By Sally Hughes, Melbourne Marriage Celebrant
I can still recall my first conversation with Tom. Within moments of answering the phone I considered the groom-to-be to be charismatic and good humoured and I quite enjoyed our conversation about his fiance Bec and their wedding plans. Unfortunately, their wedding date coincided with day one of my Thailand holiday, so I couldn't possibly help them. I remember hanging up the phone and thinking it a great shame that I was unavailable for their ceremony.
Months later, Tom called again. He and Bec had changed their wedding date and were hoping I would be available. Having well and truly met my quota of weddings for the year I regretfully declined their invitation. However, by the end of our phone call, Tom's warmth and "respectful urging" changed my mind. And I am very glad it did.
Shortly after, I met with a genuinely lovely couple. A mere minute into our meeting I could tell that Bec and Tom were warm, fun and good humoured. We laughed continuously throughout our meeting and happily discovered that we shared similar interests and, importantly, similar views on ceremonies. Bec and Tom were open to suggestion and were so very excited about their impending Yarra Valley celebration. I really liked them.
Bec and Tom were married in the chapel at the magnificent Stones of the Yarra Valley. It's such a beautiful venue. Every time I enter the light-filled space, with its soaring ceilings, stained glass windows, shiny grand piano and sweeping views across acres of vines, I always catch myself smiling.
Aesthetics aside, it was the sense of celebration within the chapel walls that day that I will remember most vividly, for Bec and Tom's ceremony was one of the most interactive and enjoyable ceremonies I've had the pleasure of conducting. The many and varied contributions by guests - one in particular was downright hilarious, the tribute we paid to their parents and to those who had been married for a significant period of time (two sets of grandparents had recently celebrated 60 years of marriage), the ring warming ceremony, whereby their rings, sewn to a pillow made from Bec's grandmother's wedding dress, were passed amongst family members, and the sudden change in mood when Bec and Tom declared with utmost sincerity their lifelong commitment to one another in marriage, made for a most memorable ceremony.
However I think my favourite element of the ceremony was when Tom's friend Mark stood before us all to sing. Just as he opened his mouth, Tom took over. Guests, who were just as surprised as the bride, cheered. The look on Bec's face was priceless! Bec had waited over seven years to hear Tom sing. Together with his brother James on guitar, (known to pre-school age children and their parents as 'Jimmy Giggle'), they performed a rendition of More Than Words that brought the house down. Tom has a beautiful voice and his gift to Bec that day was priceless.
Congratulations Mr and Mrs R. What a wonderfully interactive afternoon. Given the smiles, cheers and applause that filled the chapel, it was clear to me that you were surrounded by a fabulous group of people. People who recognise just how lovely, likeable and talented you are. Have a wonderful life. xx
Celebrant: Sally Hughes
Venue: Stones of the Yarra Valley
Photography: Natalie Davies Photography
Flowers: Blooming Brides
Musicians: Groom Tom & Best Man James / Baker Boys Band
Bec's gown: Anaessia
Tom's suit: Arthur Galan