Paula and Meredith never planned to get married.
Don’t get me wrong, they love each deeply and have been committed to each other from very early on in their long and happy relationship.
However, Paula and Meredith have lived, protested and campaigned long before Marriage Equality was even hinted at, let alone become a reality.
become a reality…. the questions started being asked … “when are you two getting married…?” and “come on, WE’LL organise it..!”
Paula and Meredith being the feisty pair that they are, dug their heels in and proclaimed that they were never getting married…!
Then, with a global pandemic helping us realise just how important it is to have the opportunity to gather our people together, they changed their minds and began planning a… WEDDING!!
Now, this was never going to be a big, traditional affair.
The priorities were
- Gathering their favourite people
- Getting legally married
- Good food and wine!
Aligning these three led them to Melbourne’s beautiful Yarra Valley.
Close to Meredith’s parents and a vast array of wineries.
A very fancy private dining room at a Yarra Valley was secured for lunch.
Then, they hired a big Air BnB, invited their very favourite people.
Ordered a bus for said people and then…
That’s where I joined the party!
As their Celebrant, my instructions were clear, keep it short. Make us laugh.
Make it legal. Make it meaningful.
At this point, I have to confess just how much I love Paula and Meredith. Our Zoom chats always went longer than anticipated and I always ended them with a massive smile on my face!
As these things do… as we talked more about their day, more details were added.
An arbor was adorned with flowers, hair and make-up was booked and a lovely photographer booked to capture all the ceremony moments.
On their Wedding Day, I arrived at the Air BNB and was greeted like an old friend.
There was the buzz of nervous excitement in the air and the sound of Champagne corks popping.
When it came time to assemble for their Wedding, and Paula walked down the aisle with her sister, the tears started…!
They continued as Meredith walked down wearing fabulous blue sparkly pants with her Dad walking her down the aisle.
The ceremony was, as promised, short and sweet!
It celebrated their enduring love and the promises that they were making to each other.
“This is of course not the first time that you are making promises to each other… you’ve been doing that since you first decided to take a chance of loving each other.
Yours are not the naïve promises of young love, but rather a reaffirming of your love. A relationship that you have cultivated and nurtured for a long time.
Today is about celebrating all that you have achieved and the adventures still to come.
Paula and Meredith each wrote beautiful vows that they read to each other.
They exchanged rings.
And then, I very proudly declared them MARRIED!!!
Rousing applause and more Champagne corks being popped ensued.
Now, never one to refuse a glass of Champagne on a Wedding, I toasted Paula and Meredith with their friends and family.
I got in my car just as the bus arrived to chariot them away to lunch with happy tears in my eyes and a huge smile on my face!
Weddings can be small and intimate.
They can be on a Wednesday morning.
They can be witnessed by just a handful of guests.
Weddings can be twenty two years in the making.
“….. let’s be honest, we all go through significant changes over the course of twenty-two years!
That’s a lot of hairstyles, (some good, some unfortunate), many favourite pairs of jeans, many joints that may have become a little creakier over time and, with all the laughter that you have both shared, a few new laughter lines….! “