The photo above was my very first wedding ceremony as a celebrant. At least it was supposed to be. As it turned out, an emergency situation meant that it actually became the second ceremony I performed.
I was prepared, super prepared. I was confident that I had written a beautiful, personal ceremony which not only included some beautiful details from the couples love story, but we had also included our version of the wedding crowns, a nod to the bride’s Greek heritage. So I was feeling pretty relaxed. And so I should, I had weeks, months, in fact, to prepare and email back and forth with the couple to get things just so.
And then I received a phone call from another distraught couple. They believed they had booked a Catholic wedding ceremony at their hotel in two days time. They had family and friends coming from all over Europe. But there was no Catholic wedding happening at the hotel and an unscrupulous staff member had misled the couple, not even preparing their paperwork for a civil wedding registration. They were devastated and mortified at the prospect that their wedding party would feel they had a wasted journey. Would I be able to perform a symbolic ceremony for them at such late notice? Um, in two days time, you say? Ok!
And so that was actually my first ever wedding ceremony. Unexpected and written with the intense focus that only such a deadline can evoke, and with a determination that their ceremony would be even more amazing to compensate for their terrible distress. And it was! We laughed, we cried, we basked in the warm glow of the sinking Mediterranean sun and the love of a couple with a story of restored bicycles and lost buttons.
This was the ceremony that convinced me that I had found more than a new job. It showed me that I could make a difference in one of the most important days in any couples lives. And that I could even do it at very short notice if I needed to!
I look forward to meeting you, but please don’t leave it until 48 hours before your wedding to ask for a ceremony! Unless you really, really have to of course…