits to it during the evening. There was much sharing of photos, and squeals of laughter at the crazy antics some of them had got up to. But, like all good things this evening too came to an end. Older revelers, family and friends, said their goodbyes and headed off to bed. n610906420_1827122_540 The younger ones, along with a couple of ‘forever young’ went along to what was termed the hospitality room in the hotel, to carry the  party on for another hour or two. Most finally wended their way homeward, to fall exhausted into bed.n610906420_1827148_3430 Amazingly, a few found the energy to visit an establishment or two in town and, somehow, carried on till morning. They were either very brave or a bit mad. But then again, it was a wonderful wedding. Once again I must use the word, memorable to label the evenings gathering.n568990105_2724230_833 People, who a few short n610906420_1827103_7108 days before had never met, many unknown to each other, now called each other friend, enjoying each other as such. So much sharing in so little time. The knowledge that by the evenings end, or perhaps the next day they would be saying goodbye forever to these new friends, people with whom they had shared a time of great joy, lined many a face with melancholy. I believe the atmosphere that night,n610906420_1827155_5500 because of that knowledge, held both nostalgia and joy. Soon n610906420_1827167_9256 they would be leaving, traveling back to their near or far homes, to rejoin the world they knew. Their world, the one they left for a short while to share with other friends and families in celebration of the joining of two beautiful people. They had walked with them in joy and love, thrown streamers of hope and promise for the future around them. Wrapped in those streamers of friendship and love the young couple now step forward onto the highway of all their tomorrows. Many of those with whom we shared such good times will no longer be lifting a glass with us in person, but will, in memory, be toasted in the dozens of treasured photographs safely cosseted on vinyl, or embedded in well thumbed albums in homes across many lands.

Published in: on March 20, 2009 at 8:45  Leave a Comment  

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