After a morning of kayaking, Matt and his groomsmen came to site to set up for the ceremony. Weather permitting we planned to hold it in Kestle Barton’s orchard; laying out our aisle in the open air, between their rows of apple trees. Lucky for us the weather was ridiculously good – warm and hazy and fine – probably the best day of weather we’d had all September! And luckily for my guests, I’d made our order of ceremonies into fans. Printing them out, folding them in half and attaching a wooden stick with double sided sticky tape (whilst sat on the floor watching Poldark). Our confetti was also made by myself; using dried lavender, fennel, cloves, cardamom, mustard and poppy seeds. We’d been after some natural confetti that would decompose and not clutter the site for the days and weeks to come. And although I’d done some research into petal confetti I couldn’t find anything that was quite right. Instead handpicking these dried seeds and herbs, gave us the subtle colour combination we were after, as well as a beautifully spicy-sweet botanical scent that filled the air.
Over the course of the year, we’d met up with our Pastor (and friend) Michael; doing a bit of marriage prep, eating lots of cake and Chinese, and slowly working on the ceremony; planning its structure and content and message. We’d always intended to legally marry in a little local registry office just a couple of weeks beforehand, allowing us to really tailor the real big day to us. Although we didn’t stray too far from known-ceremony structures, having all legalities and paperwork already completed, removed a certain sense of rigidity and formality from the ceremony. Plus both Matt and I felt so much easier in ourselves than the first time around!
One of the things we both most enjoyed was having so many friends deeply involved in the day; from the music and the “marrying” to the flowers and food. Our dear friends Barry and Steph did the music for our ceremony; performing the worship songs Joy by Rend Collective and Oceans by Hillsong. As well as playing me in, to Wedding Song by Angus and Julia Stone, and playing us both out to Do You Remember by Jack Johnson. Whilst DIY details added a nice personal touch, having fond familiar faces throughout made it feel all the more like home.
“Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion […] That is just being “in love”, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.” – Louis de Bernieres
This quote is a favourite of ours and was read during our ceremony. It sums up so much of our relationship. How our love is often quiet and simple and subtle; more like a still sunset than a blazing sky of fireworks; more a hearty bowl of porridge than a triple chocolate ice cream sundae. How truly over the years it feels inconceivable to untangle our lives and roots from one another. How finding each other feels to the core like a really remarkably fortunate accident, whilst staying together, a craftful art we are always cultivating. It was in the spirit of this quote, that we decided to include a tree-planting in our ceremony. Symbolically combing soils, putting down roots together and working to grow something bigger than ourselves, that would hopefully nourish more than just the two of us. I’m not sure everyone got it, but we loved it. And Baby Olive (as we named her) is now living on our dresser, right in front of me as we speak.
After our tree-planting, we said our vows, exchanged our rings and had that kiss. Then our church family gathered around; praying over us as we began our new life as one. If there’s one word I (in fact probably ‘we’ as we’ve talked comprehensively about it since) feel describes our day it’s ‘blessed’. It’s a word I don’t hasten to use as it’s been overused to the point of losing its meaning. Perhaps best known for its smug #blessed connotations. Yet what is a word that describes an abundance of extraordinary goodness that floods your life; that feeling of being surrounded to the point of saturation by something sublime and so far beyond yourself. We put in so many hours of planning and preparation, but on the day so much more turned up. There was so much more beauty and goodness and grace present than we’d prepared for or put into place. To the point that Matt turned to me the following morning and said something along the lines of “it’s actually embarrassing how fortunate and blessed we are”. In so many ways that sums my memories of our day.
Venue :: Kestle Barton. Bridal Dress :: BHLDN. Groom’s Attire :: Moss Bros. Bridesmaids Outfits :: Needle & Thread. Coast. ASOS. Makeup Artist :: Amy Pike. Flowers :: Cornish Cutting Garden. Ribbon :: Pompom Blossom. Photographer :: Enchanted Brides