Our Jay's wedding was very much in my thoughts last week.

He lives in California where he is a brilliant  menswear designer .
Arrived in the US via ECKO Unltd and NYC where he met  Krista.

Stayed because he fell in love with the country and with Krista, but not necessarily in that order.

Fast forward a few years and that meeting culminated in the most stylish wedding I've ever been to.
Jay designed his own tux...down to the old English sixpence he had made into cuff links.
He's got style our boy.

We had travelled to the US and spent a wonderful week with friends in NYC.
Our birthdays were celebrated in true NY style, starting with breakfast at our friends favourite diner.
It was a place they had brunch every Sunday morning and my birthday falling on a Sunday was no exception. All the regulars knew them, so it followed that the entire diner would join in the rendition of Happy Birthday. 
With my English reserve I blushed a gentle tinge of rouge, but it didn't last too long.
The locals were  warm and friendly and just wanted to help make the day special.

From NYC we caught a bus to Washington where we met up with two dear friends who had travelled from France to be at the wedding.  We spent a few days together exploring.
Nass and I hadn't booked a room anywhere so camped down in our friends in the not particularly aptly named "Quality Inn". It was however clean and friendly although it transpired not in a particularly salubrious area.
The taxi drivers said they wouldn't walk there after dark. Maybe they were right. 

Maybe they just wanted the business, who knows? LOL

Was it our imagination or does much of Washington close down early at night?
Beautiful place to visit though.
We probably were not there long enough to find any wild night spots ha ha

Jay and Krista, his wife to be, came to collect us and we drove to Virginia.
We then had the best few days ever.
The yanks clearly know how to do weddings and the days leading up to it were especially happy. We acquainted ourselves with all Jays friends from the US and met again his friends from Slindon College schooldays and Northbrook College where he studied for his menswear degree.

We don't have many relatives  around these days.
Jays  wanted people that were a strong part of his life as he was growing up.
Many were my friends.

Stella is a dear friend from Arundel who remarried a US professor who was here on sabbatical.
Life being  as strange as it is she met him almost by chance.  A few  weeks later  life would maybe have taken a different path. They met while working at the American College that was just outside Arundel. The rest, as they say, is history. They  fell in love , married in Arundel and my lovely chum abandoned us  for life in Kentucky.  Actually, thats a bit dramatic, she didn't totally leave us. She kept her pretty cottage here in Arundel to return each summer with her husband and daughter Amy.
Then Jay and I would be off with them doing all the very English things she missed.
Summer Fetes and walks and picnics in Arundel Park.

So,they travelled from Kentucky and her daughter from Boston and we all reconvened in Virginia.

The two friends we met with in Washington were old nursing friends of mine. who live in Annecy, France.
Jay and I had spent many wonderful holidays with them as he was growing up.

To be surrounded by so many old friends made this trip of a lifetime so special for us.

One of the loveliest evenings was the first and was set up by Krista's childhood friend, Dawn.

It was a special place they used to visit as children with their grandparents, right out in the middle of no-where. Dawn and her friends had decorated the one building that  stood facing the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The evening was simply and beautifully done and close friends and family came together for the first time. We chatted and ate and laughed while we watched the sun disappear behind mountain peaks.

Over the next couple of days the guys had male bonding sessions while the gals enjoyed wine tasting days and beauty sessions. With just the odd party thrown in, it was a memorable week.

Then the high spot was the wedding day itself.
By then everyone was acquainted. It was the most wonderful day that I will treasure for ever.
If you cry at weddings get out the box if Kleenex.