Sunday, 21 August 2011

JoyFest Memories

After lighting two candles to symbolise our lives before we were joined in formal union, we lit this Third Candle to symbolise our lives and  hopes together.
My bouquet of dragonflys rests behind it.
The three candles stay alight as a symbol of our togetherness and continuing individuality. We were lucky to be blessed with a wonderfully calm, warm and sunny day, which meant that the candles DID, in fact stay alight!

Three weeks ago to almost exactly this time (around 6pm) I was finally able to get in a shower after a day of goodbyes and Thankyou's! It is the only thing I would change about that whole amazing weekend, Not having a shower, but having a shower at that time!
I had been trying to get in a shower ever since I had got up but with 40 or so relatives and friends leaving throughout the day, I just didn't seem to find a time when I  could go without missing saying goodbye to someone!
So, finally, after I'd had myshower, I found myself so exhaused and emotinal after 72 hours of what I can only describe as the most memorable and significant weekend of my life so far, that I crawled into our hired tipee and missed the last evening of fun with the few family and friends who stayed with us until the very end!

Joyfest is what we called our weekend of celebration and much merriment! and Joyfest took about a year and a half to bring about. We went completely over budget, we have totally no money left, but it was absoloutely worth every penny that we have saved over the 15 years we have been together!

We had a vision, and somehow, even more than that vision became reality and we created the wedding, festival weekend that we had hoped and dreamed of, but never in a million years, did we dare to believe that it would go so well and be so wonderfully full of love, friendship and real warmth which radiated from every adult and child that honoured us with their presense!

We have been truly humbled by the whole experience, and, as I said in  my last post, life will never be the same again, not just because we are now husband and wife (nothing has changed there apart from my title) but because when you can actually see and feel so much Love around you, it gives you a different perspective. It is hard to explain, I knew we had incredible friends and family, I knew they loved us but maybe it's that we took that for granted.

Joyfest could not  have happened were it not for these ultra remarkable, truly special, beautiful inside and out, lovely, very dear Friends and Family, and they became our theme along with Love, Peace and Creativity. Friends and Family were the reason that we wanted  this, without them, there may not be an us, and certainly would not have been a JoyFest! JoyFest was about being with the wonderful people who we love, respect and from whom we have learnt so much, it was a thankyou to them for being in our lives and we are so priviledged that they were there.

It was because of them, that JoyFest came together in the way it did. We wanted our frieinds and family to feel that it was their JoyFest, we wanted them to feel truly a part of it and to stamp their own unique individuality on it! We didn't want presents, but instead asked people to bring a dish of food, games to play, and to make an item of decoration. This they did in abundance. The marquee was beautiful, the food was delicious and there was 24/7 entertainment! We also made our own decorations and, because one of our passions is recycling, much of what we made was from recycled material, such as our green bottle candle holders and bunting from old material! My beautiful friend Emma, painted jars with dragon and butterflys and decorated them with beads for a fabulous table display! Rob is an amateur potter and made all the pots that went on the tables, in which my wonderful friend Kate, bought and arranged the eye catching sunflowers.
My sister in law made an incredible wall display of butterflys which proved to be the main eyecatching attraction!
When we jumped the broomstick, it had been decorated with ribbons which had messages on!

So life has changed a little in the respect that we will be certain NEVER to take Love and Friendship for granted and also because we now truly comprehend how blessed and lucky we are, which maybe we didn't quite understand to the full extent before 3weeks ago.

As I said in my first post, maybe now I understand the significance of Living in the moment. Before JoyFest I may have been guilty of not giving enough of my time to friends and family. I am always trying to fit a million and one things into a day, and making time for my friends suffers as a result. No more though! I thought I understood the value of friendship but I don't think I could have understood it enough. Now I totally see. I am going to stop feeingl guilty if I don't hoover or don't make dinner before 6, or don't get the dogs out for at least an hour and a half walk! If the hoovering has to wait, the dinner becomes pasta and cheese and the dogs get 20 mins, then I know that is perfectly OK. What is important, is giving my time to the people in my life whom make it so fulfilling, and without whom, I wouldn't have a life worth blogging about!

I have also been guilty of holding onto those times when I feel let down or disappointed in someone. I can see now, how ridiculous this is.  We can't please all of the people all the time, however hard we try, and my friends and family have commitments that won't include me, just as I do. My Friends and Family have shown me how important I am to them in the most wonderful expression of Love. This knowledge and memory will inform every decision and choice I make in the future and I can say in this blog that I  will NEVER doubt that Love EVER! I will live in the moment, appreciate what I have here and now, have a notion of what is going on around me in any given situation, won't be oblivious and won't predict the future or hold onto to past disappoinments which I am ashamed to say I may have done before JoyFest. How Stupid I feel about that now!
I don't want to forget one single moment of JoyFest and it was during that extraordinary weekend that I understood the importance of not missing any moment when it is happening and to live in the right here, right now. That was a life affirming lesson learnt.

Rob and I are lucky enough to have the most special and inspiring people as Friends. Two of these Friends are the wonderful wedding photographers Pen and Cam. Pen is my oldest, closest Friend and we have been in each other's life for nearly 26 years. This gorgeous couple worked their socks off during JoyFest and did us the honour of taking photos of the whole weekend! We are eternally grateful to them and thier website is amazing. Give it a visit at:

Pen and Cam's photos are available to see on their own blog.  The photos here are a mixture from all our Friends and Family. Many of them were taken by my cousin Kirsty Hogg, who, is herself just starting out as a wedding photographer. Here she is with my cousins and below that is another wonderful photo of my cousins with Kirsty behind the lens.

When I look back at our invites and our explanation about what Joyfest is, it is hard to believe that we ( us and our Friends and Family) achieved all that. This is what it read:
"We knew we wanted something different.
We wanted to celebrate with people who share and understand our values and beliefs.
We had the ideal of a festival type celebration where we could have only OUR friends and family, in a peaceful and natural environment where we you can relax and feel comfortable.
We love and value the beauty of nature and we love and value YOU, our Family and Friends, both enrich our lives.
We came across a place that could accomodate all those we want to celebrate with, Stokes Barn, a beautiful and tranquil setting, PERFECT!
Bleu came up with the name "JoyFest".
Ok, so we don't have loads of live bands but we will have YOU, and if a festival is about chilling our with friends in a field with good food, nice drink, entertainment for the children, bit of music and generally feeling relaxed, happy and joyful,
Then we hope, that's what we will have!"

And we DID!

 So what about Life post JoyFest? ........................................................................
New experiences and new challenges and a NEW BLOG........................!!!
I have now completed my first 2 posts, and it doesn't seem quite as daunting as I thought it would be! I appear to have managed to work out how to download photos and pictures, although I know there is alot more I can learn to make it look more interesting!
So, here is a challenge I have set myself, to update this blog at least twice a week and to learn how to create an interesting, worth reading blog. I know I have a long way to go, and ALOT to learn! I am the most impatient person when it comes to technology and I need to learn how to write articulately and eloquently. But I have taken my 1st steps, and it feels good!
And I could not have done this without my wonderful husband who has done all the odd jobs around the house, looked after the kids, made the dinner and walked the dogs this weekend, while I have mastered the art of creating a basic (so far) blog!
So, my wonderful Robbie, you are my only fan so far and this post is dedicated to you as a Thankyou for being SUCH a hard working, uncomplaining, amazing husband and helping me take on a new challenge by giving me the time and space to do so.
You are such a hard grafter and continue to astonish and amaze me with your unassuming and modest attitude.

New adventures await..........................................................................................!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the shout out! It was our honour to be part of the day and capture some of those memories for you. Hope to have the pictures ready soon!!!