Tons more pics. I'll just include a few, with a few more stories. (It's a good thing nothing's going on right now in my life; otherwise I'd be way behind in reporting, because I have to finish writing about the London trip, then write about training with Natasha, Hannette, and others in Chicago, and then write about the Virginia tourney. But it's just training, working, and training some more for me, so I'm in good shape there. I'll do my best not to let anything interesting happen to me until I finish writing about all that.)
On the morning of the wedding, I met Jey in the lobby of our hotel, the Westland. (BTW, we liked the Westland a lot. It had a very European feel, with soft lighting, wood paneling, a slow lift, and a proper English breakfast in the mornings, including sausages--or bangers--tomato, even baked beans, I believe. I never did wake up in time for the breakfast. We also liked the Westland's vending machine, which sells beer, chocolates, and crisps. One night Rachel, Sam, Pam, Pam's husband Steve and I sat outside Sam's room drinking vending machine beer and eating vending machine chocolates. It was very freshman year-ish, in keeping with the hey! I haven't seen you since we graduated! theme.)
and went to the dining room with him to say hello to his folks. He and I then walked to Jen and Pat's flat, he to pick up Mimi, the pug of honor,
and me to keep Jen calm while the adorable Sevim made her more beautiful than she already was. (Pat had stayed at the Westland the previous evening.)
This was a two-person job; Nina oohed while I aahed. Nina also kept the champagne flowing while I feverishly worked on my toast.
You may recall from a picture I posted earlier that I, too, was wearing a brown dress. This wasn't by design; it was serendipitous. Nina and I were acting the part of bridesmaids, though Jen didn't to call us that (we are in our late 30s, after all). But it was a nice subtle indicator that we were supporting Jen (we were called Supporters of the Bride in the program). That and the wrist corsage, which I meant to snap a picture of. It was the same color and flower scheme as Jen's bouquet, though.
Sevim called me "my love" a couple times. Very British. I liked it! Her family is Turkish Cypriot by extraction, though she's a Londoner born and raised. I asked her about Antalya, which is where I'll be going for the FILA tournament. She hasn't spent much time there but confirmed what I have heard, which is that the countryside is breathtakingly beautiful. I can't wait!
Okay, ready for a wedding?
Okay, that's more like it! Into the car!
and down the aisle on the arms of Jack and Starr
to an eagerly waiting Pat, standing here with Sean, the celebrant. (You didn't know Sean in college, but some people who did know him then gave him a ration of sh!t, as my father would say, about how no one would ever have predicted that he'd become an ordained minister, in a manner of speaking. It was no surprise to anyone, however, that he did a fabulous job and made some very timely, touching, and beautiful remarks.)
The iconic wedding shot, with unfortunately substandard lighting (can't see Jen's beautiful face).
Listening to Jen's cousin Kefryn
read a Pablo Neruda poem, I believe, in the original Spanish. It was lovely.
Jen reading to Pat from Walt Whitman, and both of them in various stages of fighting off tears.
A few more machinations, and they are married! Congratulations Jennifer and Pat! Smashing! Brilliant! Bloody good show.
More pics to follow from the reception. Then for the grapplers among you, I promise to write about my visit to Roger Gracie's academy. It was brilliant too.