Kristine and Liam celebrated their marriage at Aynhoe Park House near Banbury,
on Monday 31st July 2017.
Although having lived together in London for the last year and a half, Canadian Liam and Norwegian Kristine had spent much of their relationship working, living and studying abroad in Canada, Norway, the UK and Australia, and so guests had travelled from all around the world to witness a ceremony which incorporated a medley of traditions and symbolic nods towards their two cultures.
It was such a joy for them both to be able to unite their friends and family from around the globe at last, in one glistening orangery in the Oxfordshire countryside, where together we could share Liam and Kristine’s story, and learn about the significance of the places they now hold in their hearts.
… and what a cool place to do just that!
Aynhoe Park House was certainly on my bucket list of venues to work with, so I was delighted when Kristine first told me news of their chosen location for where our ceremony would be held!
The interior boasts a glorious mix of old and new, with quirky and contemporary touches throughout. Its eclectic collection of pimped-up Victorian taxidermy, Modern Art and bizarre decorative features are certainly not to everyone’s taste, but there is no denying that wherever you turnin Aynhoe House, you’ll take in something spectacular for the eye to glare at…
“It’s not often I get to start a ceremony welcoming ‘Ladies and gentlemen’ whilst making eye contact with a levitating giraffe….”
If romance is your thing, then Kristine and Liam’s wedding would simply melt your heart. Not only did they have a wonderful love story to share, but they also included a traditional Norwegian song which everyone was invited to join in with singing – or to hum along at least!
The song was called ‘Mitt Hjerte Er Ditt’ which translates ever so sweetly into the words: My Heart is Yours…
Later in the ceremony, we also included the hymn Morning Has Broken and bridesmaid, Nadine, gave a reading of Corinthians 13 vs 1-13, in honour of Liam and Kristine’s Christian upbringings.
“Love is patient and kind…
… Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
Kristine and Liam chose to enter into their union by sharing a joint wedding vow, which they had written together and asked me to share with everyone on the day. Both the bride and groom had felt nervous about speaking out loud, so this was a gentle compromise, meaning they could keep their words to a minimum whilst still demonstrating their love and commitment to each other in the true spoken words of their hearts and their souls.
After the vow was read out, together they said shared a simple declaration, and then we moved onto the traditional exchange of wedding rings.
Could this ceremony be any more cute, you ask? Well, yes. Yes it could…. because we concluded the wedding ring exchange with one of my favourite readings:
An adaptation of The Blessing of the Hands
“These are the hands of your best friend, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever….”
Finally, when all was said and done (and the romance could not get any sweeter!) it was time to reach my favourite part in any wedding; the announcement of the newly married couple.
I absolutely adore this moment in every ceremony, but Kristine and Liam’s announcement was a real treat and something to behold! I asked their guests to be upstanding, put down any handbags and orders of service onto the chairs behind them, to free their hands up ready to give the greatest round of applause that they possibly could for our happy couple…
Oh my, didn’t they do well!
Kristine and Liam were announced to the room with great grandeur, but the cheer that followed nearly knocked me off my feet, and the applause that erupted even shocked our gorgeous photographer – so much so she commented on it in her own blog!
“I was blown away again by their celebrant Samantha Kelsie who performed the best wedding ceremony EVER. It was so refreshing seeing a ceremony just about the couple & making it so personal…. also it was probably the biggest cheer I have ever heard for the first kiss, but I think that’s obviously down to the guests! LOVED IT.”
Kristine and Liam really were such a joy to work with. Their confidence in being able to bring together two cultures and a whole world of wedding guests, and still create something so unique, personal and perfectly intimate in such a grand and spectacular setting, is a credit to them both.
I was so honoured to have been asked to be their celebrant, and utterly delighted to have received such a wonderful messages (plural!) of thanks from them both in the days and weeks since their wedding.
It’s a pleasure to know that they are still as overjoyed with their wedding ceremony now, as I was as privileged to be a part of it…
Congratulations Kristine and Liam
With thanks to photographer Jessica Raphael for not only sharing these beautiful images, but for also sharing her equally glorious write up of Kristine and Liam’s wedding on her website too:
Venue: The Orangery at Anyhoe Park – aynhoepark.co.uk/