Until a few years ago this was an outfit I frequently wore. As a wedding officer* I married 551 couples before taking a sabbatical. I never looked back and pursued another career, but I am still available for the job by request. When my daughter's best friend visited me in November and asked me to be involved in his wedding of course I felt very honoured. I've known him, and his lovely wife to be, for a lot of years and they've become good friends of the family. Fast forward seven months and here we are, waiting for the bride.....
The wedding venue was a scenic old water mill in the Belgium Ardennes, surrounded by woodlands. Friends and family gathered in the sunny orchard and the only sounds that were heard when the bride walked down the aisle came from birds, bees and the murmur of running water from a nearby brook.
|Some pictures of the ceremony, and of course the beautiful dress!
The bride's dress had a beautifully draped chiffon bodice, a small train and a lovely embroidered lace detail at the back.
After the ceremony I was reunited with my chauffeur and personal assistant for the day, mr Foxgloves.
That man is always willing to bend some rules, so here it's time to kiss
the bride the wedding officer.
We had a wonderful afternoon, met a bunch of very nice people and had lots of cake.
It was also fun to catch up with miss Canal Couture, who was a witness for the groom, and mr Canal Couture, who did an outstanding job as photographer.
Cheers to the newlyweds, and may they live happily ever after!
During all my years as a wedding officer I completely forgot to take detailed pictures of my toga so now was a good time to do so. (When I worked more frequently the gown was kept in a wardrobe in the Town Hall and brought out only on the days when I performed at weddings in said Town Hall or nearby castles and manors).
The bespoke ceremonial gown, sewn by a tailor, is made of lightweight wool suiting with velvet inserts. It is unlined, except for a back stay to balance the heavy velvet collar. I've always loved the pleated sleeves. Speaking of pleats, that jabot is a bit of a nightmare when it comes to ironing! Over the years I learned by trial and error how much starch was needed to prevent a sad and droopy look. Too much starch though and it's standing out at weird angles.....
Of course style wise the toga isn't doing me any favours but when in Belgium, land of brilliant beers and excellent food, one can do without waist definition!
We stayed in the Ardennes for a few days and, needless to say, had a wonderful time!
* Finally a burning question. Native English speakers all over the world, what would you call a person hired by the mayor and sworn in by a judge to perform legal and ceremonial acts at weddings? Is it a wedding officer / registrar / officiant / marriage officer / other?