Emma & Scott


As Long As The Moon Can Shine

A father’s reflections on his daughter’s wedding

There will be a lot of people coming from all over the world expecting a Lake District wedding.  

That means either a lakes view hotel or a marquee in the garden.

That was the instruction given to us by our daughter, Emma, last August when the engagement was announced.  

Given that we had only eleven months notice and the lakes view hotels get booked up two years in advance for a Saturday wedding in the summer holidays, in reality there was no choice.

Proud father with daughter

Did we have sufficient space for a reception?  There is an old tennis court at the back of the house that provides a flat and well-drained surface but the access is down steep steps with some health and safety issues and how many people can you cram onto a tennis court with enough space for tables and a ceilidh?  

Enough was the answer.  Just!

The next big decision was where should the wedding itself take place.  Neither Emma nor Scott wanted to get married with their fingers crossed behind their backs in the village church, picturesque though that venue would have been.  Initially, it was to be at the Kendal registry office but they were inflexible on time and ceremony.  Then we discovered the Unitarians.

The Unitarians are unlike any other church I know.  Superficially, you might just regard them as another non-conformist Christian sect, a bit like the Congregationalists or Presbyterians only more so!  However that does them a disservice. They are quite different.  They specifically reject the concept of the holy trinity and the divinity of Christ. In fact they have no dogma and believe it is the right of any individual to find his or her own way to his or her own truth.  Importantly in this context, they regard marriage as a civil, not religious, ceremony and are happy to facilitate a personalised ceremony around the legal formalities, provided that the couple are marrying for the right reasons.

Unitarian Chapel, Kendal

Rear view

An added bonus was that the chapel is a delightful old building hidden down an alleyway in the heart of Kendal, just off the market place.

Reverend Celia preparing for rain!

Emma and Scott, along with the Reverend Celia Cartwright, put a lot of thought into planning the ceremony, the songs, the vows, the rituals etc.  It was to be very different, very personal, and very happy.

For me, the biggest challenge was sourcing the right for the Lakes Ensemble to perform As Long as the Moon Can Shine.   

Right from the outset Emma had insisted that she wanted this song, from Mike Batt’s musical of Lewis Carrol’s The Hunting of the Snark, to be performed.

The singers had no luck with the composer or his production company but, bizarrely, I discovered a lady in Sunderland who arranged songs for choirs and, not only was this in her catalogue of songs for which she was able to grant a licence, it was her all time favourite and she was delighted to produce a version for us.

By the morning of the wedding, the garden was looking good, the marquee was in position along with the temporary toilets.  Exterior lighting was ready for the night time.

The marquee in course of erection

Night lighting

The caterers arrived to set up.  All was in good order except one thing.  The weather. The long-range forecast had been consistently unhopeful and even at 11 a.m. the prediction was for rain.  Somehow, it didn’t happen.  The skies grew darker and it rained two miles to the north and two miles to the south but the weather in Natland remained dry all day long. Someone said that God had invited himself to the wedding!

We nearly had a calamity in getting people to the chapel.  As a precaution I phoned the minibus company, Ab Fab, in the morning to check they had the right times.  What a good job I did.  They denied having the booking.  I reminded them of our three telephone conversations, two e-mails and their confirmation.  Despite all that, they had forgotten to put it in the diary!  Fortunately, the other booking they had could be dovetailed between the journeys to and from the chapel.

I knew that Emma would look stunning in her wedding dress and I was not disappointed.

What took me by surprise was her headwear- not exactly a veil, more like a Spanish mantilla.  

I had not known she was going to wear anything on her head and what particularly registered with me was that it was so similar to what her grandmother had worn 75 years earlier- quite unbeknown to Emma.

Lilian 1934; Emma 2009

The old Morris arrives on trailer

Scott had not wanted a posh wedding car like a Rolls Royce so we had been deliberately vague about what we had ordered.  

If anyone one had asked, I was just going to say that it was an old Morris.

Perfectly true and very modest sounding.

Actually it was a 1925 “bull nose” Morris Cowley- a magnificent old beast.  

Emma loved it and I must admit it felt good travelling in it through Kendal with her by my side.  

The market place was crowded as we inched up to the chapel.  “Don’t do it!” cried some wag outside the pub but Emma just grinned the grin that would remain in position all day long and we made our way into the chapel.

The service was beautiful.  I know I am biased but I thought it one of the nicest I had ever experienced.  The only pity was that we could not hear more of the Lakes Ensemble who were entertaining the congregation with their lovely singing whilst the register was being signed.  They must have been good as they generated a big round of applause and many subsequent compliments.

Wendy of Lakes Ensemble

Order of Service

The sun was shining as they emerged and after some milling around greeting their guests, they left for Cracalt in the old Morris.  Scott loved it!

Off to the reception

The Lune Valley Vintage Jazz Band

Back at the house, the guests were served with “Cracalt Royale”- a cocktail of sparkling wine mixed with homemade damson gin.  The Lune Valley Vintage Jazz Band were playing merrily, helping create a real garden party atmosphere.  

With their last number they defeated Scott’s plan to make it a “god-free” wedding.  

They played “What a friend we have in Jesus.”  

Scott laughed!

There was an amusing incident when the fake bridesmaids, Swaney and Merch, stole the posies of the real bridesmaids, Nicola and Cathy-Ann, and posed for photographs.  

The daft thing is that although they live together, they had not realised that they were going to dress almost identically for the wedding!

The real bridesmaids

The fake bridesmaids

The tussle for the posy

After photographs, the decision was taken to have the traditional wedding reception line as people entered the marquee; had it been raining, this would have been abandoned.  It was conducted reasonably quickly but those at the end did get a little bit chilled.

I gave a welcome speech and then the hog roast was served.  So far we were running to schedule but somehow this slipped quite badly during the food service.  I suspect that, as with Margaret’s big birthday party, the problem is caused by the serving of second helpings in a buffet style.

The hog roast

Striding Edge ceilidh band

The inevitable consequence was that the speeches started late and the evening guests had to lurk a while before entering.  It also put paid to the plan of having a disco during the ceilidh band’s half hour break.  As at Margaret’s party, Striding Edge, played through their break.  Most people thoroughly enjoyed the ceilidh, some describing them as the best ceilidh band they had ever seen- quite a compliment coming from folk who had spent a lot of time in Edinburgh where they take these things seriously.  Actually, I think that is the problem, Scottish bands often assume you know what to do and are thereby exclusive. Striding Edge assume you don’t know what to do and make it fun and inclusive.

Ceilidhs are not to everyone’s taste, however, and there were some anxious for the disco to start.  When it did, we were a bit lacking in volume as we were just using domestic equipment, albeit with several sets of speakers, but there was plenty of action, which carried on to around 2:30 a.m..  The last folk left about 3 a.m..  

After the ball was over

The garden and marquee at night

Emma and Scott reflect on the day

The tart's boudoir

I left Emma and Scott to discover that their bedroom in the cottage had been done up like a tart's boudoir and went to close down the marquee.  As I switched off the generator, there was a bright sliver of a moon shining in the night sky.  It seemed quite appropriate.

The following day, we had planned a post-wedding walk and I was quite surprised that nearly thirty people turned up to take part.

Walkers team photo

The suspension bridge

It was a very sociable event, crossing gentle countryside, over the suspension bridge limited to 25 people, past Sizergh Castle to Helsington Church where, from the scar, we had a fine view of the Lake District panorama and, more importantly, Margaret was waiting with sandwiches, cake and cava.  We returned by a different route, the main excitement being dicing with death to cross the very busy A591 at Prizet!

Sizergh Castle

The return home

That night we had an impromptu party in the marquee with carry out pizzas and left-over wine plus the disco and a game of boules.

Pizzas arrive

Danae gets excited!

The next day the marquee disappeared and the garden returned to no longer being a wedding venue.  

Looking back, how do I feel about having the reception at home?  

We had had some sleepless nights about the implications of rain, not just forcing people into the marquee far too early but also the consequences of alcohol-filled limbs on the steep slippery steps.  We also had a worry that it might prove to be a swine flu transmission party- a fear reinforced when one guest dropped out due to having caught it and another because her staff were suspected to have it meaning she couldn’t leave her restaurant.  Fortunately, we have had no reports of any sickness of any type picked up at the event.

It had been a lot of hard work getting the place ready and it is a good job that we are both relatively fit.  Had either of us been taken ill, I don’t know how we would have coped.  But we got away with it and despite the moments of terror, it had been great fun.

During the event, we were unable to spend as much time with as many of our guests as we would have liked but that is, sadly, inevitable in the circumstances.

Another tart's boudoir

Afterwards, unconventionally, Margaret and I went off on honeymoon leaving Emma and Scott to look after the house and granny, bless them!  

We had a wonderful time doing absolutely nothing!

By the time we returned, Emma and Scott had departed for Iceland and this time it was our bedroom that looked like a tart's boudoir.  

Nice one, Mr & Mrs Massara!

Don, 29th July 2009


Wedding photos can be seen at:
Photos, Photos2, Photos3, Photos4, Photos5, Photos6, and
As Long As The Moon Can Shine.

The “official” photographs can be seen on Caroline Trotter’s website.

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 This website
is dedicated to
the wedding
Emma Louise Shore
Scott Anthony Massara
18th July 2009


Wedding photos
can be seen at:
As Long As
The Moon Can Shine

The “official” photographs
can be seen on
Caroline Trotter’s website.  


Emma & Scott

 is a Lakeland Enterprise production