Couple: Mat and Rachel
Date: May 2018
Venue: Pennard House, Somerset
Celebrant: Pippa Hamilton
Wedding: ‘Take 6 kids & then wear gold trainers’
I met Mat and Rachel in a pub one evening. I arrived in good time and waited, then in walked Mat who was totally unaware that the entire pub had stopped talking and everyone’s jaw had dropped whilst their eyes followed him to my table. Soon after, Rachel came in from work with her laughter, exuberance, energy and bubbly personality. What a couple. As their story unfolded I took pages of notes.
5 years ago. “Hello daddy” shouted a tiny girl from her pushchair as her mum struggled through the rain with a vast umbrella on a cold winters day. Mat clasping a coffee and fag calmly looked at Rachel and said, “I get blamed for everything in this town” and grinning he went to his taxi. Rachel was left staring as the rain poured down.
Unable to get this wonderful man out of her head, months later Rachel finally plucked up courage to ring the taxi company. “Sorry madam, but the boss has gone to his mountain hut in Spain and won’t be back for 6 months, but I can give you his email if you like."
That is how it started and was the kind of story that would make a brilliant TV slot with all its twists and turns. I was gripped. Finally, all these years later and 6 kids between them I found myself marrying these 2 fun lovers who know what’s important in life.
“Love is just a word until someone comes along and makes it real."
Both Mat and Rachel had a very clear idea of who they wanted on the day, where it was going to be and how it was going to look, but their 6 children were the most important element to this service and needed to be able to take an active a part in it.
The lovely Pennard House was convenient to all, plus, for Mat, who adores wood, it has a very beautiful tree in the garden. We could hold the service under the tree and include the Ilan Shamir poem – Advice from a Tree. There were rooms for friends to stay in and a beautiful courtyard for partying the night away.
All the way through our discussions the most important element was that ALL the children felt they had contributed and that not only were their parents getting married but that they knew they were the glue in this union. We thought of and discussed so many different ideas but finally chose a Handfasting ceremony so that in pairs the children could come forward and help with the service plus they could help make the ceremonial cord for their parents. Everyone was moved to tears as they watched the children not only help but also be so proud that their parents were getting married. Emotions ran high!
There was no rehearsal. I have to say that only once, in all these years, have I been asked for a rehearsal as the service is usually relaxed and self explanatory. Plus you can rehearse as much as you like, but in the end you can never guarantee the weather in the UK! As in this case our original plan had to change at the very last minute and we all had to run for cover due to the sudden rain. We managed to somehow squish into a room to continue but it merely added to the atmosphere. Of course everyone went with the flow with good spirits. And the wonderful Tree received her poem, from inside!
The thing is, at a wedding everyone is gathered together because they love the couple, support them and want nothing but the best for them. So when something falters or has to be changed, its fine. The room is full of love anyway.
The party? All I can say is I was urged to stay but had a ‘prior engagement’ and so I missed a humdinger of a party as Tessa Chapman Photography showed. My work was done and I drove away with car roof down and huge beaming smile on my face knowing that this wedding had all the makings of a wonderful journey that is going to unfold for a family of 8 and that they will always remain friends of mine.
Ps. Mat and Rachel came round for a drink with me recently…. And left at midnight. So we did have the humdinger after all!
Photographer: Tessa Chapman
Hair: Toni Burrows
Food: Ben @ The French Kitchen
Dress: Lynne Watson
Cakes: Kelda Prescott
Crepes & Coffee: Anthony & Tana @Le Café Creme
Pippa Hamilton is a professional Celebrant writing ceremonies for all types of partnerships and families. Naming and welcoming services, Weddings, Renewal of Vows, Funerals and any other significant event that is important in peoples livesView Pippa's profile
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