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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

English speaking europe destination wedding celebrant ceremony blessing abroad

Laura and Nicky’s Wedding Film by Capture Pi

Nicky and Laura celebrated their destination wedding in Croatia on the gorgeous island of Brac, on Wednesday 14th June 2017.

Fourteen of their closest family members and friends joined together with them and me in a truly breathtaking ceremony which took place infront of a backdrop that could make your jaw drop! There were tears and laughter, and high emotions right the way through.

The party then journied on foot through the streets of Pučišća to make their way towards the boat that was waiting to take them onwards to enjoy the rest of their day.

Wedding in Croatia Capture Pi videographer brac wedding film

The day before the wedding, Laura and Nicky visited the highest point in the Croatian Islands to watch the sunset over the sea. Their videographer, Karlo Cargonja from Capture Pi has captured this moment just perfectly, and the story of their ceremony and onwards journey, which I’m so delighted to be bringing to you in this short wedding clip below.

Thank you so much to Capture Pi for sharing this moment, and to Laura and Nicky for involving me as their celebrant on this most brilliant of days. The voiceover adaption of ‘The Lovely Dinosaur’ is being read by their fabulous bridesmaid, Stephanie. Stay posted to my blog for the full story and photos of Laura and Nicky’s Wedding in Croatia to follow soon…

laura & nicky // wedding shorts from CapturePi on Vimeo.

Lara and Ben’s Testimonial

I would like to express a huge, heartfelt thank you to Lara and Ben for their kind words following their Gatsby-themed, outdoor wedding blessing at Hunstsham Court in Devon.

It really was such a joy to be a part of, and I couldn’t be more grateful of their sentiments below. To read the full story their wedding ceremony, just follow this link! 

Lara and Ben gatsby wedding blessing huntsham court devon celebrant

“We are so glad we found Samantha to be our celebrant – the day just would not have been the same without her!

 

She did such an incredible job writing our ceremony and helping us write our vows, and also making us feel calm and relaxed on the day.

 

Samantha kept everything on track, so we didn’t have to worry, and delivered the ceremony so beautifully.

 

She managed to put in to words so many things we hadn’t even thought of, and we were so grateful for her enthusiasm and patience when it came to our unusual crystal ring blessing!

 

The whole ceremony was relaxed, heartfelt, funny and memorable, and better than we could have hoped.

 

So many of our guests commented on how unique they thought it was and how much they loved it.

 

We absolutely can’t wait for the video to relive it all over again.

It is really is tough to put into words just how brilliant you are Samantha!

 

Thank you so, so much for being such a big a part of our day and for making it so special – and for staying to celebrate with us!”

Lara and Ben testimonial wedding celebrant samantha kelsie huntsham court weddingThank you to all staff at Huntsham Court in Devon for their hospitality, and to Bears Collective photography for the images.

Lara and Ben Gatsby inspired garden wedding with symbolic crystal healing. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Huntsham Court. Bears Collective Photography.

Lara and Ben’s Great Gatsby Wedding at Huntsham Court

Lara and Ben celebrated their blessing of marriage at Huntsham Court, near Tiverton in Devon, on Saturday 29th April 2017.

Lara and Ben outdoor garden symbolic crystal wedding ceremony at Huntsham Court. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Bears Collective Photography.

The wedding was carefully styled with nostaligic art deco flare and majestic 1920s touches, to recreate the feel of a Great Gatsby-esque house party in the Devonshire countryside.

With it’s delicious oak pannelling, bookshelves stuffed with old books, and a grand entrance hall, exquisitely able to play host to a champagne tower – Huntsham Court certainly provided the perfect backdrop to echo this era of glamour and grandiose and the party elite.

Lara and Ben Gatsby inspired garden wedding with symbolic crystal healing. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Huntsham Court. Bears Collective Photography.Lara and Ben Gatsby inspired garden wedding with symbolic crystal healing. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Huntsham Court. Bears Collective Photography.Lara and Ben outdoor garden symbolic crystal wedding ceremony at Huntsham Court. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Bears Collective Photography.Lara and Ben Gatsby inspired garden wedding with symbolic crystal healing. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Huntsham Court. Bears Collective Photography.

Lara and Ben had opted for an outdoor wedding blessing, braving a slight chill in the air to celebrate outdoors in the pagoda area of the sweeping grounds that Huntsham Court has to offer.

In the nearby fields, cows gently murmured their soundtrack of approval, and wedding bells rang out from the village church as guests took their seats and snapped selfies.

Lara and Ben Gatsby inspired garden wedding with symbolic crystal healing. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Huntsham Court. Bears Collective Photography.Lara and Ben Gatsby inspired garden wedding with symbolic crystal healing. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Huntsham Court. Bears Collective Photography.Lara and Ben Gatsby inspired garden wedding with symbolic crystal healing. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Huntsham Court. Bears Collective Photography.Lara and Ben Gatsby inspired garden wedding with symbolic crystal healing. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Huntsham Court. Bears Collective Photography.Lara and Ben Gatsby inspired garden wedding with symbolic crystal healing. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Huntsham Court. Bears Collective Photography.Lara and Ben Gatsby inspired garden wedding with symbolic crystal healing. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Huntsham Court. Bears Collective Photography.

Lara and Ben had decided to enter the ceremony together, and so they had a moment alone indoors to greet one another, and to compliment eachother’s outfits and smiles, thus giving reassurance to each another before they began – how sweet!

Lara and Ben Gatsby inspired garden wedding with symbolic crystal healing. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Huntsham Court. Bears Collective Photography.

The ‘first look’ of the bride and groom was captured so beautifully by their photographer Karolina of Bears Collective. It was a really a very heart-warming moment to see Ben smile so broadly as his bride-to-be Lara descended the grand staircase, giggling her way down every step!

Lara and Ben Gatsby inspired garden wedding with symbolic crystal healing. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Huntsham Court. Bears Collective Photography.Lara and Ben Gatsby inspired garden wedding with symbolic crystal healing. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Huntsham Court. Bears Collective Photography.Lara and Ben Gatsby inspired garden wedding with symbolic crystal healing. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Huntsham Court. Bears Collective Photography.Lara and Ben Gatsby inspired garden wedding with symbolic crystal healing. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Huntsham Court. Bears Collective Photography.Lara and Ben Gatsby inspired garden wedding with symbolic crystal healing. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Huntsham Court. Bears Collective Photography.

The final few bars of Somewhere Over the Rainbow were played, followed by Dance Me to the End of Love as the clock struck 1pm and we approached the moment to begin.

Guests were asked to be upstanding, as Lara and Ben entered the garden to the soft sounds of Coming Home by Leon Bridges.

Lara and Ben Gatsby inspired garden wedding with symbolic crystal healing. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Huntsham Court. Bears Collective Photography. Lara and Ben Gatsby inspired garden wedding with symbolic crystal healing. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Huntsham Court. Bears Collective Photography.Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant Wedding Ceremony outdoor wedding blessing Huntsham Court Bears Collective

We began the ceremony with some all important thank yous, as guests had travelled from as far as Cyprus, Dubai, South Africa, Canada, America and even Australia to be here at Huntsham Court. A few guests had even made it out of London, journeying into the depths of the Devonshire countryside on a Saturday afternoon in Spring time – quite the achievement!

Lara and Ben Gatsby inspired garden wedding with symbolic crystal healing. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Huntsham Court. Bears Collective Photography.Lara and Ben Gatsby inspired garden wedding with symbolic crystal healing. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Huntsham Court. Bears Collective Photography.Lara and Ben Gatsby inspired garden wedding with symbolic crystal healing. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Huntsham Court. Bears Collective Photography.Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant Wedding Ceremony outdoor wedding blessing Huntsham Court Bears Collective

We shared some stories of how Lara and Ben had first met and come to be together, including a tale about Tinder, and the moment when they “fell in love at first shawarma!”

Guests laughed over Lara’s own admittance that her ‘swooning’ in Ben’s presence really came down to clumsiness, and Ben gave away the secret that buying their first home together had made him feel far more grown up than he cared to admit!

Samantha Kelsie is a UK Independent Celebrant offering bespoke wedding family and funeral cermeonies to couples in the UK, Europe and International.Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant Wedding Ceremony outdoor wedding blessing Huntsham Court Bears CollectiveLara and Ben Gatsby inspired garden wedding with symbolic crystal healing. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Huntsham Court. Bears Collective Photography.Lara and Ben Gatsby inspired garden wedding with symbolic crystal healing. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Huntsham Court. Bears Collective Photography.Lara and Ben Gatsby inspired garden wedding with symbolic crystal healing. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Huntsham Court. Bears Collective Photography.

We included three readings in the ceremony. Ben’s brother, Daniel, began with – Shine – a prose of scientific pondering over love, inspired by the works of Carl Sagan.

“…It is wonderful to think that the reason for our existence could be love: a mechanism used by the universe to reunite the stars, so that we can once again shine together…”

Lara and Ben Gatsby inspired garden wedding with symbolic crystal healing. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Huntsham Court. Bears Collective Photography.

This was followed by What Goes With What … an extract taken from Appetite by Nigel Slater, read by Lara’s work friend Cordelia. Finally, Simon Armitage’s contemporary poem Let Me Put It This Way, was read by Lara’s God sister, Heidi, who had travelled in from South Africa.

“Let me put it this way:
if you came to lay your sleeping head against my arm or sleeve,

and if my arm went dead,
or if I had to take my leave at midnight,

I should rather cleave it from the joint or seam than make a scene
or bring you round.

There, how does that sound?”

Lara and Ben Gatsby inspired garden wedding with symbolic crystal healing. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Huntsham Court. Bears Collective Photography.Lara and Ben Gatsby inspired garden wedding with symbolic crystal healing. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Huntsham Court. Bears Collective Photography.Lara and Ben Gatsby inspired garden wedding with symbolic crystal healing. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Huntsham Court. Bears Collective Photography.

Then came the all important part: the declaration of promises in marriage. Ben and Lara were asked the questions to which their response was simply… “I do.”

Luckily, they got the answers right!

Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant Wedding Ceremony outdoor wedding blessing Huntsham Court Bears CollectiveLara and Ben Gatsby inspired garden wedding with symbolic crystal healing. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Huntsham Court. Bears Collective Photography.

Lara and Ben had written their own vows, personally penned from the heart to embody their truest thoughts and sentiments for one another.

It was a beautiful moment. Tears were shed, interspersed with giggles and laughter. I love it when a couple can deliver such a mixture of emotions with just a few short sentences!

Lara and Ben Gatsby inspired garden wedding with symbolic crystal healing. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Huntsham Court. Bears Collective Photography.Lara and Ben Gatsby inspired garden wedding with symbolic crystal healing. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Huntsham Court. Bears Collective Photography.Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant Wedding Ceremony outdoor wedding blessing Huntsham Court Bears CollectiveLara and Ben Gatsby inspired garden wedding with symbolic crystal healing. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Huntsham Court. Bears Collective Photography.Lara and Ben Gatsby inspired garden wedding with symbolic crystal healing. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Huntsham Court. Bears Collective Photography.Samantha Kelsie is a professional wedding celebrant UK and distination ceremoniesLara and Ben Gatsby inspired garden wedding with symbolic crystal healing. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Huntsham Court. Bears Collective Photography.Lara and Ben Gatsby inspired garden wedding with symbolic crystal healing. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Huntsham Court. Bears Collective Photography.Lara and Ben Gatsby inspired garden wedding with symbolic crystal healing. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Huntsham Court. Bears Collective Photography.

In addition to exchanging their wedding rings, Lara and Ben had also opted to include a crystal healing ceremony as part of their celebration.

Lara’s sister, Taryn, had earlier prepared the ceremony area with crystals to help bring good energy and protection to the marriage service. She was then asked to come forward and assist in cleansing Lara and Ben’s auras with sandalwood incense, before offering them the wedding rings which she had placed on a pyramid of carnelian, in the centre of a crystal grid, prior to the ceremony.

Taryn believed that by placing Lara and Ben’s wedding rings together in the centre of this sacred formation, this would harness and focus the energy of the crystals into the physical material of the wedding bands themselves.

Through transference, this energy and the qualities of the crystals would live on in the body, mind and spirit of both Lara and Ben as they wore their wedding bands, forever after.

Lara and Ben Gatsby inspired garden wedding with symbolic crystal healing. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Huntsham Court. Bears Collective Photography.Lara and Ben Gatsby inspired garden wedding with symbolic crystal healing. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Huntsham Court. Bears Collective Photography.Lara and Ben Gatsby inspired garden wedding with symbolic crystal healing. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Huntsham Court. Bears Collective Photography.Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant Wedding Ceremony outdoor wedding blessing Huntsham Court Bears Collective crystal ceremonyLara and Ben Gatsby inspired garden wedding with symbolic crystal healing. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Huntsham Court. Bears Collective Photography.Lara and Ben Gatsby inspired garden wedding with symbolic crystal healing. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Huntsham Court. Bears Collective Photography.Lara and Ben Gatsby inspired garden wedding with symbolic crystal healing. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Huntsham Court. Bears Collective Photography.Lara and Ben Gatsby inspired garden wedding with symbolic crystal healing. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Huntsham Court. Bears Collective Photography.

Lara and Ben took turns to make one final declaration to forever honour the commitment that they were making, as they placed the wedding rings onto one another’s third finger.

Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant Wedding Ceremony outdoor wedding blessing Huntsham Court Bears CollectiveSamantha Kelsie UK Celebrant Wedding Ceremony outdoor wedding blessing Huntsham Court Bears Collective

Finally, with all the formalities said and done, it was time to introduce them to their guests as husband and wife. Ben didn’t miss the opportunity to steal the moment with the most grand of kisses!

Cheers and applause erupted around the garden as Lara and Ben made the most of the final moment of the ceremony. The couple were then showered with confetti canons as they walked together down the aisle once more, this time to the sound of Dean Martin’s Volare.

Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant Wedding Ceremony outdoor wedding blessing Huntsham Court Bears CollectiveSamantha Kelsie UK Celebrant Wedding Ceremony outdoor wedding blessing Huntsham Court Bears CollectiveLara and Ben Gatsby inspired garden wedding with symbolic crystal healing. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Huntsham Court. Bears Collective Photography.Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant Wedding Ceremony outdoor wedding blessing Huntsham Court Bears CollectiveSamantha Kelsie UK Celebrant Wedding Ceremony outdoor wedding blessing Huntsham Court Bears CollectiveLara and Ben Gatsby inspired garden wedding with symbolic crystal healing. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Huntsham Court. Bears Collective Photography.

There was only one thing left to do after that – crack open the bottles and pour out the champagne! Which they did, in true Gatsby style, of course!

Lara and Ben Gatsby inspired garden wedding with symbolic crystal healing. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Huntsham Court. Bears Collective Photography.Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant Wedding Ceremony outdoor wedding blessing Huntsham Court Bears Collective

I’d like to say a huge thank you to the staff at Huntsham Court for their welcome and support on the day, and to Bears Collective and Mrs Mash Up for all being such a pleasure to work with.

“Well played, old sports!”

More importantly though, a big, big thank you to my gorgeous couple, Lara and Ben, who were not only so wonderful to work with, but who also invited me to join them as their guest for the remainder of the day… and I was positively charmed to do just that! x

Lara and Ben Gatsby inspired garden wedding with symbolic crystal healing. Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant. Huntsham Court. Bears Collective Photography.

 

All images by Bears Collective and kindly donated to this blog post by Lara and Ben. 

Boho Wedding Ceremony Bohemian celebrant blessing Silverstone Race Course UK Samantha Kelsie Tom Halliday Photography

Kate and Mark’s Boho Wedding Blessing

Now I know I shouldn’t be biased… but I think Kate and Mark’s Boho Wedding was possibly one of my most favourite weddings of 2016.

I know… I shouldn’t say it…. but it’s true.

Boho Wedding Ceremony Bohemian celebrant blessing Silverstone Race Course UK Samantha Kelsie Tom Halliday Photography

Kate and Mark truly charmed the socks off me last September. They really were just the most gorgeous pair of people to get to know…

The ceremony took place in Silverstone, Northamptonshire, on a glorious Saturday afternoon at the end of summer. Kate arrived with Father of the Bride, Andy, on the back of a truck and wearing the most fabulous 70s-inspired lace wedding dress, with a big blousy bouquet and the most glorious flower crown to match. She looked a bohomemian bridal dream!

Boho Wedding Ceremony Bohemian celebrant blessing Silverstone Race Course UK Samantha Kelsie Tom Halliday Photography

A lot of happy tears were wiped from under people’s eyes as Kate and her bridesmaids entered to A Whiter Shade of Pale… it was impossible not to be moved in that moment, espcially as the two hugest smiles erupted from the bride and groom when they met at the end!

Once everyone was settled, we got going talking a little about Kate and Mark’s relationship to date, and giggled over the story behind their first meeting. Then, we shared with everyone the true telling of their mutual love for a good life, with good music… and great food.

After introductions were made, everyone was asked to stand once again. It was time to sing the hymn…

Boho Wedding Ceremony Bohemian celebrant blessing Silverstone Race Course UK Samantha Kelsie Tom Halliday Photography

Except it wasn’t any ordinary hymn… It was a McFly song instead! And it was appropriately accompanied by the strumming sounds of an acoustic guitar being played perfectly by one of Mark’s good friends. Everybody got stuck in singing-a-long to the lyrics!

Boho Wedding Ceremony Bohemian celebrant blessing Silverstone Race Course UK Samantha Kelsie Tom Halliday Photography

“It’s all about you,
It’s all about you, baby…
It’s all about you,
It’s all about you…
Yesterday you asked me something I thought you knew
So I told you with a smile its all about you
Then you whispered in my ear and you told me too
Said you made my life worthwhile its all about you
And I would answer all your wishes
If you asked me to
But if you deny me one of your kisses
Don’t know what I’d do
So hold me close and say three words like you used to do
Dancing on the kitchen tiles
It’s all about you…”

Boho Wedding Ceremony Bohemian celebrant blessing Silverstone Race Course UK Samantha Kelsie Tom Halliday PhotographyBoho Wedding Ceremony Bohemian celebrant blessing Silverstone Race Course UK Samantha Kelsie Tom Halliday Photography

After our hymn, we moved on to the more formal part of the proceedings. Kate and Mark had chosen to include a traditional, though personally written, set of matching wedding vows, which they repeated line by line after me. This was followed by a further declaration of their promises to one another in marriage, and they exchanged their wedding rings before holding hands for a short blessing.

Boho Wedding Ceremony Bohemian celebrant blessing Silverstone Race Course UK Samantha Kelsie Tom Halliday PhotographyBoho Wedding Ceremony Bohemian celebrant blessing Silverstone Race Course UK Samantha Kelsie Tom Halliday PhotographyBoho Wedding Ceremony Bohemian celebrant blessing Silverstone Race Course UK Samantha Kelsie Tom Halliday Photography

After the ceremony, everybody clapped and cheered and we all headed outside to brave what had come to be quite a breezy day to throw armfuls and armfuls of confetti and petals over the happy couple. It really was very beautiful, despite the breeze, and there was lots of laughter too…

Boho Wedding Ceremony Bohemian celebrant blessing Silverstone Race Course UK Samantha Kelsie Tom Halliday Photography

I was so honoured to play such a special part in this gorgeous couple’s day. I’ll never forget Kate’s big smile – it carried on beaming throughout every second of the service, even despite the tears and emotion – and it continued to beam bright long after the ceremony as well!

Boho Wedding Ceremony Bohemian celebrant blessing Silverstone Race Course UK Samantha Kelsie Tom Halliday PhotographyBoho Wedding Ceremony Bohemian celebrant blessing Silverstone Race Course UK Samantha Kelsie Tom Halliday Photography

Thank you Kate and Mark for being so blooming boho-beautiful! It really was ‘all about you’ right the way to the end! x

(Images by Tom Halliday Photography)

Georgie's baby blessing naming ceremony Samantha Kelsie Celebrant Essex

Georgie’s Naming Ceremony

Georgie Alexander Oliver celebrated his naming ceremony at Ye Olde Plough House, near Bulphan in Essex, on Sunday 4th June 2017.

It was a fabulous sunny day, filled with lots of love and laughter. Georgie and his mummies, Laurie and Alison, were joined by a whole host of family and friends all gathered to celebrate his formal introduction into the family, following his legal adoption.

Georgie's baby blessing naming ceremony Samantha Kelsie Celebrant Essex

Georgie was adopted into his new Forever Family earlier this year, and so this day was about introducing him as the newest member of the family. Laurie and Alison hoped to share with everyone just how happy, lively and bright he is…. and my word, wasn’t he just!

Georgie was full of beans from the start! He held the room with his smile and charm, insisting that everyone gather to say cheeeeese for a big group photo before we even began! For a boy of only 3 and a half, his character is already brimming with confidence!

Georgie's baby blessing naming ceremony Samantha Kelsie Celebrant Essex

Georgie and his mummies sat very proudly on their silver chairs throughout the service, which included music by John Lennon and Savage Garden, and readings of poems and wishes. One poem had even been especially written by Georgie’s Mummy Laurie!

Eternal promises were made by his new parents, his legal guardians, and his chosen guide parents to love, look after and give guidance to Georgie on his journey into not just becoming a young boy, but a grown man one day too.

Georgie's baby blessing naming ceremony Samantha Kelsie Celebrant Essex

Georgie’s cousins were invited to join in and make their promises to him as well, pledging to share their toys with him when he asks nicely! Georgie gave them both a big hug for that afterwards.

Georgie's baby blessing naming ceremony Samantha Kelsie Celebrant Essex

The highlight of the ceremony, without a doubt, was just as Mum and Mummy were about to make their formal promise to always look after their little boy… Georgie leapt up in front of the whole room and declared that they “wouldn’t need to anyway!” because Georgie’s light sabre would do the job of protecting them all at home!

“…well they don’t need to anyway, because I’ve got a light sabre at home and I can save everybody!”

It was a very funny moment for everyone to enjoy, and it was even captured on camera. Everyone will be laughing for years to come, I’m sure!

After the service, we all headed outside for canapes, Pimms… and a good old bounce on the bouncy castle! Guests went home with Star Wars cupcakes and big smiles from what was really, truly, a very special, very memorable day for everyone…

Georgie's baby blessing naming ceremony Samantha Kelsie Celebrant Essex

Simon and Justin’s Intimate Wedding at Home 

Could their be anywhere in the world more personal to hold your wedding ceremony, than to hold your wedding ceremony in the comfort of your own home? I doubt it.

I’ve held many a beautiful wedding ceremony at home for my couples and it really is just such a lovely way to spend the day in a way which feels so very intimate, relaxed, and special to the people who are with you.

a celebrant wedding ceremony at home

Simon and Justin’s wedding at their home in the Aylesbury Vale was exactly that – intimate, relaxed and special. It was moving, emotional, sincere, and simply divine.

Only their very nearest and dearest attended. It was a day which was designed exclusively for them, and the couple were so very literally ‘at home’ saying their sincerest sentiments of love and commitment to each other in a way which was so endearing.

Together, we shared the story of their relationship – a story which spans over 20 years together – and expressed their reasons for tying the knot in such a simple way now…

a celebrant wedding ceremony at home

We lit unity candles, using the help of both grooms and their mothers, and the guests took part in a ring warming ceremony, where Simon and Justin’s own wedding bands were passed from person to person, allowing each guest a moment to share their sentiments for the happy couple out loud.

After the service, we all toasted the happy couple with champagne before I left the party to enjoy a beautiful home cooked meal in the comfort of their oh so stylish barn lounge interior.

a celebrant wedding ceremony at home

It was truly an honour to join them, just 8 of us together in total, plus two eager dogs in bow ties watching through the glass door!

Congratulations Simon and Justin! x