My dear LC is married, (which probably means I should refer to her as LB now). I had a very pleasant weekend in Manchester, on which more later.
But yeah, cutest wedding ever. L and her man are more or less the poster children for the current default model of True Love: they fell in love at first sight at the age of 18, decided that they were too young for a serious relationship and spent the next decade regretting their breakup. And then they got back together and dissolved in a puddle of mutual adoration. Not to mention their families get on like a house on fire and they have entirely compatible life plans and views about relationships.
The wedding was pretty much the default Orthodox-but-not-religious thing. A big occasion, 200 people and most of them relatives, filling out the big Victorian gothic hall of Manchester University. A cheesy sub-klezmer band singing Hava negilah and Kol chason in fake ashkenazis, sex-segregated dancing because it's cute rather than from religious conviction, even down to the cringe-worthy sexist jokes. But then, LB is genuinely religious (though not particularly frum), and these traditions mean something to her. And she'd put so much thought into making something meaningful out of what might otherwise have been rather tacky recreations of Fiddler on the Roof.
Everything from making the invitations herself, to going to huge efforts to involve all the people she cares about, including all the kids in her immediate family and some of the very severely disabled children she has worked with. The ceremony was led jointly by the rabbi who has known Mr L from childhood, and Dovid Cohen, the Glasgow student chaplain (who characteristically managed to be extremely late for the ceremony, but never mind). And L departed from tradition far enough to make her own speech in addition to the groom's; the two of them were so incredibly romantic and sweet and awwwwww!
After the speeches, the band started a slow song (a proper modern pop song, not the standard wedding music they'd been playing up till then). L and her new husband danced on their own for the first part of it, and were gradually joined by other couples. That seemed so much more genuine than the "Yiddish-style" dancing earlier on (though I have to say that the two rebbitzens leading the women in something resembling the Macarena to Moshiach Moshiach Moshiach was quite something). After that they moved on to a bunch of jazz classics, and they are much better jazz musicians than klezmorim. It was very sweet, people were attempting a mixture of classical dancing and disco and the standard vague shuffling while holding on to eachother that couples do, and it was all in good spirit, with all the generations having a good time. Later still they did a quick tour of 20th century popular music, a bit of Beatles and then some more recent stuff.
Really the only person I knew there was RB, but hey, it's good to see him again and catch up on gossip about mutual acquaintances. And I still had a great time, the whole atmosphere was just lovely. The couple also made a lot of effort to speak to everybody; I need to see LC properly and not in a snatched three minutes in the middle of her wedding, but I still enjoyed talking to her.
For people who care about such things as clothes, let's see if I can give a reasonable description. L was wearing an ivory dress, fairly plain material (satin?) with a train but not an excessive one, and a sort of bustle arrangement. She was wearing nominal shoulder straps for the ceremony, but removed them later (and of course switched her veil for a tiara), leaving a strapless top with a big flower at one side. Mr L was in light grey with a pale lilac cravat, and the bridemaids wore either of these colours which were also all over the decor, the service booklet and so on.
Ee, my friends are so adorable! And in love! And they get to celebrate how cute and romantic they are!