I don’t like memes normally as they don’t allow me to spray the detritus of my mind directly on to the page in the way you know and love. However, a while ago, Charlotte had one that appealed.
1. Where/how did you meet?
We met in Brussels at a birthday dinner for the best dressed diplomat a friend of mine who has featured here before. He was just tagging along. I arrived early due to a never to be repeated series of errors (I am always late for everything) and he arrived early (because he is always early). We talked about Flemish modern dance. It turns out that I completely exhausted his knowledge of Flemish modern dance in that initial conversation.
2. How long have you known each other?
Since November 1998.
3. How long after you met did you start dating?
About two weeks, I’d say. When we met at dinner I was ill so I had to leave early (much to my chagrin) but I casually threw out a general invitation to go to the cinema. He rang me at work (having found out my number by gratifyingly diligent scouting) to say he couldn’t go on the general invitation night but would I like to go another night. Delighted. Not so pleased when we arrived at the cinema and a bunch of my Italian friends filed in behind us, notably undermining the romance.
4. How long did you date before getting engaged?
About 2 years.
5. How long was your engagement?
6. How long have you been married?
7. What is your anniversary?
July 28. Today, yes, today. Happy anniversary lovely husband. However, I always wanted to get married in May when there were cherry blossoms. It turns out that this is not uncommon and we would still be unmarried today, if we were waiting for a church and hotel in May. If the Princess gets married, she has agreed to do it in May. Can only hope that this agreement will be more lasting than that to clean up her bedroom.
8. How many people came to your wedding reception?
About 100. We really wanted to have lots of our friends and not so many cousins who we only saw once a year.
9. What kind of cake did you serve?
That was another thing. I couldn’t see the point of a cake and though my mother was really keen, I just didn’t think it was worth shelling out for. In retrospect, I cannot imagine why I became so hung up on this point, particularly since my parents were doing the shelling. All the same, nobody noticed that we didn’t have a cake. It did lead to one embarrassing moment though. My uncle and aunt didn’t feel up to driving home from the wedding at night so they brought my cousin as a chauffeur and, of course, we invited her. When my brother brought her up and introduced her to the table of old family friends and siblings, they all chorused “we thought this was the ‘no cake, no cousins’ wedding”
10. Where was your wedding?
We were married in the chapel across the road from where my parents live, so I was able to walk across – it was a beautiful day.
11. What did you serve for the meal?
Lamb maybe, I can’t really remember, I asked my poor mother to do a lot of the choosing. I do remember feeling extremely grateful that when we arrived at the hotel and my new husband was hot and hungry, they immediately produced a ham sandwich at my request leading to a much chirpier spouse.
12. How many people were in your bridal party?
Not quite sure what a bridal party is. My poor long suffering sister was my bridesmaid and Mr. Waffle’s friend was his best man. Mr. Waffle’s brother played the organ and my friend M. sang.
13. Are you still friends with them?
14. Did your spouse cry during the wedding ceremony?
No; he did look nervous though that may just have been the photographer who was constantly ready to spring.
15. Most special moment of your wedding day?
Walking back together to my parents’ house from the church – married!
16. Any funny moments?
Many funny speeches though arguably the funniest moment was inadvertent when my father forgot my husband’s name and then called me by my sister’s name. He got a good laugh too when he said “Anne learnt to speak early and she has lived up to that youthful promise”. Mr. Waffle also provided some unintentional comedy when he said “We are particularly delighted that the best dressed diplomat and her husband are here, BDD because she introduced us and her husband because, um, because, um, (lamely), if he hadn’t agreed to come, she probably wouldn’t be here.”
17. Any big disasters?
18. Where did you honeymoon?
Tour of Spanish and Portuguese paradors and pousadas, beginning here which is possibly the nicest place I’ve ever stayed.
19. For how long?
2 or 3 weeks.
20. If you were to do your wedding over, what would you change?
I’d be a little more biddable on the cake and the cousins.
21. What side of the bed do you sleep on?
The left, near the door.
22. What size is your bed?
Not big enough for five of us.
23. Greatest strength as a couple?
Common interests. Doesn’t that sound dull, but it’s true. Don’t knock it.
24. Greatest challenge as a couple?
Lark married to owl.
25. Who literally pays the bills?
Both of us, depends on the bill.
26. What is your song?
I don’t think we have a song. Unless it’s the Spanish version of Gloria.
27. What did you dance your first dance to?
Moon river. It was supposed to be Perfect Day but I forgot the CD.
28. Describe your wedding dress?
White, straight with shoulder straps and a wrap thing.
29. What kind of flowers did you have at your wedding?
Pink lilies, I think. Can’t really remember what we had at the church and I had a very fancy hair do with flowers poked into it which I still think looks beautiful when I look at the photos. Though, I vividly remember that the day after the wedding it looked like I had been pulled through a hedge backwards.
30. Are your wedding bands engraved?
31. And my own question, invented by me: What advice about weddings would you give to someone who is about to get married?
A.Go around to all the tables and speak to people while they are eating. You will not be hungry and they will all be delighted to see you. Otherwise you won’t see everyone and that would be a shame.
B. Feel free to stint on everything, except the photographer. Nobody will really notice the food (unless it is unspeakably dreadful or utterly fabulous) or the flowers (at all, under any circumstances, I fear, this is especially true for unmarried friends) or care particularly but you will have the photographs for the rest of your life.