Week 197: Ella & Inge's Wedding

After 17 months of waiting, Ella and Inge's wedding finally arrives!

Week 197: Ella & Inge's Wedding
The new extended family

Phew – what a week. You might have noticed that I didn't post yesterday for the first time in... well, I think, almost 196 weeks! With the wedding, family and everything else that was going on, I think I had a good excuse. We were exhausted!

After leaving the house-sit, we spent the weekend at Ella and Inge's house while they were in Liverpool at a conference. It was a relaxed time for us, with not a lot to do. On Monday, we got out of their hair by going to see Furiosa (the new Mad Max movie), which was okay but too long. Then, on Tuesday, the wedding celebrations really began.

My parents (Barry & Julie) and my sister (Tiffany) arrived from Australia Tuesday morning and came to Ella & Inge's house to say hi before they could check in to their hotel later that day. We all crowded into the tiny apartment, caught up, shared presents and walked along the Union Canal. We took them into the city, dropped their bags off and walked around the bottom end of the Royal Mile for a bit until it was time to leave them to get some rest while we went with Ella to collect the keys to the student co-op where their reception would be. I also had a haircut (very exciting stuff!)

On Wednesday, we met Mum, Dad and Tiffany back in the city centre with Ella and did an open-top bus tour, which was actually quite informative and a great way to see the main sites without walking. Despite the number of times we've been to Edinburgh now, there's still always more to discover. We saw more of the Holyrood Palace end of the mile, as well as the Scottish Parliament and the base of Arthurs Seat. In the afternoon, we all moved to a large Airbnb house near Dean Village, just to the northwest of the city centre – walkable to the middle of town and to Ella's and Inge's place. Jasper arrived on Wednesday night from Japan, the first time we've seen him since Christmas and it was lovely to catch up.

Thursday was more wedding preparation – I had to go and collect my kilt for the wedding, and Karina met Ella to get a manicure. Jasper came in for the walk and to tour the city. Unfortunately, the kilt hire didn't come with any shirt, so I needed to go and buy one. It was easier said than done! Nowadays there's not a lot of business/dress shirts sold and the choice was very limited. I eventually had to settle for a display model as they didn't have anything for my neck size!

In the afternoon, we all headed to the Royal Mile to do the Scotch Whisky Experience. Very mixed reviews – some people loved it, others, not so much. For me, I felt it was very overpriced for what it was – a Disneyesque "experience" of water to table for Scotch Whisky. It was reasonably informative, but all the information was essentially portrayed on screens. There was a small tasting at the end, and the Whisky Collection room was impressive and worth a look. Personally, I wouldn't bother.

On Thursday night we had the first official wedding event – a casual dinner at a local restaurant with many of the guests who had been arriving into the city. We had a lovely time chatting with Inge's parents Gro and Ivar, the first time we've really had to spend with them since we met them at Christmas a couple of years ago.

Friday, things kicked into full gear! For their reception/party, Ella and Inge had arranged the basement of the student co-op where they met. It was cheap BUT it was also a mess and needed some serious cleaning and organising. Imagine the worst of student housing – especially self-organized housing, and you have some idea of what we were faced with.

Karina and I started around 10 AM, meeting "Jimmy the keg man," who was delivering the beer. Then, we did some basic cleaning and planning as we prepared for the afternoon push, with two of Ella's friends, Connie and Erin, meeting us to help.

We set up a big Kanban board on the window with all the tasks that needed to be done and pushed on through. We budgeted four hours, but in the end, it was nearly six by the time we finished up. Fortunately, it was worthwhile and a big success on the day.

After a busy week of prep, it was finally the wedding day!

Saturday morning, Karina got up and headed to Ella and Inge's to help with some prep, and I went straight to the city chambers with my parents. Getting ready was an involved process – wearing a kilt is not as straightforward as it seems! I had to research things on the internet to work out how to buckle it, which way around it goes (pleats at front or back), how to wear the flashes, the sporran, the knife and even how to tie the ghillie brogues (shoes).

The wedding ceremony was in a room inside the Edinburgh City Chambers, a very fancy and formal setting, but quite lovely. It all went very smoothly, and within an hour of starting, it was done. They were married, and we were all back outside on the street, taking photos.

From there, Ella and Inge continued to take photos around the Royal Mile with their photographer, and we headed to the student coop to do some more setup. Jasper came along to help, and we arranged everything, set up the drinks, pumped the final balloons (thank you for helping Ivar!), purchased lots and lots of ice, and had it all ready to go. The final task was the drinks for the dinner at the Indian restaurant nearby.

After dinner, a casual Indian meal at their favourite local place, it was time to return to the student co-op and enjoy a party. Ella and Inge had arranged for a Ceilidh (Kay-lee) band to come and perform for entertainment. A ceilidh is Scottish folk dancing, something like a square dance. The caller teaches everyone the moves (fairly simple, repetitive steps), and then they play the music, and away you go. It's very entertaining, social and exhausting! Everyone that joined in had a good time – some of the more experienced guests had even bought along a specific ceilidh outfit to change into (because it's hot, sweaty work!).

And that more or less concludes the night. A fun day, enjoyed by all, with family and friends celebrating the newly married couple.

After heading late to bed, we were up again on Sunday morning for a final wedding brunch. Then Karina and I returned the kilt, walked to Stockbridge market and then back home again to spend the last little bit of the afternoon with my parents and sister before we headed off to continue touring a bit more of Scotland. We took Jasper out for a meal (Hamburgers – something he says is not easy to get in Japan or not very good when you do) and then off to bed!

The whole week has been a wonderful chance to catch up with people and, of course, celebrate Ella and Inge as they start their married life together. We wish them all the best for their future.

This week, we're off to Bunbury near Liverpool to house-sit for almost two weeks before we head to Spain to spend some more time with Mum and Dad.

Until next time,

Tim & Karina.