How many of us had someone give a reading at their wedding? When Janet and I first met she thrashed me at squash so I had almost given up on the date when we starting talking about books we had recently read. We had both loved Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. So it seemed a perfect fit to give as a reading at our wedding. If you have read the book you will realize there are many wonderful and suitable passages.
The book opens with a wonderful story of an elderly deaf husband who has a pea removed from his ear and can at long last hear his wife… he quickly asked the doctor to put it back… I didn’t think that one was appropriate!
We settled on:
“Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion, it is not the desire to mate every second minute of the day, it is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every cranny of your body. No, don’t blush, I am telling you some truths. That is just being “in love”, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.”
― Shawn Slovo, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières
My son read it to our guests and I was very proud…. So imagine my consternation to discover that Louis had ‘borrowed’ this quote from someone else!
The quote was actually written by Augustine of Hippo alias Saint Augustine who lived in North Africa from 354 to 430. Quite a long time ago, but still a wonderful quote!
So you may wonder why I was reflecting on wedding readings… well as part of our work on updating the village hall ‘offerings’ (another marketing buzzword) I was looking at what the wedding venue sites like Hitched or Confetti and others do to enhance their offering and attract more visitors to their websites.
One of the things they all do is talk about how you plan for weddings and they talk about suitable wedding readings…. and yes Hitched, Confetti , Marie Clare and Wedding Ideas has the Louis’s Captain Corelli quote as the number 1 or 2 most popular reading.
So I guess it wasn’t such an inspired choice as I thought… I can still feel smug though as none of them have correctly accredited Augustine of Hippo!
Anyway this brings me to all the work we have done on making our village hall more attractive to happy couples contemplating a wedding reception! Please have a look at our new, improved wedding reception ‘landing page’:
So, why Captain Corelli’s Mandarin? I guess it’s another misquote…. but without it this article would be fruitless…