Creating a ceremony for a couple is always a privilege, but when it is the daughter of one of your very close friends, well that is a super special honour.
When I was asked to help the lovely Ellie and Luke back in 2019, I jumped at the chance, and just knew it was going to be a wonderful wedding!
These two incredible people are completely mad about one another and were very keen to have something personal and that reflected their passions and their love of family. With the theme of Harry Potter and Marvel discussed, I went away feeling very excited and came up with lots of ways in which we could incorporate this and their love of films into their big day (which was being held on Halloween - my favourite time of year!!).
As the ceremony words evolved, and our relationship over the course of the two years continued, I was privy to many details, many stories and lots of their ideas too.
"They have a very rich relationship and with you all here today helping them to create memories for their future, it really is a special moment in their relationship history. . ."
By the time we had our check-in chat before the wedding day, the ceremony was full to bursting with their personalities, lots of family involvement, and many wonderful and memorable moments were planned in.
When I arrived, I set about making sure the ceremony space worked and made a few adjustments to the space, and the flow so that it ran smoothly. I then carried out my checks with the venue, the fabulous photographer, the lovely toastmaster, the bridal party and the groom. We were all set and ready for the big moment!
I had a lovely moment with the mother of the bride (my friend) before everyone came into the Great Hall, and she looked stunning! She was nervous, emotional and excited to see her daughter on her wedding day, and I suggested a lovely moment where I announced her into the room.
With everyone seated, and messages delivered, I popped out to greet the bridal party, soothe a few nerves, making sure everyone knew what was going to happen and where they needed to go at the front (and indeed where their seats were situated). The bride was walking down the aisle with her dad and step-dad and both of them were immensely proud.
As I headed back in, I announced the mother of the bride and the bride's younger brother, and they both took to their seats accompanied by a huge round of applause.
As the music began and the bridesmaids joined us all, the groom was beginning to show some nerves. I put my hand on his shoulder just as his bride came into view and the emotions took over him. It is such a sweet and very special moment to see just how much this means to a couple and when she reached the front, her two very dapper attendants gave her a kiss on each cheek and shook the groom's hand.
I encourage this as it is such a lovely family moment, and makes for wonderful photos too!
As everyone was seated, I moved the couple into position, facing their guests and the ceremony began. I always think it is important to set the tone right from the beginning, and using the words they gave me way back at our first consultation, we made sure that everyone felt relaxed, entertained, and a part of their celebrations.
Guests had smiles and looks of sheer excitement on their faces as we talked about what would be happening, why we were all there, and what it means to Ellie and Luke to be making their commitments and promises to one another.
". . .I love you three-thousand . . ."
We had two beautiful readings, one from the mother of the bride, and then one from the bride's cousin. Both were delivered perfectly, full of meaning and emotion, and the couple loved hearing from these special people as a part of their ceremony.
I told the couple's story, talked about their achievements, their funny stories and we got all of their loved ones involved in a few special moments, making sure they all went away with great memories of this personal day too.
Before the couple shared their vows, we asked both mums to join us for a lovely surprise, and a sentimental part of the service. We thanked them both for their support and it was so lovely to see the look on their faces! I cannot wait to see the official images from this moment!
With lots of references and quotes from their favourite films included in the ceremony, we made sure that their vows and personal vows were representative of them, their lifestyles and love of marvel films too!
"With me on your left, you don't have to believe in yourself, because I will do it for you. Without you I am nothing and nothing works the way it should. But when I know you're there in my life, I feel like I can do anything. And while I won't promise to obey you, I do promise I am Groot"
With the couple's ring change we decided to include a Harry Potter twist and they had a fabulous sorting hat for a wonderful element and more guest involvement. It went down a storm and I could see everyone from my spot at the front, looking surprised and excited about what was the come next!
The whole ceremony had the perfect blend of sentiment, warmth, fun and memorable moments, and as we reached the signing of their wedding day certificate, we once again incorporated their special guests and had a separate family certificate, with groups coming up to complete this section.
We even managed to get everyone in the space for a group photo and I know these will bring back lovely memories for the couple, having everyone together.
As I brought the ceremony to a close, and to a wonderful crescendo, their loved ones were itching to welcome them, and so as I presented them as Mr & Mrs Marchant, the room filled with the loudest cheers and enthusiastic applause, and the couple, walked back down the aisle with the biggest smiles on their faces!
They all headed outside for a tremendous confetti throw and smoke bomb moment and I just knew it was going to be a wonderful day for them all.
What a wonderful ceremony, a great family, and the most perfect couple.
Congrats Luke and Ellie, and well done on such a personal ceremony that was completely YOU.
(All images in this blog were taken by Jenny Knight but we can't wait to see the official pics soon!)
Venue: Horsley Towers
Celebrant: Jenny from Knight Ceremonies
Photographer: Sam from Vaughan Stevens Photography
Hair: Pippa (PS Hairdressing)
Toastmaster: Steve Eggleton
See more about Surrey Ceremonies