Last Sunday our darling daughter, Sophie, married Ashley at Hever Castle on a beautiful and memorable day. It was the first dry day in weeks and a weather writer in The Times newspaper commented that: ‘After days of showers, Sunday brought a gloriously dry and sunny day over much of the country’. It had been touch and go all week as to whether it would be dry but the prayers of many were answered and the sun really did shine on our parade.
I was a very proud man walking my daughter, who looked absolutely stunning, up the red carpet to the outdoor ceremony on the loggia in the Italian Gardens, overlooking the lake at Hever Castle. Hever looked its absolute best.
There was a very special vibe throughout the whole celebration, generated by the large number of Sophie and Ashley’s friends who were present. Some of those friendships extended as far back as Nursery School and the entire occasion was buoyed up by the warmth they accorded to every aspect of the day, including the Father of the Bride’s speech.
Celebrations continued long into the night.
I’m going to end this Post with three short paragraphs from my speech because I think they sum up the three primary strands of what I said:
Firstly, reminiscing about the past: “It’s the memory of things we’ve done together that I cherish the most. When you find that both your children share, without pressure, the same pleasures and interests as you do, then that is one of the great joys of parenthood.”
Both our children have become keen photographers and when they were teenagers both of them spent time in our home darkroom with me, learning how to produce black and white prints, and sharing the magic of watching an image appear in the developing tray.
And both also share their parents’ love of Switzerland. Together we have walked hundreds of miles together and marveled at the views, we’ve mountain biked, and we’ve climbed some of the major Swiss Peaks (with me as guide). Those are special memories.
Secondly, a confident statement about their relationship: “A successful marriage is not about finding someone you can live with but finding that one person who you can’t live without and I am confident that you have known each long enough to know unequivocally that you have each found that special one.”
And finally, our hopes for their future: “Enjoy life – you only get one shot at it. Don’t grow old with regrets and a bucket full of unfulfilled wishes. Be bold, but temper boldness with common sense.”
And there was a final quotation (very slightly amended) from Hunter Thompson, a well-known American journalist and writer: “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways in a cloud of smoke, glass of bubbly in hand, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and shouting: Wow! What a Ride!”
We wish them well, we have so many very happy memories and I am sure there will be many more to come.
Some of my other images have already been published on Instagram where you will find me as ‘andyhooker’. I wish I had had more opportunities to take my own images, but I was already trying to be in three places at once and the fourth dimension was one dimension too far. There was a professional photographer on hand throughout (he had a very long day) and I am looking forward to seeing his record of this wonderful day.
[Please read the copyright notice in the Rt sidebar – and with deference to the Professional Photographer you may not print any of the images in this Post for commercial use].
To view the gallery below, click on the first image and then navigate through using the arrow keys.