All photos courtesy of Kevin McGinn Photography
The sun, the sea and the sand, sand, sand. A beach wedding - what's not to love?
I was first contacted by Rebecca (or Bec as she is known to her family and friends) in September 2019. Bec explained that, although she lived in Ireland with her Irish fiancé, she was actually born and brought up in sunny Perth - where beautiful sand and sea stretch for miles along the West Australian coast.
Bec was really excited about returning to Perth to have her wedding, and had chosen Bather’s Beach House on the Fremantle Harbour, for their celebration.
The beach area in front of Bather’s Beach House, was where they would hold their wedding ceremony, and “tie the knot”.
Yes, the sun, the sea and the sand……..they definately love it!
Both Bec and Eddie dreamed of having their most special day on the beach, and they were very excited about sharing this experience with their family and friends.
Before leaving Ireland, we caught up on facetime on many occasions, and I walked them, step-by-step, through the process. I guided them on how to take care of the legalities from overseas, and I armed them with information on choosing the content of their ceremony.
Everything was done before they arrived in Perth. We had a meeting to introduce ourselves in person, then a rehearsal on the beach and we were ready for action!
On the 31st January, 2020, Bec and Eddie's dream of a beach wedding became a reality.
The set up on the beach was designed and put together by Bella Weddings & Events. A beautiful arbour and white chairs adorned with white roses (the flower of love and the colour of new beginnings) set the scene as the ocean waves gently ebbed and flowed.
The wedding was live-streamed to family and friends all over the world; in particular, to Eddie’s parents back in Ireland who sadly couldn't be there. However, Eddie was over the moon that his brother was there to support him as his Best Man on the day.
When the guests arrived, they were greeted by a really lovely set up; a little rack where they could leave their shoes. There were bottles of sunscreen and cold water on ice (both much appreciated by the guests waiting under the sunny skies),
and there even were paint brushes to remove the sand from your feet as you left the beach. How thoughtful is that?
Bec made her grand entrance on the arm of her father. He presented Bec to Eddie in the traditional “Giving Away” part of the ceremony. On behalf of all the guests, and both sets of families, Bec's dad then gave his blessing to the marriage.
A Beach Wedding but not without tradition
Bec and Eddie wanted all the old traditions included in their ceremony. They also chose to include a “love story’ to lighten things up. They wanted their guests to hear a snippet of how they met way back in 2009; how Eddie proposed, and when Bec actually said “Yes!” All I can say is that their son had a major role in the proposal, and it is a memory they will treasure in their hearts for the rest of their lives.
A prayer was included to bless their union and their future together. Then a couple of friends were invited to share readings they had chosen.
I particularly liked the reading: “A Vow” by Wendy Cope...
I cannot promise never to be angry; I cannot promise always to be kind. You know what you are taking on, my darling.
It’s only at the start that love is blind. And yet I’m still the one you want to be with. And, you’re the one for me – of that I’m sure.
You are my closest friend, my favourite person, the lover and the home I’ve waited for. I cannot promise that I will deserve you. From this day on, I hope to pass that test.
I love you and I want to make you happy. I promise I will do my very best
Bec and Eddie have been very fortunate to have a loving family who have given them amazing support over the years; so, they took the opportunity to thank their parents for all the guidance they had given them throughout the years, and for the influence they had on their lives. These things were important to them and it was my job to weave these important messages into the ceremony.
Bec and Eddie then exchanged Vows and rings; they promised to love and strengthen each other for the rest of their lives. Their words reflecting, beautifully, just why they had chosen each other as partners in their journey through life.
Bec and Eddie's little son, Josh, made it very clear that he wanted to be included in the vows and ring exchange, so Eddie had to show all of his skills at multi-tasking!
Not just any Beach Wedding - a Celtic Beach Wedding no less!
Being Celts, I suggested to Bec and Eddie that they might consider including the Celtic tradition of “Hand-fasting”. This is a very old tradition. It's roots go way back to the 16th Century. Celts (be they; Scots, English, Irish or Welsh) would bind the bride and groom’s hands together with their Clan tartan. When the binding was complete the ceremony finished with the tying of a knot (hence the term “Tying the Knot”, a term we still use to this day for getting married).
Bec’s brother, Daniel, did the binding. It was a lovely way to include him in their ceremony. As he wound the tartan ribbon around their hands, I spoke these words:
“On the first turn, this is your love – take it
On the second turn, this is your soul – protect it
On the third turn, this is your heart – don’t break it”
Following the handfasting, their friend Jamie was asked to come forward and share a Celtic Blessing with a beautiful sparkling ocean as her backdrop...
May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon the fields.
May the light of friendship guide your paths together.
May the laughter of children grace the halls of your home.
May the joy of living for one another trip a smile from your lips, a twinkle from your eye. And when eternity beckons, at the end of a life heaped high with love,
May the good Lord embrace you with the arms that have nurtured you the whole length of your joy-filled days.
May the gracious God hold you both in the palm of His hands.
And, today, may the Spirit of Love find a dwelling place in your hearts.
And so, Mr. and Mrs. Kelly departed the beach, hand-in-hand, to start their new life together.
The sun was shining, the ocean twinkled in the background. There were nothing but blue skies, smiling, happy, faces, and love in the air!
What about you?
Do you have a story to tell about your beach wedding? If you do, please leave a comment below. I'd love to hear from you!
Perhaps you have a vision for your up-coming wedding ceremony?
If you would like to hear how I can help make your dream wedding a reality, perhaps, we should chat.
You can arrange a chat about your wedding ceremony, be it a beach wedding - or not, by simply clicking here