Cheshire Weddings - Inge Forster - Ditlev Schwanenflügel - Chester Cathedral
PUBLISHED: 00:00 24 July 2013
The Bishop of Chester, Peter Forster, proudly walked his daughter, Inge, down the aisle at the Cathedral, and then conducted the wedding service. He shares his special joy with us
Solemnising any marriage, especially in the magnificent surroundings of Chester Cathedral is special, but when it is the marriage of one’s own daughter, being a father takes on a new dimension!
I escorted Inge up the aisle and gave her away to her Danish husband-to-be, Ditlev Schwanenflügel, before turning around to conduct the wedding. Inge looked beautiful in her Stephanie Allin dress with Ditlev distinguished in his ‘white tie’, as is the custom for Danish weddings.
In 1946 Inge’s great grandfather the Bishop of Aarhus in Denmark conducted the wedding of his daughter, Margrete, to a British Intelligence Officer, Frederick Stevenson and also gave the bride away. History repeated itself over 60 years later and our Chester wedding had a definite Anglo-Danish character. Pastor Else Hviid from the Danish Church in London assisted in the service and many guests had travelled from Denmark.
The Cathedral Choir was on top form, with Morten Lauridsen’s ‘O Magnum Mysterium’, a favourite of the bride, a highlight. The Chancellor of the Diocese, and family friend, Judge David Turner QC, preached an outstanding sermon.
After the service, around 100 guests walked over to Bishop’s House where the wedding breakfast was served in a marquee in the garden. Later, we danced the night away to vintage jazz tunes performed by a local band, Midnight List.
It was a wonderful family occasion. My wife, Elisabeth and I were overjoyed.
Elisabeth added: ‘During the service the sun flooded through the windows of the quire. It was glorious. Also, as a mother, most of all I wish for my children to be considerate and kind. Inge and Ditlev are and what made the day so special was that everyone present, family and guests, were united in our affection and happiness for a very wonderful couple.’
Inge’s sister, Helen, was chief bridesmaid with Inge’s goddaughter, Ella Perera as flower girl. Inge’s brothers Thomas and Douglas and Ditlev’s brother Ulrik were ushers. Steffen Petersen, the groom’s oldest friend was the best man.
The floral arrangements in the Cathedral and Bishop’s House were lovingly created by the Cathedral flower team, led by Liz Hardman.
Inge is a partner at Stewarts Law and Ditlev is a management consultant. The couple, who live in London, honeymooned in Arizona and Colorado.
Photography by Jill Thorning-Jensen, www.jtjphoto.co.uk