*Some of the music we played is shown at intervals in the text
In The Times on 22nd August 2016:
“Mrs Maria Cecilia Rocha Miranda is delighted to announce that the marriage of her younger daughter Celina Guinle and Richard Corbett Yates took place on Saturday 20th August 2016 in Brighton, England. After a reception at Amber House in Hove, family and friends gathered at Blanch House in Kemptown for an evening dinner party. The honeymoon will take place in January 2017.”
“And now, pray silence for the groom.” Well, we didn’t have a ‘master of ceremonies’ so it was up to me when to tap a glass to ring for quiet! What a lovely group stood in front of me, all expecting I guess that I was going to say something funny, poignant, romantic, risqué or was I just going to be my boring self?
‘You’re the Best’ by Tina Turner
Those who know me well will appreciate that this wasn’t the first time I had had to make the bridegroom speech, and my long-suffering brother needed thanking first. I hope he was reassured that this would be the last, the very last time he would have to listen. Relatives from Brazil and from New Zealand, some old acquaintances and some new friends; a gorgeous warm loving bunch waited expectantly.
‘Je T’aime, Till My Dying Day’ by Enigma
I recounted how I had started going to Bikram Yoga in 2009, plucked up courage to talk to Celina sometime in late 2010 as we lined up for the next session, and was delighted that she agreed to have supper with me a year later. “One day at a time.” we promised ourselves as we came together, out of our individual tactile and sexual deserts ……. and then it was a month and now, on the 16th of this month, five years. Wow! The naysayers had said it wouldn’t last and I know how complex an emotion love is. One always thinks ‘This is it!’ and then time moves and we move and suddenly the love that was contagious and all-embracing is destructive.
‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’ by George Michael
Indeed, during our ceremony earlier in the Regency Room, at Brighton’s Town Hall, our readings had reflected the opposites of love’s effect. The romantic poem from Christopher Marlowe ‘The Passionate Shepherd to his love’ starts: “Come with me and be my love, and we will all the pleasures prove.” This was the first, and the male guests collectively contributed to its optimistic view. Sadly Sir Walter Raleigh’s reply on behalf of the Nymph recounts all the things that go wrong – “The flowers do fade, and wanton fields to wayward winter reckoning yields” – until the promise in the final verse “….had joys no date nor age no need, then these delights my mind will move to live with thee and be my love.” So a realistic pragmatic view read by the ladies in the gathering.
Sometimes in life you read something that hits the spot, just at the right time. We’ve all read the rather syrupy rather saccharine sayings that are meant to lift our hearts and an example of this genre, a daily quote from Brahma Kumaris, is available to read in our local Hot Yoga studio. On the day of our wedding (yes I went! Well; I had time to!!) it said: “Relationships are like a tapestry. The fabric is strongest when the threads are spun from openness, love and trust.” And that’s how Celina and I have spun our tapestry, with honesty, openness and trust – and enormous love!
‘The Power of Love’ by Jennifer Rush
The recent Olympics had its part in our decision to get married! Celina’s parents wanted to escape Rio de Janeiro, so booked three weeks with us here in Hove. I had this thought; we would surprise them during their visit by an innocent visit to the Town Hall. But then Carlos became very ill in mid-December and I told him of our intentions by hand-delivered letter. So the cat jumped out of the proverbial. Anyway, he had always called me his son-in-law – so no pressure then – but I guess he saw the happiness in his daughter and was acknowledging what was apparent. He also promised to assist me with the development of my spiritual side, something he saw as abysmal! Celina’s mother came over as planned and the participant numbers grew.
‘Tell Him’ by Celine Dion & Barbara Streisand
Three weeks of warm weather descended into an Autumnal-like low pressure system the day before the wedding. The day itself was characterised by sunshine and torrential rain showers and blowing a hooley. Two days later summer returned with 28C. You can’t say God doesn’t have a sense of humour?
‘A Million Years Ago’ by Adele
I looked around our guests, some eating the rather doorstep-sized egg & cress sandwiches (I had imagined something more delicate, with the crusts removed but ……!!) all relaxed. Jonathan found my Royal Artillery Officer’s sword and that was used to cut our Clementine cake, which my daughter had very kindly made. Before we toasted the bride, love and life, I did remind everyone that my great grandfather Richard Sydney Corbett had been born in Recife, Brazil in 1850 and that there are still Corbetts, living relatives as it were, in Brazil. So this South American connection was well and truly re-established with our marriage.
‘Santa Monica Dream’ by Angus & Julia Stone
We were spoilt by the generosity of our guests, despite imploring them that we really didn’t want more toasters and that, if they felt they couldn’t come to a wedding without buying a present, they should buy something for themselves! So it was such fun to open our gifts the following day.
By the following Wednesday the apartment was empty, apart from ourselves, so now we can really start to enjoy our married life. Did something happen? Just a very public display of the love and affection we hold for each other …… oh! and a little band of gold on that third finger of the left hand.
These are slightly more than ‘mere scribbles’ but I hope you’ll get a sense of what happened on that lovely day.
Richard 2nd September 2016