by Virginia Lawrence, Marriage Celebrant
When Covid-19 threatened Chris and Bec’s special day, they decided to act quickly. Even though they had worked on their dream wedding for over a year, they decided that the party and all the trimmings could wait. They just wanted to get hitched and face this thing together.
Having a celebrant mum made things a little easier. A quick phone call confirmed the marriage could be fast-tracked to the next night to beat imminent restrictions on gatherings. Preparations began. Phone lines ran
hot. By the next day, a select few had been invited, the stunning gardens at Cloudehill locked in, a Facebook watch party organised. Restaurant staff rushed to provide individually wrapped picnic boxes before they went into lockdown that lunchtime. Bec’s mum learned how to make a bouquet and buttonholes from YouTube. A photographer friend organised childcare and drove up to the hills. Family members who couldn’t be there wrote heart-felt messages of support. Others drove around with various errands, and everyone changed plans to get there. A ceremony, full of love, was hastily written.
The wedding was streamed via a mobile phone to Facebook. More than 60 people watched live, over 200 watched later – and then the story was featured on 7News!
Instead of handshakes, kisses and hugs there were elbow bumps, foot kicks and heart thumps. A special cleansing ritual signified washing away the frustration, stress and anxiety felt before the wedding. The few guests spaced themselves out along the garden borders to watch this loved-up couple join in matrimony. And at the end of the ceremony, a big surprise. Phoebe, the vocalist from the would- have-been reception band, popped up on a video call to perform the planned wedding dance music.
Enjoying the stillness and peace of the garden as night fell and the stars came out, we all left behind our worries and concerns and remained magically cocooned in a beautiful bubble of love for a few precious hours.
The experience will be treasured in our joint memories forever. Why? There weren’t any presents, fancy cars, fabulous styling or a chance to party. What made it extra special was the way that so many rallied together to overcome disappointment, demonstrate support, and make something very special happen for this much-loved couple with just a few hours’ notice.
“It was the perfect wedding we hadn’t even dreamt of,” Bec said.
Special thanks to: Lauren Murphy Photography, Melissa Jayne Artistry, Jeremy Francis, Cloudehill Gardens, Seasons Restaurant at Cloudehill, Phoebe Dubar, Phoebe and the Night Creatures