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February - the Month of Romance?



LOVE
Photo - Jesse Goll

As we approach Valentine’s Day, I find myself musing on whether Valentine’s Day is actually the most romantic day of the year?


Legends about St. Valentine are many and varied with few verifiable ‘facts’ but what is for sure is that since the Middle Ages the popularity of Valentine’s Day as a day of romance has grown steadily until present times when every year customers spend billions of pounds on celebrating this most romantic of days.  Card manufacturers, restaurants and florists would all advocate the romantic importance of 14 February but is it really any more auspicious than any other day?


Romantic couple in tent
Photo - Johnathan Borba

I think the answer lies in what you consider to be romantic.  Is it champagne or chocolate, roses or extravagant demonstrations of undying love? Is it found in the element of surprise or in the elaborate planning of a special date night? Valentine’s Day is a popular day for engagements - is it more romantic to get engaged at Christmas, on Valentine’s Day or for Hindus at Divali? Certainly these particular days are significant for some couples and it does increase the chances of you and your other half remembering the day you said ‘yes’!




However, I think it’s easy to get hung up on the idea of romance, for little things like a particular date or setting to take on more importance than they deserve.  After all, the real romance of marriage is surely found in the day to day gestures that tell your partner you love, cherish and value them.  Perhaps this is my view because Mr Young is absolutely not one for big gestures; almost the only flowers I have received through our 25 year marriage were when colleagues bought them from the visiting seller on a Friday and forgot to take them home!!  Before you condemn him, let me tell you about the romantic things he has done…he stayed strong and held me during our three lost pregnancies, he was patient and kind to my parents throughout their demise and has nourished me both practically (he does all the cooking) and emotionally throughout our lives together.


As an independent celebrant, I pride myself in writing bespoke ceremonies which reflect the unique couple they are written for - no cutting and pasting, AI or ghost writing here.  I spend many hours meeting each couple, getting to know their story and then crafting a ceremony that perfectly reflects their wishes for the big day.



Same sex union
Photo - Ashley Nicole

 Most couples choose to include a love story - a reflection on them, how they met, what has brought them to the point of marriage and what they hope for in their future together.  Rituals too can reflect their values - lighting a unity candle is very special, jumping the broom can be a fun way of symbolising jumping with both feet into a new life and hand tying rituals are popular.  Everyone knows that marriage is not the proverbial bed of roses but rather it takes work and commitment - I am particularly fond of a traditional German ritual which acknowledges this -Baumstamm sägen - log sawing.  During the ceremony, couples face the very first challenge of their married lives by working together to saw a log in half  using a two handled saw.


If you are planning to get engaged or marry on Valentine’s Day, many congratulations, I am thrilled for you.  Enjoy all the excitement of planning your big day but don’t lose sight of what really matters - the unique, life sustaining love between you and your partner.  


By Catrina Young, Leicestershire Heart-led celebrant, Marking Life’s Moments.

©Hardingstone Ceremonies, Feb 2024


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