“From the beginning, our relationship has felt right and peaceful and like coming home.”Emily and Jo
Jo and Emily made their Marriage promises to each other close to the beautiful, windswept Lunan Bay in Angus. It was a day of tropical winds, poetry and connection, flowers and laughter. In an intimate gathering of their closest friends and family, we celebrated these two wonderful people.
To open the ceremony, a family member shared Mary Oliver’s timeless poem, Wild Geese; a poem that has special meaning to Emily and Jo as it reminds them of another beautiful day when they were walking at Lunan Bay, and they saw a huge V of geese flying overhead.
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of thingsMary Oliver
Emily and Jo chose to include an Oathing Stone ritual in their ceremony in honour of the ancient Celtic belief that vows made in the presence of water and stone are especially binding, and also as a nod to the windowsills full of stones that they have at home, having pocketed them on their adventures together.
Holding the stone in their joined hands, they reflected on the journey that has brought them to be where they are today. They placed the stone on the earth close to them, as is tradition, then Jo shared a reading she had chosen especially for Emily from “I like you” by Sandol Stoddart Worburg.
I like you because
I don’t know why but
Everything that happens
Is nicer with you
I will go on choosing you
And you will
Go on choosing me
Over and over againAn extract of “I like you” by Sandol Stoddart Worburg
We talked of love and connection and the values Jo and Emily both hold dear to their hearts. We shared insights into how brilliantly they complement one another, and what Marriage means to them both. Then Jo and Emily made shared promises and, as they made their Marriage Vows to one another, they gifted each other rings.
As the tropical storm picked up around us, it was my honour to declare Emily and Jo married to the whoops and cheers of their family and friends. The ceremony closed with a reading by Emily’s mum, Liz; A Blessing for a Wedding by Jane Hirschfield. The whole event was gorgeous and so perfect for these two nature-loving, kind-hearted, creative people.
When I asked you what the spirit of your relationship is, you told me that your relationship is grounded and peaceful. Your love feels very simple, which makes your relationship feel simple too. It feels uncomplicated and natural. You have a good time together, whatever you are doing.
So much love to you both, Jo and Emily. Thank you for trusting me with your ceremony. I absolutely loved being your celebrant. Wishing you many wonderful adventures in the years to come with all the star-gazing, sea-dipping and picnics you could hope for.
Thank you to Silvya Palladino Photography for the glorious photos.