As you will know if we have ever met (or if we have spoken about a ceremony, or you have looked around my website or checked out my socials) I LOVE hearing love and life stories. I also love writing and telling them. I would say more than anything, as a celebrant, I am a listener, curator, creator, writer and storyteller.
When you know what happened earlier this year almost all of my weddings were postponed - some several times, but that's another blog! I still kept in touch with my couples and also took some new bookings but I didn't get to hear, write and/or tell as many love stories as I usually would - and I really missed that part of my job.
So I decided to do something about it. I made short films of edited versions of some of the proposals and true stories that I have been told and I also wrote some short fictional stories of my own - I even had a short story published and that spurred me on to put pen to paper and start the book that I have been threatening to write for years!
Here is one of the films. This is exactly what Sam told me about his cunning plan for proposing to Amy (including his immortal words: 'my secret package'). In addition to recording what he told me, I also sent him and Amy a calligraphy copy on their 'should have been wedding day' - I'm pretty sure it will be retold, perhaps not in quite the same way, when they finally have their special day, next year.
Sharon and Gill's wedding was in February, so it was one of just a handful of ceremonies that were allowed to go ahead this year. This is a small part of the story that I told, just before they made their wedding vows in the presence of their friends and family. Suffice to say there were tears and laughter... and tears from laughter!
There are few more films on my YouTube channel (looking at the videos, it's pretty obvious when I needed the hairdresser's to be open again!). Hopefully, weddings will get back on track sooner rather than later and I will be able to tell the stories more fully, and in person (instead of briefly, in my office). In the meantime, I am enjoying hearing from my existing and new couples, baking (and eating cakes) and getting on with my book.
Just in case you are interested, here is my first published piece of flash fiction (spoiler alert, it might contain a proposal)
Superlambanana, written by Lorraine Hull
David was hungry, disillusioned, and bored. His paper on genetically modified organisms was due in next week. He had spent almost four hours scrolling fluorescent protein gene articles.
He had written 423 words and was dissatisfied with every single one of them. David hated GloFish; their exotic names belied how mind-numbingly ordinary they are. How the hell could something called a Galactic Purple Glo-Rainbow Shark be so bloody boring?
He opened the Tinder app on his phone.
It had been four months since Sam had left him; it was too soon for another relationship but he craved company, conversation and the warmth of skin.
Easier said than done. He may not be looking for long-term, but he still needed to see and feel something: an attraction, a connection.
Profiles without a human face were swiftly sent left. Too-good-to-be-true face? Left… along with the angry, sad, vacant or over-excited faces.
Those with a plethora of piercings or a tattooed neck were eventually dispatched in the same direction, but not before he had appreciated the art.
It was almost an hour before David swiped right. Within 90 seconds he had a match.
He sent a casual but considered message and hoped for a response with words - rather than emojis or gifs - preferably spelt correctly with apposite punctuation.
Was he setting the bar too high? Possibly. Going by past experience: probably! Maybe he should have set his distance greater than a mile?
His phone vibrated; he checked the screen: twelve words, an apostrophe, a semi-colon and a question mark: “I’m finishing at five; do you fancy a drink in the Ship?”
His match worked in the Cunard Building and suggested it was just as easy to meet outside the library and walk down Hatton Garden together to the pub.
Two bowls of scouse and four pints later they had talked, laughed and felt more alive than either could remember in years.
David finished his Masters. His GMO paper was published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences. A major American bioengineering company offered him a six-figure salary.
He turned it down. It sounded too good to be true. Besides which, he liked his job at the library and his research proposal had been accepted: ‘Identification of the Genomic Constitution of Ovis x Musa Hybrids Using Molecular Cytogenetics’.
And he had Chris.
It was exactly three years since their first date. It had become an anniversary tradition to go the Ship for scouse and beer and they always started their celebrations at the Superlambanana.
Eyesore or icon? Mutilated mutant or charming chimera? Everyone had an opinion. Most of her ochre fleece had been scraped or tagged with graffiti, messages, and obscenities. A provocative, scarred storyteller who, like the city she stood in, held her head high, bore her blemishes, and told her stories, with hope and pride.
David found a four-inch square of yellow tail, took the Sharpie from his pocket and wrote: “Christopher, will you marry me?”
Publisher's Notes: Lorraine Hull is an award-winning celebrant, based in Liverpool. Superlambanana is a bright yellow sculpture designed by New York City-based Japanese artist Taro Chiezo. It is 5.2 metres tall and weighs almost 8 tonnes; it currently stands outside the Avril Robarts LJMU library, in Liverpool.
I would love to hear (and tell) your story. If you would like to check my availability, or would like more information, please don't hesitate to get in touch and I will come back to you as quickly as I can.
To contact me please email: email@example.com or call/message: 0744 932 3988
I have always loved being a Celebrant and I didn't think it could possibly get any better - but in the midst of a global pandemic, it did! I could not be more excited about the future and I can't wait for moments like this to happen again...
Hi, I am Lorraine Hull, an award-winning Celebrant, based in Liverpool.
I am most usually asked to conduct ceremonies in North-West England and North Wales but I am happy to travel anywhere within the U.K. or abroad.
At the risk of shouting (and sounding extremely cheesy) "I LOVE MY JOB!".
I really love getting to know the couples and families that ask me to be part of their special celebration, whether that is for a Wedding/Civil Partnership, Renewal/Reaffirmation of Vows, Naming/Welcoming, or Celebration of Life/Funeral
I love hearing, writing and telling love and life stories (and also finding out about hopes and dreams - which are the stories of the future!)
I love to create and conduct unique, meaningful, non-religious ceremonies that are perfect for each couple, individual, and/or family.
I love helping to create and celebrate happy and poignant moments, which form memories that will last a lifetime (that also includes the memories that I get to keep too - what's not to love?)
I believe that ALL people (and animals) should all be treated kindly, fairly and with respect.
We are all unique and we all matter. I think for myself and act for others. I embrace and enact anti-racism and the appreciation and celebration of diversity. I advocate and work for justice, equity and equality for ALL through everything that I say and do: Love is Love, Family is Family, Life is Life.
You may also like to know that I am accredited by Humanists UK and a recommended LGBTQ+ Equality Weddings supplier. I hold Public Liability and Professional Indemnity insurance, I adhere to a strict code of conduct and I am committed to developing and sharing best practice with my Independent and Humanist Celebrant colleagues, so that we can all be the best Celebrants that we can possibly be.
To contact me please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 0744 932 3988