I usually have six months to a year to plan, create and write a wedding ceremony, but last week I did one in 24 hours.
My very good friends who had come to Spain to celebrate their ten year wedding anniversary and a 40th birthday, stayed with us for a few days before leaving for Seville. The day before their anniversary, I asked them if they wanted to renew their vows in a vow renewal ceremony (the thought just sprung into my head) and they did not hesitate in saying ‘yes’.
Obviously it’s not something I go around asking people willynilly, but I felt I had to offer to do the ceremony for them as the occasion seemed too special not to mark in this way. I am not often around couples who have been together for 25 years, who are celebrating ten years of marriage and who have such a strong and beautiful relationship, I could not stop myself from wanting to be a part of their special day.
And it really was special.
As I got busy putting the ceremony together, they busied themselves writing their vows and their meaning of marriage and finding inspirational texts that they wanted to read to each other. They needed no guidance from me, when you have what they have, for as long as they’ve had it, words of love and togetherness come very easily.
I then pretended to be a wedding planner (something I would not want to repeat any time soon!) and went about decorating the ceremonial table in the garden with candles and fans. We set the ceremony for 3pm but because I was being planner and celebrant in one, I was still writing my script at half past. Eventually, at 4.15pm once everyone was dressed in their best outfits they had, we began the ceremony.
The aisle-way was a long walk around the side of the swimming pool, the music was played from my laptop, my husband was the photographer and my three dogs were ushers/spectators/nuisances, and it was all fab. It did not matter that the sky was slightly grey or that the dogs started to preen themselves during the ceremony (and I’m putting that nicely) or that the canapes were crisps and olives and the Cava cost less than two euros. All that mattered were the promises and the beautiful words that Sarah and Barry offered to each other and their genuine love and commitment to each other.
This ceremony really was a lesson in reminding us all that amongst the important decisions and plans to be made for the special day, the ceremony is really the heart of the matter and the very reason for the celebration itself and all the frills that go with it.