What makes us who we are? What are our love stories? I ask couples to tell me their love stories so as a celebrant I can weave their story into their ceremony to make them unique and bespoke. It also helps me to get an understanding of who they are as a couple and what makes them tick.
Here is my love story…
I love photo booths at weddings and this picture was taken back in 2014 and as you can see my bride and groom are holding up a sign saying ‘Still Available’. At the time as a Marriage Celebrant in New Zealand I felt like a bit of a fraud, not only was I single but my belief in love and therefore marriage had dwindled. Here I was marrying couples who, don’t get me wrong, were helping to restore my wounded soul with every ‘I do’, but I still felt disillusioned.
I found myself a single Mum of two beautiful girls suddenly back at home living with my folks. And although they provided me great comfort in a desperate time, I had completely resigned myself to being on my own forever. Frankly at the time it was all I wanted, I had definitely entered the phase of all men are horrible! I was wounded and hurting and I had forgotten how to love or how to trust.
I wrote a blog called ‘My Perfect Man’, a daydream really about all the things I wished for in a man; a most ridiculous wish really, a wish you would expect to find in a young girls diary. At the time though it was therapeutic. My luck, or rather my choice in men during my life, well, it left a lot to be desired - everything from Gay boyfriends (who I love as friends, not so much as boyfriends) to men who were emotional bullies, who strip you of everything, if you let them.
It was late 2014 when I moved to Australia with my girls and my folks. A new start in yet another new country, perhaps true love awaited me there? The romantic in me clung to the hope, but as time passed by and I hit 40 years old, a few kg’s more clinging to my thighs and crow’s feet emerging, that my thoughts of romance once again dwindled away. I was destined to be a lonely cat lady, just minus the cats!
I began my studies to become an Australian celebrant at this point, and although I had been working in New Zealand doing the same thing, my qualifications did not carry over. I even featured in my training college blog one week: 'A Day in the life of a Marriage Celebrant'. It was my thought that I would move into funerals, one area where my passion really did lay. I could leave happy couples to other celebrants and not be faced everyday with the rich emotion of love that I simply couldn’t find myself.
I also joined a theatre group. I originally trained as an actress, many moons ago in London, and it was once something I loved but getting back up on the stage was going to be a challenge after 15 years. I was instantly surrounded by the most amazing and beautiful set of people and my confidence started to return. Then in 2016, a man walked into my life and he would be responsible for turning my world upside down.
We got a job together working as Santa and Mrs Claus for a Christmas light display in Pimpama and for 19 days straight we worked every night together laughing and talking, and I realised very early on that this man was a truly beautiful soul. However, it wouldn’t be until Australia day the following year, during a business trip to Sydney, that we would finally start our love story together. The first kiss told me everything I needed to know; I was, in that one moment completely and totally in love with this man, and on a path I knew there was no turning back from. He fulfills everything I could ever want in a partner. He is kind, considerate, he loves my girls completely and without reservation. He’s funny, with a wicked sense of humour that matches mine and he is not afraid of showing how he feels. He is brave, handsome and the most beautiful soul I have ever come across. Two years on we share a house together in Merrimac with my two girls, who he absolutely dotes on, and they love him as much as I do. He spoils them rotten as he does me.
After my poor experiences with men, I had come to believe love was something that just existed in fairy tales, or for the lucky few. I certainly didn’t think it would ever be on the cards for me; oh how wrong I was!
It wasn’t long before I started doing weddings again and meeting with beautiful couples and I am happy to have found my passion again. I am excited by their stories and even more excited as I write their ceremonies and have the privilege to be part of their day. I don’t feel like a fraud anymore; I am just happy, so very happy.
The question is, who will marry me when the time comes?!