On 21 May, 2011 Drumintoul Lodge on the Rothiemurchus Estate in the Scottish Highlands, became the centreof the universe. At 1.15pm, a full quarter of an hour before the scheduled time, my brother-in-law and his fiancé, two of my best friends, were married in front of 38 very lucky guests.
The very family centred and intimate ceremony was conducted by an Aunt of the Groom. She was ably assisted by the flower girl and page-boy – the niece and nephew of the Bride – and the Best Man and Bridesmaid – the Groom’s brother and Bride’s sister, respectively. The Bride was piped in to the sound of “Highland Cathedral” and yours truly honoured to be asked to make an attempt at Burns’ “A Red, Red Rose“.
After the ceremony, the joyous and emotional party took over the entire hunting lodge and the champagne and whisky flowed. The pre-dinner speeches by the Father of the Bride, the Groom and the Best Man were excellent, funny and touching.
The delicious wedding dinner featured the best of local Scottish produce and was prepared by a local French chef. Spoons were used creatively during the meal. The flower girl and I had ‘spoon on nose’ competitions and my mother-in-law uncharacteristically used the handle of her spoon to scoop and lick the last of her lemon dessert.
Later in the evening a fiddler and an accordionist played traditional Scottish music. The floor was filled with guests dancing Scottish country favourites – the Gay Gordon, Strip the Willow, Dashing White Sergeant, to name a few. Taking a break from the dancing, the Bride and a number of guests exchanged their party shoes for Wellies and went to find the row-boat in the Loch beside the lodge. The evening ended with the traditional circle of clasped hands around the Bride, Groom and their families and the singing of Auld Lang Sine. A perfect day.
However, it could have all been different. Little did the Bride and Groom know that their fairy tale wedding had been threatened just 24 hours earlier. One last crucial detail was yet to be finalised.
I was in my bedroom at the hotel and there was a knock at the door. I had been expecting this visit and was tense. I knew what was riding on this decision.
“Where is it?” my mother-in-law asked as she came into the room.
The moment of truth had arrived. I gestured towards where I had laid out my dress, shoes and The Hat.
“It’s beautiful,” she exclaimed.”Really beautiful. I think it will make the outfit.”
To find out more about the importance of The Hat, see earlier post The Wedding and me
A special thank you to Juliet Gold for the pictures of Drumintoul Lodge and me with the Rabbie Burns book