Elton John and the transsexual mother-of-the-bride (Rousse)

Everything about the wedding was on a gigantic scale. No wonder the bride was permanently in tears. Her mother had invited everyone that she had ever met to the reception, including a tiny man from her church who turned up in jeans. He couldn’t believe his luck. During pre-dinner drinks he sat on my knee like a pleased toddler, and asked me if I knew that my mother-in-law was formerly a man.

Even my friend LG got an invitation. She took advantage of participation to gather ideas for her own forthcoming nuptials at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh. Only TPR was missing. When I eventually found him I noticed a set of numbers tattooed over his left cheek. He was forced to confess that he’d been on a work trip to Farnborough. The tattoo was a souvenir of team-building exercises.

Along with its impressive scale, the wedding included some unique touches that would be remembered by the guests for many years to come. As a veteran of many similar events I thought I’d seen it all before. However, the yellow plastic rafts to transport guests along the river from the service to the reception were new to me. The star attraction, however, was Elton John in the role of best man. I wondered if he charged for such services.

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