A blog written by my colleague Lorna about her couple's recent renewal of vows!
"Sarah and Patrick got married on the 10th October 2020, at the Great House of Sonning in Berkshire. Organising such an event in the middle of a Pandemic is no mean feat and the unknown factors that it would bring of whether it would even go ahead or not! Luckily even although it was not the wedding day they had envisioned it proved to be with thirteen guests and our lovely couple had an intimate beautiful day that will be forever kept close to their hearts.
Fast forward to the 9th October 2021 the pair had an altogether different ceremony whereby they renewed their wedding vows in front of approximately 90 of their nearest and dearest, which was organised to be a ceremony with traditional aspects of a wedding.
The morning of the Celebration was clouded with mist and thankfully this rose to be a beautiful autumnal day, the sunshine warmed the garden of the venue with its golden rays. I arrived and found Anna who was in charge and spoke to her with regard to the ceremony. Final touches were being done to this gorgeous room that looked onto the long garden and the river.
The first anniversary of a couple is Paper and the venue’s lighting suited the theme to a tee, as they were like paper lanterns above us. The addition of paper lanterns in the garden and origami birds hanging from the trees we all a nod to this special anniversary. I went over to the bridal suite to see Sarah to run through the ceremony, I also met her dad who was obviously delighted and honoured to be able to walk his daughter down the aisle this time.
Leaving them to it, I turned my attention to the Photographer and videographer who had the task of bringing the memories of the day into picture and film form. James the photographer had captured their wedding day the year prior, so it was lovely that he was able to complete this journey with them on their first anniversary.
Unexpected nerves from both Patrick and Sarah surprised the couple. Josh, his son, was on hand to support his dad as Patrick came down shortly before 1pm, so that he could greet the guests as they arrived and I also ran through what would be happening through the course of the ceremony with him.
Around 1.45pm everyone took their seats in anticipation, remembering that it had been quite some time that the guests had seen each other, it was quite a moment.
Everything was in place and Patrick was waiting patiently for Sarah to arrive. The music started and Sarah walked down the aisle first with her dad followed by her bridesmaids. I took her flowers and placed them on the table and everyone settled for the ceremony. It was a lovely moment as there were a lot of the people involved in getting this pair together in the room, and being able to tell Sarah and Patrick's story of sliding door moments until the collision of this perfect pairing occurred was immeasurable.
Sarah and Patrick made an important and poignant pause, when we all took a moment for Patrick’s mum and Sarah’s Aunty Eileen who sadly are no longer with us, by lighting specific scented candles for each of them. They also shared that in lieu of guest favours today Sarah and Patrick very kindly gave a donation to Cancer Research UK, which is a charity very close to their hearts. The guests were an integral part of the celebration where after each question there was a deafening “We do”.
It was even more important that their guests embraced the last promise for this lovely couple…. “And finally do you all promise that you will have a blinking good time today and shake some moves on the dance floor later ?” Which of course there was a booming “we do"!
The ceremony was complemented by Sarah’s tribe mate Sam Allen who wrote a personalised poem for them. It was entitled 'Keen to be Keane' and we watched Sam delivering her poem on a video that she sent to the couple for this moment, as unfortunately, she was unable to attend.
The couple read their own personalised vows to each other, which is no mean feat in front of 90 of your nearest and dearest, but they did amazingly well as they spilled their hearts to each other in their own words. We gave a nod to the rings already received on their wedding day and their meaning and symbolism, although I think that the hopeful Sarah would have probably agreed to another ring!
Sarah and Patrick were pronounced to having renewed their wedding vows and Patrick kissed his beautiful wife to much applause and congratulatory cheering from the guests. Finally, once they got a moment and the roar of the guests died down they signed the commemorative certificate and pictures were taken. Patrick and Sarah came to the front, as we prepared for the walk back down the aisle and into the gardens for the celebrations to continue well into the night.
As Mr and Mrs Keane were announced the resounding support and love from their guests was made clear from the whoops and applause that was and is still ringing in my ears!
Patrick and Sarah have had a journey to be able to be with all their friends and family on this very special day and organising two celebrations within the year is stressful but unquestionably pivotal to their journey as a couple together, and undeniably worth it to see everybody’s overjoyed faces at being all together.
Wishing you all the happiness in the world in the next chapters of your lives together as one.
(Photos in this blog taken by Lorna McIntyre)
Venue – Great House at Sonning
Celebrant – Lorna McIntyre – Knight Ceremonies
Photographer – James from Hannah McClune Photography
See more about Berkshire Ceremonies