The marketing gurus are telling us to make use of this time by writing blog posts telling everyone how fabulous we are and how we can help. I certainly want to help, but at the moment, I want to cheer myself up, so I’m going to share the memory of my first-ever wedding ceremony as a qualified celebrant.
Picture the scene. It was New Year’s Eve. The sky outside was clear. There were art-deco decorations everywhere, to fit the wedding’s 1920s theme. The guests filed into a Regency style conservatory with a circular shape that made it a wonderfully intimate venue for a wedding. Exotic plants rested against the window panes and every so often, you’d hear the screech of a parakeet. What a perfect place for my first wedding ceremony.
The bride floated up the aisle towards her husband to be and I’m waiting for them, mic and book in hand, in front of a table garlanded with candles and flowers.
After opening words were spoken, it was time for me to begin telling the couple’s love story. The love story is the independent celebrant’s calling card. It’s a unique gift that we give to each couple, as a way of celebrating their relationship.
I told a story that charted the relationship of this young couple, who have grown together over many years. They were a couple full of humour and banter, which made their story easy to write – they gave me the best lines. People laughed in the right places, and when I reached the proposal, everyone cheered.
Lighting of Candles
After that, I toned the mood down a bit, to pay tribute to the loved ones the couples had lost and to allow them to be present in some way on the day. The pictures of those loved ones were on the table, to mark their presence, with a candle in front of them. I lit the candle to honour their memory. After the ceremony, people told me they were moved by the ritual.
Later on in the ceremony, more candles were lit for the unity candle ceremony. The mothers of the bride and groom lit the outside candles in the beautiful floral arrangement created by Fethard Flowers. Later on, the couples took the light from the outside candles and used them to light the centre candle, to show that they were now one.
The true highlight of the ceremony for me was the handfasting. I bound the couple’s hands with cord in the GAA colours of their counties: the green and white of Limerick, the blue and gold of Tipperary. There was lots of good-natured banter from the couple and the audience about that ancient hurling rivalry.
After I tied their hands, I placed my own hands over theirs and recited a poem called Hands. For me, it was a profound, moving moment. The work I spoke were reminding the couple that they would be together, always supporting each other, for the rest of their lives.
This was what all the fuss and rushing around had been for. I don’t know what the couple were thinking, but judging by the expression on their faces, they were even more moved than I was.
After the ceremony, I was floating. What a privilege it was to play a small part in this wondrous event and to be present at such an amazing moment in the life of this couple. The room vibrated with love and joy, and I thought, I cannot wait to do more of this.
Congrats again to the stunning bride, @valeriedromey and her husband Michael.
I would be delighted to play my part in your joyous wedding day. I know times are difficult, but better days will come, and if you feel I can be of help in planning yours, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Big up to the suppliers who made this wedding possible, and wishing them well during this strange time.
Beauty Atelier @beautyatelier.irl
Lopez Photography, @lopezphotography.ie
Sonic Big Band @sonicbigband
And most of all… Kilshane House, @kilshanehouse