When Caro and I got married, we were lucky that our service was overseen by a vicar with both a sense of humour and a love of originality. Of all of the elements of the service, Caro was adamant about two things. One was that she was going to wear purple. The other was that she wasn’t going to walk down the aisle to ‘Here Comes The Bride’, ‘The Wedding March’, ‘Pachelbel’s Canon’ or any of the other more traditional music.
At some churches – including the one that we are currently lumbered with – this would have resulted in askance glances, mutterings under the breath and probably a refusal to marry us at all. Val the Vicar just clapped her hands, laughed and told us how much she loved it when couples did something different and really personalised the service.
The church was a curious one. Very large and very plain, it was the Kirstie Alley of churches. Inside, there was an immense feeling of space, and we knew that in order to achieve the right atmosphere for the wedding we would have to fill it with something suitably anthemic as we walked down the aisle (which we decided to do together).
For a while I was at a loss as to how we would do this. Then it dawned on me that this song, by a band we both loved and who were indirectly responsible for us being together in the first place, would sound wonderful when played on the church organ. Caro, fortunately, agreed and so did the choirmaster and organist at the church.
Everything was going smoothly when disaster struck. Some routine maintenance on the organ hit a snag and it had to be taken out of service. We were left with having to play a CD of the music after all.
Ordinarily, this wouldn’t be a problem. But in this church it was going to have to be played very loudly just in order for everyone to hear it. At which point, for the first time ever, my brother Kevin’s damaged hearing came into it’s own. He was probably the only person who could stand that close to a CD player and operate it at the necessary volume without harming themselves, even temporarily. And he did a wonderful job.
I’ll never forget the moment that I stood at the door of that church with Caro, the first booming chords of this song rang out, and we began the walk along the aisle. It was a perfect moment in every way.