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 

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)

Sian and Dean’s Alternative Ska Punk Festival Wedding

Samantha Kelsie alternative wedding celebrant steampunk festival weddingSamantha Kelsie alternative wedding celebrant steampunk festival wedding

Last weekend I had the pleasure of officiating a very alternative wedding indeed – a festival wedding with a Steampunk / Ska vibe in deepest Suffolk!

The wedding had been set up just like a festival, with music, portaloos, cans of cider and BBQ on to go… all carefully arranged around a large tent, which was packed with straw bales and gypsophila to add to the country vibe. The ceremony was decorated with voodoo folk touches in the form of mexican dancing skeletons and decorated masks, slotted in amongst the bunting.

Samantha Kelsie alternative wedding celebrant steampunk festival weddingSamantha Kelsie alternative wedding celebrant steampunk festival weddingSamantha Kelsie alternative wedding celebrant steampunk festival wedding

The bridesmaids carried boquets of baby’s breath which had been cleverly dyed to match the colours of their dresses (purple, green and black) whilst the bride herself coloured a rainbow spray of roses. Not one too wear white, the bride entered in a teal green dress and bustle ready to meet her tartan-clad punk rock husband. Their two daughters wore rainbow tutus  which were super cute! There whole room was filled with glorious colour.

Samantha Kelsie alternative wedding celebrant steampunk festival weddingSamantha Kelsie alternative wedding celebrant steampunk festival wedding

I couldn’t resist a quick selfie with the sound man – his DJ box was filled to the brim with old CDs and records ranging from ska to punk to reggae to blues – and all that fell inbetween. We listened to an 80s gothic sound track together whilst waiting for guests to arrive, and as I set up for the ceremony we had a little shanty singsong too. I may have bopped about a bit before the proceedings all kicked off… it was too hard to resist!

Samantha Kelsie alternative wedding celebrant steampunk festival weddingSamantha Kelsie alternative wedding celebrant steampunk festival weddingSamantha Kelsie alternative wedding celebrant steampunk festival weddingThe bride and her father entered to an original 1897 sound recording of ‘Daisy Daisy Give Me Your Answer Do’ and guests sang along to the chorus with little lyric cards that were waiting on their chairs following the instruction ‘To be opened on arrival of the bride!’

It could not have been more apt a song for this couple, and at the end of the ceremony they exited the tent on an actual bicycle made for two, riding to the beat of The Cure’s ‘Love Cats’ whilst everybody clapped and cheered at their wobbly ride out across the field!

Samantha Kelsie alternative wedding celebrant steampunk festival wedding

The ceremony was very emotional, and both the bride and the groom found themselves tearful as together we all celebrated the trials and tribulations that their love had endured. But they stood loud and proud and I couldn’t have loved them more for it. It was a very meaningful day to them both.

There was no exchanging of wedding bands – the couple had opted for tattoos instead – but we did cary out a hand fasting which incorporated not just their union as a couple, but the coming together of their family and two girls as well. Where love was concerned, my couple were traditional at heart and the ceremony was filled with honour and sentiment.

Samantha Kelsie alternative wedding celebrant steampunk festival wedding

What I loved about this wedding more than anything else, is that the whole day had been so perfectly planned to match my couple, their style and the lifestyle that they live. The day was about them, and they didn’t try to do anything that they didn’t feel was right or appropriate to their way of life. They proudly celebrated their union in a way which said – this is us!  And why not? That’s what love is all about in the end…. being yourself, and being accepted for being you too.

I had so much fun, and their guests did too. I didn’t want to leave! Everyone was either chilling out with drink or dancing around a strawbale by the end. There was love, laughter and happy tears in abundance. My couple made sure that everyone had a good time, and everyone really did – them more than anyone!

You beautiful pair – you were such a pleasure to get to know, and a joy to work with. I’m so honoured that I could help to give you a day which meant so much to you both… x

Samantha Kelsie alternative wedding celebrant steampunk festival wedding