A Durham Cathedral Wedding: Julian & Cathy

by Sasha Wilkins on August 15, 2011 · 24 comments


The wedding of one of my oldest friends took place at Durham Cathedral on Saturday afternoon. I was sixteen & Julian fifteen when we met at boarding school, both indie kids with a sub to the NME and a penchant for music festivals. Many years later, we are still good friends, with a penchant for music festivals, and there were five of us from school there to help celebrate his marriage to the wonderful Cathy.

We hadn’t realised just how unusual it was to able to attend a marriage service there until the priest told us that this was only the 200th wedding to have taken place there since 1884. (Julian was able to be married in the cathedral because he had been a chorister there as a boy). And you can imagine his joy when he walked into the nave on Saturday to discover that his old maths teacher was one of the guides on duty that day.



He & Cathy live in Los Angeles – he’s a musician, and she’s a television journalist, so we were so lucky that they decided to marry in England, allowing us to witness their ceremony. Because it was a very intimate celebration – just 58 of us invited to the reception, the marriage took place in the chancel of the cathedral, behind the rood screen, with us sitting in the choir stalls. A proper once in a lifetime experience.



The organ music was sublime, echoing around the soaring spaces of the cathedral. Before the service we listened to Pachabel’s Canon, the bride walked in to Lohengrin’s Bridal Chorus (Here Comes the Bride), and during the service Julian’s mother sang Panis Angelicus so beautifully – it’s clear where Julian’s talent come from.


This guest wins best hair (as viewed from my choir stall a step above him):


And goodness they looked wonderful. Cathy’s dress, by bridal designer Ian Stuart, was one of the most ravishing I have ever seen (Cathy really does have immaculate taste). In her hair was a Jenny Packham sequin & pailette band. Here’s a close up of the stone-coloured dress:



And me? Well, I wore an Erdem dress & Lara Bohinc shoes, with a Raoul navy clutch to the ceremony. Here I am in the cathedral cloisters during the after-ceremony photo taking. Thank you to my darling Rollo for taking the photo for me. (We took a bunch, but I am impaled on the grass in most of them, as my five inch heels kept sinking into the damp grass.)


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