Updated: Feb 14
On a very warm autumnal day last October, my sister Toni and my brother in law Tom exchanged wedding vows in order to be legally married in Brighton Town Hall. They chose to do this 3 days before their official wedding day at The Ravenswood in East Grinstead where they would have a blessing led by my oldest sister and the most incredible wedding reception with 300 of their friends and family.
For their legal ceremony they chose to have just the two of them and two witnesses. I was lucky enough to be one of them alongside Tom’s best man, Alan.
I was ecstatic to be asked to be part of such an important part of their ceremony. I love love love weddings as you will all well know. But this was another level. This was two people I love the most and truly believe wholeheartedly are meant to be together forever, promise to be each others soul mates for the rest of their lives.
I drove down to Brighton early in the morning and excitedly rushed to the coffee shop we had agreed to meet in. I grabbed my oat milk cappuccino and waited for them to arrive. Toni text me saying they were running a few minutes late so I dashed around the corner to Gunn’s Florist in Brighton and asked them if they could whip me up a wild and rustic bouquet of sunflowers so my sister had something to hold in the registry office. I knew my sister would be in a black wedding dress and loves sunflowers so I was so excited when they made me the most beautiful bouquet for her in about 5 minutes flat. THANK YOU Gunn’s florist. You were amazing.
I rushed back to meet them and gave Toni her bouquet before we headed to Brighton Town Hall for their ceremony. The ceremony was so personal, intimate and private. It was beautiful! I’d never experienced a ceremony like this. I couldn’t help but think how special it was to do this, and for a bride and groom to do something so private and important with just the two of them.
After the ceremony we headed to Coffee Counter in Brighton for a delicious vegan breakfast. They were SO so lovely and offered us all some Prosecco on the house and some cake. We chatted about how special the morning had been and headed to the beach so I could finish up capturing this special occasion for the two of them.
I think its so easy for us to get swept up in organising an event and we can forget that we can own our own wedding and be totally unique. Sometimes having the time to do the legal bit with just the two of you can be just what you need. It might not for everyone but it is important to remember that traditions don’t have to be the only way to do things. Create a day with all the things you love most and that sum you up as a couple and celebrate those things together AND, if you choose to, with your friends and family. Don’t be bullied into doing things a certain way because everyone else wants you to.