That was... very English, and very American, and completely wonderful.
Very English: the previous week's blazing sunshine giving way to a steady and insistent drizzle which necessitated umbrellas all round:
or Stetsons, for those so inclined:
(this has drawn comparisons with Terry Pratchett and Garth Brooks. I'll take Pterry, please)
and the cancellation of the planned post-wedding football match. Although we did still manage a quick drunken kickaround in which the (barefoot, gowned) American women ran rings round us more sensibly attired (and, we would have hoped, more competent) English men:
Very American: the bride's brother-in-law (prison officer, ex-Marine, bigger muscles than any three of us put together) firing his shotgun in the air and lobbing flash-bang grenades around.
Very English: an impromptu London Loves set afterwards, with obligatory "join in a circle and bellow along to Don't Look Back in Anger" action:
Very American: the fact that this was taking place beside a swimming pool:
and followed an impromptu hoedown:
Very wonderful: the air of joyful chaos that kept threatening to break out and play havoc with the carefully and lavishly planned arrangements - tears:
a near-tumble or two on the muddy grass, the aforementioned cat deciding all these people must be here to see him and marching cockily between the happy couple right at the vital moment of the service; the service itself, which had been drawn from a sort of choose-your-own-wedding-adventure book* and ended with an entreaty to "be excellent to one another".
And, most of all, these two. Together. Happy. Long may this last.
*"If you want to spend the rest of your life with your true love, turn to p119. If you want to run screaming into the hills pursued by the shotgun-toting father of the bride, turn to p87"