Three special weddings in one week!
I am still buzzing with delicious feelings after last week, as I was very lucky to participate in three completely different types of wedding ceremonies, and all were very special and very different!
Couple number 1 got hitched at home in Pohara. This gorgeous ceremony had super funky music choices that said a lot about the couple's personalities and about the thrill they met in meeting each other. The aisle song was "Boy from New York City" by Manhattan Transfer. The Completion song was "Stunner" by Milky Chance. These sexy songs expressed the groom and bride's thrill at finding the other....and being in LOVE! My heart was warmed by the beautiful flag bunting that the bride made from scraps of childhood dresses, remnants and articles of memory. It was a thrill to join the families and be part of the celebration!
Couple #2- These two love birds chose to elope to a secret location somewhere at Wainui. It only takes 5 people to hold a wedding ceremony- The couple, two witnesses and the celebrant! The tide was very high! We had to shift the start time, to account for daylight savings, and we donned gummies for the trek along the rocks. The couple's spirited and beautiful dog bounded joyfully, pausing often to sight us and return for a pat. The salty air was cool and somehow sweet, the sun peeked from behind the clouds and we sought shelter close to the rocks from the wind that threatened to bring a shower of rain. The couple exchanged vows that they wrote and kept secret until the moment. It was beautiful, and tender and just what they had wanted. I was honoured to be involved and to share in a toast of scrumptious champagne- my first Moet. I can close my eyes and visualise the huge peach roses that made up the bride's flowers and almost recall the scent...very heady.
The 3rd Couple- on the 7th day of that week, got married in the garden of their Richmond home. They blended two gorgeous families and had the support of their "big kids" at the altar. I have known the beautiful bride for 20 years, and it was a thrill to fill in when their Minister-Cousin fell ill. I sent them surveys and crafted their ceremony to tell their story and what they love about each other. This was an unplugged ceremony, with no microphones or recorded music. A guitarist friend strummed music for the bride's march, and while we signed the register. We opened the wedding with a karakia given by a dear friend of the couple. I loved meeting the young leader, Tane, who had great mana and presence. We had a lot of fun during the ceremony and I have loved looking at the photos from the event and feeling the feelings again.
As I grow in my role as a celebrant, I find that my nerves get less and less each time. This is a wonderful thing, as it enables me to be fully present and mindful in the moments of ceremony. I see the loving looks that are exchanged at the altar, I see the joy on the faces of the couple's witnesses, and I feel the excitement and the tension in the air. And there is tension...not a bad tension, but a tightness around that liminal moment, when two are about to become one...that shift when the vows have been given, and the pronouncement is made...into the "happily ever after". What a gift! What a blessing in my life!!!! My face started to hurt from smiling so much- a good sort of cramp to get! What a wonderful joy, honour and privilege it is to be a marriage celebrant, and to stand with couples at the threshold. It is rare and precious treat to be present with people for the milestones that mark a life.