This month my husband and I have celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. It seems a lifetime since we first met, and actually it’s two – our beautiful daughters! We were one of the first of our combined set of friends to get married, and we knew pretty much nothing about weddings, now of course I am an expert. Some seasons are so jam packed with weddings that it seems as if I never see my family at the weekend, and when my husband was a bellringer, childcare became quite the management task!
Then there was the season during which all the preschool staff decided to tie the knot and the church was jam packed with toddlers, including my own. It was truly a joyful summer, and rather a noisy one at the weddings too. Trying to give the happy couple my full attention, carrying their nerves and emotions as they made their vows was an even bigger honour knowing them as my daughter’s “teachers”. There’s a sort of holy bubble that encapsulates the bride and groom, and which the vicar enters into as well, during the vows; I prayed that it wouldn’t be shattered by my little one declaring the need for a wee!
But perhaps the most difficult weddings to take were those which took place shortly after my husband and I had argued. Helping blushing brides and perspiring grooms to promise to love and cherish each other when I wanted to throttle my own “beloved” was certainly a challenge, and perhaps I laboured the point about marrying for better and for worse! Returning home to wade through dirty nappies, dirty plates, dirty faces and sticky hands after tiptoeing through confetti was quite disheartening at times; but thus is the reality of wedding season with a family in tow!
Vanessa is an ordained priest in the Church of England, serving in a team of seven churches in rural Hampshire. She currently shares the rectory with her husband, two daughters and two cats. The menagerie is due to acquire more chickens in the spring and possibly a dog later in the year. Vanessa blogs at www.nothinglikeadane.wordpress.com and you can follow her at www.facebook.com/thewallopingvicar or @wallopingvicar