A report on the wedding by guest Maria Newley, you can see the article “Here”.
Sir Paul McCartney and Nancy Shevell’s wedding day was designed to be a low-key, family celebration and, for the most part, it succeeded in those aims.
Regardless of the original intention, so many high-profile weddings seem to lose sight of the point of the ceremony and end up as a roll call of famous guests. Sunday’s service felt different from the outset.
The Superintendent Registrar, Alison Cathcart, was comfortable, relaxed and unphased by the ‘fame’ of the people in front of her and made it a beautifully personal and intimate ceremony. Friends and family were the order of the day and whoever you were: celebrity, family member, long-standing friend or a combination of all three, you felt a part of it all.
There may have been hordes of fans waiting outside the Register Office but you would never have known that whilst inside as the service retained a poignant elegance and quietude which seemed to perfectly befit both the day and the couple.
After the service, following a pause in which Paul and Nancy happily posed for photographs in front of the patiently waiting fans and international media, it was back to Paul’s St John’s Wood home to prepare for the wedding reception.
The party itself wasn’t scheduled to begin until 7pm which allowed the guests who had attended the service to enjoy and share Paul and Nancy’s happiness privately. It also gave an opportunity for Paul’s daughter Mary to take some photographs for the family album.
When the evening guests slowly began to arrive, it suddenly became apparent that “intimate and personal” didn’t necessarily mean “quiet” or “sedate”! There was no shortage of famous faces at the reception and yet, at the same time, everyone there was a personal and long-standing friend of the couple, so it still felt like an occasion for true friends and family. Paul’s children and grandchildren all looked glorious and did their father proud, as did Arlen, Nancy’s son from her first marriage.
Needless to say, a fair few well-known faces, including Olivia Harrison, her son Dhani, Ringo Starr and his wife Barbara, were also there for the evening celebrations and all seemed as relaxed and happy as the bride and groom.
As so many of the guests brought their children along, Nancy and Paul had arranged for the children’s entertainers, Sharky and George, to provide various activities for them. I think a number of the adults rather enjoyed the children’s activities too but were eventually persuaded to allow the children their fun unimpeded and joined the adult celebrations!.
The menu had been carefully organised and consisted of a green salad starter, with the most delicious avocados imaginable, followed by a vegetarian lasagne and a range of side dishes which satiated even the most picky of eaters! There were flowers all around the room, most memorably a host of beautiful cream chrysanthemums in pale ceramic and glass vases, and, in the corner, a fridge full of organic champagne.
I have to admit that I’ve rarely seen a champagne fridge stacked quite so high – although predictably, it didn’t stay stacked for too long!.
The music for the evening had been chosen to suit a very wide variety of tastes, reflecting the eclectic guestlist which spanned not only generations, but a cross-section of professions; from the veteran broadcasters Barbara Walters and Sir David Frost, to British artist, Tracy Emin and hair stylist John Frieda.
In fact, when your guests include such musical legends as Jeff Beck, Ronnie Wood, Dave Gilmour, Ringo Starr, Jools Holland, ‘Wix’ Wickens and Sharleen Spiteri to name but a few, it was something of a tall order for DJ Mark Ronson to find a selection which would accommodate everyone! But, as with everything else, it was accomplished beautifully and was just another small touch which exemplified the entire day, ensuring the inclusivity of the celebrations for all.
As has been widely reported, Paul had also decided to serenade the occasion with a song he’d composed especially for the day. Watching the assembled group of guests as he performed this was almost as moving as the beauty of the song itself. I think perhaps this, more than any other moment in the day, showed all of us that Paul was back, he was happy and that he had regained something which he seemed to lose following Linda’s passing – a sense of belonging and a sense of wholeness.
Linda was remembered warmly and fondly during the reception, and this too served to reassure all of us who care so deeply about Paul that he had finally found a place where he could rest his head and his heart. I’m not much of a one for spiritual feelings or auras but, if such things exist, then I do truly believe that Linda was looking down on the proceedings smiling with approval and satisfaction. I think we all felt that the day was also very poignant to those remembering John Lennon, falling, as it happened on the same day that would have been his 71st birthday.
There was a definite feeling that John, had he lived to see the day, would have been there alongside everyone else, toasting Paul and Nancy and sharing in the joy of the day. The song which Paul had written perfectly summed up the sentiment of the couple, of the guests, and of the entire day – it was just a perfect choice for a wonderfully perfect day.
On a final note, I really must salute the ability of pensioners to party all night! My own partying capabilities seem rather pitiful by comparison and, nowadays, entail me needing several hours rest afterwards before I’m capable of any semblance of coherence. I’m not really sure what time the party was intended to finish but it still had a fair amount of energy going at around 3am and it was good to see that Ronnie Wood can still party on down with the best of them!