I wonder what we’ll all think when we look back ten or twenty years from now? How will we describe 2020 to the people who weren’t old enough to remember it, or even those who haven’t been born yet? How would you sum it up?
For those of us in the wedding industry it’s been a year of upheaval, cancellations, trying to find creative ways to celebrate your wedding day. Disappointment. Consoling couples that have planned for so long only to find out that either their day can’t go ahead or only in a way that nobody planned for.
As a celebrant who also does funerals I’ve seen families not be able to touch each other, not able to be with each other at the end of life. I’ve been at funerals where the chairs are spaced out and hands can’t be held. I’ve had to change the way I do things but always being mindful of what people need at the worst times of their lives.
I’ve seen weddings on my 2020 planner cancelled and postponed. I’ve had days when I’ve been so upset for the lovely couples that I meet and share their excitement with. My final wedding of 2020 was to be at Oulton Hall on the 18th December. I couldn’t wait. A gorgeous, intimate ceremony and a pre-christmas treat. All the lights would be up, the magnificent tree ready. But sadly this one will, like so many others, have to wait until 2021.
However, this year I have seen the best of people. Suppliers and staff in the wedding and funeral industry who have stepped up, bent over backwards for you. Who have gone that extra mile. I’ve heard stories that have made me cry, wonderful, heartwarming stories of love and compassion. I have sat with families in support when they have said goodbye to somebody they love. I have had the most brilliant elopement with Ben and Dan just before second lockdown. I have laughed with people through the most awful year. I’ve been grateful every day that I, and the people that I love, have stayed safe and well. And, as always, I have felt privileged to be in this job, for people to trust me. What a blessing that is.
Who knows what 2021 will bring. This year has been proof that you can plan as much as you’d like but there will always be something to throw you off course. And I suppose that’s very much the case when you’re planning a ceremony – there’ll usually be something that you’re not expecting.
Personally, I have had friends that have struggled this year. A lovely and special friend who is still going through her gruelling treatment for leukaemia, although the signs look good. My lovely Uncle has been given a terminal diagnosis and I’m trying to support my cousins in a time when I can’t physically put my arms around them. My friends have had to postpone their vow renewal in a year when they were celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary. But, we are all here, we are surrounded by love. We have jobs when so many don’t. We are the lucky ones, I hope that you are too.
I have attended hundreds of funerals, a few for people that I have known. Every single time I come away I count my blessings. If you have lost somebody this year then you have my love. If I could put my arms around you then I would.
If you have had to postpone your wedding, if you’re not sure what to do about the beginning of next year, again – you have my love. All we can do is stay as positive as we can. Love will never be defeated. We won’t ever be separated when there is love. 2021 will be a better year – and your day will come.
Happy Christmas and Happy New Year. And, if our paths have crossed, then thank you – I appreciate you more than you will ever know x