How not to sample the simple life

May 17, 2016

I have to confess that April was a very quiet month for me. For whatever reason, I had to scratch around for celebrant work, and found myself twiddling my thumbs some of the time. Was I condemned to the simple life?

Mercifully, a switch was flipped this month. But iI didn’t just get a wedding and a funeral for one week, and a Vow Renewal and another funeral, say, for the next. No it all came at once!

Following a (long-planned) wedding last weekend, I had to conduct a funeral on Monday, and was given three days’ notice for another one (which isn’t long, believe me!).

At the same time, a couple from South Africa, coming to London in three weeks, were trying to arrange a Vow Renewal (to surprise the husband). Would I locate a venue urgently, please?

Now I’m turning into an Event Planner!

Just before all that, a Paris travel agent phoned me out of the “bleu” and asked me if I could lead a Vow Renewal for a couple from Quebec – next week! Despite the lack of time available to prepare, I agreed. But it didn’t turn out to be straightforward.

Somewhere between myself, the travel agent, his colleagues in Quebec and the end client, the wrong contact details were passed. I had no way of getting through directly to the client (especially at the weekend), and it was only when he and his wife arrived in London (on Monday evening) that we made contact.

So I had to work very fast to compile a ceremony of choice.

One reason why the client had not been keen to contact me directly was because he was ashamed of his spoken English!

It also turned out that the husband was planning to surprise his wife too, so I was only able to communicate with him by text. Eventually, we were ready (so I thought) for Wednesday’s ceremony.

On the day, he texted me: could I find a photographer for the ceremony? (Event Planner again!) Fortunately, I have quite a wide data-base of suppliers, and I was able to find a suitable professional who chanced to be free that afternoon.

One further complication was that, although the husband had said that his wife was bilingual and that he understood English well enough, it was clear during the ceremony that he was struggling with his English.

I felt I had no option but to try and translate the important bits into French as we went. Now I had to be a simultaneous translator!

So, all in all, a very interesting, exciting 10 days for me. Everything turned out well, thank goodness, and I’d love to do more of the same, in truth, despite the pressure.

I’ve seen how far I can be pushed and still emerge unscathed, that I can adapt and work well under pressure, and I’m very proud. However, there is also something to be said for the simple life!