At the end of July last year, I was lucky enough to conduct a wedding ceremony for Charlotte and Chris in Sidbury in East Devon, an area of outstanding natural beauty. Her parents’ farm looks straight down the Sid Valley to the sea and that was the chosen venue for their wedding.
I have three outstanding memories of the day when the lovely Dan and Kirstie were married at Deer Park Country House.Firstly, the weather. It really was the filthiest day weather-wise. Dear Dan couldn’t really hide his disappointment. After all it had been the most incredible summer and 22nd September was one of the few Saturdays when it had decided to really chuck it down.
Are you thinking of getting married in a faraway exotic location but don’t want to use the venue’s prescriptive script? Or perhaps you have a friend or family member you would love to present your wedding ceremony here at home but don’t want to give them the added pressure of writing the script? In either of these situations you may be interested to hear that I offer a script only service.
On a dreary January day there is nothing better to lift the spirits than casting my mind back to a wonderful warm (boiling in fact) summer day last July. I was back at Barons Hill Farm to conduct a ceremony, this time for the delightful Kirsty and Tom.
Hello friends and a very Happy New Year to you all! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and if you were amongst those who got engaged over the festive period, many congratulations to you!!!
Joanne and Colin were married at Canonteign Falls in September. Their backdrop was the falls itself and they stood and exchanged vows under a pagoda overlooking Lily Lake.
Colin’s brother Graeme was his Best Man and Joanne was given away by Jonny, the son she never had. They adopted one another as mother and son before the ceremony. Joanne was also keen to make a special mention to her mother during the ceremony, whom had been a constant in her life and role model.
The wedding was light-hearted but sprinkled with great sincerity and perfectly reflected Colin’s sense of humour and the couples’ long-time friendship. I particularly love the accents of burgundy throughout the wedding party and proof that chivalry is not dead – Colin gave his jacket to Joanne during the ceremony to shelter her from the breeze coming across the lake.
It was all about the Jess’ on the 7th July 2018. It was only when I sat down and started writing the script that it occurred to me, when I began telling their story, that the shared name issue was potentially going to be quite challenging. I don’t normally have to use second names when I’m sharing weddings on this blog, but for ‘their story’ and for clarification purposes we adopted two of their nicknames. I wonder if I shall ever come across this situation again?
Their chosen venue was the magical Streamcombe Farm near Dulverton. It’s completely off the beaten track with a wonderful Boho vibe and when the Jess’ fell upon it they knew it was exactly what they were after.
The ceremony took place under a beautiful canopy created by an enormous beech tree which provides a majestic natural cathedral.
Escorted by her father Kevin, Jess C emerged first from the woodland path, looking sensational. She was supported by her bridesmaid and two flower girls who were the daughters of mutual friends. It was actually the first time I had met her. This is extremely unusual as normally I meet my couples at least twice. Unfortunately, when we had planned to meet, she had been struck down by a horrid tummy bug just. I met with Jess B who was able to provide me with all the information that I needed to write the script and gave me the lowdown on their story and Jess’ personality and I was very pleased with the result. I hasten to add the script wasn’t at all one sided. I sent the first draft with a few gaps about Jess B which Jess C very ably filled in.
It was sweet watching Jess C awaiting the arrival of her bride with her father, Robert. There was a palpable hue of anticipation. And Jess B didn’t disappoint. She looked equally stunning and was accompanied by her sister as Maid of Honour and nieces as bridesmaids.
The plan had been for Coco their dog to be their ringbearer but sadly due to the sweltering heat it was decided that poor Coco might have melted.
Jess and Jess are a couple who are renown amongst their friends and family for their generous hospitality and warmth. With most of their guests camping at Streamcombe for the weekend there was a real sense of celebration and good cheer which had started the night before the ceremony and I am sure continued long afterwards. Another very happy day.
These incredible photographs are courtesy of Vaughan-Stephens Photography.
Cast your mind back to June this year– we’d had a spell of the most beautiful weather and we were all feeling a little complacent and were beginning to assume that all would be well for a BBQ or indeed ….. a wedding. I could hardly bear it as I left home to present Andy and Sarah’s ceremony at Wonward Barton. It was pouring and I mean properly pouring with rain.
Wonward Barton is a cosy, rustic wedding venue with fantastic views towards Cornwall. In prime position taking full advantage of the said view, was a beautiful ceremonial arch made especially for the day by Andy’s uncle. Indeed he wasn’t the only family member who had been hard at work preparing for the day. This really was a family affair. Everyone had helped to make this special day the very best for this incredibly kind, fun and busy couple. The beautiful marquee was festooned with literally miles of bunting made by Andy’s Mum. The garden was full of outside games. How dare the weather turn on my nurse and paramedic?
But there is a God up there after all and the rain did stop and although still very unsettled I was delighted when Andy decided five minutes before the ceremony was due to start that Yes, we were going to have it outside. All of us set to and within minutes the chairs were in place and we were ready to go.
Their’s was a lovely story to tell and their love and friendship are worthy of great celebration. Having met with them, got to know them and laughed with them, we collaborated and created a script that reflected their relationship and love. This ceremony was truly personal. Everyone who attended knew them well, loved them a lot and recognised them in the story we told.
The rain was never going to dim the light at this wedding. Simply because it was shining bright in Andy and Sarah’s eyes and I was lucky enough to be a part of it.
Images by Emma Oakes Photography
On 14th April this year, I headed to Starcross Yacht Club and presented a Naming Ceremony for Tim and Shiona’s beautiful daughter Ula. This was a double celebration as it was also Ula’s first birthday the following day.
Both Shiona and Tim have a massive affinity with the sea and many happy days have been spent by them at the yacht club. It was therefore a perfect venue for Ula’s Naming Ceremony and goodness what a setting it was.
I think the shipping forecast would have used words along the lines of a south-westerly 3 or 4 rising – good for sailing but rather brisk conditions for a naming ceremony right on the edge of the estuary (I’ll know not to wear a wraparound dress another time on a blustery day in such an exposed location– thank heavens for the safety pins in the yacht club’s first aid box!).
It was a real family affair with all hands-on deck (spot the sailing pun) with a bit of a retro feel (I very happily joining in the fun – I haven’t stuck cheese and pineapple on a cocktail stick for a long time) to get everything ready for the feast that was to follow the ceremony.
Ula, which in Celtic means ‘jewel of sea’, surrounded by her parents, guide parents, family and friends was as good as gold. The ceremony included two wonderful readings ‘Before you came’ by Beverley Butcher, read by her uncle and ‘You are my I love you’ by Maryann Cusimano Love, read by her Great Aunt. We celebrated her actual naming, Ula Petrea Julia, by a rapturous three cheers followed by some energetic bubble blowing.
All in all, the happiest of days and my one and only Naming of the year. I hope I am asked to do another soon.
I had a wonderful surprise back in late March this year. I received a phone call from Helen, the Event Manager at the wonderful venue that is Rockbeare Manor, to ask me if I would meet her to discuss the possibility of my writing and presenting the wedding ceremony for her and her partner Troy (one of the chefs at Rockbeare).
There was no time to lose as the wedding was just a month away and so I arranged a visit immediately and met Helen and Troy …….. no I’m not joking! They had met through their work at Priston Mill near Bath (a sister venue of Rockbeare) and I loved hearing their story from the early days up until when Troy proposed which I would then replicate as a part of their ceremony script. A busy 10 days followed with Jan and Richard’s postponed wedding on 7th and a Naming Ceremony on 14th (blog to follow).
Their wedding was such a happy day and their ceremony an emotional one but also filled with humour. Me being me of course couldn’t resist squeezing in a reference to Helen and Troy which they must have heard a thousand times but allowed it! Troy a Maori had some special friends and relatives who had made the huge effort of flying all the way from New Zealand. One of the highlights for me was the fabulous music they had chosen to leave the ceremony, Poi E the iconic celebratory song and unofficial NZ national anthem. It’s a brilliant party starter.
Thank you for Nova Photography for these images. Pity about my bad hair day! I suppose everyone has one! I’m already looking forward to the two weddings I have booked at Rockbeare in March 2019.