Paul and Rachel are currently away on honeymoon, so here are some details of their big day on Friday.
It was a crisp November morning in Northamptonshire on Friday as guests awoke in various hotels or elsewhere in the country to make their way to the small village of Yelvertoft and All Saints Church. Various others who were not going to be present starting sending best wishes to Paul and Rachel on Twitter and Facebook.
Paul's brother Chris acted as best man in the church (of which more later) while two of Rachel's cousins Gina and Estellar performed the duty of her Bridesmaids. Six ushers were scattered around the church both inside and out to greet, help and assist all guests. I ended up with traffic direction duties to the rear of the church.
The Bride arrive promptly in an Austin Princess car with her Bridesmaids and father. Posing for the obligatory car arrival photographs before making their way into the expectant family and friends.
The marriage ceremony was conducted by Canon Andrew Edwards, who has a triple jumping son. He was funny and relaxed during the rehearsal and that carried on during the service itself. The two mothers read the lessons, Mrs Stalker from Isaiah 25:6-9 and Mrs Burgin from John 2:1-12.
Dr. Phil Keates gave the address on miracles and how we should look at the lives of Paul and Rachel so see the presence of God. Although his radio mic remained on for the subsequent prayer and start of the final hymn until one of the ushers went to tell him it was still on, even though he was in excellent voice he was with his two young children.
While the register was signed there was a marvellous rendition of Ennio Morricone's Gabriel's Oboe by Rev. Tom Parsons. Then as the couple exited the church those of us left inside could see the bell ringers chiming out the happy news to the village.
Then it was off to Holdenby House for a sumptuous spread with a Cumbrian theme, before the speeches. Rachel's father did his best to wind up almost every group in the room, but had the room thoroughly entertained, but also adding that every table seemed to have been having a great time together. Paul managed to mention Leveson, use the word virgin and tell of the issue he had in finding the right place, time and packet of Hula Hoops to propose to Rachel. Then his other sibling Catherine gave the best man's speech, starting by listing all the stories that had been vetoed by parents from inclusion, before giving a witty and charming account of her brother's bachelor days. Finally, something that wasn't on my list of speeches, the Bride herself got up to say a few words.
Then we retired for coffee and the cutting of the cake. Various conversations were had, some of which may have been of a political nature what with all three of the main UK parties in attendance. Before we all departed into the rather foggy and frosty winding lanes to head to our respective beds for the night.
I think that is the last of my duties as chief usher complete, all here at Mars Hill wish them every happiness in their life together.