It was one of those surreal moments that is best passed on by picture, unfortunately using a camera in Brighton’s stunning Royal Pavilion is prohibited.
In the Music Room, around 20 most likely tourists were sat, backs to the wall, eyes rolling at its majesty as they listened, via phone-type audio guide, to its history.
From the doors to their left emerged two people, the bride, resplendent in white, and groom, who made their way to the centre of the room and had their special day captured forever.
No one looked up, not an eyelid was batted or a sound uttered. Then the happy couple left with as little ceremony as they had arrived.
It’s true that visiting one of the most impressive council owned facilities in the country is a riveting experience.
Once the home of King George IV it has retained most of its glories, lovingly restored in parts where damage had occurred through fire and freak winds.
It’s a key cultural highlight on a visit to one of Britain’s most vibrant and cosmopolitan cities.
Each day thousands of people head off from Bedford and Luton towards Brighton on the Thameslink service . . . but most don’t get there, instead they get off in London. The nearest I’d been to Brighton in the last ten years was Gatwick airport, so it was quite novel finally making it to the end of the line.
There’s a lively feel to Brighton and if there is anywhere outside the larger cities with more shops, then I’d be amazed. There are big hotel chains in abundance, including the Grand, which was bombed in 1984.
None of that for us, we took to Kemptown, home to the town’s gay quarter. There’s a bohemian feel about the place, full of shops, bars and restaurants all doing a roaring trade.
We stayed at the White House, a refined boutique hotel, set in a regency property close to the seafront.
It is immaculately decorated, and you can smell the warm welcome before you get to the front door. The breakfast laid on by Sean, smoked salmon and eggs, almost matched the full English a day earlier.
It was the perfect bolthole and but 150 yards from the tiny Hand in Hand pub, where arty pictures of naked women from a bygone era are among those on the ceiling while the wallpaper is actually newsprint, some of it having been there an awful long time.
There was quite a lot to get through on a miserable wet weekend - aren’t they all - but we still saw youngsters on the rocky beach barbecuing ahead of the rain, found fish and chips just off the prom at the legendary Harry Ramsden’s and while the Ladyboys of Bangkok show was alluring to many, we headed off instead to Komedia for a night at the Comedy club.
Nearly 300 people were shoehorned inside the premises, some hen parties, a couple of stags, and no one was short of good cheer as three comics of varying humour produced a bellyful of laughs.
The seafront is dominated by the huge big wheel and you don’t have to look far from it to see the Brighton marina, a short bus or taxi ride outside the town. Its mix of cafés, shops and bars pull in the tourist, but not today in the rain and wind. The moored yachts are an attraction in themselves. Heaven in sunshine.
Brighton has something for everyone, whether a stroll to the fairground or bar on the pier to its vast array of high profile stores in its main shopping area. We take to the famous Lanes, an area of quaint shops, intermingled with restaurants and drop into Gars for a Chinese.
In the basement 18 hens are living it up with food and as much drink as they want. It seems the bride to be’s evening to remember will be one of a rousing song on the karaoke and almost certainly the need for another meal before the end of the night.
The popular fringe festival which has just begun, a three-week extravaganza of arts and entertainment, will bring more visitors flocking to Brighton - but even without it, they won’t be disappointed by what they find.
For all your travel needs and for information on what’s happening in Brighton go to www.visitbrighton.com First Capital Connect operates direct routes from Luton and Bedford to Brighton.
Off peak return (within one month) prices start from £32.80, including taxes. For tickets visit www.firstcapitalconnect.co.uk Chris stayed at the boutique The White House start from £95 per night, based on two people sharing a double room on a bed and breakfast basis.
For more information or to book please visit www.whitehousebrighton.com