One of the perks of being a wedding celebrant is that I get to know so many amazing venues. A celebrant-led wedding can take place anywhere, at licensed and non-licensed venues and locations (more inspiration here). I have conducted ceremonies at a boat, in a rose garden, at a fashion school, in private gardens, in mansions, and even in a cinema!
This is a story about James and Libby’s wedding ceremony at a very special location:
An art gallery.
Read all about this spectacular venue and how the surroundings provided some wonderful metaphors in line with their views on love and marriage.
Getting married in a pavilion!
Libby and James had chosen a very special venue for their wedding ceremony: the Radić pavilion in the garden of Hauser & Wirth Gallery, Somerset. This pebble-shaped pavilion was originally built as a summer pavilion for the Serpentine Gallery in Hyde Park, London. I remember visiting it there, and how I enjoyed walking over the curved paths leading up to the main space which provided wonderful views on the surroundings.
I was very excited to visit the pavilion again, this time at his permanent home in Somerset and for such a joyful and special occasion!
‘A place where I feel at home’
Libby and James wanted a simple, relaxed and unplugged ceremony, framed around their story together. Below some highlights!
The guests were welcomed by live guitar music, performed by Timmy Fisher, and were invited to sit or stand wherever they wished.
Libby walked down the aisle to ‘To Build A Home’ by Cinematic Orchestra. A moving and beautiful song about building a life together:
This is a place where I don’t feel alone
This is a place where I feel at home
‘Cause, I built a home
An adventurous event
The path leading towards the pavilion inspired to reflect upon Libby and James’ view on marriage:
“For Libby and James, this journey is not one with a defined route or destination. They go forward into their marriage with an open mind, curious to learn what new things will cross their path and how these will inspire them in their life together.
Marriage is not a straight line. It’s rather something like the environment of this pavilion. An adventurous event, with rocky elements, curved roads and stepping stones, inviting the participants to take the less obvious route and to discover new ways of making their way from one point to another.”
Moving and dancing with the joy of life
When Libby and James got married, the art gallery had an exhibition with works from Alexander Calder. He is famous for his mobiles and this provided another source of inspiration for the ceremony:
“It might or it might not be coincidence that the current exhibition at this gallery is showing work by Alexander Calder. Calder is the artist of motion. A famous quote of him is ‘Just as one can compose colours, or forms, so one can compose motions’. For Libby and James, marriage is just like this: something that is continuously in motion, changing and developing over time, with the individual parts moving and dancing around each other with the joy of life and surprise.”
After sharing some stories about Libby and James’ life together they shared their vows, which they had written themselves. A moving and heartfelt moment!
‘May beauty surround you both in the journey ahead and through all the years’
James’ mother had chosen the following blessing which she read after James and Libby had exchanged their rings:
Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter for the other.
Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there will be no loneliness, for each of you will be companion to the other.
Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before you.
May beauty surround you both in the journey ahead and through all the years, may happiness be your companion and your days together be good and long upon.
Treat yourselves and each other with respect, and remind yourselves often of what brought you together.
Give the highest priority to the tenderness, gentleness and kindness that your connection deserves.
When frustration, difficult and fear assail your relationship – as they threaten all relationships at one time or another – remember to focus on what is right between you, not only the part which seems wrong.
In this way, you can ride out the storms when clouds hide the face of the sun in your lives – remembering that even if you lose sight of it for a moment, the sun is still there.
And if each of you takes responsibility for the quality of your life together, it will be marked by abundance and delight.
Cheers and tears!
The newly-weds sealed their commitments with a kiss and we all cheered them out with smiles, applause and yes, some little tears of happiness.
Wishing these lovers of art, culture and good food a long and happy life! Oh, and joyful woofs to their cute dog Luna too!