Each time I write a ceremony, I always consider how it will be received by the guests. Will they sigh when I describe a romantic proposal? Will they laugh when I share a funny story? Will they applaud when I recount a happy or triumphant journey?
Georgie and Andy's guests responded better than I had hoped for. They were active participants in the ceremony, which is clearly an indication of just how happy they were for Georgie and Andy.
Georgie and Andy were married at The Substation, a magnificent neo-Classical red brick venue in Newport, in a relaxed and laughter-filled ceremony. As I entered the building, with its enormous red velvet curtains, exposed brick walls and grand arched windows, I found myself immediately captivated. Not only was its sheer size appealing, the venue lent itself beautifully to styling. When I peeped behind the ceremony area curtain in search of the reception area (I have a habit of doing so!), I once again found myself impressed. Three long tables, lined with black tiffany chairs, were adorned with brightly coloured tulips, orchids, pomegranates, pears and crab apples, courtesy of Cecilia Fox. The vibrant colours were illuminated by dozens of overhead light bulbs.
Then I saw Georgie. Georgie looked truly radiant in her very elegant and delicate Jenny Packham gown. As I visited her in the bridal suite prior to the ceremony I could barely shift my gaze from the exquisite lace detail. The only thing more beautiful was the sparkling smile that never left her face. By contrast, her four effervescent and utterly lovely bridesmaids wore striking magenta cocktail gowns by Willow. Their bouquets, also by Cecilia Fox, echoed the bright colour palette; roses and dahlias in claret and pink looked fabulous against the warm red curtains and brickwork.
Andy, her very handsome groom, stood with his four groomsmen watching the ceremony area quickly fill to full capacity. It was wonderful observing so many cheerful people come forward and shake his hand and offer their good wishes.
Georgie and her bridesmaids entered to It's Like Love by Dewaynne Everettsmith. It's the first time I've heard the song played at a ceremony and I'm sure it won't be the last.
Andy's sister Kate and Georgie's friend Sally each presented readings; The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams and an excerpt from Hemmingway's classic novel A Farewell To Arms, respectively. I then recounted significant moments in Georgie and Andy's relationship. The method by which Andy sought Georgie's father Maurice's blessing, was very well received.
'...As Maurice is a Doctor, Andy decided it was easiest to visit him at his clinic. He therefore booked an appointment. Dr K knew Andy was coming and correctly guessed the reason for his visit. With this in mind, Dr K was rather confused, and equally amused, to discover that Andy had completed the patient information form, even disclosing his Medicare details, in readiness for his so-called "appointment". '
Following a very sincere and romantic exchange of vows, a ring warming ceremony and ring exchange, a very happy Andy and Georgie were declared husband and wife. The cheer that erupted from the excited crowd was exhilarating.
During the signing, Georgie's bridesmaid Lou Spargo sang 'The Book of Lov'e (the lyrics always make me giggle) and the sentimental 'Feels Like Home' to a guitar accompaniment. Lou has a fantastic voice and it was so lovely to pause and listen to her. Involving talented friends in a ceremony is a wonderful thing to be able to do. I imagine it was a moment in time that neither she, nor Georgie and Andy, will forget.
The Book of Love (Peter Gabriel)
The book of love is long and boring,
No one can lift the damn thing.
It's full of charts and facts and figures
And instructions for dancing.
But I, I love it when you read to me.
And you, you can read me anything.
The book of love has music in it,
In fact, that's where music comes from.
Some of it's just transcendental,
Some of it's just really dumb.
But I love it when you sing to me.
And you, you can sing me anything.
The book of love is long and boring
And written very long ago.
It's full of flowers and heart-shaped boxes
And things we're all too young to know.
But I love it when you give me things
And you, you ought to give me wedding rings.
And I love it when you give me things
And you, you ought to give me wedding rings.
The ceremony concluded with the oh-so catchy Queen classic You're My Best Friend and yet another enormous cheer.
Congratulations Georgie and Andy. Two kind, accomplished and easy going people, who are quite clearly, perfectly suited. May you continue to laugh, embrace and feel as happy as you did on your wedding day.
Celebrant: Sally Hughes
Venue: The Substation
Photography: Words & Music Company (Image 2) & Hwa Goh (Images 1 & 3- 7)
Georgie's Dress: Jenny Packham
Andy's Suit: Travellers
Bridemaids Dresses: Willow
Bouquets & Floral Arrangements: Cecilia Fox
Event Styling & Co ordination: Amanda Vella of Red Tee Pot