On weddings and all that love

Couple being showered with confetti

Some personal reflections on the wedding tributes we are producing for couples who have had to cancel their big day because of Coronavirus lockdown

I’ve been to some fabulous weddings of very dear friends and family over the years. But, if I’m completely honest, I didn’t really ‘get’ the whole marriage thing until recently. I think it had a lot to do with being gay and that quite painful sense that this was an institution from which my partner and I were excluded. Then, a couple of years after the laws were changed, we got married ourselves (that’s us in the photo!) and the penny dropped. The big revelation for me was the amount of love we felt on our big day – not just for each other (obviously!), but for and from all our family and friends.

Having had such a wonderful experience myself, I feel huge sympathy for couples who are having to postpone their weddings because of coronavirus social distancing. So it’s a real pleasure to be able to produce Audio Tributes for them.

One example is a couple — both NHS workers — who were due to marry in April. The sister of the bride-to-be approached me about producing something as a surprise gift. We discussed who would be good to speak to and she sounded them out about getting involved. I then set up and conducted recorded telephone and internet interviews with nine of the couple’s closest friends and family, and gathered voice messages from a further five.

After some very absorbing work mastering the sound quality and editing things into shape, the final feature took the form of a 25 minute ‘Lockdown Special’ tribute from people all over the country and even in Singapore. Between them they told the story of the couple and what’s great about them, and sent their well wishes. Here are some edited excerpts:

What struck me most from all the conversations and messages was the amount of love everyone had for the couple. There’s something rather magical about being able to capture that and bring it all together. Here’s what the bride-to-be said about it:

“Thank you so much for putting together the lockdown special. Everyone knew how disappointed we were when we had to postpone the wedding. It really was brilliant to hear my friends and family say those wonderful things. It really brightened up our day/week/month/year! I laughed a lot, I cried a lot, and smiled till my face couldn’t take it!”

I like to think the tribute helped to recreate that warm fuzzy loved-up feeling that the couple would otherwise have had on their big day – as we did on ours.

If you would like to arrange an Audio Tribute for a couple you know, we’d love to hear from you.