For 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.
https://fanfareceremonies.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Jan-Richard-34.jpg6701000Branwen Cookhttps://fanfareceremonies.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Asset-2-white.pngBranwen Cook2018-08-06 16:04:032020-05-17 11:11:32Jan & Richard - It Was So Worth The Wait
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.
My 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.
https://fanfareceremonies.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/ML3F4491.jpg6691000Fanhttps://fanfareceremonies.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Asset-2-white.pngFan2018-03-09 00:01:112020-05-17 11:11:32A Love Story
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.
https://fanfareceremonies.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/IMG_4910.jpg8461000Fanhttps://fanfareceremonies.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Asset-2-white.pngFan2017-09-06 10:21:042020-05-17 11:11:32Amy & Dave Marry at Barons Hill Barn
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.
https://fanfareceremonies.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/4-2.jpg8001000Fanhttps://fanfareceremonies.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Asset-2-white.pngFan2017-07-12 08:02:382020-05-17 11:11:32Michelle & James Marry in the Garden
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.
We 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.
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