So ... busy with May weddings - too busy to stop and blog...but today, with a ceremony written for an eloping couple and the weather unkindly cold, I have a bit of time to indulge my wonderings...
As a celebrant in France, I am constantly stunned by the countryside I travel through to reach the wedding venues. The last one was at Chateau de Lartigolle and I love the way the chateau hides almost, in surrounding woodland, with the still snow-covered Pyrenees as a backdrop - it makes it even more impressive when you turn into the drive and see the chateau appear in front of you.
More magical still is the way the place is transformed by plants and flowers and lights and candles into a romantic backdrop for the ceremony that marks the start of the next phase of the couple's lives.
At my last wedding, I was heard to say, involuntarily almost, "I do love a wedding..." and I do - and as I left, after the ceremony, I wondered why.
It's not just that people seem to be at their best: happy and looking lovely. There's such an air of optimism and hope for the couple's future - but it's more: it's the glamour - not in the way we use the word now but in the old usage, meaning a sort of veil of magic, transformation, spellbinding.
And, to me, the glamour comes from such things as seeing the girl I meet when I arrive - usually in rollers and slippers - transform into the beautiful woman walking towards the waiting company, composed and readied to take the huge next step into her future.
And to see the groom - who has been playing football with his mates, before I arrive, transform into the man, who can't wait to turn round to see his bride appear - and who has to use the carefully chosen accessory of the handkerchief in his pocket, to wipe away a tear...
It's seeing the little flower girls, who have been scrambling about on the floor thirty minutes earlier, preparing their buckets of petals to throw and pointing in awe at the dress, hanging above them and then at the bride - someone they know well, but, who, transformed, they don't know...
There also seems to be a magic in what happens to the couple when they make their promises, in front of family and friends, and feel the support of the assembled group - and realise the seriousness of what they have just done.
Finally, for those at a celebrant or secular wedding, where the couple may have written their own vows, the effect of their promises and optimism, seems to be that we think again about those we might have made - and that can have its own transformational power.
Can't wait for the next one, next week!