Most people agree that marriage these days is an equal partnership between a woman and a man, but traditions die hard, and every so often a bride tells me that father wants to ‘give her away’ to her groom. This can be tricky, but Joanne came up with a clever solution that respected her dad, Padraic’s wishes, as well as her own.
Rather than relinquish any form of ‘ownership’, she asked him instead to make a public affirmation of her choice, so when they made it to the end of the aisle, I asked Padraic, “Are you happy for Joanne to be married to Alan and content to wish them well on their journey through life?”, to which he replied, “I am.”
Joanne’s a very cunning girl: she tricked Alan into going to the Caves the very first time by telling him he was going on a ghost tour; then she produced an engagement ring and asked if he would do her the honour of becoming her husband. I won’t tell you Alan’s initial response, but after he got over the shock, he did indeed say yes, and eleven months later, they came back to the Caves for their wedding.
Like many couples they wrote their own vows and spoke them directly to one another, which was very moving…
It was a very happy day, as you can see.
My belated thanks go to Joanne and Alan – and to Alan Thomson for the photographs.