Howard, who has spent some time in Liverpool, insisted on bringing a heavy lock for his bike in case of marauding scallies crossing the Mersey. Heswall, though, is charming, and we proceeded from the church with its sloping view down over the Dee to a marquee in a field with an equally splendid view and also alpacas.
Having attended Dave's stag do a fortnight previously and met the best man and sundry other people, including longtime LJ Friend venta, my fears of not having anyone to talk to at the wedding had eased a little - only to be replaced by fears of not looking smart enough. (I wore the dress I have worn to every wedding I've attended since I outgrew my sailor suit; I am planning to wear it to my own.)
I had nothing to worry about on either count, since everyone was terribly nice, though I was utterly outclassed by and envious of the lady whose shoes had red patent-leather cats up the sides.
It's a rule of mine that if you have to dress up, there had better be damn good food involved. Luckily there was. I did pay some attention to the speeches as well as the buffet, honest, and when Dave described his bride as 'the loveliest girl I've ever met' I was briefly too choked up to swallow.
As well as the speeches, a guest from Denmark stood up to announce that at Danish weddings it was traditional to compose a song for the happy couple, and proceeded to hand round lyric sheets.
There was a ripple of British horror at the prospect, before we all rose to the occasion and joined in with "They wed today! They wed today! They wed today! And it's hip hip hip hurray!" to the tune of The Happy Wanderer. It was the first time I've ever sung filk at a wedding (though hrrunka and others will now inform me I've been going to the wrong sort of wedding).
Then there was the ceilidh. Once you make that first brave step onto the floor it's amazing how quickly you find yourself linking arms with someone else's uncle and giggling like a fool. As well as dragging Howard up for a go I danced with my old drinking buddy Jonathan and his partner, and with the groom while his wife was in the arms of another.
At last the marquee began to empty and the bar staff started to look as though it was past their bedtime. Midnight-thirty found us in a minibus heading back to Heswall with a number of hats and assorted other guests, one of whom was about eleven and very keen to let us know how he wasn't tired at all, and for some reason remembering bits of The Night Mail at each other. I was so suffused with bonhomie that I didn't even correct the chap who thought it was by Betjeman.