December has always been a month of madness as we all tie ourselves to the Christmas bandwagon and hold on tight. But it’s also a month of reflection and what a year it has been for the Fanfare family.
It kicked off back in April with the postponed wedding (due to the snow in March) of Jan and Richard at Powderham Castle and my last ceremony was for Emily and Andy at the Deer Park Country House in November – A venue which has now closed its doors to hotel guests and now concentrates entirely on weddings and events. I was lucky enough to be asked to conduct two ceremonies there this year. Both were wonderfully happy and memorable. Bizarrely for Kirstie and Dan in September the weather threw the book at them. Heavy rain and gales. Whereas at the beginning of November for Emily and Andy the sun shone down on them. I’m always saying that couples should consider winter weddings, although I’m saying that as we are entering yet another week of wet and windy weather.
This is my third year of being a celebrant and I’ve been to some new venues such as the quirky and charming Streamcombe Farm and returned to some old friends like The Barn at Barons Hill Farm. But my favourites are without doubt those that are at home. Both Becky and Ran’s and Charlotte and Chris’ weddings were the stand outs for me. Purely for that reason. Both their homes are in the most magical of settings and although again the blummin’ weather threw a spanner in the works for Charlotte and Chris it didn’t take away from the fact that Charlotte had her wedding and exchanged vows and rings with the person she loved, in the place she loved… at home. For me there is nothing better.
The year culminated with a last-minute decision to enter the Wedding Industry Awards and unexpectedly being made a regional finalist. I lost out to the very talented Cornish Celebrants – a charming duo of lady Celebrants based, yes you’ve guessed it, in Cornwall. It certainly was an experience and I cannot thank all the couples who voted for me enough especially as I really had not given them much warning! It wasn’t to be this year but who knows I might try again next year!
One more thing I’m delighted to report, is that Bex and Gavin and Amy and Dave, whose ceremonies I conducted last year at Huntsham Court and The Barn at Barons Hill respectively, are expecting their first babies. I feel like a prospective Granny!
And so I would like to finish by wishing all members of the ‘Fanfare’ family, both old and new (and coming soon!) a brilliantly Happy New Year. I’m excited about all the ceremonies I already have booked for next year and look forward to meeting new couples looking to have a celebrant wedding soon.
On 26th May this year I was lucky enough to conduct the ceremony for Ranald and Becky at her parent’s farm in Wilmington, East Devon. Everything about this wedding was unique, personal and truly bespoke.
Family is hugely important to both Becky and Ranald and their wedding certainly celebrated, not only their marriage, but also the love and the closeness or their two families.
Becky’s parents had been working tirelessly to get their beautiful home prepared for this glorious celebration. The ceremony was held high on a hill above the farm beneath a beautiful wedding arbor that Becky’s father had made with seating on straw bales. It was a hot steamy day and the storm clouds were gathering but fortunately came to nothing. Many of the guests, despite the sweltering conditions, puffed up the steep hill whilst others took advantage of the vehicles laid on to ferry those less energetic. The view from the top was breathtaking.
They wrote their own vows. Becky’s godmother had written a poem which she read describing their relationship and characters to a tee.
This wedding typified everything that a celebrant ceremony is all about. Becky wanted to be married from her wonderful home. They wanted it to be personal, relaxed and intimate. It was all that and more. It was unpretentious. It was charming. It was rustic.
They are a lovely couple who take joy from their family, their children, nature and each other’s company. They really were the Darling Buds of May just as HE Bates described. I loved it.
The beautiful images were captured by DHW Photography.