Romeo and Juliette may have had to contend with feuding families but I wonder what they would have made of lockdown? With elopement temporarily off the cards… would they have been as resilient as couples in love are these days?
Whilst the UK Government have vetoed weddings and civil partnerships and thwarted traditional plans for the time being, it hasn’t stopped couples getting creative and putting love firmly on the agenda.
The 30th April should have looked a lot different for Beth and Aleksandar who met long before lockdown in Tunisia. After a wedding in the Serbian Orthodox Church in Lancaster Gate they would have enjoyed celebrations with friends and family at Kew Gardens. Instead everyone rallied to make it a special day for the pair alone at home.
The parents of the happy couple, caterers, florists and events team that would have been serving their many guests, contributed to a surprise hamper which arrived to kick off their day. Beth and Aleksandar stayed close to home, but still managed to get out into nature by visiting the Japanese strolling garden next door to home and writing haiku’s for each other. Cosied up in a home made den with mint Tea and bourbon served in a Tunisian tea set , it was a rather different scene to a spring stroll through the rose gardens of Kew . Tunisian food accompanied toasts over watts app with family and friends and they had a short taste of what it would be like to wear their Ecowoodrings, just for the day, before putting them safely away for their future ceremony currently planned for October.
Over at Fusion Events and Weddings our friend Michelle is working hard to help couples turn around feelings of disappointment at enforced changes of plan and host their special day in more intimate settings.
“I am working with a couple that have been engaged for 5 years, and planning their wedding for 2. Their big day was planned for August, however due to the current restrictions and the likelihood of them still being in place in six weeks time means that they are postponing to next year. To them, changing the date that they were to become husband and wife just isn't an option, it's a special date for them both and one that has family memories and connections. So we're adapting their day. Working towards an intimate church celebration with just them and their witnesses followed by an elegant outdoor afternoon tea in the couple's favourite picnic spot by the river. Then next year, on their first anniversary they will celebrate with friends and family with a festival style party in the same spot by the river.”
Friends of Eco Wood Rings, Bristol based photographer Caroline Alexander and her husband Martin, a humanist celebrant, have been supporting other couples navigate these challenging times in truly beautiful ways. Here’s what they had to say about ceremonies and elopements in these unusual times.
“We believe ceremonies are an opportunity to break from our daily routines and to pause, reflect and connect. So for all the challenges and anxiety that this pandemic has brought, it has also, in many ways, forced our hand and served one of the purposes of ceremony itself. For many, lockdown has brought increased gratitude for their relationships with their partners, family, friends, and even their pets. It certainly has for us! For couples who had planned to marry this year, they have been forced to reconsider big questions. Why do they want to get married? Who needs to be there when they do? And what does marriage mean to them?
Many couples have chosen to simply delay their plans for a year. But they have found creative ways to mark the significance of their cancelled dates with Zoom hangouts and even Zoom pre-wedding ceremonies. Confetti, cake, champagne, have all made appearances, along with family pets who will have to miss out on their actual wedding days. Ring hibernation ceremonies have seen wedding rings safely stored away in boxes and jars, in waiting for next year. Family and friends (and celebrants and photographers!) have been given the opportunity to pre-mingle and get to know each other ahead of the big days, so come the actual wedding day people may meet as old friends already bound by their shared experience.
Whereas most couples have simply postponed, other couples have rethought their wedding day entirely. Instead, opting to hold smaller, more intimate ceremonies sooner rather than later. The freedom of humanist ceremonies comes into its own here. With elopements planned for beeches, hilltops and in forests. We can’t wait! This is what MAD&CAD live for!
But above all else, one thing is for sure, when ceremonies and celebrations do take place, everyone will have a deeper appreciation for the wonder and magic they bring.”
Whatever is happening in these topsy turvy times, we’re glad to see that love remains a firm constant in a world of change and when all is said and done, maybe love really is all you need…and a beautiful eco wood ring to celebrate it of course.