I am what could be described in English by the phrase, ” A bit of a soppy old Tart”.
For those of you overseas not privy to the vernacular this might best be explained as an individual prone to being emotional, to being a little bit of a romantic, in a all a bit of a softie. I do my best to mask this side of my charachter, as a bloke it doesnt somehow feel quite the done thing to show a “soppy” side, but I dont always quite manage to pull it off. This saturday at a Wedding, or perhaps as I should technically define it a Civil Partnership ceremony I got a lttle bit Soppy.
The ceremony was at the rather surreal Brent Civic Centre in Wembley, a gleaming glass and metal construction that defies accurate description with words. We were greeted at the Registry office, not by a human being but by a Virtual Receptionist, an image of a lady projected onto a cut out silhouette of a human body, who duly welcomed us, and asked us to take a seat until a real live human being could be located to come and take us to the ceremony.
The couple getting married were Vitaliy and Rinaldo, two lovely men, Rinaldo a gentle lump of manhood from Brazil, sweet, generous to a fault, a little self-conscious at times which makes him so easy to tease which I find an un-bounded joy in doing, much to his chagrin and Vitaliy his partner , a Russian Neuro-Scientist, Vitaly is also a terribly nice chap, I like him a lot.
Vitaliy and Rinaldo both wore the same blue suits, though neither were able to do their neck-ties, I got to do it for them. Vit trembled a little at various times through the ceremony, at times I could see him appearing to hold back tears, Rinaldo likewise was clearly a little over-whelmed by the process, the Registrar went through the spiel of the service and as I watched I looked in turn from one to another looking at their faces, their eye contact with each other , their hand movements, taking in the scene and the words of the Registrar.
Marriage ceremonies have for me always been a moving experience, seeing two people make an open declaration of love for each other, to promise themselves to each other to have and to hold, to share the path of their lives together, it gets me every time. This wedding was all the more poignant for me, coming on the heels of the dissolution of my own marriage. It would have been perfectly possible for me to have gone into the ceremony with cynical eyes, but actually the reverse was the case, I will always believe that the union of two people and a declaration of their feelings for each other is indeed a wonderous thing. Thank-you both for reminding me.
I hope that Vitaly and Rinaldo share a beautiful life and Union together, that they learn to cherish and honour each other and that they find life long love, they like us all have every chance of doing so.
It was an honour to be asked to be a wintness and a signatory at the Ceremony.