All you need is love and … what the celebrant sees.
As a marriage celebrant I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of many weddings, and it is always an absolute honour and privilege to be present and to guide a couple into married life. All the weddings have of course been different, some have been big affairs with hundreds of guests in castles, and some have been very intimate, with only a few guests, on the beach. One of the things they all have in common is the feeling of love and happiness that hangs in the air and surrounds the couple, it’s quite magical to witness.
Lately I have been open and aware to experiencing and noticing the different ‘looks’ that you always see at a wedding, whether it’s big, small, on the beach or in a church.
Look 1 – This is the look that is exchanged between the groom and a flower girl and or ringbearer, especially if said flower girl/ring bearer is their own child. This is a look of pride ‘that’s my kid’ normally the child is nervous and a little shy, but once they see their dad at the end of the aisle all that disappears and they break out in a smile.
Look 2 – This is the look exchanged between the bridesmaid and the groom. Normally its a full on smile because she knows how fantastic the bride looks and knows how nervous the groom is and wants to reassure him ‘it’s going to be ok, and just wait till you see her.
Look 3 – The father/mother of the bride as they escort the bride down the aisle. This look is pure joy, they are so proud to be able to escort her to her awaiting groom, sometimes a little sadness (their little girl is growing up) but normally big smiles.
Look 4 – That magical moment when the groom sees his bride walking towards him, sometimes there are tears, but in all the weddings I’ve been part of there has been a huge smile, a ‘she looks stunning, I can’t believe she’s marrying me’ type of look. Its magic and one of the best parts of the ceremony.
Look 5 – When the couple are finally standing in front of each other at the altar, shes given her flowers to her bridesmaid, the music has faded down, they are holding hands and we’re ready to start. When they get to look each other in the eye and know that their lives are about to change forever. Usually it’s a giant smile, a little trepidation, and sometimes the giggles come out.
Look 6 – One of my favourite parts of my job is to witness the little things that make a couple, a couple. I usually suggest a couple hold hands during their ceremony. Some don’t but most do. And I think those that do love that feeling of contentment they get when they hold the others hand, almost a “OK I can do this now!” it seems to help with the nerves. I love it when I look down at them holding hands and one of them in gently stroking the others hands with their thumbs, it’s such an intimate and loving action to perform to re-assure the other “don’t be nervous, it’s just me you’re talking to”
Look 7 – During the ceremony I suggest to the parents that they sit on the opposite side to their child, that way they get to look at their own child’s face during the ceremony. When I am performing a ceremony I look into the faces of the guests and I always see a look of pride and absolute love on the parents faces as they witness their child getting married.
Look 8 – This is not always a look but more of a conversation, after I pronounce a couple married and they share their first kiss, we then step to the side and sign the marriage licence, this is normally the first time a couple have had a chance to speak privately to each other on the day, and usually it’s a ‘you look stunning/beautiful/pretty’ type of conversation. It’s always lovely to see a couple standing together, arms wrapped around each other, normally a bit relieved because the ceremony is out of the way and they can now get to the party section of the day, just enjoying the fact that they are surrrounded by their favourite people on such a magical day.
These looks are the kind of things that absolutely make me love my job. The fact that I get to witness these types of looks, emotions, love, tears, declarations and laughter and see couples who are pledging to love and care for each other all their days, it absolutely makes my heart sing.