Love Beyond Skittles, or Whither and Wedding
From the desk of Gerald Honk, Esq.
What an exciting day! I have but a brief break from the festivities to quickly scribble down the major happenings of the day so far; the day in which I have witnessed the wedding of my friend, the matrimonial Menenius and nuptial Narcissus, Sir Hilary Harrison-Nairn.
The lady in question, Samantha Humbleton-Holtby, or Samantha Humbleton-Holtby Harrison-Nairn as she will now be officially known, is a Shakespearean actress of not a little renown, hence the theme of the Bard and his works throughout the wedding shindigs. After a whirlwind romance (“the course of true love never did run smooth,” she said in her speech this afternoon, “but in our case, rather it leapt, abseiled and occasionally fell through a hitherto unknown trapdoor”) the service itself was set for Midsummer, so as to be themed along the lines of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Quite literally, in fact: it ended with a paraphrasing of the play’s closing couplet:
“Give me your hand, if we be friends, and Bismarck shall restore amends.”
The service was beautiful, from my perspective, with much emotion from all concerned. Bismarck performed his duties as ringbearer (though he be wicked and tricksy) with the utmost dedication (“I’ve been training him,” my friend said beforehand, “we’ve had Lord of the Rings screenings every Sunday for a month now”) and even Lillian could be seen to shed a tear (“purely for the fact he’s going on honeymoon for a month and we shan’t have to restock the sweetie drawer”, she told me, but I believe she was genuinely moved). We finished the Skittles that had been left on each pew for the congregation, and were ushered immediately to the second of three events commemorating the marriage – an intimate lunch for the closest friends and family of the couple.
Continuing the Shakespearean theme, each invitee was asked to perform a soliloquy at the request of the bride (“though really it’s just a little speechifying, old thing”, HH confided in me when the occasion was announced, “say what you will, just don’t ham it up”). I shall summarise a select few speeches below, to give a flavour of the occasion, just in the event that tonight’s upcoming hootenanny renders me unable to recollect anything tomorrow:
HH: Gushed sweet nothings in the direction of his beloved, compared her to a summer’s day for reasons he didn’t quite understand, explained that he fell head over heels (again, literally) for her and would forever be enraptured by the fact she was the only woman he’d ever met who could successfully control Bismarck.
Samantha: Ended speech with a reading from All’s Well That Ends Well. Wonderful diction.
Mother Nairn: Stood, looked over the gathering, sat down again. The lack of vocalised disapproval is a very encouraging sign for the marriage.
HH’s Uncle Nigel: Unfortunately too inebriated to be fully coherent.
The Humbleton-Holtbys: Currently traversing the world and could not attend, so were unable to provide a speech. In fact, I am not certain they will be aware of the marriage until Mr and Mrs HH pay them a mid-honeymoon visit.
Myself: Simply wished my friend well. Not a conventional Best Man’s speech, as evidenced by Uncle Nigel’s heckles in the early stages, before he returned to his stupor. Bride and groom appreciated it, though.
Following lunch, I find myself in the present, back at home for a rapid turnaround into costume for a Shakespearean-themed fancy dress evening do, to which all guests have been invited, and then some. It shall be spectacular, I don’t doubt, though I find HH’s brags of a Skittles sculpture in the shape of a rainbow a little hard to believe. The HHHNs will be joining Lillian and I in a month’s time for afternoon tea and stories of their honeymoon, but for now, I must dash – summer’s lease hath all too short a date, &c, and Lillian has just finished ironing my Ophelia costume.
H.H. and Honk wish to wish all of you with impending weddings the best weather and days you could hope for.
They would like to add that they hope to see you all again soon, once HH and his new bride have returned from [locations undisclosed].