Monday, 6 April 2015

Colour Ceremonies | Mellow Yellow … quite rightly

On the face of it, the London borough of Newham has little in common with Ullswater in the Lake District. However, on recent trips to and from London City Airport I have been struck by a metropolitan version of Wordsworth’s  countryside - miles of brilliant yellow daffodils standing tall and densely packed into the broad central reservation of the congested North Circular.

Whilst driving around the capital is an extremely far cry from Wordsworth’s scenic lakeside walk with his sister, today’s commuters can surely understand the inspiration for what is arguably one of the best loved of all British poems.

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Although not my favourite flower (in fact I am allergic to the cut blooms), these early

Narcissis Jenny - my favourite
harbingers of spring always warm my heart and make me smile. I also admire their resilience …even the super-enthusiastic ones that appear far too early, do not curl up and whither at the first sign of bad weather. They don’t break or blow away in the wind like the fickle early cherry blossom petals. Instead, the typical hardy daff retains its citric cheerfulness - irrespective of the weather - for weeks on end. 

OK, so these large brutish bulbs need to be sturdy to cope with traffic fumes and everything the March elements can throw at them. They in no way pretend to be subtle or sophisticated - like their more elegant and creamy-toned relatives (Narcissus Jenny are my personal favourite), but they get the job done: they announce that winter is over and spring is on its way and, in my opinion, they don’t deserve the bad press that they have been getting.

Under the headline “Why I Hate Daffodils”, John Crace in the Guardian described them as “dull” and “hideous” and wrote of his desire to destroy them all. We are also lead to believe that - due to their abundance - this sturdy cultivated variety is threatening the smaller wild daffodil that is native to the British Isles. 

But what - I hear you wondering - has any of this to do with being a Celebrant? 
It’s all about colour - in this case, the colour yellow, and what its meaning can bring to a ceremony.
Please, bear with me on this one … there’s more to come …

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Wedding Celebrant | Vows - it's OK to laugh

This couple's wedding vows went viral after the bride gets an uncontrollable fit of the giggles when the groom stumbles over the word "lawfully" - it seems that his sub conscious mind had wandered off to waffles and pancakes!

It really isn't that unusual to burst out laughing at moments of high tension -YouTube and out take TV programmes are full of such clips. If "corpsing" can happen to professional actors, what hope is there for us amateur stars on our Big Days? Probably, not much!

Even at funerals, the most solemn of occasions, mirth can - and sometimes does - spill over amongst the mourners. If this happens the message should be that it is not disrespectful and that it is OK to laugh.

Celebrants have to learn to cope with the unexpected at any ceremony and calmly pick up where it all went wrong - although I think this celebrant was a tad hasty in trying to get the vows back on track, as our bride clearly wasn't composed enough for another try.

I am pretty certain that when this couple look back on their wedding day, they will recall saying their vows ... and smile at the very funny memory.