Family ties

By Bride and Groom 21 June 2016

History repeated itself at the marriage of Rebecca Ryan and Marc Harrington. The bride wore a brooch on her dress that had been worn by her mother, sister and other family members during their weddings. Rebecca’s brooch had originated in Ireland and was passed down her father’s side of the family for generations. Also repeating history, Rebecca walked down the aisle to the same song her mother had, 36 years earlier. 

Rebecca Ryan and Marc Harrington
April 4, 2015

The wedding of Rebecca and Marc was held on April 4, 2015, at Brookfield Historic Farm and Reception Centre in Numurkah. Rebecca and Marc invited family members to be part of their commitment to each other with a handfasting ceremony. This involved seven immediate family members each draping a ribbon over the couple’s hands and tying it in a knot, while the celebrant read out promises Rebecca and Marc were making to each other. 

“The handfasting ceremony was something a little extra and different I wanted in the ceremony and it was about having our two families coming together, it was important to me and Marc,” Rebecca said. “The wedding wasn’t just about us, it was about our families as well.” 

Handfasting ceremonies are an ancient British custom, which either legally bound individuals to each other prior to the wedding or acted as the couple’s wedding vows. 

At the end of the ceremony Rebecca and Marc’s guests were entertained with a bocce pit and croquet, so they did not have to leave the venue while they waited for the reception to start. “It was important to us that our guests didn’t have to go anywhere between the ceremony and reception, so we supplied enough goodies to keep them happy,” Rebecca said. 

Goulburn Valley bridal suppliers included Brookfield Historic Farm and Reception Centre, Numurkah; Brides and Maids, Shepparton; Michele’s Bridal and Formal Wear, Shepparton; Man to Man Menswear, Shepparton; Flowers on Melville, Numurkah; and Cill’s Creative Cakes, Shepparton.

 Handfasting ceremony promises: 

“Will you honour and respect one another, and seek to never break that honour?” 

“We will.”

 “And so the binding is made.” “Will you share each other’s pain and seek to ease it?” 

“We will.” 

“And so the binding is made.” “Will you share the burdens of each other, so that your spirits may grow in this union?” 

“We will.” 

“And so the binding is made.” “Will you share each other’s laughter, and look for the brightness and positive in each other?” 

“We will.” 

“And so the binding is made.” “Will you seek to always be each other’s best friend?” 

“We will.” 

“And so the binding is made.” “Will you support and hold each other in unfavourable times?” 

“We will.” 

“And so the binding is made.” “Will you seek to always value this unity and the unity it brings to your families?” 

“We will.” 

“And so the binding is made.” “Rebecca and Marc, as your hands are bound together now, so your lives and spirits are joined in a union of love and trust. Above you are the stars and below you is the earth. Like the stars, your love should be a constant source of light, and like the earth, a firm foundation from which to grow. The knots in these ribbons represent the tying of your lives together. Keep them safe and together always.’’

Photographer: Shaun Guest Photography

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