When you think of a wedding ceremony, you probably think of lots of people and, maybe, a big lovely venue, or even a woodland. How about a beach in the UK? And how about just the two of you - and me, of course! (Oh, and someone to take a few pictures…)
People may decide to have a ceremony for all sorts of reasons, not just for a wedding, funeral, renewal of vows or a baby naming. Take Duncan and Sam, for example.
Duncan contacted me at the beginning of the year to ask for my help. He and Sam had been married only 18 months earlier but, in January, both their wedding rings were stolen during a burglary. They were obviously devastated, particularly as the rings had been specially made and were engraved with personal messages to each other.
The insurance process was underway and Duncan planned to return to their jeweller to have duplicates made of the original rings. However, once the rings were ready, he wanted to do something more special than, as he put it: “just putting the new rings on”.
His idea was to have a sort of re-dedication of the new rings so that he and Sam could renew their vows to each other, and have a small ceremony to bless the new rings. Have you ever heard anything quite so thoughtful and romantic? And, to top it all, this would all be a complete surprise for Sam - Duncan wanted to arrange the whole thing without her having the slightest idea! At that stage, he hadn’t really decided where this little ceremony would take place but said that it would be just the two of them, and me.
Of course, I was delighted to be asked to help out and set to work writing a short ceremony, which would reflect on what had happened to them, but be a means of putting it behind them and looking ahead to their long and happy future together.
Duncan and I kept in touch via email and, a few months later, the rings were ready! By then, he had decided that he would like the ceremony to take place on our local beach - assuming that the weather was kind. Luckily, the chosen day in April was wonderfully bright and sunny, so it was all systems go! Duncan invited Sam’s parents to join them and told Sam that they would be meeting up by the pier for lunch.
When they arrived, Sam told me that Duncan had shared his plans with her just as they were leaving the house - and she was completely stunned that he had gone to so much trouble to arrange such a wonderful surprise for her!
The ceremony itself was lovely - I don’t think Duncan took his eyes off Sam for a second - and both said their vows with such feeling that it was a real privilege to have been present at an occasion which was filled with such significance for them - as they said afterwards: “ it was so special, and meant so much.”
So, a ceremony may be relatively simple and involve just a few people, but it is the sentiment behind it which is the most important thing and, after all, that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?
After seven years working as a Registrar and Celebrant, Tanya has extensive experience of helping couples put together all sorts of heartfelt ceremonies.
15th November 2019
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