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Portugal, part three

May 7th, 2006 (10:19 pm)

In which we finally get to the wedding!

The Saturday evening saw a meal at the hotel for the wedding guests. The hotel didn't normally do evening meals, but foradan had kindly arranged for one-off evening catering there as a special event. This was a very good idea, as I enjoyed catching up with people. There is a conversation with beckyc I'd like to continue at some point. Dame Brisen and Sir Owain seemed very, very well indeed, and it was very good to see them again. A few of us were more colourfully attired than some seemed to have expected:

- and my jacket was particularly gratified when kargicq proposed a toast, so much so that it insisted on taking itself off me and bowing.

It was also good to see Foradan and Meglorien there. Foradan had been a regular presence at the hotel during breakfast, even though he wasn't staying there, and although he normally seemed to have some other urgent purpose other than just saying hello, this helped make me and I think others feel welcome and part of an event where we all had something - or someone - in common, even though we were subdivided into overlapping clusters of people who knew fellow members of their cluster and a few others in another (for the most part).

Remarkably, we were all up the next morning for the pre-wedding photographs, with members of the party snapping away behind the official photographer. jane_somebody, Lady Nivetta, and pellegrina all looked very smart:

Eventually Kargicq, proving that he was an exemplar of the good team captain school of best men, was in a position to shepherd us on to the coach which would take us to the venue, which was up in the hills to the north of the Lisbon coast. Roadworks seem to have made the route more circuitous than it might have been, and we ended up having to leave the coach sooner than planned when it turned out that the approach road was blocked by a parked mechanical digger.

So to the wedding itself. The venue was a country hotel; seating was rationed but it seemed spontaneously go to the most deserving. The cameras were of course out in force as Meglorien was led down the aisle, flowergirls having strewn petals before her like a queen at her coronation. The registrar, the bride and groom were then faced with the challenge of negotiating a bilingual wedding where the official language was Portuguese. There were several moments where this Anglophone thought that Foradan and Meglorien had been pronouced man and wife, only for there to be one more round of pronouncements and paper-shuffling. Eventually the two could kiss and we could make our way outside to greet them as a married couple.

There was another lengthy round of photographs, during which the official photographer had to ask we guests to stop taking photographs in the area he was using as he was unable to work. The light was bright and I had to keep moving just to create a breeze to ensure I remained cool in my warm suit. Eventually we were invited to start eating, though in the meantime there was plenty of time to talk. I was talking to Nivetta about the reason that SocA was no longer active, and recounting the woes of being a committee member of that society. elanor, in front of me, turned round and suggested that I eventually succeed her as treasurer of the TS. I protested that I was not a member, yet (a yet which I have deployed in the past in front of TS people) but Elanor assured me that this didn't matter.... I nonetheless demurred, and headed for the much-appreciated and well-provisioned table of vegetarian food for the lunch buffet.

I'll have to write up the rest of the day another time, but you can find my wedding pictures at Foradan's site.