February 14th 2018 - the day of the the most important wedding this year.
On the surface you’d be forgiven for thinking otherwise. A service 11 minutes long at Stow Park Circle registry office, with almost as many journalists attending as members of the wedding party. Blink and you’d have missed it.
But that day was truly special - one of a kind. A rallying of the community from all parts of Newport and beyond, to celebrate the love between two souls - who they’d never even met.
Contributions for the wedding included the manager of Newport County, the co-founder of Tiny Rebel, the owners of Secret Garden Cafe, the Escape Rooms Newport, BEWT studios in Cardiff, an incredible seamstress/born again baker from Langstone and an individual known to the world as ‘Bongo Peet’ (who ironically played the ukulele on the day).
However, what made that day even more special is that it shouldn’t have happened.
The bride, Margaret, suffered from acrophobia (fear of open spaces) and struggled to leave the family home. The idea of a wedding seemed like a mountain too difficult to climb.
One day, her supportive fiancé and now husband Carl, suggested taking up the RISE Black Uniform challenge. It involves putting up 50 RISE stickers around your environment to earn a money can’t buy Black Uniform.
“I thought the idea of spreading art that holds a message of love around the area I lived was a beautiful idea.” Says Margaret.
“RISE pushed me to venture out on my own to spread the word.”
Day by day, Margaret and Carl ventured further into their community and within a few weeks she had earned herself the converted Black Uniform. More importantly, she made significant steps to overcome her fear.
“My black uniform reminds me that I’ve overcome that part that was holding me back”.
Her confidence growing, Margaret felt the time was right for the wedding.
As a tribute the couple decided to wear their Black Uniforms on the day, something that we at RISE are still honoured and blown away by.
The tight knit RISE community (Dead Cherubs), acted accordingly and offers to help out on the day came flooding in. People who have never met the couple were offering their services for free to make the day special. It was something amazing to behold.
Thank you to all that helped make the day special. It was more than just a wedding. It’s a true story of overcoming fear, spreading love and rising beyond rebellion.
To Mr. and Mrs. Smith....