We largely kept our heads down and rocked up in plenty of time - it was a small holiday resort, and the 'villas' were three-room/two-bed affairs. We found out that the person we were sharing the villa with had already turned up and taken the one key, but there was no sign of her at the locked villa. It turned out in the end that she, the bride's slightly daffy cousin, had simply set up in the villa next door, which hadn't been locked for some reason. We found that out at the wedding though, so before that I had to go back and wheedle another key out of front desk. I mention this largely because those of us who have attended ATP or similar civilised festivals will recognise the illicit thrill of having an extra key that you're not supposed to.
The wedding was on the beach, and was lovely - when we got there, the Scottish groom was standing about in his kilt, bareheaded under the sun - he apparently managed to avoid burning his head off to the amazement of many. Him and the Australian bride had met when they were both working in the same Edinburgh branch of Blackwells as Jen, about a dozen years ago. I ended up hanging around with the contingent from that shop then, Scots and another Ozzie, for the night, which as you might imagine I had no problem with.
Three sweet parts of the dinner go:
- The tables all had books instead of place settings - you were officially asked to sit where your heart takes you, but swapping around to sit where you wanted was also expected. I ended up in front of Muriel Barbery's The Elegance of the Hedgehog - less because it did mean anything to me than because a table of booksellers advised me it was great (and of course we got to take the books home with us)
- There was a projector up, after from a video message from the best man it spent most of the night cycling through photos of the couple over the last 12 years, mugging for the camera in various different holidays around the world. Apart from anything else it was good for me as a stranger to appreciate the groom's many facial hair choices as context for the soul patch he currently sports.
- Just before and to the side of the main dining area, a small table displaying the various cultural offerings of the two countries: Tunnocks Tea Cakes/Caramel bars, Irn Bru and Tablet on one side, Timtams, Liquorice Bullets and Jaffas on the other.
- Bonus extra sweet thing - the bride had rented out a photo booth and a table full of prop hats - you'll see the four we took in time, I promise.
The next day was very quiet as expected - there was the aforementioned barbecue sprawling over most of the afternoon, then we went for a wander around the rocks on the eastern end of the beach - around on the furthest point there was a patch where massive waves would roll up, the blazing sun and the colour of the ocean meant that the vertical sides of the waves shone the most perfect turquoise. We wandered back along the beach, had a meal later, and went out for another nighttime beach stroll, seeing the bright clear unfamiliar stars. It was about this point, a week in, that the trip tipped over to "this is bliss".