Jan & Richard. Powderham Castle. Nick Walker Photography

Jan & Richard – It Was So Worth The Wait

Jan & Richard. Powderham Castle. Nick Walker PhotographyFor those who follow me on Instagram  or Facebook you will have seen that I have been busy presenting ceremonies all over the place this year.

Today though I’m concentrating on my first wedding at Powderham Castle for Jan and Richard.   Their big day had to be postponed because of the snow, meaning so few of their guests were able to get to Devon.  This was such a difficult decision for them and hard to believe now with this current heatwave.    Fortunately every single supplier was able to change the date.   All of us desperate to accommodate if we possibly could.

And WOW what a venue Powderham is and what a day it was!   It was a pleasure working alongside Sarah the Weddings Manager there and indeed Nick of Nick Walker Photography who came all the way from Cornwall to take these absolutely stunning photographs of this awesome couple.  How did he manage it without any of us really being aware he was there?

Jan, Richard and I worked on the ceremony together.  It reflected their characters and relationship, but also the importance of their friends and family.  And not forgetting their humour.  And there was a lot of that.   Beautiful music was provided by the uber talented Rosewood String Quartet which included a specially arranged version of The Reckoner by Radiohead; a favourite of the couples.  Jan had her best friends as bridesmaids and her mother gave her away.

Beautiful bride.  Blissfully happy couple.  Awesome venue.  Enjoy!

Jan & Richard. Powderham Castle. Nick Walker Photography Jan & Richard. Powderham Castle. Nick Walker Photography Jan & Richard. Powderham Castle. Nick Walker Photography Jan & Richard. Powderham Castle. Nick Walker Photography Jan & Richard. Powderham Castle. Nick Walker Photography Jan & Richard. Powderham Castle. Nick Walker Photography Jan & Richard. Powderham Castle. Nick Walker Photography Jan & Richard. Powderham Castle. Nick Walker Photography Jan & Richard. Powderham Castle. Nick Walker Photography Jan & Richard. Powderham Castle. Nick Walker Photography Jan & Richard. Powderham Castle. Nick Walker Photography Jan & Richard. Powderham Castle. Nick Walker Photography Jan & Richard. Powderham Castle. Nick Walker Photography Jan & Richard. Powderham Castle. Nick Walker Photography Jan & Richard. Powderham Castle. Nick Walker PhotographyImage Source: Nick Walker Photography | Instagram | Facebook

Barons Hill Barn wedding

A Love Story

Every time I’m asked why couples should choose a celebrant ceremony, my first response is always because it is completely unique.  And the reason it is unique is that the main part of the ceremony apart from, of course, your vows is your love story.  In my ceremonies a large section of the ceremony is just that.

They say a picture paints a thousand words, but your specific thoughts about how you felt when you first met your fiancé, what made you fall in love and why you want to spend the rest of your life with him or her can be conveyed in your ceremony. These feelings can only be communicated in words and your celebrant ceremony provides the opportunity to do just that.

8867bbb899d4f7a00f4eabe887a9c90bMy second meeting with my couples is when I get down to the nitty gritty and discuss their love story.   After which I will produce the first draft of their ceremony.   I take notes of what happened during their relationship to the present date and how they felt in those moments.  It is a lovely meeting.  Not only do I get to know the couple incredibly well by the end, but I also get to understand their love and their relationship.  I think, if possible, it may even deepen your connection because you both get a chance to re-live some of the most special times of your lives together.

Sharing the words of your love story is a simple, yet power way to add personal meaning and intimacy to your wedding day.  Your flowers, wedding décor and food will say something about you as a couple, but those things can never tell the complete story about how you came together and fell in love.  Surely that’s what your wedding day and more particularly your ceremony is all about.

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Romance Is Alive & Kicking

ROMANCE IS NOT DEAD. Thank goodness for that!

I posted on our Facebook page recently, a lovely romantic tale about a rickshaw driver in London on New Year’s Eve and how his kind act brought two strangers together.

With Valentines Day fast approaching love is everywhere and romance is thankfully very much alive and kicking.   It was certainly in the air before Christmas with Prince Harry’s announcement of his engagement.  That look of adoration and love for Meghan as he introduced her  to the world surely must have warmed the hearts of even the most cynical.

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I honestly believe that we all have the capacity for romance.   Often people get squeamish over romantic gestures but they don’t have to be cheesy, complicated or extravagant.   Real romance isn’t manufactured.  It’s very individual but once you’ve experienced it you won’t forget it. It’s a powerful force that makes you feel connected to someone in a deeper way.  It’s the gestures, both big and small, that make you feel especially touched and cherished by your partner.  Romance is what takes your relationship past friendship.

It’s showing the person you love that you’re thinking about them.  It shouldn’t feel forced.  There are no limits.  It can be shown by a handwritten note, by going for a walk, or even by making someone a sandwich.  Romance is simple, sweet and innocent that reminds your partner why they fell in love with you in the first place.

Romance is so not dead.   We just have to remember to be romantic.

Good Things Come in Small Wedding Packages

MICRO WEDDING is the latest buzz word in ‘wedding world.’  In a nutshell it is an alternative to a full-blown elopement.  The definition of elopement is the act or instance of running off secretly.  A micro wedding is not that but more an occasion which allows the focus to be on the ceremony attended by your very closest family and friends.

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Elopement suits some.  Running away in secret to get hitched privately is romantic but it can potentially hurt, disappoint and can cause misunderstandings which is of course is not the intention.  However, if you want to keep your wedding small, simple or short and you don’t want to spend a small fortune a micro wedding might be the answer.  It is a whole easier to keep sight of your budget when are only 20 versus 150 guests.

A ‘micro’ is simpler in format, relaxed in atmosphere, less stress to organise than a traditional wedding and much easier on the pocket.  The whole occasion can no more than 2 hours allowing sufficient time for a meaningful ceremony, photographs to remember the occasion and some celebratory drinks afterwards.  By limiting your guest list, the emphasis is on the ceremony and those precious people who are key in your lives whom you want to witness this significant and important event.  Not only will you feel more connected with your family and friends but they, in turn, feel hugely honoured and valued.

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The whole concept of a micro wedding ‘marries’ (excuse the pun) perfectly with a celebrant ceremony.  Bespoke, unique, intimate and inclusive.  Here’s a thing, you could rent a beautiful house in your most favourite place and invite only your closest friends and family and get married in the garden or even in the kitchen if that suits you better.  You could even keep it a huge surprise for everyone.

Having said that many licensed venues are now offering elopement packages which are, in essence, micro weddings.  Our favourite is Bridwell Park.

I’d love to hear your stories of intimate weddings you’ve been part of, or you are planning yourself.

10 Reasons Why You Should Choose a Celebrant For Your Wedding

When it comes to deciding where to get married, there is an array of choices available to you.  All of which have their advantages and disadvantages – whether that be down to availability, size, venue restrictions or religious beliefs.

Deciding on who should marry you, however, is still something that falls way down to the bottom of most couples’ wedding preparation priorities.  I hope to change that by giving you 10 reasons to choose a celebrant for your special day, rather than a registrar.

Barons Hill Barn weddingChoose a wedding celebrant if…

  1. Your perfect venue does not have a civil marriage licence. This could be your own garden, woodlands, a beach or an unlicensed wedding venue
  2. You don’t want to be restricted by the limitations of a licensed ceremony
  3. You don’t want to be married by a complete stranger
  4. You want to be married somewhere where all your friends and family can stay together i.e self catering accommodation
  5. You want to include a religious element within your ceremony but don’t want to get married in a church
  6. You want to be married outdoors without a permanent structure
  7. You want to be confident in the knowledge that your celebrant will have one booking that day and therefore there is no need to rush or fit in with a schedule
  8. You want a ceremony that has no template or standard script, no tick boxes or restrictions.
  9. You want to add a hand fasting, sand ceremony, religious or cultural element, to give your ceremony added personality
  10. You want your ceremony to be completely personal and unique to you.

So, now you know. Your wedding need not follow the same template or wording. Your ceremony will not feel rushed or conveyor-beltish. Your special day will be completely and utterly unique. If you have any other questions please, please do contact me via the website. I’m always happy to chat and help in any way I can.

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Barons Hill Barn wedding

Amy & Dave Marry at Barons Hill Barn

Amy and Dave were married at The Barn at Barons Hill Barn in South Devon. Guests sat on straw bales with the sound of the stream trickling by in the background. Amy entered to Tenerife Sea by Ed Sheeran and was met by a very emotional groom, Dave, who was resplendent in his Royal Artillery uniform.

This was a happy, relaxed wedding ceremony on a beautiful, sunny day. Images by Zoe Griffin Photography.

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Winter Weddings vs Summer Celebrations

When you think about ‘wedding season’, the height of it all tends to be around the summer months. But as the weather becomes more and more unpredictable in the UK and we hear stories of weddings being completely washed out, more and more couples are choosing the winter months to get married.

And why not? Tying the knot in winter alleviates the pressure of the ‘British’ summer.  In winter, good weather is a bonus and therefore not always a deciding factor when choosing a venue or a date.  The venues are also cheaper during the winter, sometimes as much as half the price of dates through June to September. And if you are looking for a last minute date, chances are they are more available during the latter quarter of the year.

winter wedding inspiration winter wedding inspirationThe scenery, whilst not bursting with floral abundance, is crisp and clear and minimal and fresh. The nights draw in giving the perfect backdrop for fireworks displays and festoon lighting. Tables can be dotted with candles and tealights and anything sparkly.  Couples should remember that natural daylight is best for photographs, so bear that in mind when timing your day.

Brides can keep warm under faux fur wraps and velvet capes. Guests can snuggle up under blankets and congregate around open firepits with hot chocolates and marshmallows.  Or warm their cockles on mulled wine or vodka ice sculptures.

And for couples looking to winter for inspiration in their wedding vows…

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And if you are planning on lots of DIY touches, head over to our sister company Fanfare Celebration Supplies for all your winter wonderland wedding paraphernalia. Everything from paper snowflakes to napkins and crystals.

And here are just a few of our favourite venues that are simply stunning in winter. Some of them still have availability for 2018 winter weddings, so head on over and take your pick.

The Great Barn | Higher Eggbeer | Haldon Belvedere | Huntsham Court | The Corn Barn | Hayne Devon

 

Image source: lights, cocoa, bride, sparklers, mulled wine, blankets

NewRobin Photography, wedding of James and Michelle, wedding celebrant, Devon wedding

Michelle & James Marry in the Garden

Every single wedding ceremony that I’m lucky to be part of, is completely different to the last one. From the style of the bride, to the way the couple enter and leave their celebrations. From the personal readings, poems, songs and music to how family and friends react to seeing the bride and groom marry in front of them.

Michelle and James chose a low-key wedding in the garden, with lots of DIY touches, on the Rousden Estate, near Lyme Regis. Michelle dressed in a beautiful soft cream, beaded gown and was accompanied up the aisle by her very proud father and her children; Isla as a flower girl and Toby, her page boy.  Her four best friends took on the roles of bridesmaid.  An emotional James and his Best Men looked handsome in grey checked jackets and matching waistcoats.  I love the subtle touches of colour from the bouquet and buttonholes.

The couple were very keen to keep everything modest and understated. A simple ceremony, with personal vows and then onto doing what matters most, celebrating the union with all their loved ones.

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NewRobin Photography

 

summer solstice, midsummer night's dream, outdoor wedding, longest day

Summer Solstice Wedding Inspiration

June has long been one of the most popular months to get married, quite possibly because the weather is ‘slightly’ more predictable than any other month. The longest day of the year, or Summer Solstice, is also a popular day to celebrate the joining of two people, or the naming of a newborn, and has long been associated with love, fertility and sexuality. Some believe that the 21st of June holds a special power and the day (and its traditions) has inspired festivals, parties and weddings throughout the years and across the country.

From flower garlands to fairy bridesmaids; from relaxed Al Fresco dining to sumptuous midsummer banquets, here’s just some of our Summer Solstice pinboard to inspire you on the longest (and hottest!) day of the year.

summer solstice, midsummer night's dream, outdoor wedding, longest day summer solstice, midsummer night's dream, outdoor wedding, longest day summer solstice, midsummer night's dream, outdoor wedding, longest day summer solstice, midsummer night's dream, outdoor wedding, longest daySource: handfast, branches, bride, teepee, tiara, dining, hippie, fruit, lolly, chandelier, tree, flower circle, moss

Remembering Absent Loved Ones At Your Wedding

A wedding is a time for joy and laughter and the bringing together of your loved ones and closest friends, in celebration. But what about those dearest family members who are no longer with you, or the friends living thousands of miles away, who can’t make it to your wedding day? How do you include them or commemorate them? Will drawing attention to their absence create too much sadness for what should be the happiest day of your life?

I’ve put together a few suggestions as to how you can remember a missing loved one on your special day.  And I can help you with making sure that your loved ones, dearly departed or just absent from your day, are remembered in the most personal, subtle, intimate or full on celebratory way you can imagine. Just give me a call to chat through your ideas.

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  • Put images of family and friends in frames and display them on a table, a tree or even a stepladder, so that guests can remember them in their own way, at their own time.
  • Save a chair for a missing family member, by adding a personal item or a photograph. Or set one chair aside, perhaps in a different colour or style, that is symbolic and for every missing person.
  • If you want to do something completely unforgettable, then release balloons or even white doves in memory of those absent.
  • For something a little more subtle, add a personal trinket, small locket or photo in cuff links to your wedding gown, suit, bouquet or even shoes (your loved ones will literally be walking down the aisle with you, even if they aren’t there).
  • For those that are perhaps living abroad and unable to attend, make them feel included by sitting your laptop on a chair and Skyping them throughout the ceremony.
  • Your speech or wedding vows are the perfect platform to remember a missing relative or pal. Or why not add a paragraph or so into your order of service; a keepsake for all.

Absent loved ones Absent loved ones Absent loved onesSource: Bouquet, Reading, Chair, Jacket, Front Row, Balloons, Chalkboard, Doves, Skype, Cuff Link