The cold of Winter can create the most wonderful backdrops for weddings, picture frosty hillsides and glowing hearths. But I can’t help thinking back to the beach weddings of 2016 and reflecting on the sheer fun and freedom of it all. Beach weddings are, of course, only possible with a celebrant, so not only is the venue unique, but also the whole ceremony is written with the couple and surroundings in mind.
Kim and Mark were married on Penbryn beach on August Bank Holiday Sunday 2016. This is a National Trust Beach and the staff were fantastic with the help they gave the couple. There’s also a great café, “The Plwmp Tart”, in the carpark whose services were bought to provide excellent canapés and champagne after the ceremony was over but before the wedding party eventually departed for Hammet House Hotel for the wedding reception proper. Hammet House was also on standby for the wet weather option, but thankfully this proved unnecessary.
The atmosphere on the beach before the wedding ceremony was happy and relaxed as the groom and his gang of groomsmen set the scene by dressing a wire arbour with flowers and flowing white material. Orange and whire flowers bouquets were placed on fencing poles to mark out the ceremony area. The ground where we stood was made stable with matting held steady with stones, and chairs were provided for a few VIPs but the rest were happy to stand. I brought my own PA and had fun testing it whilst last minute touches were made to the “stage”.
As the guests arrived I was delighted to see that, generally, the dress code was as for any wedding; best bib and tucker. The only difference was in the footwear, most of us sporting flip-flops instead of our usual shoes! The groom opted to go barefooted. The children weren’t forgotten, not only did they have the fun of being at a beach wedding, there were caskets of buried treasure to dig for after the ceremony was over.
To start the formalities, we were given a signal that Kim was ready and the guests formed a semi-circle with an “aisle” in the centre for the bride and her father’s entrance. Kim’s smile radiated all the way across the sands, the excitement was tangible.
|The Bride and her father|
The ceremony itself focussed on teasing Mark and Kim about how they’d met and developing a theme on their love for each other and for Wales, specifically Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire. Kim’s Mum handled the microphone with aplomb as she read a beautiful piece about marriage. Kim and Mark exchanged rings and made a sand sculpture to symbolise their coming together in marriage, and all the guests contributed by placing a bit of beach sand in before the ceremony started. The colours were those of the wedding theme, vibrant orange and white, which worked beautifully on the day since although it wasn’t cold, the day was a bit hazy. At the end of the ceremony, Mark and Kim signed a certificate to provide a record of their day and one of many photo opportunities!
I hope that the pictures show how much everybody enjoyed the day. It was incredibly relaxed, even the “waiters” from the café joined the fun by wearing bow-ties stylish shirts and trousers! The children were delighted with their treasure and everybody was so friendly and happy I found it hard to tear myself away. Eventually, the whole wedding party went to nearby Hammett House Hotel, and I and my partner went on our way to prepare for the next “Treasured Ceremony”. .
|The Sand Sculpture|
There will be another “beach wedding blog”, but until then I look forward to being invited to officiate at more, particularly if they are on one of our wonderful welsh beaches!
The professional photographs were taken by http://www.oliviawhittakerphotography.co.uk/ , others on a phone by my lovely partner Mark who showed great patience whilst waiting for me to “tear myself away!”