Blimey, time truly does fly when you are having fun. So please indulge me a little whilst I recap the past few days in an effort to try and remember some of the highlights, which will be hard as there were so many.
The weekend was focussed on the civil partnership of my friend Stuart and his partner Alan. They’ve been together for over 9 years so it was a real honour to be asked to be Stuart’s Best Man. Not that any of the weekend followed much in the way of tradition but.. well let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Friday morning, dressed to the nines, we arrive at their flat to find the groom and groom all ready to go. Unfortunately the flowers have yet to arrive, as have the rest of the wedding party but that’s ok, we have plenty of time. An hour later we are running out of time and Alan is getting a little angsty… then the cars start turning up, phew. We all bundle out of the door and head to Park Circus for the ceremony.
All in, the wedding party totalled 20, so in the Avon room of a rather grand old building, we stood and witnessed the partnership of our dear friends and I’ll happily admit that I did well up a little. A quick trip to the balcony of the building for some photos and then it was off to Kelvingrove Art Galleries for the official photographs.
The side entrance steps provided the backdrop for the group photos, and we all stood around and waited whilst the photographer (who was excellent, and very funny) arranged and posed and clicked away. Needless to say there were plenty of tourists around, and we were pretty much the centre of attention for a while.
By 4.30pm we were all starving and ready to head off to Two Fat Ladies for some food. It’s a small restaurant and we took up well over half of the tables but the staff were friendly, and the food was excellent. There were only two speeches, Alan’s brother and best man welcomed Stuart to their family, and Stuart’s Dad did the same for Alan. That aside it was really just like going out for dinner, wearing a kilt, with a bunch of strangers. You know what I mean. A couple of hours later and it was all over.
And so to Saturday.
I’d made the wise move of driving on Friday lest my liver packed in completely over the weekend, so we were up and about pretty early. My mate Keith was coming over from Edinburgh in the afternoon so we tidied up a bit, and got some shopping in. We had arranged to go for a bite to eat before going out for Stuart’s stag night and so I even managed to sneak in a run to keep things turning over. Unfortunately my mate got on a different train than we thought (yeah ya doofus, don’t leave yer ticket lying around!) so we ended rushing a little, but we still made it.
A rather nice meal in the Ubiquitous Chip and then beer time. It was a quiet night really, but the six of us managed to do some damage, ending up in the Polo Lounge until 3.30am.
Which made Sunday morning a bit of a blur.
In fact it wasn’t until mid-afternoon that we really got moving, which suited Keith and I as we got to watch the Grand Prix whilst mucking about on our laptops (iChat whilst sitting on the same sofa? Ohh you’ve all done it!).
We met up with some more friends at 6pm for a bite to eat (Cafe Andalus this time) and before we know it we are toddling through the rain, the delicate sounds of the bagpipe beckoning us to our destination.
The venue for the reception was the Auditorium of Oran Mor which was quite simply stunning. It’s an old converted church, with a lavishly decorated roof depicting the signs of the zodiac on a stunning electric blue background. Ohh and the reception was pretty damn good too, as Louise put it, “gay music is just soo fab!” (as it turns out, “gay music” is pretty much the disco heavy stuff I used to play when I did the odd DJ turn).
Highlight of the evening was most definitely the staff of Alan’s bar surrounding the happy couple in a perfectly co-ordinated dance circle. I think it was Madonna that was playing, could be wrong but it was hilarious. The glitter cupcake favours were pretty nice too… yum.
And then, all of a sudden, it was over. The lights came on, drunken men in kilts swayed towards the door, and most of the women started fighting over the table centrepieces. We nipped across to the Grosvenor, where our friends were staying, for a night cap and then hailed a taxi home.
I’d been a good boy on the Sunday night as I still had some stuff to do on Monday, dropping off the “newly weds” at the airport, then returning the hired kilts, picking up all the presents from the reception, and then borrowing Stuart’s Mini Cooper (convertible) for the two weeks that he is away.
Mind you, we were both completely knackered come yesterday evening.
Photos will be available soon (I know some of my admirers like to see me in a kilt), and I have to say that, despite the somewhat chaotic nature of things (Stuart isn’t the most organised person in the world) it was such a wonderful weekend that I’m kinda sad it’s over. Sitting in the hotel on Sunday night, Louise and I, and our oldest closest friends all felt the same bond and as we said our goodbyes for the night it was noticeable that they were all a little more heartfelt than usual.