It's a few days before the big day and Emily and Josh (the bride and groom-to-be) and I are 'rehearsing' in their living room. Rehearsing is a generous word; what we're really doing is working out the best way, with the greatest impact, that we can turn a kid's clown show into their wedding. There is much discussion and much more giggling and the two of them try out changing into their wedding garb from the 'comfort' of their home-made change-tent. Josh wonders if he can put his pants on without flashing the crowd and Emily wonders if the heals she bought online were a little ambitious... considering the fact that she can't actually walk in them.. but they match the dress, so they're staying!
We've discussed the fact that no one as yet knows they're to be married as part of their Australia Day party, tick, worked out the running sheet of how this madness is to carry out, tick and filled in all the paper-work, tick.
Ready to set this baby afloat and see how the idea sails!
Cut to Australia day, it's hot, damn hot, especially since I'm stuffed into two outfits, hiding my celebrant dress under my clown garb (as you do). We're all on Herring Island in the middle of the Yarra River but as far as the landscape, and the heat, we could be in the African Savanna!
I've worded up the band as best as I could considering I couldn't tell them what the cue was for that they'd be require to kick into song... the parents are all reluctantly witnessing the clown show even though they'd rather be sitting in the shade sipping Sav Blancs rather than standing in the sun and wondering why the clown has insisted they watch the show and the change tent hangs waiting behind me in a tree... I'm sweating and my head is very confused.. is this my first legal celebrant gig or is it just another clown show, like the hundreds I've done before..? Its both Klara's head, its both... and get with the program!
The adults are starting to peel away so I cut to the ring disappearing trick which was meant to the seg-way between events. I 'lose' the ring, I 'find' the ring and I announce that we should choose two people to get married. Against the loose script, two kids volunteer and it takes all my wit and quick-thinking to divert that situation and pluck the only two adults I know out of the crowd: Emily and Josh. Bingo!
I get the couple to change into more appropriate clothing in their make-shift little tent and when they emerge in all the appropriate white dress and fancy suits that one requires of a wedding, we dress up three flower girls and I ask the crowd if they know of any celebrants.. As predicted, no one does, so I announce that I've got this one, strip off my clown outfit and make-up and voila, Klara McMurray - Celebrant is in the house.. well the park.. but you get the picture!
Never before have the legal bits of a wedding come across as so funny. Me saying that I am in fact a legal celebrant was greeted with laughs all round, after all, I had been the clown entertaining their kids not 3 minutes ago, and as the shock subsided, the tears started to flow from attendees everywhere. I was always a bit nervous that people would feel a tad ripped-off that they had been kept out of the arrangements, but as it turned out; they were all thrilled and as the gushing compliments were thrown at me afterwards, I knew that this was going to be a difficult wedding to top and a most fitting experience for my very first legal wedding ever.
Merci Josh and Emily; your innovation and bravery were are pleasure to be part of!