I have my first wedding of the year on Saturday. This year is much easier than previous years when I did all of them. I am very grateful that is no longer the case. In the past I have done one, sometimes two every week during the summer .So now my entire life is not engaged in wedding talks, preparation and rehearsals. This week is a couple from Wales, taking their vows in Welsh as well as English. They forgot the bit of paper from the registrar which we have to see before the actual ceremony.
" Do you have to see it? Can you not take our word for it? ".
Well no I can't. The registrars special certificate is one way of dealing with couples for whom reading the banns is inappropriate. Some registrars like the bits of blue paper to be sent in with the returns. I have always done this since the first time I was left in charge of the parish.
I had been thinking it was all going ok when I got a phone call demanding the returns plus the paper work. Non plussed I said. " I don't think we've married anyone this quarter."
There was a longish pause during which a sharp intake of breath could be heard. Then she said, "There's been at least one to my certain knowledge."
"Oh?" I asked and then got it. It was mine. We had done it that way to avoid having the banns read. It wasn't actually a secret apart from the day and time. We got married on a Monday morning in November when not too many people were around. I was suitably embarrassed.
Once we'd got over the returns problem the registrar and myself became quite good friends. But I still need to see the blue papers.
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