When the bride comes out to dance, it’s love all around

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - METRO - MICHAEL WEEDER

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.

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