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.
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.
It was all about the Jess’ on the 7th July 2018. It was only when I sat down and started writing the script that it occurred to me, when I began telling their story, that the shared name issue was potentially going to be quite challenging. I don’t normally have to use second names when I’m sharing weddings on this blog, but for ‘their story’ and for clarification purposes we adopted two of their nicknames. I wonder if I shall ever come across this situation again?
Their chosen venue was the magical Streamcombe Farm near Dulverton. It’s completely off the beaten track with a wonderful Boho vibe and when the Jess’ fell upon it they knew it was exactly what they were after.
The ceremony took place under a beautiful canopy created by an enormous beech tree which provides a majestic natural cathedral.
Escorted by her father Kevin, Jess C emerged first from the woodland path, looking sensational. She was supported by her bridesmaid and two flower girls who were the daughters of mutual friends. It was actually the first time I had met her. This is extremely unusual as normally I meet my couples at least twice. Unfortunately, when we had planned to meet, she had been struck down by a horrid tummy bug just. I met with Jess B who was able to provide me with all the information that I needed to write the script and gave me the lowdown on their story and Jess’ personality and I was very pleased with the result. I hasten to add the script wasn’t at all one sided. I sent the first draft with a few gaps about Jess B which Jess C very ably filled in.
It was sweet watching Jess C awaiting the arrival of her bride with her father, Robert. There was a palpable hue of anticipation. And Jess B didn’t disappoint. She looked equally stunning and was accompanied by her sister as Maid of Honour and nieces as bridesmaids.
The plan had been for Coco their dog to be their ringbearer but sadly due to the sweltering heat it was decided that poor Coco might have melted.
Jess and Jess are a couple who are renown amongst their friends and family for their generous hospitality and warmth. With most of their guests camping at Streamcombe for the weekend there was a real sense of celebration and good cheer which had started the night before the ceremony and I am sure continued long afterwards. Another very happy day.
These incredible photographs are courtesy of Vaughan-Stephens Photography.
Cast your mind back to June this year– we’d had a spell of the most beautiful weather and we were all feeling a little complacent and were beginning to assume that all would be well for a BBQ or indeed ….. a wedding. I could hardly bear it as I left home to present Andy and Sarah’s ceremony at Wonward Barton. It was pouring and I mean properly pouring with rain.
Wonward Barton is a cosy, rustic wedding venue with fantastic views towards Cornwall. In prime position taking full advantage of the said view, was a beautiful ceremonial arch made especially for the day by Andy’s uncle. Indeed he wasn’t the only family member who had been hard at work preparing for the day. This really was a family affair. Everyone had helped to make this special day the very best for this incredibly kind, fun and busy couple. The beautiful marquee was festooned with literally miles of bunting made by Andy’s Mum. The garden was full of outside games. How dare the weather turn on my nurse and paramedic?
But there is a God up there after all and the rain did stop and although still very unsettled I was delighted when Andy decided five minutes before the ceremony was due to start that Yes, we were going to have it outside. All of us set to and within minutes the chairs were in place and we were ready to go.
Their’s was a lovely story to tell and their love and friendship are worthy of great celebration. Having met with them, got to know them and laughed with them, we collaborated and created a script that reflected their relationship and love. This ceremony was truly personal. Everyone who attended knew them well, loved them a lot and recognised them in the story we told.
The rain was never going to dim the light at this wedding. Simply because it was shining bright in Andy and Sarah’s eyes and I was lucky enough to be a part of it.
Images by Emma Oakes Photography
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.
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.
This was a happy, relaxed wedding ceremony on a beautiful, sunny day. Images by Zoe Griffin Photography.
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.
June has long been one of the most popular months to get married, quite possibly because the weather is ‘slightly’ more predictable than any other month. The longest day of the year, or Summer Solstice, is also a popular day to celebrate the joining of two people, or the naming of a newborn, and has long been associated with love, fertility and sexuality. Some believe that the 21st of June holds a special power and the day (and its traditions) has inspired festivals, parties and weddings throughout the years and across the country.
From flower garlands to fairy bridesmaids; from relaxed Al Fresco dining to sumptuous midsummer banquets, here’s just some of our Summer Solstice pinboard to inspire you on the longest (and hottest!) day of the year.