Sorry, couldn’t resist. But If Free our Kids did weddings, the one we went to last weekend would be the benchmark, the lodestar, the most FOKing wonderful wedding I can imagine (ours aside, of course).
I have this new ‘vacuum theory’. The more I test it out, the more (touch wood) it proves true. It’s something like this: IF* you’re a really good friend and neighbour and quite lucky too, then the less money you have to throw at something, the more goodwill extends itself to you. (*yep, it’s a big ‘if’, I know that, it’s a theory, not a fact).
Take Lucy and Tom. They got married in the local church, up where my husband Tom was raised in Norfolk. They, (and Lucy’s family generally) are amazing, brilliant, generous people. For decades they’ve done favours, gone the extra mile, and been decent friends to anyone who came their way.
So on the day, the whole of the local community turned out, and about 90% of them helped. My mother-in-law did the flowers, my father-in-law and Johnny rang the church bells. Even the weather did them a favour.
Someone lent a field, someone else a tent, another the organ that plays every summer at the village fete. There was cider, some trestle tables, a buffet and friends DJing.
Instead of having an expensive present list, they asked people only to bring things they’d ‘made or reared themselves’ (this being rural Norfolk it worked: chicks and piglets being preferable wedding gifts to the rats, mould and cannabis our London neighbours could conceivably claim to have ‘reared’ themselves…)
I made some of Dizzy Loves Icy’s homemade spicy ketchup (substituting 1tsp each of cumin, paprika and ground coriander for the all spice and ginger in her recipe) and spent decades (possibly closer to 35 mins in ‘real’ time) decanting it into a sterilised Neal’s Yard bottle I’d been keeping for ‘an emergency’ for months (you SEE, Tom? They are real. They happen). I printed free jar labels from this website and stuck it on.
And yeah, before you say anything, I know it’s not exactly Martha Stewart (and the photo is accidentally blurry too) but this is a steep learning curve I’m on, alright?
It was an amazing day, followed by an amazing, island-bound picnic on Sunday (more on that in the next post). Oh, and they had the best first dance ever.