We thought we had seen it all. Anything can happen at a wedding. But this time it was certainly different. Shock, horror! No sooner had the reception ended on a hot summer's late afternoon at a smart Bournemouth hotel on the East Overcliffe, then it was time to celebrate with drinks all round when suddenly one of the Ushers had a splashing idea ......

What fun would it be, nudge-nudge, wink-wink, to chuck the Bridegroom into the swimming pool to cool him off, in full view of all the guests who were enjoying their drinks at the poolside while Renate was preparing for the romantic photographs on the beach when three mischievous Ushers decided that the time had come to grab the Bridegroom, drag him over the edge into the pool and all go for a swim together.

Laughter, screaming and hand-clapping alerted us to the fact that all the lads were splashing about in the swimming pool in full morning dress. The hotel manageress appeared screaming: "What's going on here? We can't have this! Get out of the swimming pool immediately!"

The three Ushers grabbed the bedraggled Groom and hauled him out of the water, all soaking wet, looking like naughty schoolboys. Glancing at Renate I could see she was trying to figure out what to do next, as the scheduled romantis photographs were due to be taken.

All was not lost however ( due to quick Teutonic German thinking ). Renate spied the 4th Usher who had been behaving himself in his smart dry suit making a phone call. She suggested a quick change of clothes between the one remaining dry Usher and the Bridegroom. The Bride who had been watching the drama unfold suddenly rushed off upstairs followed by the horrified Bridesmaids. Realising there was no time to waste Renate quickly followed them upstairs.


I was absolutely determined to get the planned romantics into the can as I knew that the Bride wanted to go down to the beach for some very romanic shoreline shots on the golden sand, with the sparkling blue sea and the wonderful white puffy clouds.

But this was a tricky situation! I had to be extremely diplomatic trying to coax her out of the Bridal Suite where she had taken refuge as she had been crying her eyes out. She was also very angry indeed, "How could he have done this to me? How could he? " - she sobbed.

As all the comforting and sympathy by the Bridemaids was obviously in vain for the moment, I suddenly had a brainwave! Just suppose I was to use my film-acting experience, telling her that she should turn the whole sorry saga around by pretending that what had gone on downstairs outside had been just a dress rehearsal and that her big scene was just about to take place.

"What do you mean?" she asked, - obviously becoming intrigued. "Well" I replied, "go down and make a big entrance, put on a brave face, just when everyone is expecting you to look angry and weepy! Give your naughty husband a big kiss and a cuddle, entertain your guests and thank the Ushers for all the fun they've provided. Life is a cabaret" I continued, "so just play along with it and enjoy your Happy Day!"

Guess what happened next? The Bride refreshed her make-up, marshalled her Bridesmaids and marched down the big hotel staircase into the reception room where people had gathered in confusion, and she made the big entrance. And I shall never forget the smiling faces of her family, her guests and the whole audience. They all cheered, clapped hands, hugged each other and the Bridegroom, who had feared the worst, ending up leaning on the bar, raised his glass and said: "That's my girl! That's my wife, that's the strong woman I married! Let's go for it, let's go down to the beach!"

The moral of this story? Don't let the Ushers throw you into the swimming pool!