The FEAST of FEASTS.Well the seemingly impossible journey was on; bouncing out of the main church doors to the sound of ‘O Happy Day’ and Beyonce’s ‘Love on top’, the challenge was to get from a West Central London church to a warehouse (called The Oval space) in Bethnal Green. I had my reservations, and was concerned that a few would fall by the wayside, ending up lost at Vauxhall station and the Oval Cricket ground. No one did!
Within a very short amount of London traffic time, all two hundred and eighty guests had arrived and were tucking in to exquisite canopies made by the Groom’s mum, and glugging down pop like there was a national drought.
By way of a little background: The very first reception idea was a Classic Jem and Olli-special-outdoor-festival-extravaganza-wedding event, in a field, happening over several days. It involved camping and tents (!?!)
A carefree and heady mix of Glastonbury, Don’t tell the bride and How to survive the great British outdoors! Needless to say I spent three days being talked in off the ledge on that one!
I had always imagined a small affair in our back garden. A DIY marquee from B&Q, boutique buffet trollies positioned around the edges with my legendary, exotic and tangy guacamole as a centrepiece!
And then we had the option of Portugal on the beach, with the Atlantic Ocean as a backdrop. The little white chapel on the cliffs and a balmy autumn breeze under the palm trees………But here we all were, in the Greenery of Bethnal, and relieved and happy to be lawfully joined, or joyfully loined.
I was still under the influence of sparking water due to the fact that the FOTB speech had to be undertaken, and the plinth on which I had my guitar, ukulele, music stand, microphone boom-stand, and foldback monitor was roughly 2 feet square. Swinging the cat was definitely not an option, and any alcohol intake would certainly have resulted in a serious backward prat-fall and an avalanche of blushing excuses. So I was abstaining for the time being.
Meanwhile the babies who were still requiring feeding were happily foot tapping and leg waving on the first floor in an area playfully called Mammary Towers.
I was very much looking forward to the final ‘duties’ being completed, and fortunate that the plan for the speeches was in two halves; First, me and a couple of others; Then after the feast, the Groom and his merry best men.
I was on; I must admit that the times I had spent shouting at my mirror in the studio were a worthy investment, and even the re-writes that morning whilst pounding the park were a noticeable improvement . Cheezy gags and puns out of the way, I came to the song that I had written for and about Jem, ‘Reasons to be Jemma, Part 1.’ This included a secret ‘Flash Mob’ of Bridesmaids, Ushers and invited guests who didn’t mind looking foolish, standing to sing my ‘Chucklevision’ inspired chorus. We ended with the cast of hundreds standing, singing to the couple and segue into ‘Happy Birthday’ to Jem for her birthday the day after.
Marvellous! I could now drink. Main problem being was that I hadn’t been on the sauce for some time and the liver to brain threshold was a little on the light side. So deciding on the third glass of fizz, the memory of what happened after began to fade into a blur of happy faces, and embarrassing ‘arm-leg’ dancing.
I even had a cocktail named after me (The Dangerous Dave, Tequila Slammer, or ‘The Daquila’ which I didn’t taste. Now I think this was providence and lessened the request to: “Stop shouting”, the morning after to a soft murmur!
But what an amazing collection of happy, joyful, playful, generous chums that gathered to celebrate our Jem and Olli’s union. The entire day was spent in celebration, and despite only dropping one glass, mid-hug with someone I sadly cannot remember, there were little, if any, casualties.Jem spent pretty much the entire ‘speech-time’ in floods of tears and we ended the weekend with a lovely birthday party in the depths of London’s N1, eating cake, and threatening a massive food fight!Happy daze… and one I am sure will be remembered as a ‘Cooke-Anderson’ milestone for years to come.
Well done everyone. We all did jolly well, didn’t we?
Now, who’s next?
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