How lucky am I to get to be part of your wedding day? In these strange days we are currently living in, where numbers are so limited, the rise in micro-weddings can be seen quite clearly by celebrants and wedding venues. And Dan and Ben were no exception. Where a lot of couples are having to make choices in regards to cutting numbers or postponing their original plans, Dan and Ben never intended to have a big wedding. In fact, their original plan was to go and get married abroad with a couple of friends, so we just did exactly that, the only difference being that they took a chance with the Leeds weather and unfortunately we were not overlooking a beautiful sea! (Those days will come again).
All week the weather had been changeable and the Saturday was what I would term as “grim”. However, Sunday lunchtime arrived and the sun came with it. Cold but beautiful clear skies and sunshine. They’re lucky, they have a big back garden with a gazebo that was covered in bunting, fairy lights, and emergency tarpaulin on standby just in case (which we didn’t need). We currently have a rule of six for outdoors and so there was Ben and Dan, their friends Paul and James and then myself. Do you know, it actually felt so relaxed and informal, as though I was just meeting up with friends. Obviously I’d got to know Ben and Dan over the last few months, a process that I always love. My intention is always for every couple to feel as though I know them, understand them, get exactly what they’re looking for. We had a couple of face to face meetings and chatted on the phone and over zoom. And that is always a great experience for me. To see these people that I have become friends with cement their love for each other in marriage. It’s magical – there’s no other word for it.
Ben and Dan have been together for 16 years now and so we had a huge amount of material to work with. How they met and got together, (they were both clubbing in questionable outfits in case you’re wondering), what they’ve learnt from their relationship, what works and what doesn’t. What marriage means to them and why they’re doing it now. And what it means going forward – what plans do they have and what do they hope.
Everyone has a different answer to this and that’s the beauty of a celebrant wedding. Never scripted, written just for you and to express who you both are. It’s all about the two of you and Sunday was all about these lovely guys. Relaxed in each other’s company, sure in each other’s presence. A commitment for them that won’t change how they feel about each other but will cement their lives. They both made promises to each other, promises to care and cherish, to keep laughing, to trust and communicate. There were tears (some of them mine – nothing new there!), and just a lovely moment to be present and celebrate love and all it’s meanings.
Surely now is the perfect time to cherish those you love. To recognise that and be thankful for it. Times are different at the moment and hard choices are being made. But for many, it’s not about the big numbers and parties, it’s about standing together, just the two of you, and making those promises that are exactly what marriage is about. That’s not to say there won’t be a big party further down the line but for now micro-weddings are the way to go if you don’t want to wait. And standing there this weekend was such a privilege for me, to be part of such an intimate and personal ceremony, to be part of Ben and Dan’s life for a short time, it felt magical.