As we are 25 years into our own marriage, and not yet ready for our generation’s off-spring to be tying the knot we’ve been ‘wedding-free’ for some years. So we were delighted to have an invite - and it was a lovely opportunity for a weekend away to deepest Sussex.
So we chose bed-and-breakfast accommodation, for two nights. In the UK bed and breakfast accommodation can vary hugely, but usually it is a wonderful way to get to know the local area, with friendly hosts keen to share their home and make their guests comfortable. Check out a reputable web-site before booking, to find out what previous guests have said! (Our bed and breakfast was in the Green Book)
We arrived on the Saturday afternoon, and that evening had a lovely meal out at a local pub, followed the next morning by a wander along the sea front, a quick look at a castle, then the ceremony and celebration, reception and speeches, dancing and socialising, all culminating in fireworks, and then a short walk back to a comfortable bed and wonderful full-English cooked breakfast in the morning – it all made for a lovely weekend.
The castle was Dunster, which is run by the National Trust. And as we are members of the National Trust, there was no entry fee or parking charge… it also meant we could pop in, knowing we had only half an hour. We wandered around the gardens, which are wonderfully cared for and they boast a sub-tropical terraced area. We didn’t have time for the tour inside. (This time) Overseas visitors maybe interested to know that there are often reciprocal arrangements for visiting National Trust properties, if they are already members of their own country’s heritage organisations. (The link gives the list)
At Dunster I was very impressed with their dahlias – en masse
Here rain drops and a snail trail on a black canna leaf…
The wedding couple looked wonderfully happy, surrounded by their entourage of bridesmaids and best men, plus page boys…all traditionally dressed…. and the venue was so lovely – an orangery for the ceremony, a church for the blessing, a beautiful house and garden for the reception, then later the dancing. After the speeches a fellow guest at our table, an American, commented,
“Don’t the women get to say anything?”
I remember at our wedding someone standing up at the end of the traditional speeches (bride’s father’s speech, groom’s speech and best man’s speech) – and shouting,
“Come on Mrs B, we want a speech from you too.” But I stayed seated. Seems these things change slowly.