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Celebrant stories

Honouring someone who has passed

Posted by Claire Oxenham on November 26, 2012 at 4:00 PM



Recently whist writing a wedding ceremony, I was waiting on the questionnaire to be returned, time was getting a bit tight, so I decided to at least get something on to a document, so it’s not a mad rush if they do decide to send it back.

I like to add poems to all of my ceremonies, I generally decided on these poems based on the questionnaire and the type of ceremony.

As it happened, I added a poem to the ceremony, about a fathers wish for his daughter to get married…… then the questionnaire came back, and yep you guessed it, the bride’s father had passed away.

Now it’s always difficult to write a piece about someone who has passed no matter whom it is, it’s always a very sensitive subject to be approached.

Now as I sat staring at this poem, the question in my head was….. do I leave it in or change it?

I decided to leave it in and sent the ceremony to the client, I held my breath and asked her to pay particular attention to the poem and had also explained that I´d already chosen the poem before knowing about her father.

The worst thing for me is that the bride asks me to remove the poem and choose another one.

However as I waited with baited breath, the answer came back……. She loved it!! Read it with tears in her eyes!! Love the whole ceremony, just wanted a little touch to the vows.

And breathe Claire!!!!

As it must be difficult to have an important day such as your wedding day without one of the most important people there, I have always respected the decision of the couple; I ask them if they want a poem or a brief pause in the ceremony, so far I have no objections to the suggestions made.

My personal opinion is that whoever has passed, they are looking upon us from a better plane.

See you next week


xx  :)


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