|Posted on 2 July, 2018 at 19:40|
Photo by The Raw Photographer
One of the most special things I love about being a celebrant is the trust people put in you. For most, I am a stranger to them. I might have been recommended by a friend or family member, but they really wouldn't know me personally. Yet, they ask me to perform one of the most special things in their life: to make them husband and wife (or husband and husband, or wife and wife).
Usually, weddings follow a familiar format: proposal, engagement, ceremony, reception and finally, the honeymoon. But what happens when this becomes too much? When the costs begin to sky rocket, when meeting everyone else's expectations means that yours become forgotten? When all you really want to do is marry the one you love? Planning a wedding starts to become no fun at all. So, what can you do?
Well, for one couple, they decided that they'd throw caution to the wind and planned a surprise ceremony, to be held at their engagement. This style of doing things has become increasingly popular in recent times, so when Sophie called me to ask if I had done one of these, I had to say no, but I was very willing to. Despite having booked me for a September wedding, they asked if I was available for a February one instead. I said the only thing that might stop me would be a cyclone. My first surprise wedding had been booked and I couldn't wait.
The day of the engagement/wedding arrived, and I was quite nervous; that's to be expected when you're about to do your first ever surprise ceremony. But it went off without a hitch. The plan was to allow DrewBoy to play his acoustic guitar in the background while everyone enjoyed drinks and canapes. Sophie left the ceremony discreetly with her Dad and sister-in-law, ZedHair owner, Sam Bruggemann, to don her stunning bridal gown from The Reformation. I crossed paths with her just to make sure all was in place. No-one saw me standing in the background listening to the music, but when I asked Drew for the mike, I made myself known. Because I knew a few faces in the crowd, I mentioned that a few might recognise me, but for those who didn't, I mentioned that I was a marriage celebrant. And that is all it took for the guests to cheer, whistle and clap. I didn't need to say much more.
We quickly swung into action to get ready for the ceremony: set up the PA system and put out the paperwork. Tarren received lots of congratulations and pats on the back. Then Sophie arrived, and she was stunning. The grin could not be swept off her face. And what followed was one of the most heartfelt ceremonies I have conducted. There was so much laughter, lightness and love. Being true to themselves certainly lessened the stress for Sophie and Tarren and made the start of their married life a very blessed one. I am so thankful to them for trusting me with pulling off the surprise and bringing them together as a married couple.
Because, at the end of the day, that's what's important: Marriage to the best person you know, in front of the people who love you.
Venue: Wharf One Cafe, Cairns Wharf
Bride's Dress: The Reformation
Groom's Outfit: Sportscraft
Bride's Hair: ZedHair
Bride’s Makeup: Brow Babes
Photographer: The Raw Photographer
Florist: Nine Blooms
Donuts: Duke's Donuts
Rings: Bejewel Cairns Jeweller
The idea of the surprise ceremony was actually Tarren’s - his reason was simple. He didn’t want to wait to be husband and wife. He felt we were just stagnant and these plans for a big wedding where stopping us from living our lives the way we wanted to. He asked me to trust him and I’m so glad I did. His only worry was that I would feel as if I’d missed out on something by not having the traditional wedding but that is far from the truth. I feel we did something really special. We trusted each other and did what felt right for us. The result was the same but with none of the stress and none of the ridiculous expectations.
The day was perfect, and everyone had such a beautiful time - still our guests comment and say how much fun they had, how it was a great idea. Even with a city-wide blackout.