Recently, I conducted a Renewal of Vows ceremony that I was so proud to do and one which was so emotional and personal to me.
My parents were married on 16th March 1956 and this was their 60th Wedding Anniversary. It was such a privilege and an honour to do this for them and even though they are church goers they were very open to me conducting their ceremony for them without any religious content.
We booked a local hall for the Saturday before their anniversary date and invited close family and friends for lunch. We hired in caterers and set up the venue like a wedding with name settings and a top table and even had a family friend bake them a cake.
We kept the Renewal of Vows a wee secret from the guests, except for my two sisters as I wanted their help with it. I thought it would be good to have a Scottish traditional Handfast and I thought it would be perfect for my two sisters to be involved in the ceremony too so they were going to tie the tartan sashes round my parents hands.
The night before the anniversary lunch, I had a practice handfast with my Mum and Dad using my Dad’s tie and my scarf as I wanted to keep the tartans that I had chosen as a surprise gift for them. Separately, I showed my eldest sister how to tie the first knot and then the next day I showed my other sister what she had to do.
I had chosen 2 different tartans; one was the Taylor tartan and the other one was a tartan from the region that they have lived in all of their lives.
So after 60 years my parents ‘tied the knot’ again!
As with all my ceremonies I read them through several times before I conduct them – I read through this one many times and although the wording wasn’t too emotional – the fact that it was my parents standing there in front of me really made it emotional!! I cracked a couple of times as it meant so much to me to be able to do something so special for my parents who have always been there for me through the good, the great and some really rotten times.
My niece read a poem from all the grandchildren and great grandchildren which sums up our family life…..
60 Years already! No!
The time has flown, where did it go?
The children born, the children gone
But still the wheel of life goes on
Your family grows – A family tree
But not one branch, not two, its three!
Great grandchildren now invade your live
They cause you grief, they give you strife
But always through the ups and downs
You always smile, you never frown
Always sharing, always there
Still a couple – YES – you care
After the Renewal of Vows I invited my parents to have their First Dance – they didn’t have a song all those years ago but one that they associated with their married life was Too Young by Nat King Cole – they were only 20 and 22 when they got married and everyone told them it wouldn’t last – here we are all these years later!!
My parents took to the dance floor and then my oldest sister invited her husband to the dance floor, my other sister then invited her husband and I too took to the dance floor with my partner to join them in their dance, together, as one big family.
We had such a lovely meal and my parents were given keepsakes from family and friends and then my Mum passed around a card that they had both received that morning from the Queen. It was such a perfect day and I was extremely proud to conduct their ceremony for them and I wish them good health to have many more.
Happy Anniversary and love to you both…….. and the lump in my throat is back again lol!!
By Mo Taylor