Where do I start? Sarah and Lewis contacted me after they were pointed my way by the lovely Lucy at Alcott Weddings – a fabulous wedding venue in Alvechurch where I am the recommended Celebrant. We met up to chat about their ceremony and I knew from the very first moment that this ceremony was going to be a goodie. Their style struck me in the first instance – Sarah looked stunning – she wore a polka dot dress and was rocking a 50’s vintage hairstyle. Lewis sported the Mod look. I was in awe of this trendy, funky couple but tried to stay cool….
As we sat down for a chat over a cup of full-fat hot chocolate (there was no Prosecco) Sarah put her keys on the table. I have never seen anything like it….her key ring held a collection of car keys, house keys, sentimental photos, lip gloss, a hairbrush and the pièce de résistance a Darth Vader torch. I commented, and she laughed. Oh my that laugh! Hearty, loud, genuine and it could be heard a mile away – apparently it has helped them locate each other at festivals and gigs. Her look and laugh were distinctive, but it was the Darth Vader torch that originally cemented Sarah & Lewis’s relationship. You see, Lewis is a Star Wars super fan, so when he first saw her torch, he knew that he had met his Princess Lea. His heart was taken. Note: Lewis’s Storm Trooper Helmet bottle opener rarely leaves his side.
So let’s cut to the chase…what about their outdoor ceremony?
Well first – let’s get past the rehearsal the night before. It turned into a bit of a party and this time there was no hot chocolate – there was Prosecco and some serious dance moves. #check
Romantically their ceremony was on 25thAugust 2018 – exactly two years to the day that Lewis proposed. The date had been chosen with real meaning. #checktwo
The bridal party entrance couldn’t have been more fun. The entrance music, chosen by Sarah, was a surprise for Lewis. And then….the bridesmaids came dancing down the aisle, followed by Sarah on the arm of her father with great enthusiasm to be welcomed by some 200 guests. What a way to start. #dancingbride
Of course, having a celebrant led outdoor ceremony can have its challenges – none more so than when a busy bee takes a liking to your flowers, dress and hairspray, as this bridesmaid found out… Tip: Hold your sides as you watch the video.
Sarah & Lewis have an amazing family and bunch of friends. But – no matter how great a couple’s love, they cannot thrive alone; friends are an important ingredient in the recipe of life, so, with Sarah & Lewis’s permission, I contacted the bridal party (all 15 of them) to get some personal and helpful hints, tips & words of advice that we could incorporate into the ceremony as a surprise.
The result was a wonderful assortment of heartfelt wishes for the future, along with some really funny tips about style, music, R2D2 & C3PO, Jack Daniels after midnight, and the words to a poignant song written by the one and only John Lennon. It was just perfect input and more than I could ever possibly have hoped for!
Sarah & Lewis had created a beautiful archway and centre backdrop to their ceremony; the archway had a seat made for two and it would have been a shame for them not to use it, so when it came to reading out these messages, I moved out of the way so that I didn’t photobomb all of the professional photos, I stood to one side and asked them to be seated so that they could enjoy the messages. It was picture perfect and their photographer Aaron from Green Button Photography captured some truly natural moments as they listened with intent and enjoyed the moment.
Most people tend to panic when I mention vows; the thought of saying something in front of a crowd of people can be daunting, and for many people it is out of their comfort zone. It didn’t bother Sarah and Lewis at all, and they put some heartfelt and funny vows together. Their vows really reflected their personalities.
Before we get to the vows though, in 9 times out of 10, I will ask ‘if you take each other’ to which you (hopefully) reply ‘I Do’. This is often when couples are excited and eager to get to the ‘I Do’ bit. Lewis was so keen that he said ‘I Do’ half way through the sentence. With this celebrant – you have to promise to WHOLE lot more than the standard stuff before you say I Do.
As the three of us had to gotten to know each other over the 18 months before the ceremony, Sarah and Lewis came to trust me; they decided that they didn’t want to read the ceremony script beforehand, they wanted it to be a surprise on the day, but we did check the facts, the running order, the concept, the style, and Sarah always had a grip on exactly what was happening.
For a celebrant, this is both exciting and nerve wrecking – you just have to get it right, so I took a bit of a chance when I scattered a few light references to Star Wars throughout the ceremony.
I spoke of them uniting their Galactic Empire, we referred to marriage being about team work and having a Jedi by your side, and we mentioned absent family and friends ‘wherever they may be in the galaxy’.
I’m not sure who had more fun – me or them – but their laughter and beaming smiles when I finally presented them with Yoda and introduced them as ‘Husband and Wife You Are’to great cheers from their guests, tells me it worked well.
To top it all off – instead of signing a commemorative certificate, they asked two friends to get really hands-on by holding a traditional besom and they jumped the broom into their future as they walked back to the aisle.
Mr & Mrs B – May the Force be with you, a happy life you will have...
Thank you for making me a part of your plans and your day – I had an absolute blast x