Find out more about Fan the lady who is Fanfare Ceremonies.
Fan is an experienced celebrant specialising in traditional wedding ceremonies with a modern twist.
Although based in Devon, Fan has worked with clients and presented ceremonies in some of the most prestigious country house venues and beautiful family gardens across the west country and UK
Hi I’m Fan
I’m married to Nick, a farmer. We have 3 wonderful grown up children Fred, Harriet and Louisa.
When I’m not working I love hanging out with the children and holidaying with Nick. I love to laugh, dance, everything about the sea and feel lucky that I live so close to it.
I love good food and wine and going to London to visit Fred, Harriet and Louisa who are all based in there. Whilst there I also try to go to the theatre, grab an hour in the V & A and shop til I drop of course!
I am blessed to have a large group of incredible girlfriends and I love nothing more than spending time with them. Laughing, chilling and reminiscing.
Fan, when and where were you were married?
Nick and I were married in church in Hampshire which is where my family lived. We have been married for 30 years.
We were not overly religious but there was absolutely no question that we would marry anywhere other than church.
I’m finding that it’s couples, more often than not, whose parents like us, automatically married in church, that now come to me for their ceremony. A church ceremony just doesn’t fit quite right for them and feel uncomfortable using the church as a venue rather than for spiritual reasons.
The non-religious trend is growing and modern couples are looking for an alternative to the generic scripted civil ceremony offered by the registration services.
Some couples want aspects of a traditional church wedding such as a prayer or a hymn. But mostly they want the familiar format of ceremony with less formality, more personalisation and absolutely bespoke.
This is possible with a celebrant led ceremony.
Photo credit: Paige Grace Photography
Fan, what do you love about your job?
I love people and have a genuine interest in them as well as a love of story telling. I have been so lucky that all the couples I have worked with have not only been interesting but absolutely delightful.
I love that they are so happy and I feel privileged to be given the responsibility of not only writing and telling their story but being part of such a momentous event in their lives. It really is a dream job.
Fan, what you do find challenging about being a wedding celebrant?
The fact that so many still have not heard of a wedding celebrant, the service we provide and the enormous benefits of a celebrant led ceremony.
Couples still default to the registrar civil ceremony either because they do not know there is an alternative or they prefer the ‘one stop shop’ convenience of having the legals done at the same time despite there being little or no personalisation in the ceremony
Fan, do you have a particular favourite type of venue for your ceremonies?
Yes I do. I love country venues particularly in the garden or on the farm of the family of either the bride or groom. There really is nowhere more personal.
Owners of glorious historic country houses, manors and even castles have turned to the wedding industry to raise funds to quite literally keep the roofs over their heads.
All these beautiful locations make the most heavenly venues for weddings and are definitely my second choice. These large houses were built for entertaining and celebrating.
On a recent visit to Pynes House Kate, one of the owners agreed wholeheartedly and said that by holding weddings there had breathed new life into the building which, in its heyday would have been buzzing with activity and celebration.
Although I am yet to work at Pynes House I have been lucky enough to present ceremonies at many of the most prestigious Devon venues including Rockbeare Manor, Huntsham Court, Deer Park Country House and Powderham Castle.
photo credit: Nick Walker Photography
Where is your ‘go to’ place for inspiration?
Great wedding ceremonies are entrenched in personality and authenticity. When I meet my couples I listen to every word about their story and watch their interaction and the body language between them closely. That’s where my main inspiration comes from.
However like all story tellers writers block does raise it’s ugly head from time to time. When that happens I climb the hill immediately above our house. It has the most amazing views across the Otter valley to the sea through the Sidmouth gap.
It’s extraordinary what can happen after I’ve been up there for some peace and quiet.
Fan, what’s your one piece of advice for your couples?
To enjoy every single second and do it all the way they want to.
Fan, have you had any funny moments?
My nose runs like a tap when my adrenalin is pumping. I always have a generous supply of tissues with me.
At one particular wedding my nose was streaming as usual. I was knelt down introducing myself to a small page boy. I was saying how nice it was to meet him when he said “what’s that at the end of your nose?”. Thank heavens for him. I had loo paper stuck to it. Can you imagine how awful that would have been in all the photographs.
If you’d like to hear more about Fan and the service she provides please don’t hesitate to contact her. She’d love to hear from you.
Photo credit: Luna Weddings
Featured image by Verity Westcott Photography