Tuesday, 27 October 2015

A Celebrant in France toasts the bridegrooms...

A toast to all my lovely bridegrooms...

Well, not mine of course...I've only had one...but to the bridegrooms of my 2015 weddings.

What has provoked this expression of affection, you may ask...

A while ago I read a report in a newspaper about an elaborate prank the groom played on the bride -


"A ruined wedding cake - it's the stuff wedding nightmares are made of, and for this bride, it seemingly became a reality.
Footage has emerged of the moment a horrified newlywed, Laura Cox, 26, from Linthorpe, Middlesbrough, witnessed two bickering waiters drop her opulent four-tier wedding cake bang smack on the floor before her.
After storming off to confront staff at the Crathorne Hall venue in North Yorkshire, the bride is relieved to discover that the debacle was in fact an elaborate prank organised by her husband Joe, 27, a self-employed roofer."(You can read more here - if you want to...)

One of the guests commented that the bride looked 'really shocked and upset' - well she would, wouldn't she?!  

And you'll have to excuse me for being a bit shouty here but if I had been that bride looking at my groom's face laughing at me being shocked and upset, I'd have been wondering if I'd made the teensiest mistake in my choice that day...

The 'prank' lingered with me, I think, because all the grooms I met this year were just lovely. For a start, they looked great!

Bridegroom and groomsmen at Chateau de Lartigolle
Look at these lovely cool guys...

They were nice to their brides - some giving me a little lump in my throat when they sent a bridesmaid or groomsman along to the bride's room, with a carefully chosen little gift or message for her as she got ready for the ceremony.

They all waited patiently for the bride who was always late.
They waited, good humouredly, for my 'permission' to turn and see their gorgeous bride as she walked down the aisle towards them - and usually shed a 'manly' tear... though a tear's a tear I say...

There was one occasion when one of my grooms wasn't quite as patient...in fact he was, actually getting a bit cross
Groom waits nervously for bride - Chateau de Clerbise
Even the celebrant looks a little nervous...

Photos by Marsac Photography
with his slightly late bride - it was a very hot day and he was worrying about the melting guests, as we all became increasingly damp and shiny under a blue, blue French sun...but the before, while he waited, and the after pictures are so lovely, I hope he won't mind me sharing them...his face just says it all...


Celebrant in France Wedding at Chateau de Clerbise
...not just relief, but genuine happiness. 

I've loved the grooms - and their groomsmen when they've been unafraid to show that emotion. 

One of my favourite weddings was a great Irish meets Aussie wedding - when there was what I can only describe as a sort of watery domino effect, which started as the bride walked down the aisle, and built when the father of the groom stood to give a reading, welled up unexpectedly - and cried. 

It developed as his son, one of the groomsmen's shoulders started shaking - and the groom, noticing, had to stifle his sobs. The bride sobbed, the groom's mother went, followed by the bride's mother - followed by the sound of some teary tittering amongst the guests, as they tried to keep it together - it was just great, we all said afterwards - and we all loved it!

So, 'my' grooms have not played horrible pranks on their unsuspecting brides. They have, to a man, been lovely, courteous, gallant even - and if they are representative of a generation of young men, then we, who sometimes worry, have little to worry about

Here then is a toast to my 2015 grooms - I have loved you all!

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Celebrant Weddings | Can they be religious?

Cleanliness? Godliness? Don't ask me...!




So, someone asked me last week, if I would write and officiate at a religious ceremony...and I thought about it for a few days.

The thinking brought to mind a conversation I'd had with a small friend, Oliver, three and a half years old, who I had asked, what I thought was a simple-ish question:
"Have you seen any good films recently?"

He looked at me, somewhat sternly I thought, and answered,
"I think you know I have..."

I really didn't know, and wasn't being patronising - it turned out it was Ice Age - and I was given clues to help me get the right answer...( took a while...)

This blog is a bit shaggy dog story (in many ways...) but bear with me...

In my last blog I alluded to an 'interesting' summer. It actually involved, as well as the birth of my gorgeous grandson, the much sadder gradual picking off, one by one, of my lovely hens by a fox (hen harrier, pole-cat, person!?) until, left with only our amazingly handsome cockerel, Sammy, with his true love, Doris, we hurried them to the haven of a great new home with the the amazing Naked Vigneron here
where they could wander as freely as they did here...



'Well,' said kind friends, ' at least no more hen poo on the terrace...' ( or, they might have added, in the kitchen, under the table, on the lounger - for they were VERY free-ranging...)






And then we had to have our very much loved and special dog, Duffy, put down - she was 14 and had crammed at least three lives into those years. The first one as a friend to a guy who had gigged in the area for some years, singing in bars, with Duffy making friends with the audience while he sang in his Joe Cocker voice - Duffy loved a bit of blues thereafter... 

When he died, Duffy joined our farmer-neighbour's beagle pack and ranged with them for hours and miles, escaping naughtily through hedges and over his fences to roam the countryside. She'd come to us to be towelled clean before she went home in case she was hosed down with cold water - in fact she retained a horror of hoses until the end...

And when he died, she came to us to have a more gentle life and  just be part of a big family and was loved by everyone including our cats - she was very special...




Duffs moulted A LOT - and when I cleaned, the hair and dust I hoovered up from the corners of rooms could have made a whole other dog...

Well then - no more hen poo - BUT no more busy hens pottering about on their daily walks, no hens joining us under tables outside, hoping for a  tasty dropped morsel and no more sun glinting through Sammy the cockerel's rainbow and ridiculously flamboyant tail feathers (no more singing, tunelessly for me 'shake a tailfeather baby'...!) - and no more Duffy dust - BUT no more Duffy...

And you know what? I think cleanliness, much like that other 'ness' which is supposed to be  next to it in some sort of virtuous line-up - godliness - is really very much over-rated...

So that question, asked at the beginning of this blog (well done those who had faith that it was leading somewhere...!) - would I do a religious ceremony?

Well, in Oliver's stern words, I think you know!