After a week in Vienna and a few days of very welcome rest in Slovenia we’re back in London and struggling to remember what it’s like to not be planning a wedding. It’s been an exciting, fun, exhausting and manic couple of weeks, and I dare say it will take a little while longer for the new Mrs Parle and me to settle back to normality.
As Eileen said when she posted about choosing the destination, one of Vienna’s big advantages was how historically sunny and dry it has been in June. But if you’ve looked at the news in the last week you might be aware that right now there’s not much of central Europe that would reasonably be described as ‘dry’. Or, in some cases, ‘still there’. The residents of Prague are commuting by submarine. Switzerland is pondering what to do with a coastline.
It rained nearly constantly from the moment we arrived on the Tuesday before the wedding. For three days everyone we met took pains to assure us that rain on a wedding day — beside being the height of irony — is a good sign. “It rains luck,” they said. Unfortunately it also rains cold and wet, not to mention potentially underwhelming photos.
So we were understandably delighted when Saturday came around and brought with it the most preposterously beautiful weather we could have hoped for in, even our least restrained moments of optimism. It. Was. Gorgeous. Eileen still has the sunburn to prove it. And the photos? Well, they turned out just fine…
Besides the amazing weather, the rest of the day was similarly eager to please. All of the people involved — the celebrant and the interpreter, the driver who brought us and our photographer to the city’s best sights, the staff at the two venues, and most importantly our bridesmaids, groomsmen and readers — were just brilliant. Either our friends and family are incredible actors or everyone had a fantastic time. Our two goals for the day were to be married and to throw a great party. Achievement unlocked on both counts.
One of the best aspects of the day for me was seeing so many of our friends from different circles meeting each other for the first time. I especially enjoyed the river of “X is now friends with Y” posts in my Facebook stream over the following couple of days, and seeing photos from a dinner that a group of Londoners and Dubliners organised for themselves the day after. I’m now trying to think of excuses to bring some of the same people together again in the future. There’s definitely something to be said for having your favourite people all together in one place (something other than “single point of failure”).
They say there are only two times when all of your friends and family come together to celebrate you, and the second is your funeral, so it’s important to get the first one right. I think we did pretty well, and I’m grateful to all of the people who helped it happen.
After the wedding we spent a few days relaxing in Slovenia, but I think I’ll save that for another post. The John Lewis delivery man has just left, and it’s time to try out some new kitchenware.