Real Life Couple – Harry & Mark

I still can’t stop smiling when I think about this October wedding. It was wrapped up in so many of my favourite things; a totally bespoke ceremony, a celebration of love, a gorgeous venue and the joy of conducting the wedding for one of my best friends. In this blog we look at what makes a brilliant vision for a celebration come to life and the details that made it special.

Where:  The Chain Store, Trinity Buoy Wharf, London.

When: October 2023

Who: I’ve known Mark for around fifteen years now. We both worked for the same supermarket chain and shortly after my  appointment as a Personnel Manager, Mark joined as checkout manager. We bonded over the same daft sense of humour and playing Britney with the checkout headsets on a Friday late night and became great friends. It wasn’t long before we were enjoying nights out in the gay clubs and bars of Chelmsford. We supported each other through some tough times and also our biggest celebrations – Mark brought Harry as his plus one to my wedding in 2014 and I loved the way they looked at each other.

First Contact: When I saw on Instagram that Harry had proposed to Mark on Christmas Day 2021, I unashamedly begged for the job to be their Celebrant. Mark and I met up for breakfast in the New Year and discussed all things wedding and why a Celebrant wedding was absolutely the right thing for them – of course he agreed!!

The planning started and the boys had a very clear vision of what they wanted the day to look and feel like. They had envisioned their perfect venue as being bare brick and fairly industrial and quickly found Trinity Buoy Wharf. From here they were directed to potential ways of using the space and an aesthetic that suited them. I think Mark had been thinking about this day for a while and had lots of ideas, so it just came down to working out how to create a ceremony that incorporated that vision and had the unique touches that the rest of the day enjoyed.

The Wedding Day:  Arriving early at the venue, as I always do, allowed me to meet the venue team and support with getting the ceremony area prepared. I was spoilt by some beautiful floral arrangements and despite it being October, we were blessed by bright sunshine and a balmy 23 degrees! Harry arrived first with his wedding party, all bedecked in black tie and the girls in gorgeous royal blue crepe dresses. Final checks completed, we were ready for Marks arrival with his wedding party and for the tears to start – in a good way!

Celebrant Led: It was a room full of love and lots of faces I was pleased to recognise – although this always adds to the nerves a bit. We welcomed our grooms to the ceremony space, proceeded by the massive wedding party and escorted by their gorgeous mums. We took a collective breath and began – a story full of love, cultural references, emotion and pride.

Mark and Harry sealed their promises with the binding of hands, exchanged rings and signed a certificate to commemorate the day, whilst also enjoying two gorgeous readings from their groomsmen.

I was also privileged to be able to enjoy the rest of the day with them as a guest and we enjoyed the most gorgeous dinner from sharing plates, which really helped people to get to know each other around the tables. Their were speeches aplenty and little touches for guests like M&M’s in LGBTQIA+ colours and named place settings in little wooden cut outs. The cake was a semi naked cake topped with a cut out of two grooms accompanied by their dog in a nod to Woody, who sadly couldn’t be there.

Their first dance was to “A Sky Full of Stars” by Coldplay and this joyous tune set the tone for the rest of the night which was filled with amazing songs, lots of dancing and plenty of joy and laughter. If I’m honest I found it a little overwhelming, this emotional occasion for two brilliant people, in a cultural landscape where we thank our lucky stars for being able to recognise the love of two men in public, and for one of those men to be like a baby brother to me – I thought my heart would not be able to stand it.

If anyone is any doubt about how to make their wedding day the greatest day of their life as a couple the message is simple – create a vision, stick to it, involve people who care and are brilliant at what they do and make sure that all the elements you include reflect you and your love and will continue to bring joy when you look back at them – oh yeah, and book a fabulous Celebrant!


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