An intimate commitment ceremony in the orchards – celebrating love in lockdown
This commitment ceremony was something new to me. And so special.
As a wedding celebrant, I as love to lead vow renewals for couples celebrating a significant milestone or anniversary in their marriage by renewing their vows and commitment to each other. But I’d never done a pre-wedding ceremony before! We called it a commitment ceremony.
It was offered to one lucky couple as part of a competition imagined by the beautiful venue The Orchard at Munsley and the talented wedding stylist Lauradana of Wedding Creations UK. There were beautiful flowers by Alexandra Sylvester Florals and benches and props from Event Furniture by Tarren. And crucially, creative wedding photographer, David Liebst Photography was behind the lens to capture the afternoon and provide a gorgeous couple’s photo-shoot.
Co-ordinated by Jayne from The Orchard at Munsley, this unique package came to together to offer one couple who’d had their wedding plans this summer postponed, an unexpected new opportunity to celebrate their love. The Orchard at Munsley offers such a beautiful canvas for ceremonies and celebrations. And when we got to know and then meet the lovely winning couple – it all seemed meant to be.
The Commitment Ceremony
Sophie and Alex were the lucky couple pulled out of the hat. Their outdoor, socially-distanced ceremony was attended by their parents and their spaniel Dill. I shared some highlights of their love story and spoke of why they are so right for each other. A partnership that makes all the good things in life richer and happier through sharing them, and diminishes any obstacles on the way because they face them as a team. Then they confirmed their commitment to each other, to their future wedding day, and sharing their lives together. Alex’s Mum (who is in a bubble with them) was even able to tie the ribbon in their betrothal handfasting.
The couple share a love of nature, gardening and plants and have a particular interest in sustainable agriculture, plus cooking, and foraging. So, as we stood surrounded by the apple orchards, these words* from ‘A Betrothall’ by E.J. Scovall seemed so resonant and were read as their hands were fasted.
Put your hand in my hand, say that you love me as
The woods upon the hills cleave to the hills’ contours.
I will uphold you, trunk and shoot and flowering sheaf,
And I will hold you, roots and fruit and fallen leaf.
Thank-you so much for an incredible ceremony. You are very talented – just reading the script made me cry. It was totally beautiful, and I love the way you have weaved our story into it so skilfully. Thank you so much.
There was something magical about the whole afternoon and David has captured this perfectly in the photographs below.
I am so glad that this ceremony offered one couple the chance to create an unexpected and uplifting memory.
For me, personally, just emerging from the fug of lockdown, this ceremony was also a very timely reminder how much joy there is still to be in celebrate love and commitment even at this time! So, if you’re still keening from the loss of your planned wedding this year, this a commitment ceremony could be just the thing for you. You can re-frame the difficulties and disappointments of 2020 with an intimate celebration of love. Love will always see us right!