As I walked around the corner of the sandy cove it was clear where I was going. There were two tripods made from beach driftwood, bound together by hessian ribbon and decked with a raucous display of native flowers. These sentinels sat at the edge of a circle that had been marked out by carefully selected beach stones. There was also a large love heart drawn in the sand.
It was a secluded, protected spot out of the southerly, on a rising tide. A photographer was setting up the video camera’s when an older couple arrived from the caravan park. They had met the bride earlier that morning on the beach and when she asked, they had agreed to be the witnesses for this special occasion.
As Jack Johnson singing Better Together, played over the PA, Jacqui and Wade came along the beach with their two children, Sunny and Louana. They were beaming.
In preparation, Jacqui and Wade had written their love letters the week before their wedding. There were tears and laughter as they read them out to each other and the love letter exercise made what they were planning seem more real, more exciting, more in tune with what they wanted: a quiet family gathering.
It was my honour to read their love letters and create a funny, loving and joyous ceremony based upon their stories and ideas. Even though it was an intimate ceremony, I also included their story of meeting into the introduction and they loved hearing it again. It was a great story!
Here is an excerpt which was crafted from their responses to the question, what is marriage? and what is love?
This marriage is a symbol of your unwavering love for one another. This love is characterised, not by a bond of chains, but by a bond of freedom. Your love is one that allows the other to grow and change to explore the world around them and be the best version of yourselves in a dynamic and changing way as you move through ages and stages. Your bond is one of gratitude and forgiveness, understanding that you will always be different and through that difference you are able to create something beautiful.
For each other, may you always be home. May you always embody stability, trustworthiness and safety. May you be the life raft in a storm. The tree root embedded in a raging river. The island in the sea. The fun in life. The laughter on a busy morning. The unpredictable element in a monotonous week. The smile in a frown. May you keep each other safe and balance your lives with light and laughter.
Wade and Jacqui, getting married is a celebration of your love, friendship, trust and respect that you have for each other.
What is Love?
Love is everything
Love is forgiveness over and over again
Love is passion
Love is always renewing
Love is looking into your partner’s eyes, as if for the first time, even after decades
Love is fun
Love is finding out that women do fart
Love is laughter
Love is creative
Love is everything
For the signing they chose James Arthur singing, Say You Won’t Let Go.
Paul Simon, Obvious Child was their closing piece of music.
PS. Blog image: The photographer brought an old Polaroid camera and that was exciting watching the post wedding photos come to life!