Peter + Gillian's Big London Wedding

At a time when there is so much seeming negativity and strife in the world, celebrating life feels more important than ever. I’ve had a busy wedding season thus far between attending friends weddings and officiating others. Weddings are such a great opportunity to put worries aside and focus on what really matters….LOVE!

This past weekend I had the opportunity to preside over the wedding of dear friends. I first met beautiful Gillian while we were living in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico a few years ago. We’d bump into each other and various parties and put the world to rights. Fast forward to last year and out of the blue I got a call from Gillian to say that she had fallen in love with a mad cap Brit and was moving to London! Brilliant stuff!

Gillian and Peter met last year in Mexico when he was there to perform his show over the winter season. One evening he was enjoying a few drinks with friends at a local bar when Gillian walked in. They ended up chatting at the bar together… little knowing that from that moment their lives were to change forever. They got to know each other over the course of the next few weeks, enjoying exploring more of Mexico, before Peter had to return to London. Within weeks they met up again in Seville, then twice in London - where it became clear that their feelings for each other had grown stronger and love was in the air… a few months later they decided their long-distance relationship was not enough… and Gillian, along with all her worldly possessions - booked a one-way ticket to London… the rest is history.

It’s always extra special when friends as me to preside over their wedding ceremony and Peter and Gillian’s wedding was one for the history books. Nearly 300 family and friends gathered at the Trafalgar Tavern in Greenwich. This historic pub is on the banks of the River Thames nearby the Cutty Sark. With maritime history all over it’s walls, the wedding colours of navy blue and white blended perfectly. Even more family and friends from Seattle and Mexico were able to watch the ceremony live online. It was lovely knowing that our friends were there in spirit.

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Given that Peter is a well known actor and activist I had a feeling this wedding was going to be a little more lively than usual….I wasn’t wrong. There was so much love in the room as the stars of stage and screen musicians, creatives and more took to their feet to welcome Peter, Gillian and their family - serenaded down the aisle to Like a Virgin by the Cosmic Sausages! Absolutely brilliant. Laugher and tears in equal measure made for a fantastic ceremony which shared Gillian and Peter’s love story peppered with a reading and music.

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On the theme of love, Peter, wanted to include a speech by Shakespeare – the obvious choice was A Midsummer Night’s Dream - as Saturday was the day after Midsummers day. The only problem was that all the best love speeches are spoken by the young male lovers…and they are most of the time under the influence of drugs, and are trying to get off with their girlfriend’s best friends! So we opted for something a little more appropriate - a speech by Berowne from Love’s Labour’s Lost recited by their friend - and fellow actor - Ian Flintoff.

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Jess, Peter’s super talented daughter, sang a phenomenal rendition of At Last by Etta James. Everyone was in tears as she serenaded her father and Gillian and I struggled to regain my composure in time to continue the ceremony. Next Peter and Gillian exchanged vows and rings before ending the ceremony with a beautiful kiss. Then we got down to the serious business of celebrating. The bubbly flowed, we danced, we laughed and we loved making new friends.

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I can quite honestly say that this was one of my favourite and most relaxed weddings ever! No pretences, just love, laughter and fun! Peter and Gillian - I wish you both a lifetime of laughter, happiness and love!

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Miranda Ash