A grand time we had at Ivor’s wedding. There was nearly a fight about where the wedding was going to be. Bronwen’s father wanted it done in the Zion Chapel over the mountain, but my father was sure our Chapel would be ready in time.
Every man in our village had been helping for months in the evenings to build our chapel. I used to play in the bricks and blocks and plaster with the other boys while the men were working, and fine times we did have.
Indeed, the Chapel looks the same now as the day it was opened by some preacher from town. We had no preacher of our own for a long time because the village was not rich enough to pay one, so the grown-ups took turns to preach and pray, and of course the choir was always there.
Ivor got married to Bronwen in our new chapel as my father wanted, and you should have seen the fun after.
For a miracle, it was a fine day. My father wore his top hat, my mother had a new grey dress and bonnet, all the boys had new black suits and bowlers, and I was in a new black overcoat with a velvet collar. There is a swell I was.
But you should have seen Ivor and Bronwen. He had a new black suit too, but my father lent him his white waistcoat, and it looked a real treat on him, with a bunch of pinks in his buttonhole.
Everybody said how beautiful she was. She had her great-grandmother’s dress on, so her mother said, and indeed even though it had been washed special, the lace was still looking a bit brownish, or so I thought and no wonder being that old.
There was my mother and Bronwen’s crying down in the front, and my father and Bronwen’s standing next to them, and then my older brothers, Ianto, Davy, and Owen.
I was down farther with my sisters and my other brother, standing with my aunts and uncles. The Chapel was packed so full there was no room to lift your arms, and opening a hymn book was out of the question. It is a good job they all knew the words of the hymns backwards.
The preacher gave a fine sermon. He used some big English words I had never heard before because our meetings were taken by the grown-ups in our language. But I remembered the tunes of some of them and asked my father afterwards. I suppose I must have got the tunes wrong because although my father tried and said them over again, we never found out what they were and I am still in ignorance to this day.
I will never forget the party after the wedding when Ivor and Bronwen had gone up to the house to go away. They went in Dai Ellis’s best trap with the white mare that used to take the Post.
In the big tent they had the food and in the small one the drink. There were tables for the grown-ups under the trees by the Chapel garden, but the children had theirs in their hands on the grass by the baptism tank.
The big tent was a picture inside with all the food laid out on tables running round the sides, and the women in their best dresses and bonnets, and flowers in jugs and buckets.
Bronwen’s father had baked till all hours and you should have seen the stuff he brought over. There were pies so heavy that two men had to lift them, and the crust on top so pretty with patterns it was a shame to cut. The wedding cake was out under the trees, white and going up in three rounds, every bit of it made by Bronwen’s father, with horse-shoes and little balls of silver spelling out Ivor and Bronwen’s names and the date.
And, of course, everybody from the village and from all the farms, and the friends of Bronwen’s family had brought something made special, because everybody knew everybody else would be looking to see what had been brought, so by the time it was all on the tables, it looked as though it could never all be eaten, and in any case, it would be a shame to start and spoil the show.
But when my mother clapped her hands at the crowd and told them to eat, you would be surprised how quick it went. [...]