Veronika Robinson has had the immense pleasure of being a celebrant for twenty seven years. She officiates across all rites of passage from Callanish to Cornwall (and overseas upon request) however mostly works in Cumbria. She is a tutor at Heart-led Ceremonies Celebrant Training and editor of The Celebrant magazine.
This intimate wedding ceremony took place at Augill Castle in Cumbria. Surrounded by immediate family and a few friends, this beautiful ceremony reflected my couple’s Christian values. The beautiful bride arrived with her three daughters while Jill Lowther played guitar. It was a gorgeous Summer’s afternoon.
We began with a wedding invocation followed by a ring blessing. Intentions were set based on their Christian values of caring, commitment, compassion, fairness, faith, forgiveness, gratitude, kindness and trust.
I talked about the blending of families, and the sacredness of family.
This reading was shared:
Blessing for a Marriage ~ James Dillet Freeman
May your marriage bring you
all the exquisite excitements a marriage should bring,
and may life grant you also patience,
tolerance, and understanding.
May you always need one another –
not so much to fill your emptiness
as to help you to know your fullness.
A mountain needs a valley to be complete;
the valley does not make the mountain less,
but more; and the valley is more a valley
because it has a mountain towering over it.
So let it be with you and you.
May you need one another, but not out of weakness.
May you want one another, but not out of lack.
May you entice one another, but not compel one another.
May you embrace one another, but not encircle one another.
May you succeed in all important ways with one another,
and not fail in the little graces.
May you look for things to praise,
often say, “I love you!”
and take no notice of small faults.
If you have quarrels that push you apart,
may both of you hope to have good sense enough
to take the first step back.
May you enter into the mystery
which is the awareness of one another’s presence –
no more physical than spiritual,
warm and near when you are side by side,
and warm and near when you are in separate rooms
or even distant cities.
May you have happiness,
and may you find it making one another happy.
May you have love,
and may you find it loving one another.
Rite: Rosemary and Rose Ritual Handwashing
We drew upon an ancient Christian tradition of matrimonial handwashing.
The Giving of Rings
The couple had chosen vintage wedding rings as collecting vintage items was a shared interest.
Braiding of the Cross: Handtying
They also symbolised their bonding with a handtying. Each ribbon symbolised a quality they admired in their children. I then included a Christian reference.
The first ribbon symbolised a son’s quality of stability. This is something which will bring solidity to this marriage. May we be reminded of Psalm 16:8 “I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.”
The second ribbon was chosen to symbolise another son’s ability to remain steadfast. In Hebrews 10:23 “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.”
The third ribbon symbolised their daughter’s unconditional love.
From John 4:19 we are reminded: “We love because He first loved us.”
Another daughter’s resilience in life and to life was symbolised by the giving of a fourth ribbon. It is said that ‘tough times never last, but tough people do’. We asked that along the roads and bends of life, their blended family remain resilient.
The fifth ribbon symbolised another daughter’s generosity. It is hoped that throughout their married life, they will not only be generous with each other but extend this to all those who happen upon their path. From Proverbs 22:9 “The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.”
The sixth ribbon symbolised the abiding and generous love of God.
Another ritual in their ceremony was drinking from the caudle. This vessel, traditionally used in castles, is symbolic of love, trust and peace between two people.
Their celebratory drink was warm apple and honey. Apple to symbolise God’s children and honey to symbolise the sweetness of God’s love. Together they remind us how much better our lives are when we remember God’s love.
While it is fair to say that the majority of my couples do not want a religious wedding, it was lovely, as a celebrant, to create something quite different from my other ceremonies.
Couple: Inga and Greg
Celebrant: Veronika Robinson
Venue: Augill Castle
Photographer: Joanne Crone