Francesca & Alex | Bilingual Destination Wedding at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat Saison

Francesca and Alex were married in an outdoor ceremony at
Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat Saison near Oxford
on Sunday 3rd June 2018

…and it was a multi-cultural affair, to say the least!

When Francesca met Alex in 2012, settling in to a new life in a new country was not unfamiliar to her story. Only a few years before this, Fran had left her family in Italy in search of a new life in Oxford, where she learned to speak English before completing her degree and moving to Aberdeen where she now worked and lived.

But little did she know that her life was about to move across oceans once again, this time in pursuit of love!

Alex lived and worked in his native home of Edmonton, Canada, and so for the first 3 years of their relationship they endured a long distance love set apart across two continents. It certainly made for some interesting new methods of dating, as they tuned into Skype daily to sit with one another at meal times, face to face across a computer screen – one person eating dinner, whilst the other munched on breakfast; or else sometimes simply relaxed together on their individual couches watching a film ‘side by side’ – laptop to laptop.

It was not always easy, as you can no doubt imagine! But it does mean that Fran and Alex have now come to appreciate the time that they do share together even more than most.

Three years after that first meeting, Fran finally packed up her bags once and for all and left her home in Scotland to be with Alex permanently in Canada, where the couple now live. But in doing so, she took herself even further away from her close family back in Italy, and so this wedding was not just a celebration of Fran’s and Alex’s love, it was also recognition of the lengths that they had gone to for the success of their relationship, and the coming together of their two families for the first time and in one place at last.

“Oh my goodness, Samantha, I have just read the first draft you’ve sent us and I am sooo emotional!!! It is perfect!! I really love it. Thank you sooo much!!!! I still have goose bumps as I am typing this message to you!! I really love the ceremony you have written for us!! It strikes the perfect balance: it is extremely meaningful without being heavy and it truly reflects who we are. Thank you!!!!”

But for me as their celebrant, this is where things really got interesting. You guessed it – Francesca’s family do not speak a word of English! That is except for one cousin, the very lovely Maria-Teresa who, with Fran’s careful help, became our translator for the afternoon.

Fran, Alex and I worked together to write a ceremony that truly encapsulated their love and the origins of their story. But it was Fran herself who worked even harder, translating the whole service and all four readings into Italian as well, so that Maria-Theresa could help me share their story with everyone who attended on the day.

The ceremony itself took place in Oxford, where Fran had first learned to speak English (thus beginning her journey to finding Alex!) in Raymond Blanc’s exquisite French-inspired chateaux, hotel and restaurant venue, Le Belmond Manoir aux Quait Saison.  We stood half indoors allowing the guests to spill out into the garden as the sun shone brightly down upon us. It was simply divine.

Fran and Alex chose to keep their ceremony simple and traditional, with an exchange of vows and accompanying wedding rings, plus a certificate signing to include the Best Man and Maid of Honour. Fran chose three readings, which were all read out by different friends and family members in both Italian and again in English, and her Italian Aunt read out a personal prayer which she had written in honour of Fran and Alex’s love and the role that the Roman Catholic Church will play in their marriage.

After the ceremony, guests mingled with strawberry lemonade and glasses of champagne whilst photos were taken with the bride and groom (which in Italy, means that everyone gets a go posing with Fran and Alex!) Italian cousins giggled and took selfies with Scottish friends who had travelled down to wear their kilts proudly, and the Canadians waved their arms expertly with exaggerated flair, in an attempt to make conversation with their new foreign relatives. Everyone smiled, laughed, clapped and threw their arms around each other in an expression of joy, appreciation and togetherness, regardless of language.

Samantha, we are just starting our honeymoon but I just had to send you a note to say thank you celebrating our marriage in such a fantastic ceremony on Sunday! Everyone loved it! Even my father (and trust me when I say that’s a pretty fantastic compliment!!) My mum LOVED YOU!! Not only for the beautiful ceremony you wrote for us but also for the way you delivered it. Alex and I were so happy we chose you for our celebrant, you really made it special for us!!

I had such a wonderful time sharing this day with Fran and Alex. The friendliness and warmth of them both shone out in every email they sent in the lead up to their day, and our fun catch ups over Skype always left us laughing for hours after. So much so, that when Fran and I finally met face to face on the day of her wedding, the make up artist thought that we were old friends from long ago, so tight was our hug!!

Fran and Alex, I wish you all the best for your life together – now permanently side by side, without need to time a dinner with a FaceTime ever again!
Auguri… to you both, and all my love xx

Thank you to Barker Evans for the glorious photography.
A pleasure as always to work with you both!
barkerevans.com

For more information about having Samantha as your Wedding Celebrant
Visit: UKCelebrant.co.uk 
Email: enquiries@ukcelebrant.co.uk
Facebook: www.facebook.com/UKCelebrant
Twitter: @SamanthaKelsie
Instagram: @SamanthaKelsie

 

Nathalie and Anthony’s Wedding Ceremony & Family Blessing in Lungern, Switzerland

Nathalie and Anthony celebrated their marriage with a combined wedding ceremony, family blessing and naming ceremony for their sons at Lake Lungern in Switzerland on
Thursday 2nd August 2018.

Living in Switzerland and being of dual-nationality, Lake Lungern proved to be the perfect location for Nathalie and Anthony to escape their home in the city and embrace a week-long celebration with family and friends in the mountains; all of whom had travelled in from the UK, France and Switzerland to join them.

“Welcome to the commune!”

…were the words I heard as I made my way up the drive to Bruder Klaus Haus, our residence for the next few days, and the location for the ceremony as well. It could not have been more appropriate a description…

EVERY last person was busy preparing for the big day itself, and each one with a great big grin on their face too. In every direction friends were busy either pruning flowers and crafting decorations; stringing up paper lanterns and laying the tables; or else assisting with the great big communal lunch that was about to be served, and minding the children… and my word, there were a lot of children! 

It was a hands-on affair for sure, but the bubbly was flowing and it was clear to see that everybody wanted to play a part in making this celebration so memorable; and they did.

The next morning followed with a sunrise over the mountains, and after a swim in the lake it was time for the wedding. Guests gathered together in the shade along with the company of a local cat, and we waited for our bride to arrive with her dad. Nathalie had spent her childhood years playing all summer long in Lungern village with her brother, going on long walks in the mountains, and swimming in the crystal clear water next to her parents’ cabin. It was an incredibly nostalgic day, as we were able to share her childhood holiday home with so many of her friends and with Anthony’s family too.

The order of the day was ‘colour’ and Nathalie certainly didn’t disappoint in her choice of outfit – she looked utterly resplendent in a bold jewel coloured two piece with leopard print accessories. This was definitely one of the brightest weddings of the summer for me, and a good excuse to adorn myself with hair flowers! We even giggled together over our matching sparkly nail polishes!

The ceremony began, and we shared the story of how Nathalie and Anthony had first met over 20 years ago in London. It was a tale full of cheekiness and laughter, but accentuated with the honest and endearing sentiments that they had shared with me during in our first meeting over Skype. After 20 years, N&A had certainly been on a journey through life together, and had learnt so much along the way. It was wonderful to reflect on the changes that had inspired their growth as a couple, and to look back on the moments that have now shaped them both as individuals too.

Part of that journey included the welcome arrival of their two gorgeous sons, so we were keen to involve them in the blessing. Eldest son, Leon, helped with binding the hand fasting chord around his parents’ hands, before Nathalie and Anthony read out their personally written marriage vows, and exchanged their wedding rings. It was a very special moment as Leon tied the chord and then held it up proudly for everyone to see! The four colours chosen for the ribbons represented each member of the family, bound together now as one.

After the marriage blessing, we took a quick break (for more bubbly!) and then returned to the clearing for the next part of the service – Leon and Etienne’s Naming Ceremony.

This time, we shared stories of Leon and Etienne’s journeys so far, and the qualities of their character that make them both so unique. We discussed the origins of their names and the bond they share as brothers; before each chosen ‘Guide Parent’ gave an individual reading telling of their own commitment to the role they now play in the boys’ lives as well.

It was an incredibly emotional moment in the ceremony, as each Guide Parent declared their love for the two boys, and made a promise to share in the life of them all as a family. There were a lot of tears and hugs shared throughout!

At the end of the service, everybody gathered for the final symbolic ceremony of the day – a sand blending.

True to form, it involved lots of colour too, as Nathalie and Anthony, Leon and Etienne, and all four guide parents were assigned a bottle of brightly coloured sand, which were then all poured into one great big hour glass together.

The 8 layers of coloured sand symbolise how all eight people have been joined together forever in this moment, and each year on the anniversary of their ceremony Nathalie, Anthony, and the boys will turn the hour glass once again.

With every year that passes, the  eight coloured sands will continue to blend more intricately, and the pattern inside will become more complex, and more beautiful; just as their relationships will continue to evolve, and the bond between them all will grow stronger with every new memory that is shared…

Congratulations to Nathalie and Anthony, Leon and Etienne!

With a great big thank you and full photography credit to Mindy Coe Photography for the use of these images, which I am sure you will agree are just a little bit marvellous!
mindycoe.com
@mindycoephotography

Follow the links to find out more about the different types of ceremony that Samantha offers, or get in touch to find out how you can have Samantha join you for your destination wedding abroad! 
enquiries@ukcelebrant.co.uk

 

 

 

Symbolic Ceremonies // A Guide to Popular Wedding Rituals

Many couples are now opting to include a symbolic ceremony as part of their wedding ceremony or renewal of vows. This is not essential and it may not be for you, but if you do wish to consider including a symbolic ceremony, then the following information may help you to identify which option suits you best…

alternative wedding ceremony ideas

What is a Symbolic Ceremony?
Symbolic Ceremonies are an additional element sometimes added to a service as a way to represent your unity through the use of rituals and objects. Symbolic Ceremonies offer a ‘visual’ element to the day, and often include keepsakes which you can treasure at home for long after your day. They can be used not just to symbolise the union of your love, but to also symbolise your union as a family as you may consider including children or other guests in the ceremony as well.

Many symbolic ceremonies hold their origins in spiritual religion, but whatever your beliefs a symbolic ceremony can be tailored to suit your own personal way of life, and can make for a unique and memorable addition to your day.

alternative wedding ceremony

Here are some of the most common examples of Symbolic Ceremonies that may appeal to you:

Hand Fasting
One of the more recognised additions to a wedding ceremony; Hand Fasting (or ‘Tying the Knot’) originally stemmed from Pagan ritual, but is often used in modern ceremonies to
represent the coming together of two people and their lives by the tying of their hands with a chord or a ribbon.

There are many ways to tailor this ceremony to suit the purpose of why you have chosen to include it, but generally the couple will place their palms together, and with each spoken promise or given virtue the chord is wrapped around the hands. The ceremony is then made complete with the tying of a knot to form an eternal loop in the material, before the hands are released and the the loop is taken home to be kept as a visual reminder of their bond.

Couples can opt to use one single chord, or else involve multiple coloured chords plaited together to represent a combination of different promises and virtues. You can even symbolise the union of different people being brought together by the marriage, by using the coloured ribbons to represent each person within the family unit.

You could even ask friends or family members to come forward and assist in adding their own cords to the finished piece…

Pagan hand fasting ceremony

Unity Candles
This ceremony involves the lighting of two single candles; each representing the two people as individuals and the energy and light that comes from their own being.

The couple then bring their individual flames together to light a central pillar candle or  ‘unity candle’ on the altar. This demonstrates the stronger energy that is formed in the flame, when they marry their own energies together, and the larger lit unity candle symbolises that they now light a clearer path for each other as one.

If you have children you can involve them too, by then lighting their own candles from the flame of your unity candle. This shows how together you have created a new energy and brought a new light into your life, through the blessing of your child or children.

symbolic ceremony at wedding

Sand Ceremony
The pouring of two different coloured sands into one shared vessel is a contemporary symbolic ceremony which is often used to represent the coming together of two people in a very visual and permanent  way.

The coloured sands celebrate you both as individuals made up of millions of tiny pieces that form the complex creations that we are as humans. By mixing these sands together into one container, we demonstrate how through marriage we still exist as individuals with our own ‘colour’ to be appreciated, but by combining our colours we create something which is more beautiful than was once separated. To separate these grains of sand later would not be impossible, but it would certainly be a challenge!

The container of combined sand also makes for a decorative keepsake which can be kept as a commemorative item in the home afterwards. Some couples even use an hour glass, and turn the sands each year on their anniversary.

sand blending

Crystals
Crystals are believed to carry unique healing properties which can be used in a wedding ceremony to bring good virtues to the couple’s marriage, by transferring the energy from the crystals into the ceremony area and even the wedding rings themselves.

You may wish to hang special chosen crystals around the ceremony area, or else place them on a table near to where the couple will stand.  Some couples will even place their wedding rings on a crystal grid before the service, or else anoint the rings with energised water taken from a bowl of fluid with the crystals placed inside.

symbolic ceremony with crystals

Ring Warming
This is a lovely ceremony to use if you wish to involve the whole congregation in your ceremony. It needn’t be spiritual as such, more a celebration of the love shared with the people who joined you on your wedding day.

The couple place their wedding rings into a small pouch or jewellery box. This pouch or box is then passed from person to person amongst the guests, allowing an opportunity for each guest to take a turn in holding the rings whilst making a wish for the couple, or bestowing a blessing upon them.

Once the pouch has been passed around everyone, the couple can continue with placing the rings on to each others fingers in the knowledge that the rings have been ‘warmed’ with the kind wishes and the love of those friends and family they have chosen to join them.

A piece of music could even be played to accompany the moment as the rings are being passed from person to person. Or you could save time on your day by asking a trusted person to stand at the ceremony entrance and  ask your guests to take a moment to hold the rings and impart their good wishes before they take their seats in the service.

symbolic wedding ceremony with rings

Trees and Plants
Finally…. you may wish to plant seeds or a sapling at the site of your ceremony, or in a small pot to take home with you, as a way to represent your new life together and the continued growth of your relationship here after.

pagan tradition

There are so many options and different ways to tailor each of the above suggestions to make your ceremony most personal to you… or you could even begin a new tradition of your own! 

alternative wedding ceremony If you’d like to talk a little bit more about how you can bring an element of symbolism into your wedding day, contact Samantha today:

Phone: 07783 141 202
Email: enquiries@ukcelebrant.co.uk
Facebook: www.facebook.com/UKCelebrant
Twitter: @SamanthaKelsie
Instagram: @SamanthaKelsie
Follow the hashtag #OwnYourWedding

Please note: All images used in this article are of real couples who included a symbolic ceremony as part of their celebrant wedding ceremony officiated by Samantha Kelsie. And how gorgeous they all were too! 

 

 

 

 

Celebrant for wedding in Sheffield General Cemetery Samuel Worth Chapel

Rosie and Ross’s Wedding at Sheffield General Cemetery

Rosie and Ross celebrated their blessing of marriage on Saturday 12th August 2017 in The Samuel Worth Chapel at Sheffield General Cemetery.

Celebrant for wedding in Sheffield General Cemetery Samuel Worth Chapel

Now before I get started on the venue (and yes, it is one very cool venue indeed) can we please just take a brief moment here to first of all consider the groom…

…oh my, what an awesome groom. 

Celebrant for wedding in Sheffield General Cemetery Samuel Worth ChapelGroom at wedding Celebrant for wedding in Sheffield General Cemetery Samuel Worth Chapel

On my arrival at the chapel I found Mr Mackay busy inside placing jars of pretty flowers, and laying out the stationery on seats in the sweetest of ways.

It’s hard to describe what it was that was so endearing about this scenario exactly, but this fella was going to stop at nothing to make his day perfect – exactly as he’d been instructed, but with all the genuine want to get it right for his bride, Rosie – and these pictures capture that moment so perfectly.

Too. Cute. 

Celebrant for wedding in Sheffield General Cemetery Samuel Worth Chapel Celebrant for wedding in Sheffield General Cemetery Samuel Worth Chapel Celebrant for wedding in Sheffield General Cemetery Samuel Worth Chapel

OK, back to the venue…

The Samuel Worth Chapel at Sheffield General Cemetery is a Grade II listed building that dates back to 1836, and has recently undergone a whole world of restoration. It has played host to ooooh hundreds of funerals and services in it’s almost 200 year old history; but up until 12th August 2017, it had never seen a wedding inside it’s walls.

band for wedding in sheffield

What a remarkable thing! Rosie and Ross were about to become the first couple in the history of their beloved home town, Sheffield, to celebrate their marriage inside the infamous walls of this historic central city monument.

It was such an honour for me too, to be involved in this special day, and even more so to be joined by members of the Sheffield General Cemetery Trust who had turned up to bear witness to this notable occasion.

Celebrant for wedding in Sheffield General Cemetery Samuel Worth Chapel nervous bride to be Sheffield General Cemetery

Now, for the next moment of consideration: the entrance of the bride. I love this bit!

The arrival of the bride and her walk down the aisle is always one of my favourite moments in any wedding ceremony, and Rosie’s entrance was no exception. Ross had asked to face the wall until the very last moment. I was to give him the nod and let him know when his gorgeous fiance was finally upon him…

…Ahhh, the joy and emotion when he turns around and their eyes finally lock! 

Celebrant for wedding in Sheffield General Cemetery Samuel Worth Chapel Celebrant for wedding in Sheffield General Cemetery Samuel Worth Chapel bridal entrance Bride walks up the aisle in Sheffield

The ceremony began with the tale of Rosie’s and Ross’s first meeting, and how they have come to be united even stronger now today. It was a story of shared love for their historic home town only outweighed by a greater love for one another… but with a fair few laughs and adventures along the way to make us all giggle with the notion of their incredible friendship.

Celebrant for wedding in Sheffield General Cemetery Samuel Worth Chapel Celebrant for wedding in Sheffield General Cemetery Samuel Worth Chapel happy coupleCelebrant for wedding in Sheffield General Cemetery Samuel Worth Chapel Celebrant for wedding in Sheffield General Cemetery Samuel Worth Chapel Celebrant for wedding in Sheffield General Cemetery Samuel Worth Chapel Celebrant for wedding in Sheffield General Cemetery Samuel Worth Chapel Celebrant for wedding in Sheffield General Cemetery Samuel Worth Chapel

Rosie and Ross invited their friends and family to join in too on the day. Rosie’s sister, Ellie, gave a reading she had penned herself, before good friend Paul stood up to share ‘The Lovely Dinosaur’ with a Sheffield twist.

After this Rosie’s Dad, Tony, gave an informative talk on ‘Transportation Issues’ with the assistance of our in-house oompah band Grumpah, who gave a sound track of Love and Marriage to accompany the theme. It was as much a surprise to the couple as it was to everyone else in the congregation too!

Celebrant for wedding in Sheffield General Cemetery Samuel Worth Chapel Celebrant for wedding in Sheffield General Cemetery Samuel Worth Chapel Celebrant for wedding in Sheffield General Cemetery Samuel Worth Chapel Celebrant for wedding in Sheffield General Cemetery Samuel Worth Chapel Celebrant for wedding in Sheffield General Cemetery Samuel Worth Chapel Celebrant for wedding in Sheffield General Cemetery Samuel Worth Chapel alternative wedding reading

Rosie and Ross had opted to write their own marriage vows and had kept them a secret from each other until the day itself. It was a really beautiful moment to hear them be read as both bride and groom had created something so meaningful, personal and poetic to share with the other.

Celebrant for wedding in Sheffield General Cemetery Samuel Worth Chapel Celebrant for wedding in Sheffield General Cemetery Samuel Worth Chapel Celebrant for wedding in Sheffield General Cemetery Samuel Worth Chapel Celebrant for wedding in Sheffield General Cemetery Samuel Worth Chapel wedding ceremony wedding vows Celebrant for wedding in Sheffield General Cemetery Samuel Worth Chapel Celebrant for wedding in Sheffield General Cemetery Samuel Worth Chapel write your own wedding vows

Earlier in the day guests had been greeted at the chapel by a close friend called Chris, who offered friends and family an opportunity to ‘warm’ the wedding rings with their kind thoughts and good wishes for the happy couple before entering the service.

Guests each took a moment to hold the wedding rings in their hands and impart a wish or blessing upon them. During the ceremony, we asked Chris to bring forward the wedding rings in the knowledge that they were now saturated with the love and positive energy of everyone in the room who would witness Rosie and Ross place them onto each other’s fingers.

Celebrant for wedding in Sheffield General Cemetery Samuel Worth Chapel wedding ceremony exchanging of rings Ring Warming symbolic wedding ceremony

…and of course, then came the finish.

The announcement of husband and wife, perfectly sealed with a kiss…

Celebrant for wedding in Sheffield General Cemetery Samuel Worth Chapel you may now kiss the bride you may now kiss the bride

… and a funky little dance for good measure!

Unique venue for wedding Celebrant for wedding in Sheffield General Cemetery Samuel Worth Chapel Celebrant for wedding in Sheffield General Cemetery Samuel Worth Chapel get married in a cemetery Unique cemetery venue for wedding

“When we started planning our wedding [in the restored chapel at Sheffield General Cemetery], we knew that it was never
going to be straightforward. A friend suggested we use a celebrant for the ceremony, after she said it was the best money she ever spent on her wedding day!

 

When we saw your website and met you, there was never any doubt that we had made the best decision in having you to be our celebrant… We met you for half an hour (in a service station on the M25) and it was like you already knew us! When you sent the draft of the script, I didn’t even remember saying those things to you but what you’d created was so personal and so VERY us!

 

The ceremony ran totally smooth – even when an uninvited dog crashed the service! As we walked out of the chapel, all our friends commented on how different the ceremony had been to others, and more importantly, how much it was totally us.

 

Our day was filled with laughter and dancing; everything we’d dreamed of. Thank you so much for being such a crucial part of it. I would and will recommend you to anyone that will listen…”

Rosie and Ross

Celebrant for wedding in Sheffield General Cemetery Samuel Worth Chapel

A big congratulations to Rosie and Ross and a huge thank you to them both for sharing their story, and for adding to the ongoing legacy of the Samuel Worth Chapel in Sheffield. You go guys! *High five, fist pump* etc. 

All photographs are by CJRodgers Photography

 

Kristine and Liam’s Wedding Ceremony at Aynhoe Park

Kristine and Liam celebrated their marriage at Aynhoe Park House near Banbury,
on Monday 31st July 2017.

Celebrant for Wedding Ceremony at Aynhoe House - unique venue - Jessica Raphael Photography

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.

Celebrant for Wedding Ceremony at Aynhoe House -unique wedding venue - Jessica Raphael PhotographyCelebrant for Wedding Ceremony at Aynhoe House - quirky wedding venue - Jessica Raphael Photography

… 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!

Celebrant for Wedding Ceremony at Aynhoe House -unique wedding venue - Jessica Raphael Photography

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…

Celebrant for Wedding Ceremony at Aynhoe House - unique venue - Jessica Raphael Photography

“It’s not often I get to start a ceremony welcoming ‘Ladies and gentlemen’ whilst making eye contact with a levitating giraffe….”

Celebrant for Wedding Ceremony at Aynhoe House - unique venue - Jessica Raphael PhotographyCelebrant for Wedding Ceremony at Aynhoe House - unique venue - Jessica Raphael PhotographyCelebrant for Wedding Ceremony at Aynhoe House -unique wedding venue - Jessica Raphael Photography Celebrant for Wedding Ceremony at Aynhoe House - unique venue - Jessica Raphael PhotographyCelebrant for Wedding Ceremony at Aynhoe House - unique venue - Jessica Raphael PhotographyCelebrant for Wedding Ceremony at Aynhoe House - unique venue - Jessica Raphael Photography

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…

Celebrant for Wedding Ceremony at Aynhoe House - unique venue - Jessica Raphael Photography

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.”

Celebrant for Wedding Ceremony at Aynhoe House -unique wedding venue - Jessica Raphael Photography

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.

Celebrant for Wedding Ceremony at Aynhoe House - quirky wedding venue - Jessica Raphael Photography

After the vow was read out, together they said shared a simple declaration, and then we moved onto the traditional exchange of wedding rings.

Celebrant for Wedding Ceremony at Aynhoe House -unique wedding venue - Jessica Raphael PhotographyCelebrant for Wedding Ceremony at Aynhoe House -unique wedding venue - Jessica Raphael PhotographyCelebrant for Wedding Ceremony at Aynhoe House -unique wedding venue - Jessica Raphael Photography Celebrant for Wedding Ceremony at Aynhoe House -unique wedding venue - Jessica Raphael Photography

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….”

Celebrant for Wedding Ceremony at Aynhoe House -unique wedding venue - Jessica Raphael PhotographyCelebrant for Wedding Ceremony at Aynhoe House - unique venue - Jessica Raphael Photography

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…

Celebrant for Wedding Ceremony at Aynhoe House -unique wedding venue - Jessica Raphael Photography

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.”

Celebrant for Wedding Ceremony at Aynhoe House -unique wedding venue - Jessica Raphael Photography Celebrant for Wedding Ceremony at Aynhoe House -unique wedding venue - Jessica Raphael Photography Celebrant for Wedding Ceremony at Aynhoe House -unique wedding venue - Jessica Raphael Photography

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.

Celebrant for Wedding Ceremony at Aynhoe House -unique wedding venue - Jessica Raphael Photography

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 

Celebrant for Wedding Ceremony at Aynhoe House -unique wedding venue - Jessica Raphael Photography

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:
www.jessicaraphaelphotography.com/

Venue: The Orangery at Anyhoe Park – aynhoepark.co.uk/

 

Rebecca and Jon’s Glamping Wedding at Camp Katur

Woodland wedding and out door celebrant ceremony at Glamping Venue Camp Katur in Yorkshire

Rebecca and Jon celebrated their blessing of marriage on Monday 17th July 2017 at Camp Katur.

Camp Katur is a glamping venue set ‘off grid’ on a few acres of farm land near to Bedale in North Yorkshire. It provides the most charming setting for a fairy tale wedding in the woodland clearing, and guests are welcome to ‘glamp’ out in the meadow with a choice of stay in Safari Tents, Tipis, Bell Tents, Hobbit Pods, Geodomes and Unidomes… the options, it seems, are endless!

Wedding Celebrant at Camp Katur marriage blessing celebrant for London Buckinghamshire

Now if there’s anything I love more than working with a super-awesome-cool couple already, it’s working with a super-awesome-cool couple who know exactly how to OWN their wedding too, and who are actively set out to create and craft a perfectly personal ceremony.

Rebecca and Jon did not disappoint. Just look at the array of personal items and portraits from home that they brought with them to decorated the space amongst the tree stumps!

Wedding Celebrant at Camp Katur marriage blessing celebrant for London Buckinghamshire Woodland wedding and out door celebrant ceremony at Glamping Venue Camp Katur in Yorkshire Wedding Celebrant at Camp Katur marriage blessing celebrant for London Buckinghamshire

Rebecca and Jon decided to include a ‘first look’ before their ceremony. This is a phenomenon  already very popular with couples in America, and it’s recently become a growing trend in British weddings too. It’s the perfect way to start the proceedings when a bride and groom choose to enter the ceremony together. This is the moment where the groom sees the bride for the first time, away from the eyes of their guests, and allowing them a moment to celebrate their union before the start of their service.

I think this example of Reecca and Jon’s first look may be one of my favourite photo sequences of all the time. The anticipation and excitement captured here as Rebecca runs towards her groom makes my heart skip a beat!

Wedding Celebrant at Camp Katur marriage blessing celebrant for London Buckinghamshire Wedding Celebrant at Camp Katur marriage blessing celebrant for London Buckinghamshire Wedding Celebrant at Camp Katur marriage blessing celebrant for London Buckinghamshire Wedding Celebrant at Camp Katur marriage blessing celebrant for London Buckinghamshire Wedding Celebrant at Camp Katur marriage blessing celebrant for London Buckinghamshire Wedding Celebrant at Camp Katur marriage blessing celebrant for London Buckinghamshire Wedding Celebrant at Camp Katur marriage blessing celebrant for London Buckinghamshire Wedding Celebrant at Camp Katur marriage blessing celebrant for London Buckinghamshire Woodland wedding and out door celebrant ceremony at Glamping Venue Camp Katur in Yorkshire Wedding Celebrant at Camp Katur marriage blessing celebrant for London Buckinghamshire

After the first look was complete, Rebecca and Jon made their way to the ceremony. Guests waited anxiously for the arrival of the couple… as did I! Where were they?!

It turned out, Rebecca and Jon couldn’t hear their music and didn’t know it was time to enter… I guess these are the risks of holding an outdoor wedding surrounded by woodlands! But not to worry, they soon realised it was time, and made their way towards the smiling crowd! They certainly made a very glamorous late entrance.

Wedding Celebrant at Camp Katur marriage blessing celebrant for London Buckinghamshire Woodland wedding and out door celebrant ceremony at Glamping Venue Camp Katur in Yorkshire Wedding Celebrant at Camp Katur marriage blessing celebrant for London Buckinghamshire Wedding Celebrant at Camp Katur marriage blessing celebrant for London Buckinghamshire Wedding Celebrant at Camp Katur marriage blessing celebrant for London Buckinghamshire

At last, they arrived!! And how utterly gorgeous did they both look, too? Jon paid tribute to his Celtic heritage and family clan in green tartan. They complimented each other perfectly, and Rebecca’s dress was simply exquisite; a pale shade of gold and emblazoned with bright flowers.

This fierce queen wore her crown with total style for the whole of the wedding. She owned it!

Wedding Celebrant at Camp Katur marriage blessing celebrant for London Buckinghamshire Wedding Celebrant at Camp Katur marriage blessing celebrant for London Buckinghamshire Woodland wedding and out door celebrant ceremony at Glamping Venue Camp Katur in Yorkshire

We began the service by sharing the story of how Rebecca and Jon had met in Derby, and the sickening sweet tale of when Jon asked Rebecca to be his wife. It was here at Camp Katur on this very same spot, at the side of a camp fire, that he had made his proposal and Rebecca said yes.

Admittedly, it was rather spontaneous, and they fashioned a makeshift ring out of tin foil for the occasion. But they more than made up for it now, by returning to the same spot to say the words ‘I do’ with friends and family here to share the moment.

Wedding Celebrant at Camp Katur marriage blessing celebrant for London Buckinghamshire Woodland wedding and out door celebrant ceremony at Glamping Venue Camp Katur in Yorkshire Woodland wedding and out door celebrant ceremony at Glamping Venue Camp Katur in Yorkshire

Rebecca and Jon asked their friends to be involved in their day as well. One friend gave a reading of a poem she had written for the couple especially. The ceremony was given extra detail with a song – At Last by Etta James – sung by a very talented and willing friend.

Wedding Celebrant at Camp Katur marriage blessing celebrant for London BuckinghamshireWedding Celebrant at Camp Katur marriage blessing celebrant for London Buckinghamshire

Then came the formal part! As much as Rebecca and Jon’s wedding day had broken many existing wedding traditions, they still asked to exchange their wedding rings and read their own vows. This made it just as much their day as any other. It was a very sincere and sweet moment, as they had both had their rings designed and made especially to compliment their style.

Woodland wedding and out door celebrant ceremony at Glamping Venue Camp Katur in YorkshireWedding Celebrant at Camp Katur marriage blessing celebrant for London Buckinghamshire Wedding Celebrant at Camp Katur marriage blessing celebrant for London Buckinghamshire Woodland wedding and out door celebrant ceremony at Glamping Venue Camp Katur in Yorkshire Woodland wedding and out door celebrant ceremony at Glamping Venue Camp Katur in YorkshireWedding Celebrant at Camp Katur marriage blessing celebrant for London Buckinghamshire

We included a symbolic ceremony too – a sand blending. Reecca and Jon chose orange and blue as their individual colours. Bright and bold, just like their wedding.

The sands were poured and blended together in an hour glass. Rebecca and Jon made a promise to turn this glass once every year on the anniversary of their wedding day. It would serve as a reminder of the vows that they had made, and the colourful bond that their union has created.

Even though the pattern of the sands will change as time continues to turn them, they will remain always beautiful and increasingly difficult to part.

Wedding Celebrant at Camp Katur marriage blessing celebrant for London Buckinghamshire Woodland wedding and out door celebrant ceremony at Glamping Venue Camp Katur in Yorkshire Sand Ceremony Woodland wedding and out door celebrant ceremony at Glamping Venue Camp Katur in Yorkshire Sand Ceremony

At the end of the ceremony, everyone became involved in the celebration as the flower girl began handing out confetti by the fistful to the waiting guests. Rebecca and Jon had decided to go for a live end of ceremony confetti shot (rather than an arranged confetti throw after the service) so I got everyone onto their feet and group together to form an aisle for our couple to walk down.

Wedding Celebrant at Camp Katur marriage blessing celebrant for London Buckinghamshire Wedding Celebrant at Camp Katur marriage blessing celebrant for London Buckinghamshire Wedding Celebrant at Camp Katur marriage blessing celebrant for London Buckinghamshire

A final announcement was made for every one to cheer our new married couple and away they went… but not until after one heck of a smooch! Always the best bit, don’t you think?

Wedding Celebrant at Camp Katur marriage blessing celebrant for London Buckinghamshire Woodland wedding and out door celebrant ceremony at Glamping Venue Camp Katur in Yorkshire Woodland wedding and out door celebrant ceremony at Glamping Venue Camp Katur in Yorkshire Woodland wedding and out door celebrant ceremony at Glamping Venue Camp Katur in Yorkshire Wedding Celebrant at Camp Katur marriage blessing celebrant for London Buckinghamshire

Rebecca and Jon’s day was simply beautiful, and I was very honoured to be invited to join them for afternoon tea following the ceremony. They even proposed a toast to me in the speeches – I was very touched by extra little thank you! It was certainly a very memorable moment for me as their celebrant.

As the guests headed over to the barn for tea and toasting following the ceremony, I stayed back with the couple and their photographer to take some pictures. We suddenly realised they had no transport to get them back quick across the field… luckily though, I had been allowed to park up by the ceremony. So, to finish the day this celebrant turned chauffeur transported the happy couple back to their wedding… and we even managed a cheeky in car selfie too.

Well, why ever not? Congratulations Rebecca and Jon xx

Wedding Celebrant at Camp Katur marriage blessing celebrant for London Buckinghamshire

Photography credit to: Gary Phillip of One Love Photography
(except for the selfie… that one is my own!)
Venue: Camp Katur
Celebrant: Samantha Kelsie | UK Celebrant 

Get Married Abroad English speaking marriage celebrant for destination wedding

Laura and Nicky’s Destination Wedding in Croatia

Laura and Nicky celebrated their blessing of marriage on the beautiful Croatian island of Brac on Wednesday 14th June 2017

… and, oh my, what a treat it was, too!

I absolutely adore an intimate wedding, but a small and intimate gathering in a tranquil little Croatian village… well what could be more perfect?

Laura and Nicky made a conscious decision to hold a very small gathering indeed – just 16 guests in total, including the bride and groom! They invited their absolute nearest and dearest relations, plus a tiny few friends, to join them for a week away in the sunshine… with a little wedding thrown in for good measure.

All of the guests had travelled from the same little town in Scotland where Laura and Nicky grew up, with the exception of Laura and Nicky themselves – they now live in London.

This was one of the reasons why they had decided to take their family away for the week. Family is hugely important to them both, and by getting married abroad they had found an opportunity to spend some extended holiday time with everyone together.

They hired a large luxury villa in Pucisca called The White House, where they could accommodate the whole wedding party for the duration of their visit, and we held the ceremony on the terrace in the early morning sunshine, alongside the pool.

It felt almost quite the risk only being able to rely on pictures before their visit to plan the day, but the villa turned out to be just perfect! It was cosy, yet specious; welcoming, yet free from bother.

The bride and groom, and their guests had the whole place to themselves for the week with self-catering accommodation, so they were able to really feel at home when preparing for the ceremony.

They stocked the fridge full of fresh fruits and Prosecco, and the girls set to work making paper pompoms between sunbathing sessions, whilst the lads were given the task of stringing them up around the pool before heading to the town to pick up fresh cherries and pizza!

Destination Wedding in Brac Island Croatia Destination Wedding in Brac Island Croatia Destination Wedding in Brac Island Croatia

We held the ceremony in front of an incredible backdrop of mountains that came together to frame Pucisca’s Harbour, with mainland Croatia sat silently in the background underneath a pure blue sky…

…it was just divine!

Laura and Nicky’s service was incredibly sweet and sentimental. We had spent a few hours together back in London over brunch one Sunday, discussing their relationship and the story of how they got together.

The service included anecdotes and details of their story, and had us all giggling over Laura and Nicky’s humorous approach to love. It was incredible personal, and I’d really come to know my couple so well by the time we reached the wedding day!

Destination Wedding in Brac Island Croatia Destination Wedding in Brac Island Croatia Destination Wedding in Brac Island Croatia

A an adapted reading of ‘The Lovely Dinosaur’ was given by Laura’s bridesmaid and best friend, Stephanie…. it has us all in both tears and stitches with it’s references to Laura’s love of hiphop music!

Laura and Nicky had decided to write their own wedding vows, but the thought of reading them out loud made the bride feel incredibly nervous.

We met together the day before the wedding to have a little rehearsal, and Laura shared with me her fears of speaking the words that meant so much to her on the day.  Together, we sat on the balcony and practised her reading. It was tough, and tearful, and I’d promised to step in if she needed me to, but I knew she could do it…

Destination Wedding in Brac Island Croatia Destination Wedding in Brac Island Croatia Destination Wedding in Brac Island Croatia

…and on the day…. deep breath, big gulp of air… take your time…. she made it!

It was one of the most beautiful moments of the ceremony, knowing how difficult Laura had found it to express herself, and knowing that she had done it all by herself in the moment just made it all the more magical.

Next up came the exchanging of wedding rings. Since it was such a small gathering, we decided to make this moment even more personal by including a ring warming ceremony.

The rings were placed in their pretty Tiffany pouch and passed from guest to guest as we listened to Perry Como singing Catch a Falling Star on the speaker by the pool. This song held a lot of significance to Nicky’s mother – it was an emotional moment for the whole family, and one which was cherished by them all.

Destination Wedding in Brac Island Croatia Destination Wedding in Brac Island Croatia

After the ceremony, we grabbed the confetti and bottles of bubbly and headed up to the roof top terrace, where we showered the bride and groom with petals and cheers of joy and congratulations underneath the glorious Mediterranean sun!

Destination Wedding in Brac Island Croatia

Once all the champagne had been finished, everyone took to the steps and we began a descent down into the Brac village of Pucisca…

Destination Wedding in Brac Island Croatia

Walking through the village with Laura and Nicky was such an incredible experience – local people clapped and cheered and yelled out their blessings as we passed by them in restaurants and sidewalks.

The sun shone bright and the water in the harbour twinkled at our toes. It could not have been more idyllic!

Destination Wedding in Brac Island Croatia

Finally, the bride and groom and their wedding party boarded the boat that was waiting for them in the harbour, ready to take them off to the next part of their day – a private dinner party in a Dalmatian vineyard on the southern side of Brac Island.

I waved off my couple and blew kisses from the quay side, then headed back to the village to have some lunch of my own and a glass of Dalmatian Wine, before a quick explore of the town…

…well, when in Croatia!

Destination Wedding in Brac Island Croatia

I’d like to wish a huge congratulations to gorgeous couple Laura and Nicky for planning such a perfect destination wedding in Croatia. The whole celebration was simply sensational, and it was a joy to have been a part of it.

Huge thanks to photographer Dalibora Bijelic (daliborabijelic.com) for being such a wonderful person to work with, and for assisting Laura and Nicky so much with help and advice whilst planning their wedding in Croatia. All photos in this post are courtesy of Dalibora Bijelic.

Thank you also to Karlo of Capture Pi (capture-pi.com) videography for this stunning video of the day as well…. (Please note the beautiful Scottish tones are that of bridesmaid Stephanie, reading The Lovely Dinosaur on Laura and Nicky’s special day).

For more information about how to get married abroad, or to plan your destination wedding blessing with Samantha, visit our page Destination Weddings or contact Samantha direct to discuss your plans and ideas:

Weddings Abroad Guide Destination Wedding Directory MemberPhone: 07783 141 202
Email: enquiries@ukcelebrant.co.uk
Facebook: www.facebook.com/UKCelebrant
Twitter: @SamanthaKelsie
Instagram: @SamanthaKelsie

Gemma and Tom’s White Feather Wedding with Unity Candles

Gemma and Tom celebrated their wedding on Friday 7th October, 2016, at The Plough, Bolnhurst, in Bedfordshire.
wedding celebrant for Teepee wedding ceremony. Hannah Duffy Photography
It was beautifully crisp autumnal day, with the faint smell of bonfire in the air drifting across the surrounding fields of the Bedfordshire countryside, only to be accented by the warming fire pit, which guests huddled near to before they entered the ceremony.
wedding celebrant for Teepee wedding ceremony. Hannah Duffy Photographywedding celebrant for Teepee wedding ceremony. Hannah Duffy Photographywedding celebrant for Teepee wedding ceremony. Hannah Duffy Photographywedding celebrant for Teepee wedding ceremony. Hannah Duffy Photography
The teepee provided the perfect shelter to an intimate gathering of close family and friends, who took their seats on wooden benches covered in warming sheepskins and thick blankets, underneath a glittering disco ball which was decked with blousy green foliage and flowers.

Large L – O – V – E letters lit up the back wall behind us, the perfect mix of modern and rustic. It was certainly cosy, to say the least!
wedding celebrant for Teepee wedding ceremony. Hannah Duffy Photographywedding celebrant for Teepee wedding ceremony. Hannah Duffy Photographywedding celebrant for Teepee wedding ceremony. Hannah Duffy Photographywedding celebrant for Teepee wedding ceremony. Hannah Duffy Photography
I had met with Gemma and Tom only a few weeks earlier, and we had talked for a couple of hours about their plans for their day, and the meaning that the day held for them.

White Feathers took pride of place as a delicate feature to the ceremony. They were sprinkled by the flower girl as she walked down the aisle before the bride entered to a the piece of music known as the ‘The Feather Theme’ from Forrest Gump, which was played on the piano by Gemma’s aunt.

Feathers are very symbolic in Gemma and Tom’s relationship – they symbolise fate, destiny, and the briefest hint of the angels we knew who were amongst us that day. It was incredibly touching.
wedding celebrant for Teepee wedding ceremony. Hannah Duffy Photographywedding celebrant for Teepee wedding ceremony. Hannah Duffy Photographywedding celebrant for Teepee wedding ceremony. Hannah Duffy Photography
The story of their love’s history and development, and the involvement of family members and friends who gave readings, moved us all to tears. Even I struggled to keep it all together – it was a truly heartwarming ceremony for us all!

Gemma and Tom’s vows were read out loud, line by line by them both together. They had decided that Tom would begin a sentence, only for Gemma to finish it. This was an honest representation of the strength that they give to one another by uniting as one; as they always do in life, especially when confronting challenge, or else welcoming success.
wedding celebrant for Teepee wedding ceremony. Hannah Duffy Photography
Following the exchange of their wedding rings, Gemma and Tom also included a unity candle ceremony in their service, to symbolise the coming together of two separate energies, to marry and form one.

We used a gorgeous Jo Malone candle as the central pillar. It was scented in Peony and Blush Suede – a scent which was sprinkled around their wedding to further aid their memory of this day. I wore the perfume as well – by coincidence, it is one of my favourites!

In the ceremony itself, I surprised Gemma and Tom by informing them and their guests that in many cultures, peonies also represent romance and prosperity, and are believed to be an omen of good marriage and a happy future. How apt that they had chosen this for their wedding!
wedding celebrant for Teepee wedding ceremony. Hannah Duffy Photographywedding celebrant for Teepee wedding ceremony. Hannah Duffy Photographywedding celebrant for Teepee wedding ceremony. Hannah Duffy Photographywedding celebrant for Teepee wedding ceremony. Hannah Duffy Photography

“Samantha, carefully guided us when it came to planning our ceremony. She gave us lots of choice and advice and to our surprise even helped us write our personalised vows.

 

Samantha spent a lovely afternoon with us discussing our relationship, goals in life, family, friends and everything in between. We were utterly blown away when she came back to us a few days later with the completed ceremony.

 

Our personal vows had all of our guests crying and our wedding planner (Katrina Otter Weddings) had to hand out a second round of tissues as a result!”

It was a gorgeous ceremony; sweet and symbolic, but emotional and unassuming all at the same time. I felt so honoured to have been a part of it, knowing just how special it had been for them all.
wedding celebrant for Teepee wedding ceremony. Hannah Duffy Photography
The wedding was perfectly planned and styled by Katrina Otter, and with wonderful photography by Hannah Duffy and videographer Sam Henton there to capture every moment. We are all very proud that Gemma and Tom’s wedding also featured on Rock My Wedding in August 2017. Follow the link to see more photos and read the full story from their day!

Gemma & Tom – Highlights from Samuel Henton on Vimeo.

Bron & Martin’s Wedding at Wrest Park

I’m so thrilled to have received this wonderful testimonial and letter of thanks from Bron and Martin this week, following their recent wedding ceremony at Wrest Park in Bedfordshire.

We had a lot of fun planning a ceremony which encapsulated their story from the last five years together, which included tales of children, travel, house renovations, and family meetings from all around the world – although not all neccesarily ‘in the right order!’ 

Bron and Martin undertook their legal ceremony in a simple statutory service at their local register office a few days before the ceremony, meaning that they were then free to celebrate their commitment on their wedding day in a which, although quite traditional in format, also allowed them the freedom to truly express their own story and sentiments to everyone who had travelled from so far to share in their day.

“Thank you so much for conducting our wedding ceremony last weekend – it was perfect and hit all the right notes for us.

 

We had a beautiful day and feel that the ceremony really set the right tone and conveyed messages that were most important to us, and it was good to get a few laughs in too!

 

Now we have done it we feel completely vindicated in taking the two step approach i.e. getting paperwork/legal element completed and following it with our meaningful ceremony.

 

We would happily recommend this approach and you personally to anyone considering it.”

Martin and Bron wedding testimonial celebrant ceremony at Wrest Park

For more information about how you can celebrate your commitment to your partner with the freedom of choice offered to you by a celebrant on your wedding day… just follow this link to the relevant pages! 

Thank you to all the staff at English Heritage property Wrest Park in Silsoe, Bedfordshire, for their help in providing the perfect venue for the most pleasant of days!

samantha kelsie uk wedding celebrant

Steampunk Wedding ceremony celebrant handfasting Wilobe Farm Cambridgeshire

Chris and Katie’s Steampunk Wedding at Wilobe Farm

Chris and Katie said their “I dos” in a Steampunk Wedding ceremony and handfasting which took place on Saturday 1st July 2017, at Wilobe Farm Barn in Pidley, Cambridgeshire.

Steampunk Wedding ceremony celebrant handfasting Wilobe Farm Cambridgeshire

Guests were invited to fully embrace the steampunk wedding theme and enter a world of escapism for one very special day. They did so with so much enthusiam and gusto, you’d have thought it was a way of life for all of them already! Chris and Katie were so tremendously overwhlemed with their efforts and for the love and support it displayed in their choice of personality and style.

Even I got a little bit dressed up for the occasion! Not that I ever need much persuading….

Steampunk Wedding ceremony celebrant handfasting Wilobe Farm Cambridgeshire

Steampunk Wedding ceremony celebrant handfasting Wilobe Farm Cambridgeshire

Steampunk Wedding ceremony celebrant handfasting Wilobe Farm Cambridgeshire

Steampunk Wedding ceremony celebrant handfasting Wilobe Farm Cambridgeshire

Katie looked radiant in a cream and violet Victoriana wedding dress, with petite top hat and veil. So gorgeous!

Chris had his suit shipped in to the UK especially. He looked absolutely dashing, don’t you think?

Steampunk Wedding ceremony celebrant handfasting Wilobe Farm Cambridgeshire

Steampunk Wedding ceremony celebrant handfasting Wilobe Farm Cambridgeshire

Steampunk Wedding ceremony celebrant handfasting Wilobe Farm Cambridgeshire

We shared some stories of how Chris and Katie met, and of how Chris had supported Katie as she made her way through veterinary college. This couple have learnt so much about ‘perserverance’ and ‘determination’ in their time together, so it was an honour to be able to help them recognise this is their ceremony.

Steampunk Wedding ceremony celebrant handfasting Wilobe Farm Cambridgeshire

Steampunk Wedding ceremony celebrant handfasting Wilobe Farm Cambridgeshire

Steampunk Wedding ceremony celebrant handfasting Wilobe Farm Cambridgeshire

Steampunk Wedding ceremony celebrant handfasting Wilobe Farm Cambridgeshire

Steampunk Wedding ceremony celebrant handfasting Wilobe Farm Cambridgeshire

It’s always such an honour for me to be able to help a couple to express themselves on their wedding day. Not just in their love for one another, but in their personality and characteristics too. I felt so proud of Chris and Katie for the way that they had embraced their style and theme for the day, not only in themselves but also in their request for the guests to join in and embrace it too, and in the attention to detail that echoed the theme all around the wedding room.

It’s not every day you get to attend a steampunk wedding with so much thought for everyone who doesn’t usually follow steampunk!

Steampunk Wedding ceremony celebrant handfasting Wilobe Farm Cambridgeshire

Steampunk Wedding ceremony celebrant handfasting Wilobe Farm Cambridgeshire

Steampunk Wedding ceremony celebrant handfasting Wilobe Farm Cambridgeshire

We included some readings in their ceremony, which were spoken by friends.

Elisa read The Blessing of the Hands and Ben read one of my favourite quotes by Robert Fulghum:

 “We are all a little weird. And life is a little weird.

And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness – and call it love.”

Steampunk Wedding ceremony celebrant handfasting Wilobe Farm Cambridgeshire

Steampunk Wedding ceremony celebrant handfasting Wilobe Farm Cambridgeshire

Steampunk Wedding ceremony celebrant handfasting Wilobe Farm Cambridgeshire

Steampunk Wedding ceremony celebrant handfasting Wilobe Farm Cambridgeshire

Steampunk Wedding ceremony celebrant handfasting Wilobe Farm Cambridgeshire

Steampunk Wedding ceremony celebrant handfasting Wilobe Farm Cambridgeshire

Katie and Chris had opted for a more traditional approach to saying their wedding vows, by choosing to repeat their own written words line by line after me. Then, it was on to the rings, which were brought forward by Best Man, Ben.

Steampunk Wedding ceremony celebrant handfasting Wilobe Farm Cambridgeshire

Steampunk Wedding ceremony celebrant handfasting Wilobe Farm Cambridgeshire

Steampunk Wedding ceremony celebrant handfasting Wilobe Farm Cambridgeshire

Steampunk Wedding ceremony celebrant handfasting Wilobe Farm Cambridgeshire

Steampunk Wedding ceremony celebrant handfasting Wilobe Farm Cambridgeshire

Steampunk Wedding ceremony celebrant handfasting Wilobe Farm Cambridgeshire

Steampunk Wedding ceremony celebrant handfasting Wilobe Farm Cambridgeshire

Steampunk Wedding ceremony celebrant handfasting Wilobe Farm Cambridgeshire

Steampunk Wedding ceremony celebrant handfasting Wilobe Farm Cambridgeshire

After the “I dos” – the vows – and the exchange of wedding rings, it was time for something more stylish and symbolic to be included in the service.

Katie and Chris had asked for a multi-ribbon handfasting to take place, as this was a chance for the couple to invite forward some of the people that they felt played key roles in their relationship to be involved in their day. The line up include parents, grandparents and close friends too.

Steampunk Wedding ceremony celebrant handfasting Wilobe Farm Cambridgeshire

Steampunk Wedding ceremony celebrant handfasting Wilobe Farm Cambridgeshire

Steampunk Wedding ceremony celebrant handfasting Wilobe Farm Cambridgeshire

The guests all held individual ribbons, each representing their individual roles in Chris and Katie’s world as one. These were then wrapped one by one over Chris and Katie’s holding hands, before I joined them together eternally with a knot, creating a keepsake loop that would last forever.

It was a very special moment for everybody involved and gained a huge round of applause on completion!

Steampunk Wedding ceremony celebrant handfasting Wilobe Farm Cambridgeshire

Steampunk Wedding ceremony celebrant handfasting Wilobe Farm Cambridgeshire

Steampunk Wedding ceremony celebrant handfasting Wilobe Farm Cambridgeshire

After the handfasting, Katie and Chris signed a certificate of their promises in marriage; something else which they could treasure in their home long after their wedding day.

Steampunk Wedding ceremony celebrant handfasting Wilobe Farm Cambridgeshire

Steampunk Wedding ceremony celebrant handfasting Wilobe Farm Cambridgeshire

The formalities now finished, there was only one thing left to do. It was time for me to crack on with my favourite bit of every wedding ceremony…  I always feel so very lucky to be the first person to formally introduce the new couple as husband and wife!

Ladies and gentlemen, clap your hands, stamp your feet, and make lots and lots of noise for…. Mr and Mrs Berry!

…and then of course it’s up to them to seal the deal with a kiss!

Steampunk Wedding ceremony celebrant handfasting Wilobe Farm Cambridgeshire

Steampunk Wedding ceremony celebrant handfasting Wilobe Farm Cambridgeshire

Steampunk Wedding ceremony celebrant handfasting Wilobe Farm Cambridgeshire

Steampunk Wedding ceremony celebrant handfasting Wilobe Farm Cambridgeshire

Steampunk Wedding ceremony celebrant handfasting Wilobe Farm Cambridgeshire

It really was such a delightful ceremony, and an extraordinary day too! I’m so proud to have been a part of it. Thank you so much Katie and Chris for being such joy of joys to work with together. We had a lot of fun, that’s for sure… This is one ceremony I will never forget! x

Steampunk Wedding ceremony celebrant handfasting Wilobe Farm Cambridgeshire

A big thank you to professional photographer Adrian Neal (The Studio Without Walls) for this wonderful collection of images, and for allowing me to share them on UKCelebrant.co.uk. You can also see Adrian’s own collection of favourite images from the day on his blog by following this link. I suggest you do because they really are so special!

Thanks also to Steampunk Steve (Steampunk DJ) for his role in providing the music for the ceremony and with such dandy style too, and also to the excellent staff at Cambridge Dining Co for their work in providing the fabulous food and venue at Wilobe Farm Barn.

It was a pleasure to work with you all!

Steampunk Wedding ceremony celebrant handfasting Wilobe Farm Cambridgeshire

samantha kelsie uk wedding celebrant