Carys and Dan originally approached us asking about having their daughter christened (their son was baptised at Swanvale Halt eleven years ago, and the daughter was new). Then Dan called me to ask whether it would be possible for them to 'do their marriage vows' at the same time, as he wanted it 'to be a surprise' for Carys. I persuaded him that you can't really marry someone as a surprise, as that's not how it works, but once he actually broached the subject with Carys they decided that yes, they would like to get married at the same time as Ruby was christened. That was OK, although unusual - I'd never done such a service before (though there is provision for it in the Anglican liturgy), and it would be on a Sunday. In the end it was all very informal and relaxed and went fine.
Carys said they were going to have bubbles rather than confetti, which I thought was fun. However, it soon became clear that some of the guests had their own ideas and had come armed with sachets of confetti containing not just bits of white paper but also gold, silver, and transparent plastic discs. As they all dispersed, I and verger Rick watched the plastic bits blowing about outside the church. A young family came past. 'Look, there's been a wedding,' mum said to the little boy; Dad was trailing behind with a daughter in hand. 'Yes, it's terrible', he tutted. And it was. With heavy hearts, Rick and I went to get the vacuum cleaners and extension leads and, as the sun beat down on us, we began clearing up the confetti. It took longer than the wedding had: by the time we were done I was so exhausted I could barely speak, and I have seldom felt so much of an idiot as when I was hoovering the grass. But at least David Attenborough wasn't going to come and haunt me in visionary form that night. 'We're going to keep finding bits of it for months', said Rick ruefully.
'I didn't know you could marry people on Sundays', a churchwarden from another church mused today when I told him the story. I suddenly realised I'd never had a conversation with anyone about that particular matter. My heart was pounding as I leafed through my folder containing the Canon Laws of the Church of England, but thankfully it's only the time of day which is restricted!