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  • Writer's pictureLisa Flahant

Real life ROV ceremony: Peter and Catherine

Updated: Feb 22, 2023

Peter and Catherine’s renewal of wedding vows was held at a stunning holiday home just outside Newlyn on Thursday 24 June 2021…

…. And it was a beautifully romantic celebration of 25 years of marriage!

Peter, Catherine and I were connected via their daughter Elaine, who discovered Celebrant in Cornwall on social media. (Good old Facebook!) As the family were based in Scotland, and we were in the middle of lockdown, the three of us had our first conversation on video, and a booking was made for the following summer for a very small family celebration near the town where Peter was born in Cornwall.

A lot happened over the year to follow (yup, it’s the C word again!) and by the time we came to plan the ceremony in more detail, Peter and Catherine had reflected on recent events, and decided that they wanted as many of their close family and friends to be with them to celebrate as possible. So a celebration for 6 turned into 26 :-) the more, the merrier!

We had great fun planning the content. I continued to chat with Peter and Catherine over video and email, and came up with some personal touches which really appealed to them. One was the inclusion of the ritual of the quaich – or the loving cup – a nod to Catherine’s Scottish heritage. And the other was the inclusion of three toasts – to our couple’s past, their present and their future. Now I didn’t know this, but saying Cheers is a big thing in this family – and I mean a really big thing! Cheers for a beer, cheers for wine, even cheers for a cup of tea! So Catherine really liked that we could include this as a meaningful reference to a family tradition! She said to me after that conversation,

We didn’t know what we wanted – and you instinctively knew what was perfect for us. Thank you for guiding us through!

Peter and Catherine chose to have their own quaich - Scotland’s cup of friendship, which has been used through the centuries for a welcoming drink at clan gatherings, as a farewell drink to friends and visitors, and also to celebrate the Scottish heritage of a bride and groom on their wedding day. Quaich comes from the Gaelic word cuach, meaning cup. The two-handed design incorporates trust on the part of both giver and receiver - it was offered and taken with both hands so the drinker could not hold a weapon at the same time! The beautiful engraving Peter and Catherine chose to have on the base of their quaich says; “25 years of love, laughter and friendship. The greatest gift you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return. ”

Once I’d crafted Peter and Catherine’s ceremony, I contacted them to say it was ready for a first reading. They very kindly put their trust in me, deciding they wanted to keep it for a surprise until the day. So behind the scenes, I shared the content with daughter Elaine, and between us, we added a few extra surprises and personal touches to the ceremony, which Mum and Dad wouldn’t have been expecting – including some additional stories about their life together and two beautiful readings from Elaine. We also colluded to create a lovely table which would be positioned at the front of the ceremony, featuring framed photos of Peter and Catherine on their wedding day, along with those of Peter’s parents and Catherine’s parents as well.

The big day arrived, and despite a damp start, the weather was truly magnificent, with blue skies and temperatures into the mid 20s. Family and friends travelled from Scotland and Cornwall, many of them meeting for the first time since the original wedding day in 1996. The picturesque holiday home enjoyed wonderful views of Mount’s Bay and Peter and Catherine welcomed all their guests into the garden and to their celebratory party with the theme of Pasties, Proper Job and Prosecco!

Their family were so welcoming to me, I felt like I was among a group of very good friends. We reminisced over our couple’s adventures spanning the last 25 years, delighted in a poem Peter had secretly written especially for Catherine, shed a few tears when they renewed their vows to one another, and toasted them heartily while they enjoyed some fine Cornish mead in their beautiful quaich. It felt perfect in every way.

I’d become very fond of Peter, Catherine and Elaine over the months we got to know each other; there was that curious connection between us that you are sometimes lucky enough to experience in life. It was so lovely to receive a card and a wee gift from Peter and Catherine once they had returned home to Scotland, and they said,

We had such a wonderful and memorable day, we just had to say one last thank you for everything, and for our special gift of the script and champers!

And here is their review in full - thank you so much for these kind words!

Our daughter suggested Lisa as our celebrant, and as soon as we got in touch, she seemed like the perfect person to carry out our celebration. We immediately felt totally relaxed and knew we had made the perfect choice on choosing her to help us make our day very special and memorable.
Lisa assisted with the planning for the day, we asked her to write our personal vows, which were perfect, and she was constantly in touch to ensure we were completely happy with the way things were going. Despite us making changes nearer the event, she remained calm and organised. Lisa carried out our celebration with our vow renewal in the sunshine, overlooking Mounts Bay, and the day was perfect, with Lisa making us feel very special, and all our guests too.
What we had planned over a year before was a fantastic day when it happened and that was in no small part to Lisa making our day so special and wonderful.

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