Humanist Society Scotland
Obviously, my working life mostly revolves around wedding couples.
I meet them and hear their stories, find out who they are; who their families and friends are, and how they imagine their wedding day will feel.
This may be as much as two years before their chosen date.
A date chosen so all their family can be there, from other countries, continents, deployments or shifts.
A date that might mark the anniversary of sadly passed but much loved grandparents, whose wedding bands this young couple will exchange 60 years to the day since they were last used to embody new marriage vows pledged between young lovers.
A date where their carefully chosen local venue, favourite band, photographer, piper, caterer and celebrant are all free, all excitedly booked, all prep'ed, able and willing to make this pivotal day in their lives as special and as representative of who they are as a couple, as we possibly can.
A date on which they can not now get married.
For guests a wedding is coming together, celebrating life, love, family & friends. Shared joy in the love that two people - we love - have found.
Fun & chat, too much drink & food, an excuse to buy a frock, get our hair done up - or let it down...and maybe for some guests moving a wedding it is not much more than the unfortunate postponement of a party when there are far more important things to think about.
But for many couples it is much more than a party that they have lost this year.
My couples tell me about not only how their wedding will be, but what they are looking forward to in the life and marriage that will follow that day, a day they are so excited about and that they just cannot wait for.
They have thought long and hard about what is important to them not just on that day, but in the future too, and written their vows accordingly. They have considered how to include their children or parents in their ceremony. They have poured over plans and saved their money, been measured for outfits, and had a countdown clock on their fridge for the ‘Big Day’...a big day that will not now be as they imagined.
A much anticipated marker of the joy in their lives has shifted and is forever changed. A date now marked by stress over whether or not it can go ahead? and if they do move it – when will be safe? Might it have to move again?
The original day & their new one.
I cried a little on the 9th of May.
The couple I should have been marrying that afternoon shared a film with me compiled of clips from all their friends and family, to remind them that they are loved - and by more than just each other - and that the loss they were feeling that day was not forgotten or unimportant, no matter what else might be going on in the world.
Such warmth in that gesture. Such kindness in acknowledging that while others might be in more difficult circumstances, that does not make your feelings about your now strangely empty day any less valid.
None of us truly know how folk are dealing with what is happening in their lives, especially just now, so be kind whenever the opportunity arises.