Got to the hotel in time for the rehearsal (in the courtyard, because the room was in use). Got utterly flustered over the complexity of ushering duties ("Lead Auntie Marge in, then Grandma Betty, but seat her behind Auntie Marge." Sorry? I don't know what these people look like. And with no frame of reference, random data just dribbles out of my ears. I decided to go for Plan B: Bride or Groom? Family or Friend? Sit there.)
We also plotted the guard of honour, arranging for height and weaponry, hoping that the six of them coming by car would make it. Actually, we didn't know how one of them was going to travel, so we just hoped he still had some means of turning up.
Bizarre evening on Thursday night, in the bar with the bride's US relatives/friends being entertained (really!) by lounge accordian player. Early night.
The day itself, there was a lot of brief spurts of faffing, interspersed with not very much. I kept thinking of things that needed doing/sorting/arranging, asking the wedding coordinator if she knew how it was being done, and getting, "I don't know; ask the bride's mother." What use was she, then?
Soon as I could, I checked the seating arrangements for the guard of honour (not actually my job, but it was better than thinking about where Grandma Betty needed to sit). All wrong: not only where the chairs not where we'd planned, but neither was the door. Hmm. A fast re-think and re-arrangement. Then I stuck labels on all the seats.
Kilted up. On with the sword. Bit by bit, all the guards arrived (phew!) and were Lectured in the manner of Not Impaling The Guests During the Ceremony (it's traditional to wait until the reception). The wedding kicked off (somewhat hapzardly; "We're waiting for you." "No, we're waiting for you.") but my fellow usher did all the hard work while I ran around depositing presents. Ha! The happy couple got hitched. We guarded, honourably, all was good.
Next part of the plan was to take the wedding party off to a nearby castle for photos. We'd been led to believe there was a coach. Nope: a third of the party got into a car, said, "see you there," and drove off. Uh, what? Most people here didn't come in their cars, because that tends to tip the weight limits on trans-Atlantic flights. Some faffing around, and we found someone who had (a) a car (b) been too slow to hit the Scotch in celebration.
Photos happened. And here, it's worth mentioning that the weather was stunning. Glorious sunshine on grass, mountains, castles, etc. And it lasted all weekend.
Back to the reception. mikeymookeymoo had a wizard wheeze of opening the ceilidh with an official salute. Technically, there were eight of us that knew how to do this. In reality, three were somewhat out of practice, and mikeymookeymoo was somewhat hampered by three broken bones in his right hand. So we retired to the carpark for some furtive rehearsal - until one of us noticed that everyone else had disappeared. Crap! Forgot there was a wedding reception happening elsewhere! We ran back in and caught the tail-end of the receiving line, just before it ran out.
Meal. Good food, good company. Much fun. The bride and groom cut the cake with the Domingo Montoya rapier (the cake failed to parry), and then we fluffed our way through the salute. Into first dance, with siggav on violin, and then to the ceilidh. Much, much fun. Lots of dancing with siggav, kingdom_daphsim and N. Not paticularly good dancing, but we substituted enthusiasm for ability, and had a fantastic time, finishing with a nightcap in N+S's room, with (so I'm told) a very nice whisky they'd brought. Collapsed at 3am, which sounds about right.
Oh, and in addition to siggav playing a few more tunes, the bride herself did some impressive singing with the band, and then later on gave us a stunning acapella gaelic vocal that raised goosebumps. Excellent stuff.
A subdued morning, but not a rough one. Breakfast, then packing, and collecting of a shiny new rapier, and then some gentle milling around and saying goodbye before heading home.