Today’s couple are Bill and Frances from Co.Waterford. Jenny Lorimer from Marry Me Ireland wrote and performed a bespoke commitment ceremony to celebrate twenty years of love between Bill and Frances. They had never felt as though they needed to be legally married, they did however, like the idea of spending a day with family and friends, celebrating their relationship.
They wanted to publicly declare and honour their commitment to one another and they did this by having a sand blending ceremony and a traditional handfasting. Five of their Grandchildren brought different coloured ribbons to add to their hand binding. Each colour represented an attribute being bestowed onto the relationship. Gifts like value & creativity, energy & longevity, power & sentimentality, passion, wisdom & vision. There was an exchange of vows that Bill and Frances had written themselves and a ring exchange.
Their ceremony also included a tribute to Bill and Frances, the telling of their own personal love story. They first met in 1996, in Ayr whilst Frances was visiting the area on holiday. Thanks to her close friend and partner in crime Mairead, Bill was quickly spotted and dragged over for an introduction. When she returned home, Bill followed and continued to visit once a month for the next year. Eventually Bill got himself a job in Dublin and moved over, commuting down to Dungarvan until he managed to transfer to Cork 2 years later, finally allowing them to move in together.
When Jenny asked them what they love about each other Frances said,” He is my quiet space in my crazy world, he is loving, caring, talented and has shoulders strong enough for not only me but all my family to lean on.” And Bill said of Frances, “she is very open, loving, giving and trusting, a do-er: always adding to the to-do list and has a crazy nature which I love and depend on…”
This is an excerpt from their beautiful Commitment Ceremony:
“For a relationship to stay strong you must be committed to staying true to yourselves, accepting each other for what you are, standing up for what you believe in and committed to expressing your essential nature so that with your partner all of you comes shining through. Commitment is not a blind vow, it is an act of faith made with your eyes wide open. You make a commitment like this only with someone who sees and loves you for who you are, someone whom you desire to know better than any other being on the planet, whom you want to love unconditionally. Commitment stretches us, it often pushes us past our comfort zone. It dares us to surrender to something grander than we ever imagined, something beyond a passing feeling or infatuation, beyond fear and insecurities. Commitments lead us to the place where we can stop, look around, and say I’m home.”
The Park Hotel Dungarvan supplied Bill and Frances with a beautifully decorated room for their ceremony and they shared a magnificent meal with their 120 guests. Everyone was intrigued by what was happening and many had never seen a ceremony of this kind before. It was a delight for all to spend that day in May with Frances and Bill, simply celebrating love. We were also honoured to play our part in this romantic commitment celebration.
A Big Thank You to photographer Michelle Murphy for the use of her images. Thanks also to the lovely Frances and Bill for letting us feature your story.