I absolutely love performing outdoor weddings – about 75 per cent of my high season wedding ceremonies are be held entirely in the open air.
And yes, this is in Great Britain where our summer weather can often be a little unpredictable!
As long as you have a good back-up “bad weather” plan then there’s no reason to discount an outdoor wedding – a few drops of rain or drizzle won’t harm anyone.
Modern weather forecasting is pretty accurate now, and if for instance, a downpour is predicted at 2pm then why not consider moving your ceremony start time to ensure you say your vows before the deluge?
A burst of British summer rain can often be quite refreshing and gone in an instant – the ground can be dry before you know it.
Hand round umbrellas and it can be quite fun – the pictures look great too!
There are so many wonderful outdoor places you can consider when you have a Celebrant-led wedding – you’re not restricted to a property with a civil licence (whether this is a room indoors or some permanent structure outside like a gazebo). It really all boils down to personal choice and what sort of atmosphere you’d like for your big day. Taking a couple’s ideas and helping them have the wedding that they’ve always wanted is the best job ever for me. An outdoor wedding needn’t be all rustic and DIY though, they can look very stylish indeed as at The House Meadow seen above.
To give you some ideas,
these are just some of the outdoor weddings
I’ll be conducting for couples who’ve hired me
in Kent, Medway, Sussex and Surrey:
in an old restored barn festooned with fairy lit beams
under an oak tree next to a wildflower meadow on a farm
in a private garden adjacent to a village green
on landscaped terraced gardens at a quaint Kentish pub
in the gardens of a village hall with room for a hog roast
in the large grounds of a school with a marquee reception
within dappled woodland on a wildfowl nature reserve
in a field on a family home with tipis for the reception
amongst trees and swinging sofas in a woodland hideaway
on the lawns of a well-established country house hotel
If you’re planning an outdoor wedding, there are lots of alternative wedding venues open to you – why follow the herd? And don’t worry about the weather! Happy planning!
After the horrendous weeks of weather we endured over the Winter it’s lovely to see that Spring is in the air and there are some signs of it having already arrived here in Kent. There are swathes of snowdrops blooming in churchyards and I’ve noticed patches of daffodils getting ready to pop open and flower.
Here the sun is out today and the temperature is rising just a little. Spring is a beautiful time of year and I thought I’d share some images of Spring weddings here on the blog to cheer everyone up! All images courtesy of Pinterest. While you’re about it, why not come and follow me over on my Pinterest page.
Having conducted and officiated at hundreds of wedding ceremonies, I can tell you that your choice of music is an absolutely key factor in the success of a ceremony. Aside from the vows, and the wording of the wedding ceremony itself, music really is the next most important aspect and needs careful consideration.
And it’s not just the pieces you choose but how it is played. Think about whether you want to have live music, for instance a harpist, string quartet or small band. Perhaps recorded music is what you prefer, via a CD player or playlist on your iPod. However, even the best behaved music players provided by your venue will occasionally get hiccups and I have been in the embarrassing position of pressing Play and nothing happening more than once. And it has always been at the most crucial moment as the entrance of the bride is announced to the room of awaiting guests!
As an Independent Celebrant I want to ensure that this never happens to my clients so have invested in a very robust outdoor portable PA system with a long battery life which packs a mean punch when the volume’s cranked up! It also enables me to take it into the middle of a forest or on a beach where there’s little likelihood of an electric socket being available.
My PA allows me to play music from a smart phone, USB memory stick or SD card and musicians may hook up to it to amplify their own instrument or voice. I always take it on my rehearsals so that we can have a sound check prior to the big day. It’s the only way to ensure stress-free music!
Just for fun, here’s a link to the Top 30 Wedding “First Dance” list with videos … enjoy!
I love to conduct outdoor weddings for my clients, and am becoming well known for these. Most of the couples who contact me wish to hold a truly outdoor wedding, often in a place where there is no civil licence.
A particular favourite is The House Meadow at Worsenden Farm near Biddenden, Kent. It is set on a working stud farm but is a complete blank canvas for brides to dress the way they want. Lots of couples like the relaxed vibe at the farm, and hire yurts, tents and marquees to give a festival type feel, often taking over the venue for the whole weekend.
Check out The House Meadow website for further details House Meadow
Ceremony area in the rustic Gazebo
on the Pond at the House Meadow
Christina and Ben hired me to conduct their outdoor wedding ceremony at Hadlow Manor Hotel, a Grade II listed Georgian manor house, near Tonbridge. We held the ceremony on the lawn in the beautiful hotel grounds.
I conducted a romantic wedding for Nick and Katie at Wilderness Wood, Hadlow Down in East Sussex in the summer of 2013. Wilderness Wood is 62 acres of award winning sustainable woodland and the ceremony was held “streamside” a 10 minute hike to the car park! A unique back to nature experience!
The Chestnut Pole Pavilion
at Wilderness Wood
decorated for a wedding reception
A lot of couples wish to hold a ceremony in their own home. I was asked to write and conduct a Renewal of Vows Ceremony to celebrate a Ruby Wedding Anniversary for Viv & Keith in their beautiful garden in West Malling this year.
Have you ever wanted to exchange wedding vows on a beach? Or how about holding a child’s naming ceremony or a wedding blessing in your garden at home? If you think it just isn’t possible then think again – you could have the day you have been wanting – just the way you want it.
The law in England and Wales states that if you have been resident for at least 7 days here you may marry within a licenced premises (this could be a church, chapel, Register Office or any number of approved venues who hold a civil ceremony licence).
So how about that little bit of beach or your back garden or any other place that has taken your fancy … does it have a licence …? Worry not!
You may hold your Wedding Ceremony anywhere you like! All that must happen first, is that you both visit and register your marriage at your local Register Office – most people like to make an appointment to do this very casually (wearing jeans and t shirt !) on the morning of the wedding … Just the 2 of you, with 2 witnesses.
All you legally need to do at this time is state your legal and declaratory words to each other and you will be pronounced husband and wife and receive your marriage certificate. Hurrah!
You don’t even have to exchange rings – you will be doing this at your Wedding Ceremony a little later on! Now off you go and get ready for the Ceremony of your dreams …