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  • chrishap

Zoom Celebrant

Studio City, Los Angeles, 19.00pm, 20th June 2020

The birdsong has reached a crescendo, the sun is still high in the sky and the flowers in the garden are attracting an abundance of honeybees. The Bride, Pam, is adding the finishing touches to her hair arrangement. The Groom, Jon, is nervously checking the video equipment and sound system (he’s been doing it all day!). Mariel and Ash, their two respective children, are standing in their allocated positions, the music has now begun and they’re all set to go. But wait, where is the wedding celebrant? Who will perform the ceremony? There’s only four people in the garden!

Well, cue yours truly sitting by my computer back in West Sussex in the UK at 3am in the morning, waiting for the Zoom connection that will enable me to perform the joyous celebration of Pam and Jon’s wedding. This definitely is a first for me. More tea please, a strong one and make sure it stays hot! A stirring of sounds, fuzzy pictures on my computer, suddenly Zoom has connected. Beloved family and friends, some from just around the corner, some thousands of miles away start ‘dropping in’, smiles, laughter and tears. This is of course is a ‘pandemic wedding’ and it will be the first one I will perform. What a strange but beautiful concept, something I would have never dreamt of years ago when I started to take on the notion of becoming a wedding celebrant. And so I begin, teapot hidden away, speech at the ready…’greetings one and all from around the world’.

I feel extremely privileged that Pam and Jon asked me to perform their wedding ceremony. Given the world’s circumstances and the scary unknown, they decided to bring some joy not only to their lives but to their loved ones. They wanted an international feel to their big day because of the geographical location of all concerned so being Anglophiles, they tracked me down and interviewed me some months earlier, of course by Zoom.

The ceremony continues, vows have been made, rings exchanged, hands fasted together, champagne toasts, kisses (not socially distant ones), speeches made…and made and made….I counted family and friends from 19 different countries who participated. There was so much laughter, many tears, fun anecdotes and copious amounts of champagne drank. It truly was a very special occasion and one I feel honoured to have been part of.

Forget the tea (which has now gone cold anyway), even though it’s now 4.30am on the 21st June UK time, a glass of champagne is very much what I need!

Cheers to Pam and Jon

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