Words – what matters most at a wedding

When I was preparing for my wedding, someone (I can’t remember who) said: “The most important part of a wedding is the photographs.”  She was a little shocked when I said we weren’t going to have a photographer as such –  just three friends taking candid shots and giving me their films the following week.

If you are a photographer, I have no doubt photographs are indeed the most important part.  I imagine chefs feel the wedding breakfast is the bit that matters most.  But I am a writer.  And so for me it was the words over which I agonised as I wrote the service, for the most part, myself.

By Ewan Clayton

That was fifteen years ago today. The calligrapher Ewan Clayton  wrote our words on a document (pictured in part above) which everybody signed. And Rosie Miles, our poet-in-residence, wrote this poem  as she sat among  the congregation on the day.

The words I give to you

To say I want to make a life with you

Will be the best that I can find:


They will be fit to purpose,

They will make love happen,

They will include,

They will speak of your God who is my God,

They will be words we can both indwell,

They will dance with desire and delight,

They will be all the colours of the rainbow,

They will be full of children and chaos and tulips and purple and lilac splendour.


The words I give to you

To say I want to make a life with you

Will be the very best:


They are all I have,

They are all I am;

Here are my words,

Here is my heart.

Rosie Miles

20 April 2001