Last week I went to a wedding breakfast. Literally. The ceremony was a short registry office affair which Mr Harris and I witnessed at Chelsea Old Town Hall at 9.15 and by 9.45 we were seated in Chelsea Quarter Café, perusing the menu.
I thought of saying to my husband, “see, we could have done it like that!” but then thought better of it. When Mr Harris first proposed to me, I had suggested a registry office affair, followed by lunch with a few nearest and dearest. I envisioned myself in a chic Italian Jackie O-style ivory cocktail dress ensemble with ¾ length jacket and a birdcage veil. But that suggestion (the registry office ceremony, not the dress) went down like a cup of cold sick. And so, we did it all. The long ivory dress & morning suit. The Church of England ceremony. The silver Daimler. The John Lewis gift list. The ridiculously expensive floral arrangements. The champagne reception with live jazz pianist. The three course Livery Hall dinner, complete with speeches, specifically designed to induce stress to the bride and groom and halt digestion of the large meal just consumed. We had day guests. We had evening guests. And we all danced the night away to the band before my husband whisked me away to a chic Clerkenwell hotel.
But back to the wedding breakfast. The happy groom suggested ordering a bottle of champagne (perfectly reasonable, I thought) until his equally happy, but 5 months’ pregnant new wife gave him an incredulous glance and we all opted for freshly pressed juices instead. Probably for the best, as Mr Harris was on a tight schedule – he had to get to Corrigan’s of Mayfair for a client’s retirement lunch by 12.45pm. (A broker’s life is a difficult one, you see.)
The groom & I both ordered eggs Florentine, served with the thickest and yellowiest hollandaise I’ve ever seen in my life. But not thick or yellow in a horrible, fake way. It was delicious. Mr Harris, ever the traditionalist, went for eggs Benedict. And the bride went for a sausage & egg butty. It was all excellent. I downed the last of my ginger, apple and carrot juice as the groom took care of the bill, and by 11.30 we had all wended our way to Sloane Square tube station and said our goodbyes.
As I made my way home on the tube, I thought about how relaxed and pleasant the whole affair had been. I wondered why more weddings weren’t like this. I thought of the newlyweds, and I silently cheered “well done you two”.