Couple: Gloria and Peter
Venue: Hedsor House
Date: 13th August 2016
Gloria and Peter met whilst at work in Hong Kong back in 2012. Gloria had been studying in the US and now worked here too, but had moved to Hong Kong for 10 weeks to fulfil a summer position within her company. Peter remembered the moment Gloria walked into his office wearing a striking green dress that captured his eye, and evidently his heart. He soon offered to take Gloria out around the town. Over their 10 weeks working together, they fell in love, but the day soon came for Gloria to go home.
In a spontaneous romantic gesture, Peter rushed to the airport to chase Gloria and asked her to be his girlfriend. Gloria said yes, and they began a long distance relationship. A year later, Gloria left her job in the US and moved to Hong Kong to study law. She didn’t want to study law, but it was a way to be near her love. 4 months later though, law proved to be too difficult – Gloria’s passion just was not in it. But her passion for Peter was, and so although she moved to England, the couple gave promise to enter into a long distance love relationship once again.
They saw each other as often as possible – Gloria even flew all the way to China for a Valentines weekend one February! Eventually, though the distance became too much and Peter made the decision to leave his job in Hong Kong and start again in London, where they both now live happily today.
“Peter usually considers himself to be incredibly calm and calculated as a person; he has a plan and a method for everything he does in life. Yet, Gloria has an unexplainable way of bringing out a spontaneous force in him which he never imagined he’d ever posses! With Gloria, anything feels possible – even the unknown.”
Peter and Gloria were visiting Peter’s parents in Newcastle, England over Christmas and New Year in 2013. On Christmas Day in the evening, Peter and Gloria had nipped out for a walk over the Millenium Bridge. It was here that Peter asked Gloria to be his wife. Gloria described the moment as being “…just perfect. We were surrounded by twinkling lights and the magic and charm of Christmas, in what is usually one of the busiest places in the city… and yet, not a person was around us!”
Gloria and Peter decided to have a marriage celebrant for their wedding as they wished to get married outdoors in the open air at Hedsor House in Buckinghamshire. Hedsor House is an exquisite location that boasts beautiful views out over the valley from its top lawn. Gloria and Peter were thrilled to have this view as the backdrop to their ceremony.
Guests had travelled from London, Newcastle, Beijing, Singapore, Hong Kong and even the US and Canada to be with them. Many of the guests only spoke Chinese, which made things a little bit more difficult for the telling of Gloria and Peter’s story, but the ceremony became very visual too with the inclusion of a ‘fisherman’s knot’ ceremony and a ‘ring warming’ to help all guests feel equally included.
“When considering what to write for Gloria and Peter’s ceremony, I looked to see if I could honour their Chinese family heritage by finding an ancient Chinese proverb or quote about love to share with their guests. I was incredibly fortunate to come across the proverb of ‘The Red Thread’ which says “An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of the time, the place, and the circumstance. The red thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break.”
This proverb could not have been more appropriate or more accurate to use for accentuating Gloria and Peter’s inspiring story of a long distance love that stands not only the test of time but the endurance of travel, work and determination too. I loved weaving The Red Thread into the fabric of their story, and Gloria and Peter appreciated the effort that I had made to bring in this connection to both their story and their culture.
“We shared their incredible love story using the symbolic metaphor of The Red Thread, and then used a ‘Fisherman’s Knot’ to symbolise the strength of a union which had only grown stronger when stretched overseas. In the tying of a fisherman’s knot, two chords are used to form a bond which only gains strength when pulled upon. However, Gloria and Peter had not made time to practise actually tying this knot, and so it took a few goes to get it right! Luckily, we didn’t look upon this as an omen though, only a great opportunity to share a lot of laughs with the guests and each other!”
After the vows were read, Gloria and Peter also passed around their wedding rings to the sound of a harp playing as guests ‘warmed’ them ready to be exchanged. This was a wonderful way to recognise that the guests had all travelled far to be here, but would always be connected to Gloria and Peter in this moment.
Venue – Hedsor House http://www.hedsor.com/
Photographer – Liam Collard https://www.liamcollard.com/
Samantha Kelsie is a professional marriage and family celebrant who prides herself in creating bespoke ceremonies and symbolic unions to suit couples of all different styles and personalities in the UK and abroad.FIND SAMANTHA'S PROFILE HERE
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