Jennifer and Charles

As a marriage celebrant, you’re not supposed to cry at weddings. You’re the one who’s meant to anchor the ceremony, to stay calm when the bride, groom and their families are carried away by emotion. But I’ll admit I came close at Jen and Charles’ wedding.

East 13 Photography

I first met Jen almost a decade ago when we were both exchange students at a German university. Over a period of several months we studied German, travelled through Europe, ate our combined body weight in Belgian truffles and laughed. A lot. The memories from those days remain some of my fondest. Therefore, when she asked me over lunch a little while ago if I could marry her to her partner of five and a half years, Charles, I had no hesitation in saying yes.

Jen arrived on her Dad’s arm to the strains of Balcony Scene, from the Romeo + Juliet soundtrack. This particular piece of music lasts for about 5 minutes and was the perfect length for their long walk into the park. By the time Jen reached us, the music was at its crescendo. The strings and piano combined with Jen’s calm radiance and Charles’ obvious pride gave me goosebumps and I had to wipe away a tear. I’ve got goosebumps just remembering it now!

Arriving with her Dad

Jen and Charles are both family-oriented people and their ceremony was a reflection of this.  They paid special tribute to Charles’ much-loved late Dad and Jen’s late Grandpa and included every immediate family member on the day.

Jen’s parents gave her away. Readings were given by Charles’ sister and Jen’s Granddad. Jen’s brother was entrusted with the rings. Their mothers acted as the witnesses to the marriage.

East 13 Photography

As a celebrant, you get used to seeing a lot of love, yet it never fails to astound me. The feelings of wonder and joy – yes, joy! – that I get when I see different generations of people uniting for the single purpose of celebrating love can’t be described. They have to be felt.

When I pronounced Charles and Jen husband and wife, quite a cheer went up. A cheer much louder than that which can be made by 20 people. So where did the noise come from?

East 13 Photography

Unbeknown to us, a children’s fair was scheduled for the same day as their wedding. A few kids and their parents had wandered across to admire the handsome couple and been caught up in the magic of the day.

It’s lovely when those who know and love you wish you well, but when people you’ve never met start yelling out a ‘Congratulations!’ or two,  you can’t help but feel that love really is (to paraphrase a somewhat sappy 90s song) all around.

Congratulations, Jen and Charles. xx Koren

East 13 Photography

Jennifer and Charles, 20 March 2011
Venue: Darling Gardens, Clifton Hill
Photos: East 13 Photography
Bridal gown: Mariana HardwickCelebrant: Koren Harvey