Chris and Katie first met in 2008, but found they were each in very different places in their lives at this time so it was a relationship that started strong but sadly soon finished! However, the pull of love between them was clearly too strong because despite going their separate ways they soon found themselves back together and settling into a life that was right for them, even though now a few years later.
Since coming back together, they have supported each other through career changes, family troubles, and financial triumphs. They are each others rocks and are best friends, and despite the sacrifices they have both made to be together, they could not now imagine a future without the other in it.
Chris and Katie share many interests and hobbies, but one shared interest which inspired them on their wedding day was their mutual love of all things͚ steampunk. ͛By their own admittance, both Katie and Chris are introverts, and wished only to celebrate their day in a quiet, informal and intimate way – so their eccentric choice of theme will have surprised many people I͛m sure! But for Chris and Katie, Steampunk represents more a desire to embrace a style belonging to the past in a way which recognises its place in a modern setting. Steampunk offers an elaborate sense of historical escapism from the sometimes more mundane experiences of the modern day world around us. But more than anything, it gave guests a jolly good excuse to get dressed up and have some fun!
Chris and Katie encouraged their family and friends to truly embrace the theme by requesting that they also adhere to a decadent dress code that was fitting to a Victoriana style. They were absolutely blown away on the day by the efforts that their loved ones had made to let go of their own inhibitions and tastes, and to adopt outfits that recognised the steampunk style. They made a huge point of thanking everyone with a great big round of applause at the start of the ceremony.
Samantha met with Katie and Chris at their home one evening a few months before the ceremony. I was welcomed at the door by Katie and Chris's gorgeous cat Spider, who made such a fuss of having me visit that it was impossible not to feel completely at ease with this gorgeous couple on entry into their home. We talked for hours about not just the ceremony, but their relationship too, and the reasons why they had chosen to adopt such a specific theme for their day. Katie and Chris were nervous about the reaction to their choice of style, but we spent a few hours looking at Pinterest boards and some of their existing handmade stationery and decorations to see how we could create a ceremony that was equally fitting to their day – and we did!
Unusually for a couple planning a wedding, it was actually the Groom, Chris, who did most of the leg work for planning their day. Chris had a clear and organised vision for how he wanted the venue to look, and how he envisioned the ceremony to take place. The couple giggled together with Samantha over the intricacy of Chris's very meticulous wedding spreadsheets!
Chris had chosen Samantha to be their wedding celebrant after looking for someone who they felt might understand their theme better, and be equally willing to embrace it. He was not disappointed; Samantha made an extra effort to source a suitable outfit for the ceremony and thoroughly enjoyed being able to involve herself in getting dressed up for the more elaborate detail of the day!
Despite the flamboyant and bold nature of their theme, Katie and Chris were actually quite nervous about their ceremony and about standing up in front of everyone on their day. They had chosen to share an aspect of themselves and their personal life which was entirely meaningful to them, but they did so with so much confidence and pride on the day that it truly was a pleasure to behold.
As their celebrant, I felt incredibly proud of Katie and Chris for being so willing to share so much of themselves with their guests, but also so pleased with their guests for returning this gesture by embracing the dress code and celebrating their choices without reluctance or question...
The ceremony was quite traditional in its nature. Katie and Chris not only shared their love story, but they also shared their vows and exchanged wedding rings before signing a certificate of promises which Samantha had made especially for them.
There were two readings given by friends – The Blessing of the Hands read by bridesmaid, Elisa, and -
'We are all a little weird. And life is a little weird.
And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours,
we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness and call it love.
Written by Robert Fulghum and read by usher, Ben.
It seemed like the appropriate choice of reading to follow their unusual choice of theme!
As well as the traditional aspects of the ceremony, Katie and Chris also opted to include a hand fasting. As a couple, Katie and Chris were keen to acknowledge a handful of friends and family members who they felt had played an integral role in the making of both them and their relationship.
They asked 6 key guests to each bring forward a coloured ribbon of their own choosing, and to add this to the overall collection of chords that were entwined around Chris and Katie's fingers, before being tied together in a knot around their hands. Each guest placed their ribbon over the couple ͛s joined hands, whilst Samantha gave a bespoke reading that she had crafted for the occasion. It talked of Katie and Chris͛ love being likened to a tapestry͛ with the different family members͛ and friends͛ ribbons representing the different threads that now weave themselves together to create a fabric made up of varied colours, textures, and patterns. It was a very moving moment in the ceremony as different people were recognised for the individual place they hold in Chris͛ and Katie͛s hearts.
Venue – Wilobe Farm Barn
Photographer – Adrian Neale
Samantha Kelsie is a professional marriage and family celebrant who prides herself in creating bespoke ceremonies and symbolic unions to suit couples of all different styles and personalities in the UK and abroad.
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