Why use a wedding celebrant?

Why use a wedding celebrant for your big day?

As I’m a wedding photographer and my wife Michelle is a wedding celebrant, I think it’s best if I leave her to explain.

She recently conducted a wedding at Jimmy’s Farm on a day when I was free, so rather than cover the day telling the story of the Bride and Groom, I thought I would tell the story of the celebrant’s day.

The photo’s and their subtitles are mine, but the words are all Michelle’s.

I present to you, a day in the life of the #funkycelebrant.


Why use a celebrant? What exactly are we getting for our money?

Yay! You’ve booked me to conduct a ceremony for you; I am SO excited to be working with you as we create your perfect ceremony…

So what can you expect when you work with me?

As many meetings as you want prior to your big day.

We can meet at a mutually convenient time or location. I am really flexible and am happy, where time allows to meet day or evening and at the weekends. I will work around your time and family constraints.

Wedding photography for Jimmy's Farm.
Michelle holds a planning meeting with the couple and the wedding planner at Jimmy’s Farm.

Once your ceremony is written and edited to your satisfaction we will arrange for a practice at your venue. On very rare occasions we wont be able to get access to the venue, but don’t panic we can still walk through the big entrance and choreography of the ceremony. Chat through who is doing what and where and practice the all important symbolic elements

Wedding photography for Jimmy's Farm
Michelle gets everyone together to start the rehearsal.
Wedding photography at Jimmy's Farm
With so many choices available for a celebrant led wedding, it’s important everyone gets to rehearse “their bit”.
Wedding photography at Jimmy's Farm
Michelle always tries to get “all the key players” to the rehearsal.

After the practice I WILL always take my couple to one side for a pep talk. Relax, breathe, the planning is complete. Rest, eat and take a moment to look around at every point of day to lock in the memories…

It REALLY does work! I can still remember all the elements from my wedding day 11 years ago.

And then the day has dawned…Dress ironed, petticoat and DM’s chosen (you so know I will be wearing DM’s don’t you??) and then I will be ensuring the car is packed with my ceremony day kit (basically everything and the kitchen sink) and I’m off. I’ll always aim to be at your venue at least and hour before ceremony is due to start.

Wedding photography for Jimmy's Farm
Michelle prepares the table where the “signing” will take place.

Set up my bits; place the certificate in the folder, with pen ready for the signing and then its time to speak to the other suppliers

The string quartet – making sure they have a copy of the script to follow too!

Wedding photography for Jimmy's Farm
Michelle makes sure that all the other “suppliers” are fully briefed as well, to make sure everything goes to plan.
Wedding photography for Jimmy's Farm
Michelle often finds it’s the first time some suppliers have been to a “Celebrant led wedding”, so they need briefing too.
Wedding photography for Jimmy's Farm
Michelle exerts a calming influence on a very nervous Groom.

Brief the groom and other members of his party…

Wedding photography for Jimmy's Farm
Michelle makes sure some water is available for the happy couple.
Wedding photography for Jimmy's Farm
Michelle makes sure the guests’ needs are taken care of as well.

And hand out the tissues…

Wedding photography for Jimmy's Farm
Michelle goes to meet the Bridal Party when they arrive.

The bride and her party have arrived…and so has a chance for my first look at her outfit …wow she looks radiant and everyone is sooooo excited…including me!

Mums escorted to their seats, I make my entrance and wax lyrical about the fact I have just seen the bride and the groom is in for a treat …he then tells me he’s close to tears already …Has he got a tissue himself? Nope…quick, dive into the box and shove some in his hand…music accompanies the bride on her final walk as a single woman, She’s chatting with her dad, but as soon as she sees her groom their eyes are locked together.

And then. …she’s here!

Wedding photography for Jimmy's Farm
Michelle announces the arrival of the Bridal Party.

THAT LOOK!

Wedding photography for Jimmy's Farm
The Bride arrives
Wedding photography for Jimmy's Farm
The Groom is a little overwhelmed, so Michelle helps out with a tissue.

It says it all….

A whispered ‘You look amazing’… a squeeze of the hand, a shy smile at the guests and the biggest grin to her spouse…

And we’re off…I’ve a ceremony to deliver…

Wedding photography for Jimmy's Farm
The ceremony gets underway.

Laughter, tears, moments to savour.

Wedding Photography for Jimmy's Farm

Pauses, looks and touches.

Wedding photography for Jimmy's Farm

Camera clicks and videographers running around trying to capture every angle.

Wedding photography for Jimmy's Farm

Handfasting with mums as vows are exchanged and then rings replacing the cords…

Wedding photography for Jimmy's Farm
A “hand fasting” with Mums placing the cord over the couple’s hands. The source of the phrase “tying the knot”.

A pause for a photo op as the certificate is signed and then we’re back to the front for that all important first kiss and pronouncement…and then a twist…

Wedding photography for Jimmy's Farm

Wedding photography for Jimmy's Farm
The “First Kiss”.

A gender reveal…I’ve no idea! They’ve kept me in the dark too!

Lining up parents, Maid of Honour and Best Man up…I get the honour of having a confetti cannon shoved into my hands too…We’re about to find out!

AND

IT’S

A….

BOY!!!!!

Wedding photography for Jimmy's Farm
Blue confetti, for a boy of course!

YES …I guessed it right!

More tears and we cheered and clapped the happy couple away and retreated to the marquee for a celebratory drink or two…

Wedding photography for Jimmy's Farm
Time for little “circulating” after the ceremony.

Happy people, chatting and extolling the virtues of a celebrant led wedding. ‘Never seen a ceremony like it’…’that was so much fun’, ‘so personal’, ‘how long have you known them?’ ‘You captured them perfectly’….’We love your outfit’…’can we get a photo’…

Wedding photography for Jimmy's Farm

Wow what a day…

Sad to pack my things away, but pack away I must, before a last minute photo op with the happy couple and the obligatory selfie …then its time to wend my way home…

Wedding photography for Jimmy's Farm
A photo with some more satisfied customers.

Wedding photography for Jimmy's Farm

Wedding photography for Jimmy's Farm

A grin on my face, another memory locked into my memory bank…

Wedding photography for Jimmy's Farm

Knowing I’ve played a small part in someone’s big day is humbling and gratifying, knowing a little bit of me will live on in the script I have created inspires me to create something special every time I sit down at my laptop…Could the next ceremony be for you?

Drop me a line, lets have a chat…

Thank you to Scott & Chelsey Killen for allowing my hubby to gatecrash your practice your big day…

Thanks too to Kev …my talented hubster at www.headoverheelsphotography.co.uk

And thanks to all of the other awesome suppliers who gave me permission to take photos and use them in this blog!

Top 5 tips for a hot wedding day.

Top 5 tips for a hot wedding day.

EL SCORCHIO !!

 

A hot day on The Great Ocean Road in Australia.
I know it’s not a wedding photo, but I had to get a few of my holiday snaps in somewhere!!

It sure is getting hot out here, with the temperature set to rise even higher over this weekend.

So what are you doing to stay chilled on your big day?

Michelle (#FunkyCelebrant) and I have put our heads together and come up with our top 5 tips to surviving a hot wedding day.

Now we realise that most of this advice will seem fairly obvious, but you would be amazed at how often we have seen the “obvious’ get overlooked during all the excitement of a wedding day.


1. DRESS APPROPRIATELY

Wedding photography for Essex
Dress appropriately for the weather if you want to stay “chilled” on your wedding day!!

So ladies. Months and, in some cases, years of dreaming and preparation will have gone into the choosing of your wedding outfit…

Think about your style, the weight and type of material and the time of day you are planning to get married. If, for instance, you are planning a midday ceremony in the middle of June or July, you may want to rethink the sleeves and the heavily boned corset or heavily beaded dress. Ladies who are not wearing dresses, think about what you can get away with …minimise…a lightweight suit perhaps or even shirt sleeves and dare I say it …shorts! There are so many fun and funky styles out there, dress for your size, shape, style…IT IS YOUR WEDDING DAY …You are not beholden to anyone else’s ideas of what is appropriate.

Gents, that nice thick and expensive pure new wool waistcoat and jacket might look lush in the shop when you try it on in the middle of January, but how much wear will you get out of it on a very hot wedding day…If you can get away with it, put a kilt on and waft …If you can’t, go for a light weight material, be it a suit or just shirt and trousers if its a more casual wedding.

Don’t be afraid to disrobe if it is unbearably hot in the sun…I don’t want anyone fainting on me…You can always chuck your jacket back on for the photos if needed.


2.HYDRATE!

Random waterfall near Cairns in Australia.
You don’t need to stand under a waterfall but it’s another excuse for a holiday snap!!

Michelle and I can’t stress enough how important this is! No you don’t have to bathe in a waterfall…this pic is for dramatic effect only…have to get our holiday snaps in somewhere…

A good officiant will always ensure there is water on the table or nearby for those dry moments.

During the course of your wedding prep drink…… not toooooo much alcohol, but tea, water, anything that is refreshing. It will help prevent the headaches (we’ll come onto alcohol in a mo).

You have attendants for a reason, they are there to look after you, so make sure you eat and drink before your ceremony and task one of them with keeping you topped up.

Ladies in frocks don’t worry about the loo. Chances are you will find, even with drinking more, you won’t be going to the loo any more frequently than normal.


3.KEEP COOL.

Wedding photography in Essex
You might need an obliging celebrant to do some “wafting” for you.

Grab a fan. You can get little portable battery operated fans or have a nice Spanish style one to waft the air around you. Lads, don’t be afraid to use a hanky or a towel if you’re prone to sweating to mop your brow…(is it the heat or the nerves??)

Seek out the shade as much as possible during the day. When planning an outdoor ceremony, if you have access to the venue in the days preceding, see where the sun is going to be at the time of your ceremony and set up accordingly.

No-one wants to be squinting into the sun whilst trying to enjoy listening to your story and ahhhhing along with you as you exchange your vows. But most people don’t mind sitting in the sun for half and hour or so topping up the tan. Make sure the kids and granny have some access to shade and water though…sunstroke can cause some serious problems.


4.PROTECT YOURSELF (WE ALL LOVE THE SUN, BUT DON’T OVERDO IT).

Wedding photography in Essex
I know it’s a “night time” photo, but parasols have more than one use!

Ladies, have you considered a parasol as part of your wedding outfit? It offers the perfect amount of shade and you can be all ‘Vivian Leigh esque’ (Gone With The Wind… just in case you have no idea who I mean) as you perambulate the aisle towards your future spouse.

If you don’t want to buy one especially, I always bring a red and a white one with me which you can borrow for the day. If you let me know beforehand, I would be happy to buy another colour and add it to my “collection”.

Warn your guests that the wedding is outdoors and remind them to bring sunscreen, hats, brollies, insect repellent, aftersun, cooling wipes, appropriate footwear, heel protectors….or maybe you can make up a little basket and throw some of the items in there for your and their comfort…Don’t forget as you are getting dressed to slap on some sunscreen to those exposed parts too!

Ooooh ladies….If you are wearing a strapless dress, make sure if you are enjoying the sun in the lead up to your big day that you don’t get tan lines in places you don’t want them!


5.ALCOHOL.

Wedding photography at Helmingham Hall in suffolk.
This image has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with alcohol. I’m using it because it is one of my “all time” favourite wedding photos.

Yay the sun is out…that means it’s Pimms o’clock surely!

Enjoy the drink, it is your wedding day after all !!  If you can’t enjoy a few cheeky cold ones on this epic day, when can you??

Be careful though, too much alcohol and too much sun is a BAAAAAAD combo. Pace yourself…you have hours of fun ahead of you, make sure you mix the alcoholic consumption with hydrating water consumption. ALCOHOL CAN HELP MAKE YOU DEHYDRATED. You want to remember your wedding day for all the right reasons…Come to that you want to remember your wedding day full stop!


Wedding photography in Essex
Nothing beats dipping your toes in the swimming pool, like the one here at Maison Talbooth in Essex, on a hot day.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter where you have your ceremony…have fun, make the most of this fabulous weather and have the most amazing day…EVER!

With love from the #FunkyCelebrant & me.