Wedding Report: Gemma & Chris, Part Two
18 Wednesday Jul 2012
Catch up with Part One…
It took a while for Chris to realise that Gemma would be taking the cue for her entrance from all of the guests standing. As Anna ran outside to check whether they were ready to go, Chris and Tony joked at their own oversight. Confirming that they had all been waiting for each other, Anna slipped into the corner of the room and at long last the registrar asked the guests to be upstanding.
The sweet melodic sound of Etta James’ ‘At Last’ floated on the air, carrying the father of the bride and his beautifully poised daughter across the lawn. Heads swivelled to see Gemma and her father making their way calmly across the garden, ascending the steps on the patio and joining the rest of the group inside the conservatory. With a smile on her face and her head held high, Gemma looked positively regal as she stepped elegantly into the room and into the moment she had been so looking forward to.
With Gemma’s presence at his side, Chris turned to face her just after her dad had placed a kiss on her cheek and released her hand from his own.
The gentle hum of music faded away and behind them, their forty friends and family resumed their seats. Flashing a cheeky grin across at his bride, Chris and Gemma seemed to buzz with anticipation of what was about to happen.
“Welcome to Brobury House,” began Sheila, the registrar. “Which has been chosen by Chris and Gemma for their wedding day.”
Running through the formal introduction and charting the lineage of both the venue and the authority of the registrars, Sheila’s warm tone of voice contributed to the relaxed atmosphere of the afternoon. She then genially asked Julie to step forward for her reading of ‘The Relationship Promise.’
There was a smile in Julie’s voice as she recited all the ways to create the perfect relationship, from settling quarrels before bed to being silly in restaurants and cinema queues. The sentiment of the poem couldn’t fail to provoke smiles from the congregation – those who were married identifying with the advice and those yet to enter their own relationship promise enjoying the comedy.
“A cuppa in bed when the morning begins,” Julie read, a grin dancing across her face as she looked pointedly up at Gemma. “And then when it’s over, I’ll pour you a gin.”
Chuckles rippled through the rows of seats when the need for two televisions was mentioned and by the time that Julie promised to be awesome in bed, shoulders could be seen visibly shaking with laughter.
“I love you, my darling, so let’s live together,” concluded Julie. “Stack days into decades to make our forever.”
The sound of appreciative applause and calls of well done could be heard as Julie resumed her seat on the front row between her husband and her son, revelling in the delighted expressions on the faces of her brother and sister-in-law.
“I’m sure,” said Sheila. “That it means a great deal to Chris and Gemma that you are all here to share their celebration with them today. Marriage isn’t always easy; it requires love and devotion, and wisdom to know when we are wrong and strength to put it right.”
Moving on from the definition of marriage, the registrar asked every person in the glass clad room whether they knew of any lawful impediment why Chris and Gemma should not be married. The couple in question widened their eyes at each other in mock trepidation that anyone should speak up. The amiable silence was, said Sheila, exactly what they wanted to hear.
Confirming that the groom was indeed Michael Christopher Jones and that bride was in fact Gemma Tracy Williams, Sheila began to recite the solemn and binding vows that would tether the two together for the rest of their lives.
Chris’ strong clear voice filled the room as he made his declarations, Gemma’s voice seeming much softer but equally as firm as she too pronounced that she knew not of any reason why they may not be joined together. Following on from this proclamation, the pair continued to their second promise to take no other for the duration of their marriage.
Turning the beaming bride and groom to face each other, Sheila invited Chris and Gemma to hold hands. The concentration adorning Chris’ forehead as he repeated his vows filled Gemma’s view, his words ringing in her ears as he took her to be his lawful wedded wife.
When it was her turn to speak, to return the honour and dedicate her life to Chris, she could not help the smile that splashed across her face, the words bubbling up from the depths of her heart and spilling out between her lips in an excited rush to be his wife.
“The purpose of marriage is that you always love, support and comfort each other,” explained Sheila. “May you both continue to grow and change but never forget the love and promises that you have made here today.”
Inviting Tony to bring the wedding rings forward, Sheila asked Chris to first of all take Gemma’s delicate ring and place it on her finger.
“These rings are a symbol on unending love,” Sheila said. “They are outward signs of the lifelong promises made today.”
“This ring joins our two lives in one unbroken circle,” Chris repeated as he held the cool metal in place on Gemma’s finger. “All that I am I give to you, all that I have I share with you.”
Gemma wriggled excitedly, giddily seizing the weightier ring from their best man and slipping it over Chris’ finger with equal anticipation.
“Whatever the future holds,” she said, looking into Chris’ beaming face. “I shall love and support you as long as we both shall live. This is my promise to you.”
Chris rubbed his thumbs gently across the back of Gemma’s hands, feeling them jiggling with excitement within his own. The registrar’s tempo picked up as, noticing the smile stretching ever further across the bride’s face and her inability to stand still, she rushed to the declaration that they were finally husband and wife.
With the escalating sound of applause and cheers enveloping them, the newlyweds sealed the beginning of their marriage with a precise, perfect, poignant kiss on the lips. Gemma’s head tilted slightly to make room for her veil, as even with their lips conjoined she couldn’t contain her grin. Pulling away, Chris’ lips made the round shape of a breathy “Wow” as he squeezed her hands.
Gentle guitar strains and enchanted chatter filled the room as Gemma took Chris’ hand and lead him behind the registrar’s table in order to add their signature to the book of other united couples. Calling their mothers forward to witness the deed, Chris and Gemma shook with giggles from unheard jokes as they whispered conspiratorially together.
Gemma’s impulse to coordinate the mothers into a formal shot couldn’t be suppressed despite the fact that for once she was in front of the camera rather than behind it. As Anna snapped away, the surrealism of the moment overtook the newlywed couple and their exaggerated comical poses suddenly seemed to morph them into a picture perfect couple from the 1950s.
With the formalities completed, Chris and Gemma resumed their position standing in front of the table, facing out to their friends and family as they waited hand in hand for the registrar to conclude the ceremony.
Stating that the marriage certificate belonged to the bride by rights, Sheila asked whether Gemma wanted to trust it to her husband in lieu of a handbag. A pregnant pause and the response of “I’d better give it to Mum, actually” sent the room into raptures of laughter.
“Give Mr and Mrs Jones a big round of applause,” commanded Sheila, finishing off the ceremony with the sound of thunderous clapping and Michael Bublé’s rendition of ‘For Once in my Life.’ With hearts fit to burst, Chris and Gemma disappeared through the open doors of the conservatory, their arms linked together and their lives entwined forever more.
Check back on Friday for Part Three of Chris and Gemma’s wedding report.