I was over in Australia visiting my son and granddaughter when I got the message asking if I was available to write and conduct a wedding ceremony back in Dubai in June 2019.
I was quite surprised as June is very hot in Dubai and usually quite a quiet month for me. This is the month I take a breather and work on research so I’m all prepared for the busy season.
Of course I said yes as I knew I would be back in time and wouldn’t make any difference to me if it was hot.
When I asked where the ceremony was to take place, I jumped for joy.
No other than on board the Queen Elizabeth 2.
The QE 2 was designed for the transatlantic service from her home port of Southampton, UK to New York. She served as the flagship of the line from 1969 until 2008.
Since April 2018, the iconic cruise ship, now permanently docked at Dubai’s Mina Rashid, has been operating as a luxury floating hotel in Dubai.
There is no ship in recent memory that symbolised the history and legacy of the Cunard more than the QE2.
The QE 2 was and still is unquestionably the most famous ship in the world. For nearly 40 years, QE2 was a global ambassador for both Cunard and Britain. She sailed 5.6 million miles and carried 2.5 million passengers in style, comfort and luxury.
And now, you can have your wedding ceremony on board!
When I returned to Dubai a week later, I met with the bride and groom, Laura and Gerard, both from the UK but now living in Dubai.
We only had five weeks before the wedding so we got straight to work.
Laura and Gerard were very easy to work with and gave me some great stories about they met, dating and proposal. I knew from meeting them both and ‘their story’, the ceremony would be full of laughter and love.
The day came, and although I am always a little nervous before conducting a ceremony, I was particularly anxious. I think it was because it was the first indoor ceremony I had conducted but it was also because it was so overwhelming walking on board and seeing the Queens Ballroom all decked out ready for the wedding.
It looked magical and I felt so proud to think I was actually going to be stood at the front with this beautiful bride and groom and tell their story in front of all their loved ones. Their family and friends had all travelled thousands of miles to be there from England, Ireland, Qatar and even Kazakhstan.
The Queens Ballroom looked magnificent, the guitar player was ready, the guests all seated, the groom waiting nervously by his family. The scene was set.
A moment like this, by Kelly Clarkson, began to play as all the guests were upstanding for the bride. A truly magical moment for Laura and Gerard and everyone present.
As we spoke about the meaning of love and marriage, the guests laughed and cried along with the bride and groom.
Two sisters and a best friend came forward and read out some beautiful poems, and, when the time came to sign the wedding certificate, Davey, their musician for the day, played John Legend, All of Me.
It was indeed an absolute honour and privilege to write and conduct this wedding Ceremony for Laura and Gerard and so special being on board the QE2.
The celebrations went on into the early hours and will be a day that everyone involved will always remember.
Congratulations Mr and Mrs Kelly.