When Special becomes Extra-Special

Jun 28, 2016

Looking for a special ceremony?

As a civil celebrant, if I’m doing my job properly, the ceremonies I put together and conduct will be special. (Usually for the right reasons too!) However, sometimes expectations are exceeded!

Early this year I was invited to conduct a ceremony for an American couple marking thirty years of marriage. They wanted a handfasting – that’s quite special – for 21st June (Summer Solstice) – even more so – and the venue they had chosen was Stonehenge (now we’re really talking “special”!).

The problem was we were too late to book the inner circle. We could do the ceremony outside the circle, where the public are allowed, but we were warned to expect vast crowds. My Americans accepted all this, and, after some negotiation, we fixed a time.

On an impulse, I checked with Stonehenge a couple of weeks before the ceremony. It turns out that they had changed the arrangements totally! The whole of Stonehenge would be closed from 8 a.m. (yes, in the morning!) for the entire day. So our ceremony was out of the window.

Fortunately, K and M were sufficiently flexible, and we arranged to meet at Stonehenge late in the morning of the following day (22nd). What would the day bring?

Well, fortunately, although it rained hard the day before and there were dramatic downpours the evening of our visit, we escaped any extreme weather. That was already a cause for celebration!

However, we hadn’t bargained for a procession of white-clad Druids in the inner circle, and they made a fascinating backdrop to our event. We also drew quite a crowd ourselves (as anticipated), who loved the ceremony and whose good wishes added so much.


Finally, K, M and I really gelled, and the atmosphere was just wonderful. They told me that the ceremony was perfect and everything they had been hoping for; I’m delighted to say that, despite the unpromising lead-up, the ceremony turned out to be extra-special for me too.

I’m game for more like that, if anyone else you know is!