My Husband and I…
We Love France – We Love camping – We Love each other.
So when we decided after 18 years of living together (and after mild to moderate persuasion from me to get married) we knew exactly what we wanted.
We wanted all of our friends to join us on our favourite camp site in Brittany. To have our ceremony on the cliffs that overlooked the sea, in a place where we had fallen in love with France and each other.
But how would it be possible? We are resourceful and worked out a plan. But to just say our vows on the cliff top seemed unremarkable. To make this the real thing we needed someone to make the whole thing work. What could we do?
I was lucky. I had the best boss in the world. The MP Gavin Shuker. He was not only a member of parliament but also a former church minister so knew what he was doing.
Because of him the whole thing felt amazing. The importance of the occasion was not lost and we felt that we had the wedding that we always wanted.
It was different from living together. We were joined in a new, special and different way.
So what did he do that was so special?
Firstly, he listened and made it about us. He asked what we wanted, what was important to us, what we dreamed of.
Secondly, his calm air and sense of occasion underscored the importance of the vows that we were making. In a friendly way, a kind and gentle way (I did cry a lot). But he carried a sense of gravitas that marked the occasion.
Finally – he was not the star of the show. That was US. The couple. He put aside thoughts of himself. He melted into the background and made it our day.
It wasn’t until later that I found out that he was ‘not great’ with heights! he was stood on the edge of a cliff with his back to the 30 foot drop and gave nothing away. Not a comment, not a blink, not a drop of sweat! To do so would have made it about him and he simply didn’t do it.
Now that I am to be a celebrant I use this example. When I am honoured enough to be a small part of someones precious day I am there to make the happy couple the star of the show – in any way they wish.
To create the very best of magic, and then like any good conjurer…….. disappear leaving only happiness and warm feelings behind me.