The best ceremonies are not simply an event where most present feel like spectators. It is important everyone feels a part of what is happening, which for some may include contributing something directly.
Yesterday’s ceremony in the garden at Stratton House Hotel, Cirencester, was one such occasion. The setting was beautiful and despite the recent changeable weather, the day was warm, dry and sunny. Music was provided on the piano and guitar by a friend. The bride and groom had each chosen a reading, which they had not shared with each other beforehand, and their respective fathers read them on their behalf. The sister of the bride, as well as being Maid of Honour, sang a beautiful solo, full of emotion and poignancy. The couple chose to include a sand ceremony, which as well as marking some of the challenges they have faced as a couple (the bride has MS, represented by the colour orange and the groom is in the military, resulting in lengthy postings away from home and represented by the colour blue), symbolised the joining of their two families. Finally, the parents of the couple were invited to kiss their children just before the bride and groom sealed their union with their own first kiss, recognising the importance of parental love and care to both of them.
Other features of the ceremony included lovely vows written by the couple, again not shared with each other, including vows written in poetic form by the bride.
It certainly felt a personal and memorable occasion, and was truly a delight to be a part of.
I wish them love and happiness as they begin the new chapter on their journey together.