Picture the scene: in sparkling sunshine out of doors, a young couple are joined together in matrimony. The celebrant inclines her head to fasten their hands together, the bright red plumage of her hat matching the bride’s shimmering lipstick.
What are the chances?
Almost none, but when the celebrant is also the mother of the bride, even the smallest of details get paid extra attention.
The number of civil ceremonies has grown hugely in recent years. CSO figures show that almost one-third of all opposite sex and two-thirds of same-sex marriages are now solemnised with a civil ceremony.
Among the growing number of couples who chose a civil ceremony are Kellie Dwyer and William Glassett. The happy day they enjoyed on Saturday, June 16, in the beautiful garden setting of Springfort Hall, near Mallow, Co Cork, was made all the more memorable by the fact that the bride’s mother, Julie, was the chief celebrant.
Currently director of nursing at Cobh Community Hospital, Australian born Julie recently graduated from the Irish Institute of Celebrants, an organisation that trains people to officiate at civil weddings, funerals and other family events.
Kellie, 36, is also Australian-born but has lived here for 18 years. William is local, from nearby Ballyclough.
“This was my first ceremony since graduation,” said Julie. “There were 185 at the celebration, 14 from Australia. The weather made it. It was hot even for the Aussies.”
During William and Kellie’s celebration, Julie performed both a hand-fastening ceremony and a jump-the-broom ceremony, old Celtic traditions now being revived for civil marriages.
Hand-fastening involves binding the hands of the couple with ribbon or cord in public to symbolise marriage vows, Julie explained.
“Jumping the broom signifies honour and respect of ancestors, your family heritage and the coming together of the two families. It also represents cutting the ties to the parents and those ties being swept away.”
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