Monthly Archive for March, 2009

Guest Blog: Vicki at St Paul’s

So the Dania World Tour has finally come to an end… and now the new Mr and Mrs Brigden can settle down to a quiet life of slippers, tea and London Hoodies. It’s therefore fitting that their own wedding at St Paul’s Cathedral in London turned them from being tourists into the Tourist Attraction!

St Paul's in the sun

14th March dawned suitably bright and sunny for the much-anticipated occasion, and St Paul’s looked beautiful in the winter sun. The tourists were in awe as they cheered on (and photographed) the bride. Grania looked truly lovely, showing that she can do breathtaking beauty as well as safari chic. It was also fitting that there was a Ugandan element to much of the day, from the Bride’s dress to the Groom’s waistcoat. Unlike her bridesmaids (who had to dash to use the clergy’s secret toilet in the inner sanctuary of St Paul’s – how many girls can claim to have been there?) Grania was surprisingly calm and looked at home in such grand surroundings. The Groom too had scrubbed up well and having cooked breakfast for his two best men (Olly & Phil, it’s meant to be the other way round!) was ready to go.


The ceremony passed off beautifully. Clare played an amazing piece on the St. Paul’s piano, and Susan & Cath gave two lovely readings (absolutely purr-fect, Cath). The new Mr and Mrs Brigden’s fate was sealed with rings made especially for them by Chirine. The register was then signed by Mayo and Mair, the Mums.

The signing of the register

Many of the guests had been lucky enough to visit Grania and Dan in Uganda and had benefitted from an African Dania Tour. I’m pleased to report that after the ceremony Dania Tours were in action again, this time with guided tours of St Paul’s. I’m less pleased to report that some naughty guests bypassed the tour and headed straight for the pub. Those not pubbing or touring were getting their photograph taken by either the official photographer or yet more tourists.

Bride, groom, family & friends on the steps of St Paul's

Dan was delighted to think that the lovely bridesmaids would be a permanent feature of his new married life, as since he and Grania had exchanged their vows we’d been following them every step of the way. (Actually two steps behind, following Grania’s strict orders to hold the train out of the London muck!) Photos, pub and educational tour over, Mr and Mrs B had laid on a surprise of champagne and Routemaster buses to get the wedding guests from St Paul’s to the reception in Greenwich.

The routemaster bus en route to Greenwich

The ushers continued to do a fantastic job, shepherding everyone onto the buses without losing anyone, although they rightly gave up when the Sing-Off began between Flower of Scotland and Ireland’s Call. There continued to be some healthy rivalry between the Scottish and Irish during the day on account of the Six Nations match, and so confident were the Scots of a victory that a whole pound was bet. An Irish victory saw Sue receive said pound and the Irish ladies take a bonus of trying to peek up the Scots’ kilts!

Once at the reception the guests understood that their job was to toast the newlyweds and keep the bar-staff busy. Before dinner was the moment the Best Men were dreading – speeches! But Grania was first on her feet – well, the girl loves to talk so she wouldn’t miss the chance to do so on such an occassion!Grania’s speech, along with Dan’s, Robert’s and the best men’s duet, did the bride and groom proud and suitably embarrassed them. Dan, you may have scrubbed up well for the day but you also looked pretty good as the scrubber in the short dress and blonde wig.


Nina Simone sang the couple onto the dance floor for the first dance. The guests were not far behind and the bride’s mum and dad led the way in cutting some shapes. When Coskun and Rob tried to emulate this later on Rob managed to dislocate his knee… Ouch! What dance they were trying to perform we’ll never know!

Those not on the dancefloor were continuing to keep the bar-staff busy, eating the amazing cheese-cake, comparing support underwear in the toilet and admiring the bay trees at the entrance of the venue. (See, they were worth it!)

The night may have been drawing to a close but with so many people gathered from so many different time-zones the party was just getting started. People had come from as far afield as New York, Spain, Holland and even Hong Kong. I know that Grania and Dan really appreciated this. For us, seeing them both looking so happy together made it all worthwhile. The occasion very much reflected Dan and Grania and showed everyone just how brilliant the pair are together.

Best of luck guys and you know if Dania Tours fancy branching out to Dania Events then we’ll all be there to help you with another right old knees-up…

On the balcony of the Trafalgar pub