For wedding couples, planning an outdoor ceremony is always nerve-racking, the biggest unknown being the weather. Even more so in late September as the seasons move into Autumn. When you have the opportunity to have your wedding in the grounds of your Aunt and Uncle’s beautiful home just outside Painswick, however, it’s a temptation not to be resisted. And indeed, against the odds and after a couple of weeks of rain and wind, the day of the wedding was warm and sunny.
The ceremony area was at the bottom of some steps leading up to the house. Guests gathered in an enclosed garden around it to the sound of hand bells. When we were ready to start, a string quartet played a the bride entered through a gateway at the end of the garden, accompanied by her father, bridesmaids, flower girls and page boys.
The couple had already been together for some time, and after welcoming everyone we told their love story and of their journey together so far. The bride’s brother read “Invisible Kisses”, by Lemn Sissay before a friend of the couple sang “If I Should Fall Behind”, accompanied by another friend on guitar. The pair exchanged vows, which they had written separately and not shared with each other beforehand. Guests were then asked to make vows to the couple, which included promising to visit as often as they could.
After exchanging rings the couple shared a loving cup ceremony, toasting their past, present and future happiness. They posed for photographs ‘signing the register’ , before a final blessing and the presentation to guests as a married couple. They left the ceremony area back through the gate at the bottom of the garden.
Guests then moved towards the reception area in another part of the ground whilst photographs were taken. The couple had one more surprise for their family and friends, however. Both are keen cyclists and had wanted to include a bicycle somewhere in their day. Their appearance through a side gate into the garden where everyone was gathered caused much surprise and laughter and added to what was a wonderful and memorable occasion.
Wishing them both love and happiness.