Tuesday, May 23, 2006
So there we are, Mr and Mss Bartlog. We had a beautiful and glorious wedding, despite getting bombarded by everything the Belgian climate could throw at us: rain, hail, violent gusts of wind,… But the sun broke trough the clouds on all the right moments. It was pouring when we left for city hall, but when we arrived the sun was shining in all its splendour. And it remained as if it was a really nice spring day until the moment we climbed on the coach again. We had a big coach, drawn by three black ‘Friesian’ horses and the whole city was admiring us when we drove through the streets of Antwerp. Except this one guy who thought it was a funeral and who made a cross sign when we passed!
The wedding ceremony was on what is know here as ‘the beautiful floor’, where the mayor and aldermen have their offices. It’s a magnificent building, designed by Rubens himself in Italian Renaissance style. We weren’t too nervous, although I had serious troubles getting the wedding ring over my bride’s finger. She has narrow fingers but broad joints, so it took me ages and I must confess some sweat ran along my spine before I finally had the stupid thing in place.
We went to the Antwerp Zoo for the photo shoot, which gave us a lot of logistical problems. My stunning looking wife had to keep her stunning dress from the stunningly muddy paths, but luckily the sun did us a favour again so we didn’t have to mess around with umbrellas. However, it was a bit nippy, especially for her because the dress had a broad bare back. She nearly froze there and she still has a bit of a cold.
So off to the wedding party. You know we were planning to have a
demonstration in advanced horse riding, but unfortunately it would look
more like a demonstration in advanced mud wrestling. The paddock was a
giant swimming pool, and so were the places where the people had to
stand. We thought about cancelling the whole thing, but then we decided
to try and improvise something inside. This is also where the tent AND
the inflatable jumping balloon castle thing stood, both in bright
colours, so there was a good chance that Julia (my
wife’s horse) would panic and flee. But instead she was as calm as can
be, performing admirably and with grace. Which is more than I did, since
I had already sampled a lot of the drinks. You can’t risk serving lousy
drinks to 130 guests, I had to take the responsibility!
The children had a great time on the inflatable jumping balloon castle thing (what’s the right English word for such a contraption anyway?) and on the ponies. Many a parent was surprised that his/her child dared to mount a pony. Many a parent will also be surprised that their child will whine incessantly for a pony until its 18th birthday.
Food: excellent! Roast pig and lamb chops, you can’t go wrong there. Although the bride was so nervous and busy getting every detail right that she barely could get anything down her throat. Drinks were good too, and plenty, but luckily I’d been practicing the days before so I managed to hold on to the end.
The opening dance was… ‘Zij’ (she) by Marco Borsato, a Dutch singer most of you won’t know. But after that we had almost every song you suggested, and more. In fact, the DJ was VERY fond of slows, up to the point were it almost got boring. But slowly (wooha!), the action on the dance floor started and I must say that as usual I overdid it and made myself look ridiculous. It was a good thing the incessant flow of guests coming and leaving took a lot of our attention.
We went to bed around 4 o’clock in the morning, and especially for you dear blog readers I will unveil what happened during the night: we slept. That’s it, no saucy sex scenes, no steaming wedding night. We were just finished after days and weeks of preparations. (Afterwards we did make up for it of course, but I already said to much).
So that’s it. Now we finally understand why people call this the most beautiful day of your life. It’s not the fact that you got married, it’s the knowledge that you won’t have to sacrifice your every free moment choosing napkins, tents, hors d’oeuvres and what not!