England: Deep in darkest Essex my nephew John and his lovely bride, Natalie, are getting married. The sun shoos the clouds away from Ingatestone village. Everyone looks gorgeous, large hats occlude the view in church but not the enjoyment. The families on both sides look so happy for this made-for-each-other couple.
We gather in St Edmunds and St Mary Parish Church, described by Simon Jenkins in England’s Thousand Best Churches as ‘magnificent, a unified Perpendicular composition of red brick with black Tudor diapering. Oh Simon, Yes! The warmth of the brick matches our hearts. The choir, bolstered by delightful trebles from Brentwood School leaves ‘Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring’ more or less in tact during the signing of the register.
Outside the exquisite church we congregate, circulate and catch up on news and gossip. Frocks, hats, ties and shoes are admired or admonished or simply loved. It is the day for family and friends and love. It is Megan and Bron’s first wedding, I am proud father as well as uncle and god father.