Flap your feathers, Ssssh Bridget!

Wedding envy is real. Without ever having a wedding I know that it exists. I see it in my brides, my friends, the weddings of strangers and the nuptials of my nearest and dearest. It’s that persnickety little wench that lives inside you that secretly claims ‘I would never have that at my wedding’ and ‘Ew, can you believe they chose pewter?’ She’s there, inside all of us, taking tiny notes on every wedding you’ve ever attended. I know she’s there, because even though I’ve never had a wedding, she sits, with her bottle of free champagne, in pink taffeta and smudged lipstick, right there on my place card.

As a guest, the little wench, let’s call her Bridget, is loud. Before I was a celebrant, she wasn’t just sitting quietly taking notes in the background, I fed her champagne and shots and encouraged her barefoot proclamations of ‘when I get married…’ With every invitation, RSVP and new dress I bought for a wedding I fed her ego with abandon. I wanted Bridget not to write notes, but fill blackboards with information so that my future wedding could be perfect. My guests would proclaim that my wedding would be the best they’ve ever attended.

I still haven’t had the joy (pain) of planning my own wedding but now that I’m a celebrant I’ve had the joy of attending more weddings than I’ve ever dreamed of. While Bridget never truly dies, as a celebrant I’ve managed to teach her a few things. Bridget now has the maturity, experience and exposure of so many weddings that she’s got some new rules when attending weddings and I think she has learned a valuable lesson.

Bridget has learned that when a bride is happy, the rest of her wedding decor choices are irrelevant to her, and any other guest in attendance. A wedding is the reflection of the bride and groom. It’s a personal choice of style that shows the personality of the bride and groom and reflects the life they have built and the beginning of the life they will have together.

It’s not the bride’s problem that Bridget doesn’t like pewter. Nobody getting married should ever give a second thought to what Bridget likes. When Bridget attends a wedding now her only job is to watch the faces of the bride and groom and their nearest and dearest and take extensive notes on all of the things that bring giant, teethy smiles to these people who are getting married and are in love with love.

Every wedding is different. Every bride wants different things. There is absolutely no point trying to build the wedding you’ve always wanted compiled from the ‘don’t’ list from every wedding you’ve ever attended. As a bride and a groom, work out what it is about the two of you that is worth celebrating. If that thing is your undying mutual obsession with Dr Who then yes, your wedding cake should be a sonic screwdriver. If you both love sloths, then put them on everything. If visiting cemeteries in foreign countries was what bought you together and keeps you that way, then make them your table centres.

The fact that all of your guests have inner Bridgets is not your problem. Let them drink champagne and eat cake but it’s your wedding. Make sure that cake is made to look like a flamingo if you want it to. Bridgets will be silent as long as there is a glass in their hand and a cake on their fork. Be that flamingo in a flock of pigeons. Plan the wedding you want, stand tall and proud and flap your feathers in whatever colour they may be.

The poor guy who marries me is going to have to reconcile my flamingo passion with my dinosaur fixation. With any luck he’ll love superheroes and I’ll have the perfect theme. ūüėČ

Happy Wedding Planning.

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Zombie Love

Writing a ceremony is not something that just happens.¬† It’s certainly not an on demand activity.¬† I can’t set aside a time and tell myself that I am going to write a ceremony on a Tuesday afternoon at 2.15pm.¬† Writing a ceremony takes a lightning strike and they are very rarely convenient.

The last one happened in the middle of a normal workday.¬† I was actually teaching a class of year 7/8 students Latin roots and spelling rules.¬† Not the most exciting of topics, but necessary when teaching my kids how to spell words they’ve never seen before, nevertheless half way through the description of logos and pathos, the sun hit the dinosaur through the blinds in just the right angle and my kids laughed at the way I pronounced logos like a Mexican wrestler, and it hit like a lightning bolt.¬† The world froze and the kids looked at me a little strangely and our lesson took a HUGE tangent.

Pathos – appealing to others based on emotion.¬† We were talking about a Zombie Apocalypse and convincing the authorities that as a zombie, what emotions would you use to convince the authorities of your reason for living or whether you should be ‘taken down’.¬†¬† Out of the mouth of a twelve year old came the line, ‘I’d tell them I loved them.’

It’s not necessarily the most earth shattering revelation nor is it a particularly profound statement that will change the way we¬†view the world.¬† What it did do was start a discussion with some very clever¬†twelve year olds about what it means to be loved. And out of the mouths of babes,¬† it was right there.

Apparently all that love is, is caring about someone else’s feelings more than you care about your own.¬† And that was my lightning bolt.¬† Loving someone, marrying someone, choosing someone is never really about you, it’s about them.¬† It’s about wanting things for that person that make them happy and doing what you can to make that happen and putting what you want second.¬† And if that’s the case, then the world is filled with it.¬† You can see it, touch it, feel it everywhere and in the smallest of moments between people of all kinds.

So watch out newly weds.¬† I’m waiting for a couple who want a very special kind of zombie love in their ceremony and until then, I’m searching, daily, for the moment of love that we share as people.