Our Weddding and Honeymoon
William made no mention of his meeting with Evelyn, the second daughter of his first vicar, Revd Timothy Watton of St. Jude's, Birmingham, but we gather from what follows that the couple were engaged a year after William's arrival as curate. She was then 21, and he was 26. They were engaged for a year when the Wattons moved away to Richard's Castle, a country parish near Ludlow. Although less than an hour's drive today, the distance must have been a trial for the couple. William moved to another curacy in Birmingham, at St Martin's in the Bull-Ring. They waited, hoping that William could become a vicar and so have a secure financial position before they married. Eventually they decided to wait no longer.
1896 August 11th: Married at Richard's Castle 3 in afternoon.
Mr Salway, then churchwarden of my father's country Parish was also squire; he was very nice, had his workmen put up a beautiful archway over the gate of the drive to our beautiful Rectory. (My father was then 54 years of age.) Also all the day school children were at the church to throw flowers as we came out. The church was decorated; the last wedding before ours was Miss Foster married to Lord Tuchiquin.
So I was driven to church with a beating heart at the age of 26 after 5 years' engagement - and there was my dear one waiting and looking for me. I had 6 bridesmaids (fashions alter), sisters May, Jess, Floss, Win, Kate Parsons and Gertrude Gell cousin. Canon Wilkinson & Tom Tirebuck married us. My father brought me up the church. I wore white satin, very stiff & tight high puff sleeves, tight high neck and waist, veil & orange blossom. I am sure as I look back that I did look my very best that day & my husband looked charming, so good looking, very dark shining eyes.
(Can you not understand how happy I was after 5 years of ups and downs, sorrows and joys wondering sometimes if we ever should come to live together. What patience we had to exercise waiting for a living, working for our little home, putting things in my bottom drawer & still no living came & even when we decided on marriage he was still curate of St Martin's, B'ham & chaplain to the eye hospital.)
The wedding over, we drove to the Rectory where many friends assembled. Mr. Foster, Lady Tuchiquin (looking tired - she was expecting her first baby; she was 28), Miss Horton who afterwards was godmother to my first, Connie & her two eldest, Ethel & Eileen.
At 4 o'clock we drove away, I in a fawn & green dress & funny little cream straw hat. We went that first night to Cardiff & crossed by sea in the morning to Ilfracombe (I was very sick) & repented going that way but Willie liked the idea & I did love him to be happy. All our life I studied his happiness.
We spent the rest of our month's holiday in Ilfracombe, he took me drives & we went to small entertainments & we met a friend of his who was very nice to me (a bachelor). We stayed in rooms. I can't remember buying food but I expect we did so.