It must have been so hard for brides and grooms to have to face uncertainty about their wedding arrangements. Over months and even years.
Should they marry, but postpone the celebrations, perhaps till the first anniversary?
Do they just marry, and skip the celebrations altogether?
Do they marry, but celebrate (with no more than thirty guests)?
Do they put off the wedding altogether and wait for certainty? (But what’s “certain”?)
How do you book venues and suppliers and invite guests under such circumstances?
As a celebrant, I have really missed celebratory events. Since I am trained to compile and conduct funerals too, I have been kept reasonably busy over the last 18 months. Funerals are something I love doing, and, although my finances have still taken a hit, I am grateful that I’ve been able to work through lockdown.
However, I love the celebratory events, and I have not done one for almost two years. You will probably therefore get an idea how pleased I was to be back in harness last weekend.
The couple were delightful. They had chosen a golf club, Blacknest, in Surrey, which evidently takes its weddings very seriously. There was a huge marquee for the catering, tepees (including a big bridal one), a gazebo where the ceremony would take place with rows of benches in front, portaloos, and a shaded area. Not to mention, a table-tennis table and croquet equipment.
It was a glorious day (though very warm indeed), and the guests’ mood was bright, encouraging and supportive. The procession had been choreographed perfectly to fit the music, and the bride was uncharacteristically punctual!
Highlights of the ceremony? The bride’s brother read out a lengthy but witty and amusing poem about the couple. The couple had both prepared their vows (which the other had never seen or heard before), which was a very emotional section. The guests were asked to commit to lifetime friendship and support for the couple, which they readily agreed to. The “first kiss” as a married couple – always popular!
Then there were drinks on the grass, followed by eating, and a festival atmosphere.
There’s no doubt about it: the couple loved it, and so did the guests – and it was great for me to get back where I belong!