Tuesday 3 September 2019

The Family Festival and a surprise wedding

Hello All
Our Festival is now over. The day was sunny and warm and nearly 300 people were collected in our field. We had decided to "go for gold" this year as David was with us for another Festival, which we weren't sure he would be around for only a few months ago.
 Our eldest Granddaughter had become engaged to a lovely young man  (H) who we all really like.
EGD was born here and she met her fiance here four years ago at the Festival when he attended with our Godson, For two years they lived here while they saved for a deposit on a house, which they are now ell settled into So this place and the Festival are important to this young couple. We looked into the possibility of them being married here, but this wasn't possible because a) we had to agree to offer the venue for other weddings and b) it would cost us £3,000 for the pleasure. So A non-starter there. EGD and H, who wanted to surprise  the guests hatched a plan to compromise and snook off to get married at the local register office on  the Friday morning before the Festival with just two friends as witnesses and surprised everyone with a blessing and wedding party on the Saturday.
For a couple of months before there was much activity, buying /making dresses and outfits for the bride and groom and their groomsmen and bridesmaids. We, as (very) close family, were in on the secret so decided we would wear our usual shorts casual clothes as that we usually wear, firstly so that no one suspected (surprisingly, I have never worn a fascinator to the festival!) and secondly so that the guests didn't feel underdressed when they found out!
What a glorious day it turned out to be !
After most people had gathered and waiting for the children's races to start. EGD's mum, my younger daughter, called everybody up the the main tent, asking them to bring their chairs. All gathered around a semi-circle of straw bales and she announced that EGD  and H were married and this was to be their wedding day!!
It will take too long to tell what happened during the day, but there were blessings and speeches and tears followed by usual Festival stuff like tug of war and thirty-a-side rounders and country dancing until the evening when my nephew and his friend sing for us and we dance until midnight.
An extra surprise half way through the evening was both my daughters, my youngest granddaughter and myself performing an ABBA tribute, complete with shiny jump suits with flares and frills. I still don't know how they talked me into it. EGD and H were SO surprised and delighted, especially as we had changed the word of "Our last Summer" to fit their experience.
I will try to load some pictures
On a much sadder note, we have lost two long time friends since I last posted, B we have known since the 60s (David was his best man) and until his illness we would see them weekly. D,  a very dear friends, I met when her daughter and mine met at a dance class when they were 5,years old 47  years ago.
Our circle is shrinking, I know it comes with age, but it still knocks you back doesn't it?
Change pace Gill you are getting maudlin..
The Gardens have been extremely productive this year, with only the peas being a disappointment. So I am in the middle of processing or selling mountains of produce, which is very satisfying.
David and I flew to Jersey last month  to visit our younger daughter who now works there. What a beautiful place it is!  We are going again at the beginning of October for a long weekend and then we wont see her until Christmas. If you think that isn't long, it is a lifetime to me who used to see her every day!
I am attempting to get exhibits ready for the Civic Society's Heritage Exhibition, which we hold every year as part of the Derwent  Valley Mills World Heritage Site Discovery Days Festival. I'm not getting on too well with it as I seem to be overwhelmed with gardening and when I finally sit down at night that is all I really want to do.. sit!.
So folks, Hope you are all well


  1. What a wonderful, fantastic thing to happen and such a good way around. Many congratulations to all concerned.

  2. Oh Gill....the wedding sounds amazing. Congratulations to the happy couple.
    So sorry for the loss of your friends.

  3. Lovely to see a post from you. I can't imagine 300 people staying or visiting - it would frighten me!
    Congrats to happy couple. Hope your autumn is OK

  4. what a surprise for the 300 guests at your festival!! I would have loved to have seen the ABBA song,lol.

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