Some of you may recall a previous blog about Pelham House where I first mentioned Karen (painted wedding glasses) and Pete (the dark art of printing). Well their wedding came round all too quickly (everything seems to have done this year) and it certainly lived up to expectations!
Karen, having confiscated the wedding rings from the best man for safe keeping, got ready at Pelham House. Normally at this point I would say something like "assisted by her bridesmaids" but this wasn't quite the case. The bridesmaids actually kept us hugely entertained by trying to figure out how to walk down the aisle, attempts at which started badly and soon degenerated into a sort of march of the animals, with Anna in particular doing a very good impression of a mutant Chernobyl chicken desperately trying to escape the clutches of a ravenous Russian peasant - you may have guessed by now that this wedding was about having fun!
Karen has a moment of quiet reflection, while just out of camera beside her the Eastbourne Players continue working on their production of Animal Farm. Actually the enigmatic, Mona Lisa look is Karen desperately trying not to laugh.
Meanwhile Pete is relaxing with his groomsmen in the bar downstairs waiting for the wedding ceremony to begin, probably the safest place under the circumstances.
In the end the bridesmaids just about managed to get things together and opted for a stately sprint down ths aisle, with much giggling and bouquet waving, followed much more serenely by a very happy looking Karen - it was all pretty cool actually!
After a lovely wedding ceremony we all moved out onto the terrace for drinks and canapes in the sunshine, with a few quick romantic shots before going back in for the wedding breakfast.
Karen and Pete had arranged for a harpist to provide background music during the meal. Have you ever looked at a harp, I mean really looked? It's not just a million strings to get to grips with, there are pedals as well, lots of them. How on earth did someone get around to inventing something that looks like an ornate industrial vegetable slicer and then decide to play it? I'm very glad they did because they are lovely, but was going on in their head?
Speaking of what was going on, I don't know what was happening here either, but it went on for quite a while and they seemed to be enjoying themselves, which is all that really matters.
As the evening wore on the boys and I decided to go out for a Reservoir Dogs photo. I always like to hype the guys up a bit for this shot so they look like they own the street, otherwise there can be a tendency for them to come down the road in a little huddle that's more reminiscent of Reservoir Poodles or possibly Dew Pond Field Mice. So we take a gaggle of extrovert sportsmen, fill them with beer, steroid their ego's and tell them to go for it. They did... Lewes police station put out a "Closed" sign, people ran for cover, birds scattered in alarm, the sky darkened. I really should have pointed out that they owned the road apart from my bit though...
Rather than doing a speciality first dance or simply settling for the traditional hug and shuffle, Karen and Pete decided to combine the two. We do the hug and shuffle during the verses and (something along the lines of) the pogo during the chorus. Like everything about them it's pretty off the wall, but it didn't just work, it was brilliant - try it!
About 10pm we wandered down to the bottom of the gardens at Pelham House for the Chinese Lanterns. Although I have photographed these before, this was the first time I had got involved in trying to light them. I don't know if this was a dodgy batch, but it was a nighmare despite being a completely still night. You hold a lighter under a wax patch for serveral minutes until your thumb catches fire. The flame coming from your thumb then starts to melt the patch which drips hot wax onto the back of your hand. If you are very lucky the patch will eventually start to burn, at which point you give the lantern to someone else, dash back up to the house and run your burning hand under the cold tap. Most lanterns only reached the dripping hot wax stage. Eventually we did get some going and very romantic they looked too.