I got to the front and the best man was holding the box as though it had just been chucked at him, so I took it and gave it back to my nephew and got him to stand in front of us.
Stood at the front with my dad and suddenly had to grab Mark’s arm because I could feel the pain building in my legs and back, he could tell from my death grip it was more than just holding him so looked at me and mouthed “are you ok?”
We sang the first song – Be Thou My Vision – which sounded amazing with just a guitar and an Irish lead singer, really got that Celtic feel I wanted. Then my Grandad read from Ephesians whilst I got my sister to quickly look up Declaration of Principles on Mum’s phone, she said she wouldn’t read it so Mum did and did a really good job. We then sang the second song Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone) and when everyone sat down our minister said “That’s a modern version of an old song, by the writer Chris Tomlin. Sixsteprecords, Chris’s record company have sent their best wishes and said that Chris is currently on tour or he would have sent a personal message” Mark just nodded like he’d had a message from his Mum or something, I don’t think it quite sunk in until later!
The wedding itself was done really well, it didn’t draw attention to it not being a legal service but at the same time didn’t make out it was one. He even announced us as husband and wife. I think afterwards no one could say we weren’t married, even the people who before hand said “so you won’t actually be married after the wedding?” in fact we had lots of comments about we didn’t need to rush it.
When he asked for the rings my nephew held the box back so the minister put his hand out for it. As he stood up he said “turn around” we did just as the owl flew down the aisle and landed on FIL’s hand. Mark said “I would have wanted to catch!” so I said “it wouldn’t have been a surprise then!”
We took communion from the Quaich, which surprised me because I didn’t know what was going to happen with it. Apparently FIL begged it from the hotel (which I’d told Mark to do!!! He didn’t and FIL had a brainwave to do it lol) had to show Mark how to use it because I’d tried to show him before and he wouldn’t.
The minister gave a message and spoke about “leaving and cleaving” and the passage on the husband being the head but he only did that bit quickly and took his time explaining the next bit where the husband is supposed to love his wife like Christ loves the Church, that he’d do anything for her to the point of laying his life down and that if a husband does this then a being the head is easy because naturally the wife will trust him in everything (personally I think this is God’s ideal and like all things God knows we’re human and it doesn’t always happen like this, He just gives us the ideal to work on) it was all really nice.
We had no signing tree because Mark had forgotten to draw it (despite having the paper ready) and no exit music, the man we had asked to sing whilst we signed refused to sing as we thought we could exit to that… so we left in silence.
We went into the courtyard for photos, this was the first time I’d seen how many people were dressed up. We had five people in fancy dress, one person made her own and for her children, only a handful hadn't. Everyone looked amazing, individually and as a whole group.
We had some pictures with the owls, Mark called me over to him and the two handlers, he was just putting a glove on and they wanted me to pose with him for photos. After he told me to give the owl back and I moved my hand away slightly, stroking his neck and looked sad and was told I couldn’t keep him :(
Then we heard the horse was back so it was back so we went around to where the horse was. I got someone to give out the dancing ribbons. I asked if it was ok for photos with the owl and they said it was as long as the horse couldn’t see him. So I mounted and the owl was passed to me. After a few pictures I gave the owl back and the ushers asked if we were ready to go. It took a little while to get the people behind the horse because everyone wanted to take pictures but as a rescue horse we needed to control his surroundings.