Season’s End

The main wedding season is now over for the year, and after the current flurry of October weddings, we only have a handful left until the New Year. This will be the end of our second year, having been asked to do our first wedding in June 2016.

Thankfully, we’re even more hooked on enjoying what we’ve chosen to do, and for us, each wedding we’ve been lucky to be involved in has been unique and enjoyable. No two weddings are ever the same, as obviously there are different people each time, in different parts of the region and many different venues. They’ve varied from the relaxed and casual to the more dressy and formal.

 

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Once again, we’ve been fortunate and have had lovely couples and shared some lovely moments with them. There’s been a good mix of ages, from very young to middle aged, and although they’ve been mostly Brides & Grooms, we’ve had two more same sex weddings, both of them with two Brides. We did have a male same sex couple booked for this year, but unfortunately for them, they had to cancel their wedding.

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There’s been quite a range of employment too among our Brides and Grooms, with them being Teachers, Factory Workers, Nurses, Care Workers, Doctors, Builders, Journalists, Scientists, and even a former GB athlete, and those are just the ones we know about!

We’ve covered the East Midlands pretty well this year, with weddings in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, and also into Warwickshire and Staffordshire.  Betty’s fame spreads, and we’ve even had enquiries from Gloucestershire and South Wales, but these just aren’t practical for us to do. Some have been right on our doorstep and others a fair distance away. This weekend, one wedding has a record 50 minute drive between the ceremony and reception venues!

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(Photo courtesy of Ufniak Photography)

The range of venues we’ve been to has been extensive – including Village Halls and Churches, Grand Cathedrals, former Miner’s Welfares, Register Offices, Pubs and Clubs, Castles, Private Houses, Hotels, County Cricket Grounds, and even a Tipi and a Zoo! We’ll never get bored!

Betty has performed well. Being an old lady there’s always work to be done on her and improvements to be made, and she’s now well known at our local garage. These London Taxis are built to last though, and with all the TLC she’s now getting, there’s no reason why she won’t keep going for years. She’s now a film star too, having featured in a Training Video for the Taxi Industry. As the above diverse mix of people and places she’s been involved with shows, she’s pretty egalitarian and can’t be pigeon holed into any particular sector.

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The London connection has played its part. We’ve had quite a few weddings where either those involved were originally from London and now live in the area, or are from the area, but now live and work in London, and are coming back to the family to get married. We’ve also worked on a couple of weddings with an old London Bus.

Thankfully, there have been almost no problems (touches wood!) A Bridesmaid’s dress splitting needing last minute repairs is about the only drama so far, and we’ve only had to use our umbrellas once! It’s raining hard as I write though, and we’ve a wedding tomorrow and the next day…

We’ve no regrets at all about starting this venture, and the old saying often attributed to Confucius, “Choose a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life”, is very true!

For more information about Betty, please visit here

Rites of Passage!

Weddings, funerals and other memories!

There comes a time when you only meet some people you know at funerals!

slaughter2A couple of days ago, I travelled back to the very pretty Cotswold village where I was born and grew up, and to the Church where I’d been Christened and attended Sunday School; where my Siblings got married, and where my parents are buried. The visit was for the funeral of one of the old villagers, and by that I just don’t mean his age, but that he was one of the people living in the village when I was born.

At that time the very small village was a mix of Gentry, Professionals and working people. We all lived alongside each other but this being England, we mixed mostly with people from our own social group. A lot of the cottages were ‘tied’ to the Manor, which was where many of the villagers worked. The ‘old villagers’ number about three families now, and the rest of the residents are retirees and weekenders who bought the cottages as the Manor estate was broken up.

slaughter4So I’d known Malcolm, the old villager, and his family all of my life, and his children were my friends and playmates, and we learnt our life experiences together, with all that that entails! Over the years we’d gone our separate ways to live our own lives and contact had dwindled to next to nothing. The last time I’d seen any of them was at the wedding of one of his daughters, getting on for 30 years ago.

Yesterday though, was a day when we all met and remembered Malcolm and reminisced about old times. There were several other ‘old villagers’ there too, although they’d long been elbowed out of the village by the ‘newcomers’ – some of whom it must be said, have lived there themselves for several decades now and would bristle at being referred to in that way, but that’s just how it is!

It was during this reminiscing that I shared with the family, a strong memory I have of Malcolm. It was from that daughter’s wedding many years ago. Malcolm, was a good, honest, proper working man, just like many in the village, including my Dad. He had no pretensions,  he liked his pub and darts, and a small flutter on the horses at Cheltenham races.

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At the wedding, it came the time for the Father of the Bride speech, and I doubt if Malcolm had ever spoken in public before. It’s well known that the fear of public speaking is right up there for many of us, so we were all probably expecting a nervous, stilted, and uncomfortable performance, but what we got was a total revelation – a Tour de Force!

He stood up without any notes, collected his thoughts as if thinking ‘now what shall I say’, and without a hint of nerves, just spoke from the heart and with great spontaneous humour. It was an unforgettable performance, had us all laughing, and still ticked all the boxes. It was a speech that any professional speaker or stand-up comedian would have been proud of. I’ve been to countless weddings since, and nothing has ever come near it!

It’s not a bad thing to be remembered for, is it?

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