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…

winter wedding, wedding vows

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.

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

 

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.

family tree for weddingsSource

  • 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

 

Throw Away The Wedding ‘Rule’ Book – Part 3

I met a couple last week to discuss their wedding for next year and when asked does it matter that I don’t want etc etc, ………….., I heard myself say again, “Absolutely NO, it doesn’t matter!”  This is all about doing your wedding your way.   The beauty of a celebrant ceremony is, there are no rules or regulations.  Be inspired by other’s clever, individualistic ideas, tweak them to suit you.  Do it your way.

alternative wedding bouquets

I’ve heard of couples going to the most amazing lengths to be different.   Take your bouquet, for example. Fresh floral bouquets are, without question, beautiful but what if you don’t want to do it the ‘normal’ way?  A fabric bouquet, or one made of buttons and brooches, won’t wilt, fade or die.  It lasts forever and can be made to your specific colour palette.    And you can even have a special heirloom brooch sewn into it to remember someone special on your big day.  Or perhaps you’d prefer not to carry anything at all.  What an opportunity to be creative and design either a bouquet that’s completely your own or carry something completely non-bouquet and unique.

alternative wedding bouquets

Furthermore, your bridesmaids could carry something other than flowers too.  How about a beautiful clutch bag or something similar which can they can then keep as a very useful memento of the day.  Lanterns are also a wonderful alternative especially for an evening winter wedding with the added benefit that they offer additional lighting too!

I suppose actually there IS one rule.  If it doesn’t mean something to you both; don’t do it! Pop over to our Pinterest boards for more alternative bouquet inspiration.

alternative wedding bouquets alternative wedding bouquetsalternative wedding bouquets

Image sources (left to right, top to bottom)
windmill, paper, starfish, white
lantern, lantern, parasol, cuff
lollipops, sweets, paper, heart
charm, single flowers, felt, jewels
fern, hoop, feathers, butterflies

The Wonderful Wedding of Bex & Gavin

When I decided to become a celebrant, whilst I knew that I would be fully involved in creating a lifelong memory for couples and families, I hadn’t really allowed for how it would make me feel personally. For weddings, I presumed that I would meet a couple, they would book my services, we would convene regularly to put in place a truly intimate and personal service that they would share in front of their nearest and dearest, and afterwards, we would part company with a smile and warm handshake and I would move on to the next.

Well, what an emotional kick up the pants I was in for when I met Bex and Gavin. To become so close to a couple, so quickly and to be so involved in something so personal and precious, was truly a mind-blowing moment for me and really cemented why I truly love what I do.

www.lunaweddings.co.uk www.lunaweddings.co.uk www.lunaweddings.co.uk www.lunaweddings.co.uk www.lunaweddings.co.ukWe met at Huntsham Court, the venue for the wedding,  in November, for the first time. I’m listed as a recommended celebrant on the Huntsham website. I liked them immediately which, as you know, I think is as important as them liking me! Bex is an incredibly warm and fun person and Gavin is just the most charming laid back fellow. They were clearly very much in love and Bex in particular very excited about the whole thing. Not that he wasn’t but she just is an excitable incredibly enthusiastic type! He just sat smiling, letting her do all the talking with her ENORMOUS notebook. I took lots of notes about how they met, how he proposed, their families etc etc. and what they wanted out of the ceremony.

That was that until January when I sent them the first draft. It toed and froed for about a month. Then I met them again in London at a wine bar to go through the draft and who was going to do what, where everyone was going to stand, who was walking in with who etc etc. We had a very jolly evening. I felt very fond of them both.

Family and friends were particularly important to them. They absolutely loved Huntsham because it meant their nearest and dearest could stay with them and they could make a weekend of it. They wanted their ceremony to reflect their love of their parents and friends and also to have their story told with humour but sincerity.

By then we were good to go except for the vows. They were keen to write their own vows and read them themselves. Bex’s vows were prepared well in advance. Gavin appeared not to have really thought about them and I left him to it until about 3 weeks before the wedding and then put some pressure on him and when they were arrived I knew that Bex would never be able to hold back the tears. They were keen that they would not see other’s vows so on the day it would be a surprise.

On the Thursday before the wedding I met them at Huntsham to have a quick chat and a mini run through although the hall was not set up with all the chairs so we had to use our imagination somewhat.

Bex had asked me to arrive in good time on the day so I arrived an hour or so early. I went up to see her and then introduced myself to all the ‘key players’. It was good toput faces to all the names I had heard about over the past months.

The ceremony ran completely smoothly apart from an agonising rendition of All you need is love when I heard myself singing it at one stage almost entirely on my own as nobody was really joining in!! I left quietly. As I drove away my lovely couple were heading outside into the rain, full of love and happiness for their confetti shower.

Walk The Line – Wedding Processions

The wedding procession – sounds rather formal doesn’t it, but it has to be one of the most eagerly anticipated parts of a wedding.   Not only for the person making the entrance, but also for the one waiting at the other end and all the attendants watching. It’s also a chance for me, as a celebrant, to catch a glimpse of each person’s emotions as they see each other for the first time. A treasured moment.

Like all things wedding there is of course a traditional tried and tested formula.  There are two popular formats.   The bride to lead or be led.  The British tend to do it one way and the Americans the other.

wedding procession, walk the aisle, making an entranceSource: Left, Right

Traditionally Brits take the view that the Bride leads her attendants.   Cast your mind back to the vision of Catherine Middleton and indeed all the royal weddings. She was the star of the day.  The bride at this moment SHOULD be the star.  Majestic, composed, radiant, happy and beautiful.   Quite right that all eyes should be on her from the outset.

There is also a completely logical and practical reason for the bride to lead.  Most traditional wedding dresses have a train.  The attendants i.e. the bridesmaids, are there to hold the train and make sure that all is well.   They need to be behind the bride to do this.

Those across the pond go for the build-up of excitement and anticipation of the first glimpse of the bride whereby the attendants lead the bride down the aisle.   Sometimes this can turn into a huge procession of friends and family.  To get the full impact one really needs a big venue otherwise the party enters in drips and drabs and the whole affect is slightly lost.

I do believe a procession is an important element of any wedding ceremony.  For that special moment in time, those who are processing are transported from the humdrum of everyday life to the spotlight of a grand entrance with carefully selected music.  It is a fabulous way to honour your special friends and family too.

wedding procession, walk the aisle, making an entranceSource – Left, Top, Bottom

wedding procession, walk the aisle, making an entranceOf course, if yours is a same sex union or you are looking at something away from the norm, this can throw up a plethora of opportunities.   Walk in together.  This symbolises total unity with specific family members following behind.  One partner walks first escorted by one or both parents, the other follows with his or her family.  Perhaps have more than one aisle and approach together.  And how about this for an idea? A pre-recorded short narrative by yourselves of your journey to marriage.  Lastly you both could be at the front when your guests arrive and borrow from Jewish tradition whereby both sets of parents walk down the aisle and present you.

Which way are you going to process, British, American or something completely different?  I’d love to hear your ideas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Did I Become A Celebrant?

Why did I become a Celebrant?

The simple answer is, because I am dealing with love and meeting people at the most loved-up time in their life.  It is impossible not to make it sound anything other than corny, but it truly is a beautiful thing.

I hear a couple’s story and I can help them tell it however they like. Love is beautiful – actually, that doesn’t even come close to describing it.   And I make no apologies for getting caught up in experiencing a moment that is amazing.  I’m not, and I will never be – a ‘robotic’ celebrant.  I can’t imagine being a part of a wedding – where two people are expressing their enduring love for each other – and not being affected by it.   I’ve learned to take my own advice –  I tell my couples, when it becomes a bit overwhelming – take a deep breath – and soak in all the love that is around you.  There’s a lot of truth in Wet Wet Wet’s song ‘Love is all around us’

I feel it in my fingers
I feel it in my toes
The love that’s all around me
And so the feeling grows.

I won’t go on but you get the gist.  Don’t be ashamed if there are tears.  They are tears of genuine joy, emotion and happiness and everyone will be touched.   A moment’s pause may feel like a lifetime, however it reinforces that these special moments will last forever.  In the words of Dr Seuss “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory”

Love quoteI’ve never considered myself as being overly romantic but I do think everything involved in the planning of a wedding is infectious, joyous and exciting.    For me, I feel hugely privileged to be involved and trusted with a story.  My couples share with me their most personal feelings and tell me about the most important people in their lives.  It is a huge responsibility that I welcome and respect.

There is a powerful, infectious feeling of love, anticipation, excitement and I take the responsibility of my position very seriously and it’s not uncommon when a couple first contacts me – for them to ask for examples of previous ceremonies I have performed.  I’m more than happy to do so… but it comes with a very specific direction: “Don’t focus on the words, focus on the intention.”

Why?  Because when I write a ceremony, it’s a personalised ceremony… and it is completely and utterly customised to the couple who it is written for.

When the ceremony is over and ‘my’ couple immerse themselves amongst their nearest and dearest, I go home with warmth in my heart and a huge smile on my face.  A job well done.

 

Header image source

When April Comes

A topic that comes up in conversation on a regular basis, at Fanfare HQ and one that brings forth much debate, is which is the best month of the year to marry in? I am opening the discussion with April. A little inappropriate perhaps, as it’s currently March, but hey I like April.

April weddings, wedding celebrant, Devon wedding, AprilIf you believe in such things, what month you are born in can say a lot about your future together as a couple. April covers the signs of both Aries and Taurus and according to The Astro Twins, authors of Love Zodiac. “Aries is a very adventurous, bold, and independent sign. If you tie the knot during this time you’ll thrive as individuals and not risk losing sight of yourselves in the relationship. Your marriage will be filled with lots of spontaneity, too. Think last minute getaways, exciting dinner dates, and unexpected romantic surprises. But be careful not to get too competitive with each other, as Aries couples tend to do.”

“Taurus is an extremely sensual, decadent sign. You and your hubby enjoy the finer things in life, and you’re definitely not afraid to indulge your taste for luxury. Good news: You’re destined to have a very grounded marriage. Because both of you can get stuck and set in your ways though, it’s important to mix things up more and try new stuff — in the bedroom and out of it.”

April kicks off with Fool’s day and therefore paves the way for a month of fun and frivolity. It’s a mischievous month. It doesn’t just rain. It tries to catch you out with bursts of sunshine and then when you least expect it, it soaks you. Perhaps in human terms it could be described as optimistic but temperamental.

Happy words like love, hope and growth are associated with it and likewise happy colours like yellow and pastels. Although 1st March is technically the beginning of Spring, I think April is when it truly shows itself.

I like April. I was married during it. There was a spring chill in the air and a hint of a breeze but it didn’t rain on us. Perhaps we were lucky and that’s a good omen for anyone’s marriage.

What’s your favourite month? Will it impact on your decision to when you get married? Or is it just down to when your chosen venue is available? I’d love to hear why you love the month you love.

Throw Away The Wedding ‘Rule’ Book – Part 2

When I’m approached by couples at wedding fairs, my first question to them is usually, ‘Are you getting married in church?’  If they are not, then my next question is to determine their next step, which is usually to book a registrar.  Many couples have not heard of, or considered the services of a wedding celebrant and therefore are unaware of just how flexible and personal their wedding ceremony can be, without the constraints of a standard registrar service.

Below I reveal yet more reasons why a celebrant ceremony is so liberating and provide you with some alternatives to the ‘standard’ wedding rule book.

Throw away the rule book part 2. wedding celebrant, celebrant ceremony, personalised wedding, walking down the aisleMost brides will probably want to be escorted down the aisle (for support and to ease the nerves if nothing else).  Traditionally, of course, it’s Dad that has the honour, however there are many circumstances where perhaps he is not the chosen one or is not involved at all.   What I’m saying is that anyone can be the escort – your best friend, your mum, sibling, grandparent or even your child.  And if you want to go it alone – take centre stage and go it alone!

Furthermore, there is no need to be “given away” at all, if that doesn’t suit you.  An alternative might be to give the close family and/or friends of both the bride and groom  the opportunity to affirm their love of the couple and to promise to continue to provide love, guidance and support in their marriage. They can do this as a group, or individually. Standing, sitting, walking with you, gathered around you in a circle. Whatever is in your head and your heart, can be recreated on your wedding day. Just talk to me about your ideas.