Hello. I’ve been to a wedding this weekend. I love the bride and groom very much but was slightly startled a few weeks ago when they asked me if I would do them the honour of driving the bride to the wedding venue. The plus side to them was obvious and quite lovely. My car, Klaus, is German, convertible and a solemn dark blue. Perfect for being bedecked in white ribbon and driven proudly through the streets of Whitstable in Kent with Vix and her Dad in the back on the special day.
The negative side was my shameful secret of being a bit rubbish at manoeuvring my car. I can do straight lines, in fact I love doing straight lines on motorways on a sunny day, the wind in my hair while I sing along to the radio but the venue was Whitstable, a town not known for its straight lines or wide vistas … or appreciation of women of a certain age singing along to Adele.
So I agreed, through tears as it was such a blast to be asked to be part of their day, then fretted and spent weeks staring at the route while biting my fingernails.
The big day was yesterday. I arrived at my hotel, went to its parking area, swore loudly as it was full, went to their overspill car park, swore loudly, asked a nice man to guide me into a very narrow parking place, then got changed into a frock and watched the clock while my palms grew sweatier.
The bridal party were staying in a large beach hut and after a mere twelve “just run those directions past me again” to the strangely sobbing receptionist I was on my way. Well, turns out it went fine. I found my destination and even managed to turn the car round while some adults, three small children and two dogs munched chips on the beach and took bets if I was going to hit a wall.
The car was festooned with white ribbons and then it was our proud duty to take one of the most beautiful, smiley brides I’ve ever seen and her lovely smiley Dad to the venue. It’s a special time for brides and Dads so I tried very hard indeed not to chip into the conversation or swear loudly at the kid on the skateboard beggaring about in front of us at one stage. I decided against music on the way there as I realised my CD collection is “divorced woman” soundtrack and I didn’t think it was a good idea for the bride’s last music to hear as a single woman to be “Set Fire to the Rain”. She passed me her bouquet a couple of times while she got in and out and I had to verify twice that it was a “pass” not a “throw” and therefore I had not in any legal or traditional terms “caught” it.
We got there on time, I opened her door, parked Klaus (hey doesn’t everyone take a few goes to get into a parking space?) then I settled thankfully in my seat and watched my very good friends take their vows.
It really was a good day.