When the bride comes out to dance, it’s love all around
ON a Saturday in October of last year I attended the wedding ceremony of Meagan Lottering and Allan Thomlinson.
It is always a joy to be present at these moments when what had hitherto only been quietly and privately whispered endearments of love, is now declared aloud before God and a congregation of friends and family. The bride entered from the Albert Road end of the church, keeping pace to the organ music that had announced her presence.
Cellphone clutching divas turned to capture the moment, skilfully manipulating the wide-angle or close-up features of their mobiles. The bride’s mother, Michelle, turned in the front pew of the church, St Mary the Virgin, Woodstock. It had been her home of faith for all of her life. She had been baptised there and had walked from her home on Gympie Street to mass on Sundays. And now her daughter was about to make her vows of marriage similar to ones that she had made, standing in front of the very altar as she had done so many years ago.
Scattered gasps of “aah” and an “oh yes” capped the moment when Allan received the hand of Meagan and they turned to face The Venerable Archdeacon of Groote Schuur, Father Donovan Candido Meyer.
The sermon, appro to the occasion, provided a review template for many of the married veterans present with regard to the benchmarks of marriage: To love, comfort, honour and protect. To forsake all the cheries you brought a packet of daltjies for on a Friday night. Fidelity. There was a little healthy squirming on the hard seats of conscience.
The mascara of all the sistas in the house of the Lord had survived the muggy heat of the day. But, only until the moment when the couple were declared married and were invited to kiss each other. An essentially Hollywood moment and lines from Sweet
home Alabama surge from my favourite wedding movies memory on these occasions: “You’re the first boy I kissed, Jake, I want you to be the last.” And the sentence that makes me want to sit down, clutch my head in my hands, and sing, Rosa each time I hear it: Young Melanie: “What do you want to marry me for anyhow?” Young Jake: “So I can kiss you anytime I want.”
Tears flow and an involuntary dabbing of the cheeks messes with perfection.
The convivere spirit of the reception that followed in the parish hall expressed the easy way the families and friends of the bridal pair interacted with each other. The couple walked on to the dance floor to the sound of
A thousand years by Christina Perri. I have much respect for Allan. He had just witnessed Meagan dance with her dads, Peter and Dawood, two tall and graceful dancers. You could see, by their easy swag, they were langarm outjies. Meagan, a ballroom aficionado, stood poised and smiling as her bae moved towards her, rhythmically stepping into the slow-tempo beat.
A dramatic pause as the song lyrics filled the expectant silence. “How can I love when I’m afraid to fall, but watching you stand alone all of my doubt suddenly goes away somehow. One step closer.”
Then newly married fellow spread out his arms – for a moment I thought he might have been hearing, I Believe
I Can fly – and then the words, “I have died everyday waiting for you.” “Darling don’t be afraid I have loved you,” and glided with studied and smiling ease into “For a thousand years I’ll love you for a thousand more.”
And kiss each other whenever they want to.