A Vow

Yesterday was a glorious one for a wedding. The sun shone throughout, and it was cool enough in the shade. This was the occasion of the wedding of Mr and Mrs Andrew and Danielle Milwain, and most delightful it was.

Private Road 1

When Jackie and I lived in Minstead I had often, en route to Lyndhurst and back, walked past the Strictly Private sign to a rough road leading to the New Forest Outdoor Centre. Yesterday, we were entitled to make our way along the track. I decided to walk, but


by the time I had reached a splendid rhododendron, realised it was probably quite a long way, especially as other cars were clearly going much further on. One of these was Frances’s, being driven by her son-in-law Paul, who hooted, grinned, and gave me a two-fingered salute. This seemed somewhat less than respectful of the young man.

Soon after this, I was relieved to see Jackie’s Modus hove into view. She had correctly assessed that I probably needed to be driven myself.

Tents 1

The venue was quite idyllic. The main building was of wooden construction suitable for the purposes of outdoor activities and was licensed for weddings. The lawn was inviting, and those who were planning to stay overnight had begun to pitch their tents or take occupation of their named huts.

Gathering for the wedding 1

Those gathering for the event

Jessica, Imogen, Louisa, and Mum 2Jessica, Imogen, Mum and Louisa 2

included Louisa with Jessica and Imogen, seen here conversing with their great grandmother.

Danni and Rob 1

Eventually it was time for us to take our seats inside and wait, with Andy, the handsome groom, for Rob, his soon-to-be father-in-law, to lead Danni, the beautiful bride, into the Registrar’s temporary domain.

Perhaps the highlight of the ceremony was the abduction of the rings. All had gone swimmingly until my nephew Adam was called upon to present the two gold bands. At precisely that moment, his son, Jasper did a runner. He made it out of the front door before Thea, the little boy’s mother caught up with him. It was then she realised that she held the box containing the rings which she had been just about to hand to her husband. Universal hilarity ensued, the rings were recovered, and the unfazed Registrar continued conducting the proceedings.

I had been given the honour of performing a reading. This was my choice:


It earned me a kiss from the bride.

After the ceremony we all milled about, snacking on garlic bread and enjoying drinks from the bar, until a splendid salad and cold meats lunch with red and white wine was served in the refectory.

Hundreds of photographs were taken by the guests, and probably 1000+ by the official photographer, who kept set pieces to the absolute minimum.

Elizabeth, Danni, Adam, Rob, and photographer

Here he is shooting Danni with her brother Adam and her parents Elizabeth and Rob.

Rob and Danni 1Rob and Danni 2Rob and Danni 3

At lunch in the marquee, the father of the bride gave a tender and entertaining speech, which was followed by one from the groom who omitted no-one in his eloquent thanks, and another from Danni’s friend Laura who claimed to be getting in on the act in the same way as Danni had done at hers.

This morning Aaron presented me with an apt footnote to the great day. I accompanied him to Mole Country Supplies where we purchased materials for a fence he is building for us. This involved two trips with his van. He knew about the wedding and I described the venue. He told me he had spent two days picking stones out of the lawn a year or so ago. I trust anyone reading this who spent last night in a tent will appreciate our friend’s efforts.

Hordle Chinese Take Away provided our dinner this evening. It was as good as usual. We both drank Kingfisher, which doesn’t vary much either.