“What do you do when you go to a friend’s wedding?” is one of the questions I get asked most as a wedding planner. Over the last month I’ve had the absolute joy of attending not one, but two of my best friends' weddings - the first in a stunning converted church in the heart of Edinburgh, the second on a beautiful family farm, on my stomping ground in the heart of North Yorkshire.
How can I answer that question honestly? Well, I never, ever judge anybody’s wedding. Every wedding should be a testament to the couple getting married and I’m there to enjoy their big day with them and embrace the spirit of their celebrations.
But I do worry, of course I do. I want them to have the best day of their lives, I would wish for it of I could; for the blue-sky, stress-free, love and laughter filled day of perfection that they deserve. But I know that sometimes trains are delayed, that wasps sometimes sting and there are things you simply cannot prepare for. Sometimes it rains in the UK! I think we’re pretty-well prepared for that actually, but every now and then we’ll have a blisteringly hot day in March, which I think we are prone to forget that far more easily.
So I sit on my hands and try my absolute best not to interfere; give advice only when it is asked for and be on the end of the phone when I’m needed. On the day, I always take my two kit boxes; one with practical tools; cable ties, staple guns, twine… and the other for on-the-day happenings; with my first aid kit, sewing kit and sun tan lotion etc, because, as anyone who was ever a Girl Guide knows, you can never be too prepared. I have to remind myself that wedding days are often perfect because of their seeming imperfections - that the moments you can’t plan for are often the ones that raise the most joy and laughter.
Sometimes I am privileged enough to be asked to assist in some small way. Fiona and Phil asked me to announce them into the room and introduce the speeches, cake cutting and first dance. I wrote and delivered a reading during the ceremony for Sheryl and Grant. In both instances I was moved to tears to be asked - wedding planner or not, it is a very special thing to be a part of such an important day.
So what do I do when I go to a friend's wedding? When the day rolls around, my tasks are performed with pride, and then I sit quietly, sip a glass of champagne, toast the happy couple and relax into the day - focusing on the important stuff - enjoying watching them turn a page of their love story and pulling on my dancing shoes!
Two Peas in Pod - for Sheryl and Grant
Be two peas in a pod;
Grow together with honest hearts, with differing minds and moods,
grow window-sill seeds and grey hairs and wrinkles,
and in time, tiny heartbeats, eyelashes and noses.
Be as thick as thieves;
Steal nights together without friends, or family, or photos on phones,
steal finger tip touches and glances at parties,
and stolen moments, that are no ones but your own.
Be birds of a feather;
Fly to far-away places, sail stormy seas to land on perfect beaches,
fly to the limits of your dreams and find each other there,
and make your nest your castle, with feather-pillow forts that can’t be breached.
Be a storm in tea cup;
Have remote-control tantrums and proposals in Paris,
Have cocktails and cross-words and eat lazy brunches,
Have laughter for days and tears when they’re needed,
And Snowball fights and Haley's Comets,
Because all of the wonders in the universe, are no greater than the love you give each other;
Be as thick as thieves, be birds of a feather, a storm in a teacup…
Be two peas in a pod.