The groom and best man wait
Last Saturday, my eldest son, Matthew, married his long-time lady-love, Medi (Mayada). Both are now medical doctors, having studied together at Newcastle/Durham Medical School. They have subsequently done their junior doctor F1 and F2 periods in London, where they have now set up home.
The wedding took place at the Savile Club in London, which turned out to be a great location. The Georgian building, on four floors, plus extensive basement, brims with history. Its wood panelled rooms and grand dining suites – reminiscent of Louis XIV at his most opulent, are a delight, and speak of an era long departed. But it provides classy fun to indulge a bit of fantasy.
The building is a traditional gentleman’s club during the week, but is available for weddings at the weekends, although there is that strange transitional period on a Friday night when resident wedding guests have to creep around like mice, (or servants?) avoiding disturbing the ‘gentlemen’ and using only the facilities of entrance, bedrooms and exits for dinner elsewhere. That said, the rest of the experience, including the renovated bedroom accommodation, was fabulous, and I had two of the best breakfasts I’ve ever eaten . . .
To begin the day, we all met up in a nearby pub, while the bride went through the final stages of preparation.
Soon, we were ushered by the groomsmen into the opulence of the room to be used for the ceremony. Pic below is my niece, Alana, my brother, Dave, and Sandra his partner.
During this part of the day, we were asked not to take photos, so we’ll have to wait for the official set to reveal how lovely the arriving bride looked. Following the wedding ceremony, we all climbed the hollywood-style staircase, down which the bride had descended, and began the festivities.
The main reception room is wonderful. You might imagine that such extravagant decor would feel ‘heavy’ but it didn’t. It provided a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere in which the dinner and speeches unfolded. I was due to speak, as part of the groom’s team, after the desert, so I had to moderate the wine intake for a while . . .
The event was black tie – to go with the surroundings. Here’s a pic of Bernie and me in our finery – I haven’t dressed like this for a long time . . .
The wedding breakfast was a lovely three course meal; during which the speeches began. One of my favourite moments was when Medi’s dad, Isam (simply known as Sam) made his gentle and tender speech to ‘give away’ his daughter to Matthew. All the speeches went well and were very ably MC’d by my other son, Daniel, whose own wedding I wrote up in the blogs in August.
Many of the speeches were simple tributes from the heart, and brought tears around the room. Others were more structured and humorous. One of my favourites was when James, one of Matthew’s close friends, read out a letter he had written to the future. The future in question was addressed to a child of Medi and Matthew, and the letter described his or her parents as they were on the day of their wedding. It was a lovely idea and beautifully delivered; and no, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house at the end of it. During my own speech, I compared the wedding to an Arthurian tale and asked the “Knights of Edinburgh’ – those classy gentlemen I met at the ‘stag do’ in that lovely city, to stand as a group and to give a ‘court’ toast to the arriving Queen.
One of my close relatives described Sam and myself as looking like two mafia dons in our finery – so here’s a photo of Don Stefano and Don Isam.
And a few more of the friends and family:
And then it was time for the Bride and Groom to lead the dancing. The string quartet who had been playing since our arrival took a bow, and were replaced by a jazz quartet, which set the feet tapping and soon the small but elegant dance floor was full of well-dressed movement.
And then . . .
It was at this point that my brother’s partner, Sandra, discovered that the basement of the Savile Club bore an uncanny resemblance to the downstairs domain of Mrs Patmore in Downton Abbey. Sandra, or as she has become known in our house, ‘Dangerous Sandra’ duly marched a group of us from the bar to this tiled and ancient wonderland, where she posed us for a variety of photos culminating in what I have dubbed the ‘Band on the Run’ shot. Apologies to our younger readers who won’t have a clue what that is . . .
Medi came down to discipline her wayward servants at one stage, so we got this lovely pic of her . . .
Matthew waltzed his grandma around the floor . . .
Soon, the midnight hour approached, and we spent a few minutes in mellow family reflections . . . (thank you for taking this one, Bernie)
And then it was time for cloaks and carriages, as they used to say . . .
A big thank you to all concerned. Bernie took most of the shots, so the final pic goes to her and that wonderful dress . . .
It was lovely to meet the new extended family and we look forward to many more occasions. The bride and groom are now honeymooning in the Maldives, but don’t envy them too much, as they return shortly to the harsh reality of life in the NHS.
A very beautiful day . . .