The first encounter
Damien called me and asked me lots of questions, he is in a hurry but he is also hesitant, he doesn’t have a clue what a non-religious ceremony is . I hang up thinking: “Please, call me back quickly, I can’t wait for us to work together!” Forty-five minutes later, Mickaël contacts me and I am on cloud nine. Those two took me to two worlds where I felt good, that’s why I am so excited to learn more and I can’t wait for our first meeting !
The heat is intense. After a 1h15-minute drive, surrounded by miles and miles of sunflower fields, I finally get to Ladausse Castle in Montflanquin. There, everything is even more beautiful than what I had imagined, the boys told me about Mickaël’s sister’s handmade dreamcatchers, and about the countryside decoration; I certainly got it!
In every corner, there were haystacks, tables made with pallets, flowers… And in the middle of it was my spot; the non-religious ceremony. Wooden chairs on both sides, haystacks for the couple and their witnesses, a flower arch, a flower pot to put at the bottom of my lectern. That was sumptuous. In addition, there were those wonderful dreamcatchers of various sizes and shapes, placed all over the domain; real pieces of work.
Right away, the couple welcomes me with open arms! What a welcome! I have to say we’ve never met before because they live in Gex, and we’ve been preparing the ceremony since April only. They were happy to meet me, and so was I. The two beautiful men were smiling and very curious to discover the words I had written in my booklet for their non-religious ceremony. I love this surprise and discovery effect I can see on the couple’s and their families’ faces, as I read page after page. Laughter, smiles, emotions, tears… so many feelings I can see on their faces, as a result of my words. It makes me so happy, I love it!
Damien and Mickaël had plenty of ideas for their wedding; among them, a balloon release with an anonymous sheet of paper hanging from each one of them. So, I offered to put sheets of paper and pens on each seat, so that the guests could write something down without knowing the purpose, and during the reception, everything would be revealed, the sheets of paper would be tied to the balloons, and they would all be released in the sky to spread out all those loving thoughts.
Quite naturally, they opted for the “handfasting” ritual, so that all the important people in their life could participate. That was a lovely moment because the guests didn’t know they were going to do it, and when I called each participant, each one was pleasantly surprised to be a part of the closest people the couple had selected.
Damien and Mickaël didn’t exchange wedding rings because they didn’t want to. Instead, they had pendants. But for the game and a matter of bow ties (that story is too long to be told here), they decided to hide their pendants in a box and to organise a treasure hunt. The latter was the box with the pendants inside. I loved that idea, so I asked them to ask their questions beforehand and I included the answers in my ceremony, telling the guests to be very attentive, even if they didn’t know why! Thus, we all played the game, for even I took part in it during my writing preparation.
The end of the ceremony
During the ceremony, which lasted more than forty-minutes, there were five different interventions with personal texts, singings, and even the reading of extracts from an Indian book. Of course, I spoke a lot as well, and the vows were wonderful, just like them; funny, sensitive, protective and moving.
Mickaël and Damien are two men of different ages, their experiences are totally opposed and they are both very nice people who dream about tolerance, equality between countries, peace and open-mindedness. Two idealists, two dreamers? No, it’s a beautiful thing to believe in your desires, they travelled Asia and many other countries to get closer to people and share things with them. I thank them for giving me a piece of their world, for pouring their hearts out to me. If you want to live something similar, contact me…
To end on a happy note, here are their words which encourage me to love my job more and more every day: “All the guests were charmed by the non-religious ceremony, we only got positive comments, thanks again for your work. That was superb! The ceremony was great! Thank you so much.
Thank you for all your work! The result speaks for itself… amazing, everybody liked it and found it beautiful. Thank you.”
Photos : Arte da Luz