Leesa and Andrew had really clear ideas about what they wanted for their wedding ceremony and I loved every minute of it. I had a feeling that it was going to rain - well, more than a feeling, those damn weather apps are almost always right. We were under cover though, at the Marlee Pavilion in Kings Park and there were lots of brollies around. Everyone knew what to do in the unfortunate event that the rain started before we finished - yes that's right, make a wall with those brollies, cuddle up and we will power on...
Leesa and Andrew asked me to open the ceremony with an extract from Plato's Symposium which was sombre, meaningful and very different. Bridesmaid Jess then read Anne Morrow Lindbergh's Gift from the Sea.
When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity - in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.
The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits - islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides.
The bride and groom wanted to thank their parents and have them give their love and blessings. Leesa provided me with the following words which I loved and will be sure to suggest to others. We asked the bride and groom's parents in turn for their blessing and then everyone else as well.
One of the deepest relationships we can acknowledge is the one between caring parents and their loving children. Would Andrew and Leesa’s parents please stand? To all of you, congratulations on the part you have played in raising a daughter and a son that we have all come to appreciate and respect. They accept a very mature and meaningful task in taking on this marriage. On their behalf and on behalf of all those gathered here today, thank you. It is more than just their lives that are joined here today, it is your lives as well.
Although Leesa and Andrew have embarked on this marriage through personal choice, their marriage will be enriched by the families from which they come. With this in mind, I ask you Mary and Graeme, to take this man, Andrew, into your hearts, that he might live from this day as your son, for her is dear and cherished to Leesa and shall be so to you and your family. Do you?
Leesa’s parents: we do.
And of you, Tracey and Craig, I ask the same. I ask that you take this woman, Leesa, into your hearts, so that she might live from this day as your daughter, for she is dear and cherished to Andrew, and shall be so to you and your family. Do you?
Andrew’s parents: we do.
To the family and friends of Leesa and Andrew, you have a special purpose. You form the community of support that surrounds them each and every day. As cherished family and friends, it is you to whom they’ll turn in coming years, whether in joy or sorrow. Always stand beside them, never between them. Offer them your love and support, not your judgement. Encourage them with your kindness and loving hearts and honour this marriage into which they have come to be joined. When hard times come and the loving support of family and friends are needed, Leesa and Andrew hope to be able to turn to you, just as they will turn to each other. They ask that you commit to them, as they are committing to one another. That just as they pledge to support and protect one another, you pledge to support and protect their relationship, today and always. Help them to keep their hearts open, full of forgiveness and passion, of happiness and light. Do you offer Leesa and Andrew your blessing as husband and wife? Please say ‘we do’.
Guests: we do.
Throughout this amazing ceremony we also had lighthearted moments, with Leesa promising Andrew to be the 'Sam to your Frodo, the Watcher to your Slayer and the Companion to your Doctor' - the most crazy moment of all though was when the hail started coming down. Yes folks, I breathed a little sigh of relief when we got to the kiss and then that cold little wind started and we all became VERY friendly as the signing was undertaken in the aisle with everyone squealing and the rain coming down. The most hilarious thing was that the song playing in the background was The Beatles Here Comes the Sun - and then it started hailing.
The gorgeous Deanna Whyte captured the day and I thank her for these images (you can see more on her blog here). We had lots of laughs together as things were reworked 'on the fly'. Leesa and Andrew's wedding day won't be forgotten in a hurry - for the fact that it was awesome and because the ceiling of my newly renovated kitchen fell in after hail backed up in my downpipes, leaving water with nowhere to go...
PS: after a beautiful temporary plywood ceiling for a number of weeks, the kitchen was back to its former glory.