Friday, 15 April 2016

Four Norfolk Weddings and a Funeral


“So, Mary, what are you currently working on?”, my friend asked. 
“Let me think… “one, two, three, four weddings; … oh … and a funeral”.

Up until the day before yesterday there had been a naming ceremony in my diary too - Unfortunately this had to be cancelled due to a problem at the venue - it was to have been held at a Rugby Club where - would you believe it? - inconsiderately, a rugby match had been planned.

My celebrant schedule might never work out with this exact same magic formula again,  so I thought I would share some thoughts on this special combination of “ Four Weddings and a Funeral”. 

Firstly I would like to say “thank you” to the four couples who have entrusted me to produce and deliver a bespoke ceremony for their special day. Each one, of course, will be completely different and will exactly reflect the style and personality of the bride and groom. 
Hugh Grant  (Charles) having doubts

Getting it right with Carrie (Andi MacDowell)
Three of the couples are London based, and have chosen to get married in Norfolk. This is not because they have any previous connections with my home county; but each has told me that they feel comfortable with their carefully selected venue and are excited about hosting the celebration here. 

I can vouch for the charm of each location. Norfolk is a beautiful part of the country and a great place to get married.

When we think back to 1994 and the film “Four Weddings and a Funeral”, it is the funeral ceremony which remains most clearly in our minds. Personally I can’t recall any of the details of the four wedding ceremonies - the readings, music or vows - but I will never forget John Hannah's (as Matthew) moving rendition of W.H Auden’s poem, "Funeral Blues" - He was my North, my South, my East and West....

As a celebrant, we should never underestimate the power of a carefully selected poem.
Stop All The Clocks


Personally, I am also one who appreciates a winning title. I leave you with the thought that, twenty years after the release of the film, its writer, Richard Curtis released a document from the US distributer listing six reasons why the title “Four Weddings and a Funeral” didn’t work.
The six reasons why the title didn't work

 Briefly they looked into the possibility of calling it “The Best Man” instead, but there was a Henry Fonda film from 1964 with the same name. Thank goodness it wasn't available. 
By the way, it is said that Curtis wrote the screenplay in order to explain to his mother why he had never married.(Although he has lived with his partner Emma Freud - they have four children together - for more than 25 years.)