It’s not often we get the challenge of helping couples plan their wedding with less than four months to go, but when Hilary and Ralph got in touch in June, asking if we could plan their wedding in Sept 2018, we couldn’t say no!
Hilary and Ralph lead extremely busy lives with schedules that make even our heads boggle. They had brilliant ideas but needed help structuring and organising their plans and this was where having a wedding planner with over 50 weddings under her belt really helped.
Ralph and Hilary envisioned an outdoor tipi wedding where their friends and family could socialise in a laid-back, friendly way and let their hair down. They wanted a personalised humanist ceremony, an extra special bridal entrance, a surprise set from the Groom and a casual game of Boys v. Girls rounder’s after the meal – oh and loads and loads of laughter!
As many of their guests had travelled from Ireland, Scotland and even Scandinavia, showing off the best of the English countryside was a must. Of course, the predictably unpredictable English weather made this a huge gamble!
Despite drizzling all day the day before, on the wedding morning the sky was blessedly clear and we were able to hold our Humanist ceremony outside as planned. Hilary made her entrance driving her vintage VW camper van, completing a speedy circuit of the site before hopping out and meeting her bridesmaids.
Then celebrant Stef conducted a humanist service with all the personal touches a non-religious wedding allows. It was funny, intimate and involved a Celtic hand-fasting that symbolically bound their futures together.
Apache Weddings supplied the Tepee’s and Flaming Gourmand catered some truly mouth-watering food. Alternative Weddings dressed the tepee’s, arranged the bouquets, feast tables, pin-holes, bridal headdress and wedding arch and hung heather draped circlets of dangling foliage and ivy from the roof. It couldn’t have been more beautiful.
Juliette Hamilton loaned her signature wicker sculptures, a giant Gorilla and a family of Deer’s and The Bedlam Five belted out the hits way in the wee hours. Groom Ralph even snuck in a cheeky rendition of “The Outdoor Type” for his Bride with a full back up band and Hilary was giddily gob-smacked to say the least.
All in all it was a beautiful day and by the end of it there wasn’t an unsmiling face or unopened heart in the field. A challenge though it was, we are so so glad we got involved and I think we were enjoying ourselves just as much as everybody else!
Congratulations Ralph and Hilary, if your wedding is anything to go by your life together will be raucous, wild and overflowing with love!