Humanist Woodland Ceremony: Christine & Dan part II

Christine and Dan's humanist woodland ceremony was the most incredibly beautiful day to photograph.  Before I even arrived at Woodland Farm, I was enjoying the fantastic sign posts pointing guests in the right direction, deeper into the Cornish countryside.  I loved the car parking sign hanging next to the horses, the random chickens and goats watching what was going on, while friends and family put the final touches to the decorations in the barn and the woods.  As I walked along the ribboned path into the woodland, I think I may have actually started skipping with joy - there were hay bales set up for the guests to sit on, a spread of bluebells on the ground and an enormous old beech tree, under which the ceremony was due to take place.  Just one of the most magical locations I can imagine for a wedding ceremony.

And it was a truly magical day.  With Dan ready and the guests gathered in the woodland, Christine walked under the ribboned trees, with the beautiful sound of the harp floating across the clearing.   Christine and Dan said their own personal vows under the beech tree, and then tied an actual knot to symbolise their joining together in marriage.  The sun filtered through the overhead tree canopy and the wind blew gently through the leaves.  After the humanist ceremony, the guests enjoyed drinks in the courtyard, then followed the red carpet (dodging the farm dogs, who clearly thought the carpet was especially for them!) across to the decorated barn to continue the celebrations.  There was a personal note from the bride and groom for each guest, waiting to be opened once they were seated.  For the wedding favours, Christine had created a beautiful piece of art based on Dan and her profiles, and the guests were invited to choose a small brass piece of this to take away and use however they like.  Suggestions on the brilliant explanation cards included a piece of jewellery, a Christmas decoration or a 'rear view mirror dangling thing'!

After a BBQ buffet meal, and some emotional and entertaining speeches, the wedding guests took part in a really fantastic treasure hunt through the woods, around the perimeter of the farmland and back to the barn, via the horse field!  The deep forest was really spectacular, with a thick carpet of bluebells and more huge trees, set off by the evening light.  When everyone finally made it back up to the barn, the evening celebrations began, with a fantastic game, racing to hammer your nail into a piece of wood, and a wonderful Cornish folk/rock band leading lots of dancing.

Going back to the brass favours, I keep my one attached to my camera bag.  It is my own little wedding talisman now, carrying a little bit of the magic from Christine and Dan's day with me to every other gorgeous wedding that I photograph.  Here is their lovely wedding day:

An intimate Cornish wedding in St Agnes: Christine & Dan part I

Bride and groom on the beach at St Agnes

Back in May this year, I photographed a really very special celebration.  Christine and Dan got married, and did it in a really personal and special way.  Their wedding actually took place on two different days, with two different ceremonies and two very different events.  The first one, featured in this blog post, was an intimate church ceremony at St Agnes in Cornwall, with just ten guests, followed by a bit of time on the beach at St Agnes for some photographs.

I really loved the relaxed build up to the ceremony, with Christine having her hair done (at Split-Enz) opposite the church, and Dan having a pint next door with the Reverend, before strolling over the road for the service.  It was a wonderful day to be a part of, particularly special with such a tiny group of people there, and I feel really privileged to have shared it.  After some family photos in the beautiful churchyard, I headed down to Chapel Porth beach with Christine and Dan, to capture some photographs of them on the beach and test the Cornish waters!  As a surfer, Dan was clearly much happier once he'd stripped off his formal wedding trousers and managed to persuade Christine to take a quick run into the sea!  I loved being on the beach with Christine and Dan - it was so beautiful, and lovely to see them taking a little bit of time on their own together to enjoy the moment.

Their main wedding celebration followed two days later, with an amazing humanist ceremony under an ancient beech tree in a Cornish forest.  Coming up shortly!  But for now, here are some more images from their lovely day in St Agnes...

St Agnes Parish Church
Bluebells in the churchyard in St Agnes
Groom having a drink at the pub before his wedding
Groom having a drink before the wedding
Bride getting ready
Bridal preparations in St Agnes
Groom walking to the church
Bridal preparations
Groom at the church before the wedding
Bride arriving at the church

Polhawn Fort wedding, Cornwall: Charlie & Ed

Massive congratulations to the lovely Charlie and Ed, who celebrated their wedding yesterday at Polhawn Fort in Cornwall.  It was a fantastic day for a really wonderful couple!  Here is a tiny preview - more to follow very soon!