The Couple: Ash & Teresa
The Venue: Hidden River Cabins, Cumbria, CA6 5TU
Date: 1st September 2018
What can I say about Ash and Teresa? From my initial email exchange with Teresa, I couldn’t wait to find out more about their wedding plans. We skyped a few days later and I just knew we we’re going to be able to create something special. The love Ash and Teresa have for each other is the kind of love that is powerful, radiating and magical; you just need to look at them to see it. The way they talk about each other and how they describe how the other makes them feel, gave me goosebumps and I felt incredibly honoured to put their wonderful love story into words and share it with their closest family and friends.
We met a few months after our initial chat. Ash and Teresa were staying at Hidden River Cabins for the weekend with some friends, so I popped along for a cup of tea and to put some plans in place. They fell in love with Hidden River Cabins as soon as they found it and with huge scope and options for weddings and accommodation on site, it ticked a lot of boxes. The idea was to hold the ceremony outdoors, overlooking woodland and have a quirky marquee for all the dancing (I’m told there was dancing…lots and lots of dancing.)
As 2pm approached, the guests took their seats. Ash was extremely nervous, awaiting his bride so we shared a chat and a giggle (and an umbrella), to help ease his nerves. As Teresa made her way down the field to the ceremony spot, Ash turned and gazed at his bride to be. His face said it all. She was breath-taking. The dress! Oh, the dress! The first look between a couple is something I always feel extremely privileged to witness and it’s always pretty emotional, for me included. As the ceremony began, I could see Ash relax a little and we shared some more laughter as I told their love story to their guests.
Ash and Teresa wrote the most incredible, heartfelt vows to one another – a moment in the ceremony that encourages an unearthing of those feelings you don’t often express; thinking about the way you’d like to spend your married life and making promises to each other. A beautiful part within the ceremony that drew tears and laughter alike.
Ash and Teresa wanted a ceremony that was a bit more flexible and with a personal touch; a ceremony to reflect their love story and them as a couple. We floated a few ideas around and quickly settled on adding in some symbolism in the form of a Handfasting involving their 5 year old daughter Ophelia. They chose three ribbons and we tied them together to symbolise family; Blue for Patience, Tranquillity and Devotion; Orange for Encouragement and Kindness; and Pink, for Honour and Romance (and because Ophelia loves pink!). We wrapped their hands together in the three ribbons and then Ash and Teresa pulled each end to ‘tie the knot’ – it was just wonderful to include Ophelia, it made the ceremony even more personal and added an extra touch of magic.
In addition to the Handfasting, Ash and Teresa wanted to have close family members warm their wedding bands. A Ring Warming, is becoming one of my absolute favourite traditions – it’s just so beautiful and meaningful. Ash and Teresa chose certain family members to bless their rings before the ceremony began, meaning they could take their time, hold their energy and concentrate fully on the wish or blessing they were making – my favourite moment was when Ophelia took the rings and held them in her tiny hands…just stunning.
Ash and Teresa included two readings within their ceremony – a beautiful excerpt from Les Misérables which was thoughtfully chosen and read by Ash’s sister, Megan. The second was performed by Margaret, Teresa’s Aunt. What a cracking choice! Margaret chose to read the song lyrics from ‘Love is all around’ by Wet Wet Wet, as it has meaning behind it for Teresa. On the morning of the wedding, she came up to me and said she’d had a brainwave she wanted to run past me and would it be ok if at the end of the reading, she got everyone on their feet to sing the chorus. Well, this just made my day! Ash and Teresa had no idea what any of the readings were prior to their ceremony, let alone that their guests were going to be party to a surprise sing-a-long. It was brilliant and their faces and laughter just said it all. I just love a bit of spontaneity! That, along with the dog that appeared mid-ceremony to do his business, just added to the fun and joy of the day.
I can honestly say that when I left Hidden River Cabins after the ceremony, I was overcome with love for the most amazing pair of souls. I loved every second of working with them both, it was both a joy and an honour.
Hello, I’m Charlotte Pennefather and I live in rural Cumbria with my family. I love meeting new people and hearing their love stories. I adore being a celebrant.See Charlotte's profile here
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