I had a bit of a shock today – in the nicest possible way. At about half past eleven I phoned a childhood friend to arrange our annual lunch out. She was lovely as ever but there was something in her voice which wasn’t quite herself. We exchanged the usual pleasantries then she said, “I can’t talk long, I’m getting married at twelve o’clock.” You could have knocked me down with a feather!
Jane is a bit older than me and I’m not exactly in the first flush of youth. Her news took me right back to the first wedding I ever conducted. There the groom was eighty and the bride seventy two, a bit older than Jane and her new husband.
It is an enormous privilege to conduct weddings but I think it is one of the most stressful aspects of being a vicar. Everyone wants the perfect day to happen and everyone has their own ideas about what the perfect day would be. I often have a sneaking sympathy for those who go and tie the knot quietly and then let their families know what they have done! Jane is lucky in this respect as older brides usually have more modest ideas about wedding days and they want to enjoy it rather than be a princess for the day.
I usually get several months’ notice that I will be conducting a wedding and as soon as I know of a new couple they are in my prayers. Jane and her new husband will be in my thoughts and prayers too.
And so will the new baby who won’t just have a day of being a princess but a whole lifetime of it. May she too know happiness and the blessing of God.