Interview with one of our favourite wedding celebrants, the one-and-only Padre Peter…
All celebrants have their own unique style of delivering a wedding ceremony, but perhaps none as singular and engaging as Padre Peter.
Over the years Padre Peter has become one of the Costa del Sol’s most recognisable celebrants. His engaging “blessings” have always created an upbeat mood. His sense of joviality and good humour have kept guests entertained even before the bridal couple have walked up the aisle, setting the tone for the entire wedding day.
We recently caught up with Padre Peter to chat a bit about his upcoming retirement and how much brandy one can drink whilst sitting in the sun and watching the world go by. The exact number of brandy snifters needed is still a bit of a mystery, but what we do know is that he will be sorely missed.
But before our “Adieu” or perhaps better said “Adios” to Padre Peter, one question that we’ve always wanted to ask, and it was now or never…
Aah… I will answer this question with two stories… Are you sitting comfortably?
We (my wife Pam and I) moved to Spain in a large estate car towing a caravan containing two dogs, two cats, and all that remained of our worldly goods, having stocked several auction houses before leaving the UK.
As we went through La Mancha it was blisteringly hot, and the fierce wind explained why all the trees were growing horizontally rather than vertically. Suddenly, like a mirage, we spotted a venta by the roadside. With relief we pulled into the car park. As I got out of the car I was nearly flattened. The dogs followed me, took one look, did a little dance on the hot tarmac, and climbed back into the car.
Being made of sterner stuff, I staggered to the door, burst through it, and was confronted by the picture of a dishevelled savage, with staring eyes, protruding tongue and hair awry. Confusedly I suddenly realised that it was a mirror, and that I was looking at my own image. I cast my eyes to heaven, and saw, written in letters of gold across the top of the mirror: Venta Don Quixote. I reeled away gasping into the bar, where I was met by a stunned silence; as I was later to learn, a rare occurrence in Spain.
Suddenly it was broken: !Hola! ?Una copa, Don Quixote? I am happy to say that I did not have to buy a single drink thereafter, and my dear wife Pam took over the driving.
On a second occasion, a Belgian cousin was visiting. Being something of a gourmet (and equally a gourmand) and married to a delightful, trained, Cordon Bleu, he was a trifle rotund in stature. He was equally rather short.
One sunny afternoon, as we were taking a gentle postprandial stroll on the paseo, a couple approaching us suddenly doubled up in what, with some concern, I took to be some form of debilitating seizure.
They were gasping for breath as they clutched each other. As we moved towards them to offer whatever assistance possible, the man straightened up and wheezed! Don Quixote and Sancho Panza!
This perhaps explains your query!
I have to be honest and say that I am not renowned for my tact and diplomacy. I have therefore to be careful with regard to reporting what I shall miss in the conduct of weddings. Given the fact that I am writing this in response to queries from Sunshine Weddings, I must naturally bemoan the fact that I shall no longer be in constant touch with those whom Mr Gilbert would undoubtedly describe as Scott’s “blushing buds of ever blooming beauty”. How they put up with some of my snide comments whilst still maintaining a cheerful composure I shall never know. It is equally a puzzle as to how they maintain an equable demeanour when confronted with some clients whom I would cheerfully garotte; not only the often misnamed “happy couple”, but their ghastly relatives, particularly mothers, and other frequently inebriated hangers on. But enough! I have had the privilege of meeting some of the most delightful people I have ever encountered, and some of the prettiest young ladies I have ever seen. There is a lot of truth in the fact that one rarely, if ever, sees an ugly bride. With the exception of the bridezillas to whom I have already made disparaging reference, there is an inner beauty in brides which shines through, even when some unforeseen occurrence (like the Best Man forgetting the rings) threatens to upset the proverbial apple cart.
The question arises as to how I shall now occupy my days… Aah you’ll have to wait until next week to find out…