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Your very own wedding reading

If you want a reading that no one will have heard before and that fits you like a glove, then, I can write something just for you. Contact me if this is something you would like to include in your package.
Nottingham celebrant

This first poem is called Something Changes and it was written for a child to read at her mum's wedding. The poem grew from the way she and her brothers lived together as a family with her mum's partner and his children, and reflected all the wonderful aspects of a blended family - perfectly imperfectly, secure in the love of their parents and very happy that they were finally getting married!

With a few small tweaks (e.g. using the words 'your' instead of 'our' and 'you' instead of 'we') it can be edited to be read by any of your wedding guests. 

Something Changes

Claire Ferguson

Today is the day that we've planned for a while

We've watched, and we've hoped 

And we've waited 

and smiled

We've found our own way to merge altogether

But we're still our own people

And we will be

whatever.

We'll play and we'll laugh, and we'll sulk and we'll joke

But with roots in your love

We've the strength 

of an oak.

From today, from tomorrow and each day anew,

Something changes the moment

You both say

'I do'

For we're now something else, something precious and strong

And we're joined as the family

We were

all along.

This next poem is called Homecoming and it was written for a couple who said that when they found each other, it felt like coming home. They were apart due to work at times and so I wanted to highlight how when we have found the right person, we can feel as though they are the steady touchstone amidst the chaos.

Homecoming

Claire Ferguson

 

When the world awakes joy in us,

It is your laughter I want to feel against my cheek.

 

When the morning arrives with sorrow

It is your forehead I will stroke. Your face I will hold.

 

When the blue cotton of night softens our day,

It is into your sleep I want to sink.

 

When the furious rain beats rice at our windows,

It is your safe return I await.

 

When the world spinning makes us dizzy,

It is your hand I will take.

 

And as changes delight and surround us,

And your love seems all I have known

I have found, in you, my place. My home.

I wrote this next, light-hearted one for a couple who had always said they would never get married, despite the constant questions from friends and family. I loved that they spent years saying 'no' to everyone while secretly hoping that one day, they would! It's called (aptly) We Don't Need to Get Married.

We Don't Need to Get Married

Claire Ferguson

We don't need to get married, it's just for 'the do'

And the parents are happy that we're seeing things through.

It's nice to dress up 'cause we often forget

How well we scrub up (just don't think of the debt)

And we all love a party; we've not danced in an age

And the kids can be bridesmaids - what the hell is a paige?

It'll stop them all asking, 'Are you tying the knot'?

So, we might as well do it, I still think you're hot.

And I get a slight worry when I think of the vow

That tells me to 'honour'. Not sure I know how.

But if I'm to do it, there is just no one else

That I'd like to be with me as they ring out those bells.

Because my forever is wrapped up in you,

I'd be thrilled if you say you'll stay part of our crew.

Every row, every kiss, every takeaway tea,

Each binge watch, each big shop, each Air BnB.

We're right for each other, so maybe they're right

Because you're the one who turns darkness to light.

So shall we get married and create our own blend

'Cause I know you're my soulmate, and I'm yours 'til the end.

This next poem, Your Eyes, was written for a couple of school sweethearts who had stayed together (more or less!) through teenage years, and on through 'grown-up' life, with car, pets, mortgage, jobs, children, holidays and all that those things bring. I love the fact that the cells in the back of our eyes never change our whole life, and so the cells in your eyes that you viewed each other with when you first met, are the same that you use to look at each other with today: They haven't changed and never will. 

Your Eyes

Claire Ferguson

Your eyes tell the story of bashful smiles

and first hellos;

of awkward dates

and weak-kneed euphoria

measured in heartbeats.

 

Your eyes tell the story of the first touch of lips;

of tearful partings

and glorious reunions;

of promises, first whispered

and then shouted in the rain.

 

Your eyes tell the story of growing

and growing up together;

of sunsets and snow[

of sorrow and dreams,

the “let’s do this” and jumping straight ins.

 

Your eyes tell the story of time taken

to understand and forget;

of falling in love, and failing in love again

and again,;

of becoming and planning;

of overwhelming breathless thrills

and “well get through this together”s.

 

Your eyes tell the story of the years

written by you

that leads to now, to here

To the story of two people

two rings, two promises

and the beginning of a golden season

that starts with

“I do”.

Sometimes love comes all of a sudden with fireworks and magic, and hits in a blaze of wonder. Often, though, love creeps up on us slowly and quietly as two people build a life together step by step. This is what inspired the next piece, and was especially written for a couple who had started as friends, helping each other through the daily joys and struggles until they realised that something had changed.

No Planets Collided in the Making of this Love

Claire Ferguson

No planets collided in the making of this love.

No stars aligned.

No meteors shrieked across a wish-laden sky.

Only two people

Climbing a mountain of life

Holding out a hand when one fell behind

Shining with pride when one forged ahead

and finding that there was space for two to climb in unison

Building togetherness on the level places of quiet moments

of take-away decisions, rainy day coffees,

Online forms and lost keys.

Amidst specks of dazzling joy-rained bliss

and unexpected kisses in the softness of sleep

Reaching the heights they could never reach alone

Climbing higher

Until all around them, the stars came out

Illuminating their love.

Not everyone meets the partner at exactly the right moment. Life has a habit of messing up our perfect timelines and so often love stories have little hiccups along the way - detours that take us away from the person we should be with. This is the case for many of us, in fact. All those earlier experiences, though, give  a richness to our lives and to our stories and just like in all the best jokes, with love timing really is everything! This poem does rhyme, too. See  if you can spot it!

Timing
Claire Ferguson

Every comedian says
Timing is everything
Get that wrong and the joke falls flat
The space between seconds
Grows and an empty room fills
With uncomfortable recovery chatter.

For us, a punchline that
Slotted into place did not come
Nicely presented and ready to share
The timing for us came
With different meandering stories
That seemed to place us both elsewhere

But our timing was right
In each wrong turn
There were spaces where love quietly took seed.
Every missed opportunity
Each ‘we’ll just be friends’
Built the words and the courage we needed.

So when the right timing
Came, with its open hand
We could fall into our rhythm of yes.
And our punchline
Was clear and joyous then
With no more second guessing.

We travelled those years

To the place we stand now

With our metre, at last, in harmony.

To find the conclusion

Of a story of us.

The perfect punchline of you and me.

Some of the couples I have written and conducted weddings for have experienced loss of someone close to them, and as they plan their wedding, which at its heart is a true celebration, they want to acknowledge their decision to embrace a new chapter without forgetting the person who is no longer with them and the part they played in their life. This piece aims to capture this, and also highlights the importance of not missing new love as it comes along.

Too Soon
Claire Ferguson

I will ask the question

Is it too soon?

Too soon to blink awake with the kiss

Of sunlight warm as honey on my cheek

Too soon to venture into the green, glistening earth

Away from the shadows of loss

 

Too soon to inhabit my own skin

Once again

Feet planted, sure and hopeful

On soft moss

 

Too soon to open my palm to a love

That will fit in my hand

With the warmth of a summertime stone

And will blow through my hair with whispers of tomorrow

Too soon to look back and see the distance I have travelled

And the gratitude I leave inked

On my skin, on my bones on my soul

Of love’s echo.

 

Too soon to move from remembrance

From candles lit with tears

To glowing pools of devotion.

 

To say out loud: I exist. I am loved. I love.

I will risk too soon, for you.

 

But I will not risk

Too late.

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