Saturday was Mike's big day, so at 1.30 I was standing in the lobby of Brixton registry office (next door to The Fridge), feeling quite nervous on his behalf. We’d just seen two young newlyweds coming out, looking very cute, but both as if they were about to be sick with remorse. Their family followed behind them like a crowd of silent mourners.
We were eventually called from the lobby area. We filed passed the bereavement room and all 30 of us crowded into a small and overheated room dominated by a very big table. The Wedding Table. Mike, Nick and their respective best men all sat down at The Table. There were about four chairs for guests, so the rest of us had to stand, crushed together like we were seeing the latest hotly-tipped beat combo in The Shithole and Firkin.
What followed was short, but sweet, the bare bones of the marriage ceremony. It started with the usual "is there any reason why these two may not..." thing. Later I found the official HM Government Civil Partnership handbook; I wished I’d had it earlier so I could have waved it in the air and shouted, "According to section 12A, subsection D7, this wedding is wholly illegal AND MUST BE STOPPED."
Anyway, there were no objections, and everything proceeded smoothly. Something that hadn’t occurred to me about weddings is how much of a public display of affection they are. Aside from the whole dedicating your life to a person stuff (like, yeah, whatever), it’s kinda brave to tell someone you love them in front of a crowd of people all staring at you. Good for them.
Another thing that hadn’t occurred to me about weddings is how much confetti is like tiny shards of broken glass. I hope it actually isn’t, because I chucked that stuff pretty hard in Mike’s face.
The reception was at Mike and Nick's house, and involved lots of champagne and good food. Then there was another reception, in a pub in Kennington, with even more drinking, dancing and general merriment. The speeches were great: best man Loch made amusing reference to Nick’s childhood in Cuba, where a healthy hatred of Americans was instilled in him – now he’s married to one. Maid of honour Ed touchingly quoted Jane Austen, and caused mirth when he accidentally toasted "the bride and groom".
The next morning I woke up feeling fairly rubbish. I got out of bed and watched The Passion of the Christ. At first I felt quite profane watching the film eating sardines on toast with a post-wedding hangover. Then I remembered that not only did Jesus feed the five thousand with fish and bread, he also turned water into wine at a wedding – so I probably had the blessing of the Son of God, and probably even Mel Gibson himself.