Stephanie & Ronan | Sensible Shoes and Glitter | Lewes Castle

Stephanie and Ronan celebrated their marriage in an outdoor ceremony at
Lewes Castle in East Sussex
on Friday 13th July 2018.

…gold, blush and glitter were the order of the day, and sensible shoes were left firmly at the gate!

When bride, Stephanie, first phoned me and said:

“I’m looking for a celebrant, but I don’t want someone who’s going to turn up on my wedding day wearing sensible shoes…” 

…I knew she’d dialled the right number.

Samantha Kelsie does not do ‘sensible shoes’ … and nor too did Steph, who practically skipped her way up the steps of Lewes Castle in the most gorgeous pair of stiletto heels, ready to meet ‘the lovely’ Ronan, who was waiting patiently at the top.

…and he really was lovely too; describing his bride-to-be as “a Joyful Sunflower with Dimples” when I insisted that he sum up Stephanie using 3-5 words!

So gorgeous they were, I could’ve married them both myself! But, rules are rules, and that would’ve been entirely inappropriate.

Probably.

The fact remains, though, that Stephanie and Ronan really were one of my favourite couples of the season. Never have two people described one another using such delicious words and metaphors as they did.

When Stephanie described her feelings for Ronan as being like:

“…a warm and fuzzy feeling, a frisson from head to toe with butterflies in the tummy and a total sense of wonderment and love….”

…my own heart practically burst out of my chest!

But it wasn’t just the lack of ‘sensible shoes,’ and ‘love-drunk’ poetic ramblings that made me fall completely head-over-heels for Stephanie and Ronan; it was also their unashamed, almost child-like enthusiasm for glitter…

…or, Stephanie’s unashamed, almost child-like enthusiasm for glitter, anyway!

But she had more than enough enthusiasm for the both of them.

After sharing their love story (which, by the way, was even more epic, but if I go into that one too I’ll be practically gushing by the end of this post!), declaring their vows, exchanging their wedding rings, and following a rather theatrical re-telling of The Owl and the Pussy Cat by Aunt Sally – Stephanie and Ronan symbolised their union with a sand ceremony.

But these two didn’t use sand.

Oh no….

…they used glitter.

All was said and done. The glitter was artfully poured into an hour glass as guests joined in with a  soulful sing-a-long of “All You Need Is Love,” aided by our gorgeous gospel choir who ensured that the whole of Lewes and those back in Brighton could not only see the castle* but they could hear it too.

*Yes, Stephanie, that one’s for you 😉

And so, as always, on to the best bit of my job…

In a grand re-enactment of the moment they first met – see, I told you their love story was epic! – Stephanie and Ronan now had a train to catch, and so too did their guests.

(No, really! They were going on to party at Bluebell Railway
and the carriage hosting canapes was scheduled to depart at precisely 13:55!)

It was time to announce them as ‘Husband and Wife’ before all of the shoes (sensible or otherwise) began tiptoeing their way back down to the castle gate.

“Thank you SO much for all your love, light and humour on our big day. Everyone commented on how joyful the ceremony was and we will be eternally grateful for your wonderful energy and friendship. We had the most magical day, it was truly epic! Huge love and gratitude…”
Stephanie

“Thank you so much for crafting the most wonderful wedding celebration we could possibly have hoped for. When I got your first draft through it took all my powers of self-restraint not to forward it on to the entire congregation ahead of time. We look forward to turning our [sand ceremony] hour glass every year and will be thinking of you as we do it…”
Ronan

Stephanie and Ronan – Train Girl and Train Boy 
It really was such a great glittery joy. 

Big kisses to you both…. Sx

Celebrant: Samantha Kelsie | UK Celebrant
Venue: Lewes Castle
Stunning photography: Sarah Wenban | www.sarahwenban.co.uk

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

 

Claire and Dave's Intimate Garden Surprise Wedding Ceremony in Beaconsfield Samantha Kelsie Celebrant

Claire and Dave | Secret Garden Wedding

I first Skyped with Claire and Dave back in January this year. I was visiting Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, at the time, and they were at home in Boston, USA. We discussed their plans for an intimate and informal surprise wedding ceremony, to be held in Beaconsfield, England.

A few months later, we Skyped again. This time, I was back home in London, finishing my lunch, and they were perched ready with dressing gowns on and large coffees in hand, up early before the working day began over in America.

Several Skype meetings and a heap of emails sent at all times of day and night later, we had a plan… and we had a ceremony! Claire and Dave were ready to travel for the US and get married in England. But nobody else knew about it…

Claire and Dave's Intimate Garden Surprise Wedding Ceremony in Beaconsfield Samantha Kelsie Celebrant
So, yesterday afternoon, on one sunny May Sunday, Claire & Dave and I finally met face to face at the beautiful Brook house in Beaconsfield, along with all their closest friends and family.

The couple had flown in to the UK only 2 days earlier, with the promise of bringing their dearest relatives together for a weekend BBQ at a beautiful country house they had hired for the Bank Holiday. But – there came with them a surprise. On Friday evening, Claire and Dave announced to the guests the true intentions behind their gathering…. they were also here to say ‘I do!’

Claire and Dave's Intimate Garden Surprise Wedding Ceremony in Beaconsfield Samantha Kelsie Celebrant
One thing which truly unites this couple is their mutual love of family – and not just their own family, but each other’s as well. They wanted a small, simple wedding, with no fuss, and no anxiety for anyone involved. But rather than run far away and get married alone together somewhere else in the world, they came home instead, to celebrate their day with their most treasured family and a select few friends.

The ceremony was sweet, sentimental, and so emotionally charged, it was difficult not to be moved by the love between them. They demonstrate a love which was so perfectly reflected in their style of day – true, honest, touching, endearing…. a modest wedding, for a modest pair, who share a bond so unassuming and so pure.

Claire and Dave's Intimate Garden Surprise Wedding Ceremony in Beaconsfield Samantha Kelsie Celebrant
I was so thrilled to be such a special part of Claire and Dave’s wedding day, but more so, I was truly honoured to have been their secret keeper for the last 5 months as well! What a priviledge, indeed.

Here’s wishing you both all the best… wherever in the world you may end up next! x

Samantha Kelsie celebrant for Baby Blessing or Baby Naming Ceremony

Ethan Michael’s Baby Blessing

What a joy it was to officiate Ethan Michael’s Baby Blessing and Naming Ceremony near Wycombe this weekend.

Ethan is such a happy bubbly little baby, although this photo of us taken after the ceremony tells another story! Throughout the service, however, he giggled and gargled away quite merrily – we even ended up blowing big raspberries at each other in the middle of his personal blessing!

Samantha Kelsie celebrant for Baby Blessing or Baby Naming Ceremony

Despite the rain, Laura and Paul (Ethan’s mum and dad!) did a great job of welcoming all their family to their home to celebrate together, with some guests even joining us on Skype to be part of the day.

All three of Ethan’s Godparent’s and his Great Grandad Mick entertained us with wonderful poems and readings thoughout, and his parents read their personal promises to look after and nurture this beautiful baby boy from here onwards.

Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant Baby Naming Baby Blessing

I was honoured to be the first guest of the day asked to place my photo (with Ethan) inside his special keepsake photo album, along with a little message for him to look back on over the future years to come…

… congratulations Ethan, and lots of love to Laura and Paul too! xx

For more details about having Samantha Kelsie officiate your Baby Blessing or Baby Naming Ceremony – follow this link! 

Sara and Simon’s Wedding at Luton Hoo

Sara and Simon celebrated their blessing of marriage at Luton Hoo Walled Gardens on Saturday 16th July.Samantha Kelsie celebrant wedding ceremony luton hoo walled gardens

Sara and Simon’s wedding was a beautiful combination of three cultures. Simon’s family are from the Carribean, and Sara’s are from Pakistan, so in the morning they celebrated with a tradional Muslim Nikkah ceremony, before asking me to help them celebrate with a more traditional British ceremony in the afternoon.

Samantha Kelsie celebrant wedding ceremony luton hoo walled gardens

We made sure to include lots of personal references to their cultuire, families, and the coming together of all their traditions in their ceremony script. It was such an honour to help them do this – how lovely to have something so personal spoken about on your wedding day…

I helped Sara and Simon to write a very sweet set of wedding vows, which involved the groom reading the first half of each line, only to be finished off by the bride who completed each sentence.

It was truly moving, and almost brought everyone to tears! So gorgeous!

Samantha Kelsie celebrant wedding ceremony luton hoo walled gardensSamantha Kelsie celebrant wedding ceremony luton hoo walled gardens

The venue was just divine as well, and we were lucky enough to have the sun shining down on us as the flowers blossomed in the walled garden behind us. The ceremony structure was adorened with trailing hydrangeas (which matched the flowers on my dress – pure coincidence!) and we had a snazzy sparkly table set up behind us ready for the couple to sign their personal certificate of their wedding vows…. a cute little keepsake of the day.

Samantha Kelsie celebrant wedding ceremony luton hoo walled gardens

Sara looked truly stunning both in her traditional Muslim costume and later on in her pure white wedding dress. She’s a very lucky lady too, as Simon is quite possibly one of the most romantic gentlemen I have ever had the pleasure of meeting!

Samantha Kelsie celebrant wedding ceremony luton hoo walled gardens

It was a real honour to be a part of their day… wishing you both so much love and happiness x

Baby Noah’s Naming Ceremony

It was such an honour this weekend to officiate Noah’s Naming Ceremony and family blessing at The Queen’s Temple in Stowe Gardens, part of the glorious Stowe House.

Queens Temple Stowe baby naming ceremony Samantha Kelsie Celebrant
Queens Temple Stowe baby naming ceremony Samantha Kelsie Celebrant Noah’s family and friends gathered for a gorgeous ceremony inside the temple, where not only did we formally introduce this little boy the the world and bless his name, we also celebated in the coming together of all 5 members of his family, including his mummy and daddy Sarah and Glyn, and two big brothers, Harry and Leo.

Noah’s parents and brothers all made personal promises towards their duty in bringing him up in a loving and nurturing home environment, and his chosen godparents (all 7 of them!) were appointed and asked to cement their vow to assist in his care and guidance when called upon as friends. Such a special moment for everyone!

certificate and jar of hearts for a baby naming ceremony Samantha Kelsie Celebrant
Everybody who came to celebrate was invited to write their own personal message of love or guidance on a little paper heart, all of which were gathered and sealed tight in a big ‘Jar of Hearts’ for Noah to keep and look back on with his family in the future. There was so much love in the room for this smiley little sweetheart!

It was a beautiful day, and made even better with sunshine, laughter, a BBQ and a heap of cupcakes to be enjoyed… delicious!

baby naming ceremony Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant
cupcakes for a baby naming ceremony Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant
I was so honoured to be presented with a beautiful bunch of lillys and roses in thanks for my help… so very treasurable indeed, thank you so much Sarah and Glyn! The family also left a lovely review for me on Facebook… thank you!

Samantha wrote such lovely words for our sons Naming Ceremony, so personal and perfectly capturing of our family. Absolute pleasure to meet you Samantha, so many of our guests commented on how beautiful the ceremony was… X

baby naming ceremony Samantha Kelsie UK Celebrant  testimonial and review
I’d like to wish Noah and all of his family a life full of health, wealth, smiles and happiness… with all my love x 

Andy and Nikki’s Garden Wedding at Home

Congratulations to beautiful couple Andy and Nikki who were married this weekend! We were lucky enough to keep the wet weather at bay on Saturday afternoon, long enough to enjoy a glorious outdoor wedding ceremony underneath a huge oak tree, stood out on the pretty corner patio of the garden, at the bride’s family home in Farnham Common.

samantha kelsie  out door wedding ceremony celebrant beaconsfieldThe wedding was a quaint affair, sweet and informal, with guests making themselves well and truly at home in Nikki’s father’s house, and friends chipping in and lending hands to the kitchen and cupcake stands, all contributing to a family-like vibe which resonated throughout the celebration.


A harpist played the bride in to the ceremony, and the rings were delivered with the help of Molly the Jack Russel, who behaved just beautifully on cue from the groom!

samantha kelsie  out door wedding ceremony celebrant beaconsfieldAndy and Nikki’s ceremony was an absolute joy to write , and a pleasure to perform. The script held a heavy responsibility not just in supporting the couple’s commitment to eachother, but to their earth-loving lifestyle, and dedication to the environment too. 

“Hiya Samantha, 

Just a quick email before I forget to say a huge thank you for Saturday- everyone commented how great you were 🙂 It all went perfectly and your confidence really helped me get through the ceremony and saying our vows!

Nikki xx” 

Spirituality was in abundance, with a quote by Ghandi, and a beautiful Ohso blessing delivered by a friend, and the vows were scripted with Buddhist teachings, and spoken in unison by the bride and groom.

What was even more unique, were the wedding rings Nikki and Andy had chosen to wear to symbolise their marriage. Not like traditional wedding rings, these rings were made of wood, sourced from an area of the world dear to their hearts, and a central band of crushed shells and sand which represent their personal values, and our human significance, within the greater story of our planet.

samantha kelsie  out door wedding ceremony celebrant beaconsfieldTheir ceremony was truly beautiful, and the bond between this couple, and their dedication to what they believe in is simply admirable. It was an honour to help them celebrate their day…

Samantha

To see all of their magic…


Last week, I led a funeral service for an elderly woman who was very much loved, but who sadly had suffered from dementia for the last chapter of her life.

Incidentally, and by coincidence, last week was also Dementia Awareness week in the UK, and so I thought I would share this little thought with you:

To love a person is to see all of their magic, and to remind them of it when they have forgotten.

I am so honoured to have been able to help the family last week to remember that magic if not for their mother’s memory, but at least for their own personal reminder of the reasons they were there to say goodbye… the reason she was loved, as she was. 

Really though, I think this quote rings true for many of us. Not just for those with Dementia, but for anyone who should ever forget, even just for a moment, how truly magical and loved we all are. Sometimes, we each just need that little reminder too… 
Words by Samantha Kelsie. Quote and image taken from Pinterest.