I think it’s fair to say that your wedding day is high up on the momentous life events list. It therefore completely baffles me that most couples, who choose a civil ceremony, are happy for this huge occasion to be officiated by a total stranger.
Over the years I have collected quite a selection of inspirational music. Some well-known ones but also some slightly more obscure pieces. Being a music fan, I particularly like lyrics to songs and find incorporating them into your wedding ceremony, either as part of your vows or as a reading or musical interlude, the perfect way to say something beautiful if you are struggling to find the words yourself.
Readings are traditionally a common part of any wedding ceremony. But finding the right one (and one that hasn’t already been used at your sister’s/friend’s/cousin’s/next door neighbour’s wedding) is quite a challenge.
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.
- You make the brilliant decision that you don’t want a ceremony that reads the same as everyone else’s and contact me. The next important decision is to make sure I am the right person for you. You must like me; like the sound of my voice and indeed my style of ceremony.
- If we all decide that we ‘get’ one another, ideally the next step would be for us all to meet face-to-face however if, for whatever reason, this isn’t possible Facetime is a good alternative. This meeting is not long but it is just to confirm that your instincts were right and that I am the right person for you and for you to ask any questions you may have. All being well you will then pay a deposit to save the date and I will send a contract for you both to sign.
- The next time we meet will be about two to three months before the big day. I like you to allow at least two hours for this. It doesn’t have to be at the venue but if the ceremony is to be held at your home then that would be ideal. If it’s at a venue, I’ll meet you locally here in Devon. However, many of my clients are based in London and if this is the case, I will happily meet you there.
- Prior to this meeting I will send you some homework in the form of some questions. Ideally, I like it returned before we meet but this is not essential. Many of my clients find this a very reflective exercise and rather fun. The questions cover everything from the details of your bridal parties to telling me all about your relationship, your characters, your families and of course the proposal. In short, the story of you and your partner. This is the essence of your ceremony script and what makes it entirely bespoke. For me this is my favourite part of my job. I introduced the questionnaire a year ago. I’d rather spend this precious time with you both, getting to know you, rather than having to concentrate on getting the chronology and detail correct. That way the script will be truly reflective of you.
- We will kiss goodbye and I always hear myself saying ‘Most likely the next time we meet will be on your big day’. I always feel like I’ve made some new friends and hope that you will feel the same.
- I go home and write the script and then send you the first draft with everything crossed my end that you will love it and that I’m along the right track. You will tweak, amend as necessary and I will do the same and the script will go back and forth until we are all absolutely happy.
- In the meantime, I will also, if applicable, liaise with the venue and make sure that the event manager and I are entirely happy with the production on the day.
- A week or so before your wedding I will email to confirm the finer details on the production of the ceremony, confirming that we all know who is doing what, where everyone is seated and so on.
- Then it’s the big day! I always arrive an hour beforehand which gives me plenty of time to introduce myself to members of the families and of course the rest of the bridal party. I’m always equipped with plenty of water for nervous dry throats, tissues for the regularly teary groom, and Vaseline for the ring fingers in case of sweaty hands. I always bring laminated copies of the readings for the readers just in case.
- My second favourite part of my job is standing with the groom (or bride) awaiting his bride (or groom!). When the music starts and she’s on her way my heart skips a beat, often my eyes fill with tears and I must give myself a metaphorical kick to pull myself together! That’s how involved I feel.
- And so, I read our script and I mean ours. We created it together – the three of us. I issue the immortal words, “You may kiss your beautiful bride (or groom!)” and for me ………. It’s nearly over. But for you it’s the beginning of bigger and better things.
- Before I leave, I love to get a picture of the three of us. These pictures are the most special of all.
So, there you have it. I hope I have answered any questions you might have had before reading this post. If not, just give me a shout and I’ll be only too happy to chat with you.
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.