I think that a healthy way of looking at life is to consider and know that we all have blessings in our lives and that some of those blessings are gifts. I see Tom as a gift to me: a gift I am so incredibly grateful for.
To me, the theme that came from Ben and Nattalie's engagement shoot and from their wedding day is that word: gift. On a number of occasions I heard the word, I saw them being given and I heard it spoken about in the metaphorical sense.
It was a beautiful evening in June when we met Ben and Nattalie for their engagement shoot in Dorset. We warmed to them straight away and loved our time together. As we walked along on the beach, Nattalie whispered to me about the gift she had for Ben. She wanted to show how much she appreciated him and she was so excited to give it. We didn't know at the time that Ben too had been planning a gift for Nattalie - these two, we quickly discovered, were just beautiful, inside and out.
And so on the day, they exchanged gifts. It felt like an important part of the morning - because it was their way of showing what they meant to each other before they said their vows. It was truly beautiful to see.
During the heart filled and fun speeches (that made me cry!), we heard about how they are a gift to their families and friends. Nattalie: a generous, thoughtful and considerate sister, daughter and friend and accepted as one of the Bedford Bad Boy crew (!) She is beautiful, fun and she fits in so well. And Ben, a man of integrity, charm and someone who is always up for a laugh. He is loved and adored by his family and friends.
And they are a gift to each other; they are, and I quote those that know them the best, 'perfect for each other.' They encourage and accept each other, they are so much fun and they are game for an adventure. They are a gift to the family and they are a gift to each other.
Knowing this is such a good foundation to begin married life on. It means you remember to acknowledge that life is so short and that we should look at the things that are good in our lives as a gift to us. Surely then we remember to appreciate all we have.
Ben and Nats, you are so much fun but so incredibly warm, lovely and thoughtful too. Thank you to you and your families for having us, for being so selfless on the day in looking out for me and the growing bump, for making us feel so welcome and for asking us in the first place. What a privilege to meet you and your family and friends. We loved it and it was such a joy to witness it all.
Josh, (who is helping me as I get larger!), Tom and I wish you the very best for the years to come. You are truly gorgeous people.