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.
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.
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.
Beautiful bride. Blissfully happy couple. Awesome venue. Enjoy!
Fresh home from The Decidedly Different Vintage Wedding Fair at Exeter Castle I have been reflecting on the lovely couples I have met and the questions I was asked. Some of course were marrying in church but there were many who were going down the civil ceremony path and had booked their registrar but had no idea of the alternative I.E. a Celebrant Ceremony.
There are many excellent registrars who provide a great service but they are restricted by the law which results in a scripted ceremony and minimal choice. This is of course the huge advantage of going down the Celebrant path with no restrictions at all.
Our ceremonies accurately depict the couple and their love for each other and provide the opportunity for all their friends and family to celebrate their partnership and formalise it through marriage. People want ceremonies of meaning and substance where they walk away feeling happy and uplifted, and know they have truly celebrated the love and friendship of a couple they hold close.
We currently still need the Registrar to legalise the marriage but goodness Celebrants can offer so much more. The only limitation is your imagination.
Image source: Rock n Roll Bride
If you’re not particularly religious or just want something a little less traditional than a church wedding, then we are here to share the other choices of ceremony and celebration available to you…
To put it as simply as possible, a celebrant wedding is completely personal to you. Your words, your thoughts, your feelings, delivered by someone who you have chosen because they will be able to replicate it all in a way that represents you both as a couple. Moreover the ceremony can take place anywhere, yes anywhere even on the moon if you could get there. So if you and your partner have always wanted to get married amidst the bluebell woods where you first met, or on the edge of the sea in your first holiday spot, then with a celebrant wedding, you can!
A civil ceremony has to take place in a venue that is licensed to perform weddings. These venues can be the most wonderful, unusual places or in your local Registry Office but, in either situation the ceremony is scripted. A celebrant ceremony doesn’t have to stick to a set script; your wedding really will be personal in every way.
Currently a celebrant wedding is not legally binding, so you will need to visit your local Registry Office before your ceremony to make it all official. There’s also a few other legal bits you need to do before you marry, but this can all be explained to you either by your wedding celebrant or the Registrar.
Once that’s all done, you are free to challenge all the stereotypes of a wedding. Throw caution to the wind. Follow your soul. If your thing is the beach – have your ceremony on the beach, if it’s your home, have it at home. To all intents and purposes you are getting married where you want to and how you want to. Surrounded by all your loved ones, your favourite people, your animals, involving them in your very personal day with as much interaction as you like, in a place that it is deeply personal to you, listening to music which has meaningful association with experiences and moments.
So, which kind of ceremony are you thinking of having for your wedding? Are you already married; tell us how you tied the knot! And if you have some ideas that you want to chat through, please get in touch.