Sunday, 28 July 2013

Simple gifts

We attended the wedding of two dear friends the other day. To be accurate, it was their celebration day (they'd done the legal bit already), with an Independent Celebrant and their family and friends. The weather was kind; the landscape of rural Norfolk was glorious; the venue was unique and delightful; and the simplicity and joy evident in the event was thought-provoking and life-affirming.

The refreshments were gloriously stylish. Gin & tonic (served in jam-jars, which were the glasses we used all day); afternoon tea, with vast scones, cream and jam, followed by a tasty prosecco with which to make the toasts; and fish & chips. There was a very affordable pay-bar. The DJ was a unique chap who played early 20th century dance music 78s on windup gramophones. The entertainers were talented friends of the bride & groom. The 'bridesmaids' were dressed in green-and-white cotton, down to the tiniest small person. The literary contributions were from William Shakespeare and Winnie-the-Pooh.

I haven't posted the photographs to social media yet until I have the approval to do so (or they do it themselves) from the happy couple. However, I did share just one photograph of them as my 'photo of the day' on Facebook.

A friend of mine (who doesn't know the couple) commented thus:

"What I love about that wedding photo, Cassie, is the sheer joy and simplicity - it just shows the trappings around a marriage is all just 'stuff'. Love is the important thing..."

It's so true, and so much of a pleasure to see it. This day wasn't the be-all and the end-all here: my beautiful friends were celebrating their love. It was a summing-up of, and thanksgiving for, what they already have, and a hope and trust for their future, founded not on the expectations of the world or the dictatorship of fashion, but on the glory that is their visible and workable happiness as a family.

I've created a collage of a few of my favourite non-people images from the day to be going on with. It sums up a day that was completely magical, but knowing that it was also a day where - as my friend put it - love was the important thing.

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark 
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks 
Within his bending sickle's compass come: 
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, 
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
   If this be error and upon me proved,
   I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

William Shakespeare: Sonnet 116

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