British Summer and Outdoor Weddings

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!

Tunstallwedding

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.

 

BluewaterSilverbirch

 

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:

 

 

Denman1

  • 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

bluewaterwoodland

 

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!

To find out more, get in touch!
Katie Keen – Independent Celebrant at True Blue Ceremonies.

 

Spring is in the Air

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.

spring is in the air
A beautiful yellow green and white bouquet

 

Spring is in the air
Bright yellow daffodils arranged in a milk churn

 

Spring is in the air
Simple tied bouquet with herbs, mixed daffodils and narcissi

 

Spring is in the air
Fresh and crisp spring tablescape with primroses and lily of the valley

 

 

Spring is in the air
Reception Table set in a field of daffodils
Spring is in the air
Pretty teacups filled with spring flowers in a rustic style

             

Don’t Take My Word for It

Don’t Take my Word for It – here’s what people have been saying about True Blue Ceremonies ….

Don't take my word for it
True Blue Ceremonies – Independent Celebrant
“There just aren’t enough words available to us to thank you for every single wonderful thing you have done for us.  You made our wedding magical, meaningful and completely and utterly perfect.  We both feel that we were married by a friend and you now have a very special place in our hearts.”  Clients Sarah and Ian after their bespoke wedding ceremony. 
“I cry my eyes out every time I read your beautiful words – how am I going to get through the ceremony?!  It’s so lovely, Katie – thank you so much!”  Client Gem, on reading her draft Wedding Ceremony.

“Katie that is amazing, got a lump in my throat reading it.”  Client Lindsey, on reading a first draft of her Renewal of Vows Ceremony.

“Hi Katie and so many thanks for performing a wonderful ceremony at our wedding last Saturday – the sun even shined for us.  A lot of people commented on how lovely and special it was – I can see why you have so many weddings now to perform!”  Clients Anne and Rob, after their bespoke garden wedding ceremony.

“If only we had known about this 7 years ago, instead of having to get married at 4.30pm in a hotel and rush through our celebrations.”  Nina, North Wales.

“We’re so pleased that we can recommend Katie to our Brides.  She is professional, friendly and always delivers beautifully personalised ceremonies to each and every couple.”  Clare, owner of The House Meadow (rustic outdoor wedding venue, Kent).    

 

If you would like a personalised Wedding Ceremony or Renewal of Vows please get in touch with me as soon as you can – the earlier the better, in order to research, plan and write your unique, bespoke script.    All the very best, Katie.  x

Music for your Ceremony

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.

Flute and Musical NotationAnd 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!

Top 30 First Dance Wedding Songs of 2013

Outdoor Ceremonies

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

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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.

Take a look at Hadlow Manor’s video showreel on their homepage here

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We arranged the seating in a semi

circle with a wide aisle

underneath the shade of the large tree

 

 

 

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!

Wilderness Woods

 

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.

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Viv had created a beautiful arbour in

the garden decorated with flowers

under which we held the ceremony