True Love

This week seems to have been All About Love in my world! Love of all sorts. Love of the start of summer, of warm weather, sundresses, cookouts, hammocks, concerts in the park. Love of Starbucks Green Tea Frappucino, and re-reading old favorites (like I Capture the Castle and Middlemarch).

Love of weddings! My baby brother was married off last week to a woman who is kind, thoughtful, smart, and pretty, and their wedding was a joyful occasion. Laid-back and relaxed (after months of stressful planning, of course!), with lots of music, good food, and margaritas. Now I fear she is stuck with him, and the rest of us McCabes, forever! (I will post pictures next week…)

Love of a new perfume. Among the samples I ordered after reading Perfumes: The Guide was Guerlain’s Apres L’Ondee. It was described as having the delicate, tender scent of a garden after a rainstorm, and it does! It’s delicious, and actually smells good on me (a rarity). Love at first smell. Sadly, my new love us elusive. It’s no longer imported into the US, so when I go to Europe this fall I am tracking it down.

And love of writing! In the course of researching my latest Bath-set WIP, I found out you can actually get married at the Pump Room. How much fun would that be?? (As long as you didn’t make the guests toast with the water…)

You can also get married at the Brighton Pavilion. While I would wear a white muslin dress at the Pump Room, maybe with a little veiled bonnet, at the Pavilion I would go with something grander. Lace and velvet with a train, and a big tiara!

Or there is Hever Castle, family home of Anne Boleyn. The grand Tudor hall is available only in the winter months, so I can picture a white satin 1530s gown, with fur-lined sleeves and a pearl and crystal trim.

And last but not least, you can make a run for Gretna Green! Yes, you can actually elope (well, elope after considerable paperwork) over the border to an all-inclusive wedding chapel. I think they even have an anvil. Not sure what I would wear for this one, but it sure looks like fun!

What are you in love with this week? Which of these wedding choices would you go with?

About Amanda McCabe/Laurel McKee

Writer (as Amanda McCabe, Laurel McKee, Amanda Carmack), history geek, yoga enthusiast, pet owner!
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14 years ago

You know, after reading about so many hero/ines that have gotten or just talked about going to Gretna, I think one day I’d like to visit it. . . just alone, with no one to get any ideas. LOL πŸ™‚


Keira Soleore
14 years ago

I’m in love with your dream wedding. How very very cool, Ammanda.

Riskies, I’ll be back Thursday. Have a great weekend.

Tessa McDermid
14 years ago

The wedding ideas sound lovely, Amanda. I kept thinking “Oh, yes!” and then you’d add another one. I guess the whole wedding-in-England idea is the one that charms me (or Gretna Green could work, too!).

This is my week for love, since it’s our anniversary. We celebrated apart this time, since our oldest is leaving for a summer internship hundreds of miles away. He and his dad went camping but on the morning of our anniversary, I answered the door to a lovely bouquet of flowers with a note using our special code.

And both of our sons are dating young ladies who may, possibly (in a very far away future) lead to wedding discussions. We all have passports. . . hmmm!

Thanks for the lovely ideas and pictures!

Diane Gaston
14 years ago

Oh, the Pavilion, without a doubt, with a reception dinner in the dining room. It is grander than grand!

I’m sure the little wedding chapel at Gretna Green is lovely, but the place is very touristy and reminded me a bit of “South of the Border” (East Coasters will know what I mean.) Maybe it is because it rained buckets when we visited and then we had to stand for ages during a wedding demonstration.

14 years ago

I’d love to get married in the winter at Anne Boylen’s place. My cousin got married in the winter months and her mom made her a full length, fur trimmed velvet cloak. Gorgeous.

I’ve always wanted to get married in that villa they featured in ‘Much Ado About Nothing’.

I love weddings!

Amanda McCabe
14 years ago

The problem with the Pavilion is they don’t actually allow you to use the grand rooms (like the dining room). You have to get married in the Red Drawing Room (which seats about 40) and have your reception in the modern cafe. No fun!!! (at least according to what I can find on the website)

Gretna Green looks fun-but-cheesy (kinda like Vegas, I would imagine, only with a faux-blacksmith instead of Elvis!)

There are SO many stately homes and castles that allow weddings! It would be too much fun. I am very tempted by Hever Castle. Must start saving my pennies! And looking for Mr. Right, who would go along with a historical theme wedding πŸ™‚

Diane Gaston
14 years ago

Nooooooooo! I thought when we visited the Pavilion, they said you could have your dinner in the dining room. Forget that, then (and the fact that I’m already married).

I’ll attend your wedding, Amanda! I think on a first date with a potential husband, you should ask if he has anything against a Destination Wedding. If so, no second date.

Susan Wilbanks
14 years ago

I lived in England in 1997-98, in Bristol, which is just a 15-minute train ride from Bath. On my first day trip there, I happened to be in the Assembly Rooms, and they told me I could only peek through the doorway of one of the rooms because they were setting up for a wedding later in the day. My jaw hit the floor, and I said, “You can get MARRIED, HERE?!”

One of the nearby staff happened to be a catering sales rep, and the next thing I knew she was pushing brochures into my hands and outlining the pricing scheme, despite my protestations that I wasn’t actually planning a wedding; I was just amazed that you could marry in a place like that. She explained that they’d just started hosting weddings there and were therefore trying to drum up business.

At that point my now-husband and I had been dating for a week or two. Ten years later, I can admit that I already knew I wanted to marry him even before our first official date, but I wasn’t exactly ready to reserve a date THEN.

We ended up getting married in our church in Seattle in 1999. The Assembly Rooms would’ve been amazing and romantic, but OTOH there’s something to be said for having been married in the same church we go every week.

Elena Greene
14 years ago

Those venues all look like fantastic, Amanda. Of them, I’d pick the Pump Room but I think my favorite fantasy venue would be a grand country house. There’s one I visited in Scotland called Mellerstain House that I remember thinking would be lovely–loads of Adam plasterwork and a broad terrace. I just had to go check and they definitely do weddings. They’ll even put on a fireworks display over the lake.

Amanda McCabe
14 years ago

“Nooooooooo! I thought when we visited the Pavilion, they said you could have your dinner in the dining room”

I thought it was pretty shabby of them to not list the grand rooms as options. πŸ™ But I found plenty of other locations!!

Weddings can be held at the Banqueting House at Whitehall, in the grand hall at Hampton Court, at Syon (lovely pictures on their site). Or, if you’re in a weird mood, the Imperial War Museum, the London Dungeon (complete with a barge ride on a faux Thames through a faux Traitors Gate), or in the crypt of St. Paul’s (near Nelson and Wellington!). There is also the Tower of London itself. Why settle for the London Dungeon when there is the real thing? :))

One place I would seriously consider would be Chiswick. I could picture a great Georgian-style gown there!

Diane, you are so right that an important first date questions would be “What do you think of weddings in England? With costumes and lots of writers as guests?” πŸ™‚

Janet Mullany
14 years ago

I’m in love with our town’s farmers market which was held for the first time today–it was awesome!

As for weddings–nah, don’t care. I’ve told my daughter to elope and tell me afterward.

Diane Gaston
14 years ago

Diane, you are so right that an important first date questions would be “What do you think of weddings in England? With costumes and lots of writers as guests?” πŸ™‚

Hey, we’ll be planning that wedding any day now! What man could resist?

14 years ago

Wow, all of those locations look fabulous. Scotland in the rain, however, gets a big NO THANK YOU! I have never been as cold as I was in Edinburgh in March after we got SOAKED! Yuck!

I have to agree that a stately home sounds like the perfect spot for a fairy tale wedding in period dress with horse drawn carriages and peeling church bells.

Chatsworth, anyone? Going to check out Mellerstain House now, Elena.

What am I in love with now? This divine cookie I just received in a package from Christine Wells. Anyone ever had a Tim Tam? OMG! I just had two for breakfast and I had to force myself to back away from the package!

Also in love with my new puppy. The lady from whom I got my adorable bassett/dachshund girl, Adelaide, called and said she was retrieving one of the puppies (they are now 11 months old) because the owners had neglected her and their 18 year old son beat her! GRRRRR! She asked if I would take her to see if she can be rehabbed as she is terrified of people. Her name is Sassy and Adelaide is so happy to have her sister here that it is probably a permanent arrangement. Frodo, like any male, is happy to have to women to hang out with!

Amanda McCabe
14 years ago

“she was retrieving one of the puppies (they are now 11 months old) because the owners had neglected her and their 18 year old son beat her!”

Oh, no!! How awful. I’m so glad she’s living with you now, Pamela. I’m babysitting my brother’s new puppy now, a little Havanese. He’s adorable, but he drives my dogs crazy following them all around. πŸ™‚

14 years ago

Thank you, Amanda. I am just glad the lady who placed the puppies is the type to follow up! Sassy has already come out of her shell considerably and she only arrived Wednesday. Dogs are so resilient and so forgiving of the human race. I have told all my friends and family that this is it because there is no more room in the bed! LOL

A Havanese! What lovely dogs and the puppies are so endearing … to us. To another dog I am sure they are like that pesky little brother who always follows you around!

Amanda McCabe
14 years ago

“To another dog I am sure they are like that pesky little brother who always follows you around!”

LOL! That is exactly what it’s like. He wants to play with all their toys and do everything they do. They’re very sweet with him, but I can tell sometimes they wish he would just go home. πŸ™‚

14 years ago

A Basset/Dachsund? Too adorable. I hope she comes around to nice people.

On the wedding theme:
Since I’ve been married for eons, I could see renewing my vows in the Tower of London, he-he-he.

And now I have the XTC song of that name stuck in my head. Did it to myself…

14 years ago

Getting married in the Tower gives a whole new meaning to the term “leg-shackled,” doesn’t it, Jane!

Imagine a very short-legged red dog with a long nose, lots of wrinkles and very long ears. That’s what Adelaide and Sassafras look like.

Addy is redder, with a longer nose and ears.

Sassy is lighter with a more short basset face, but shorter ears.

They are both adorable!

Cara King
14 years ago

I’d go for the Pump Room, Chiswick, or Syon… Very nice!