At Braisty Estate on 2nd September 2017, we couldn’t have asked for better weather!
The surrounding views of the Yorkshire countryside with Brimham Rocks as a back drop was the perfect setting for Becky and Alfie’s outdoor wedding ceremony.
I’d first met Becky and Alfie in the not so idyllic setting of the Wetherby Services on the A1 as this was just easy for us all to get to.
Within minutes of sitting down with refreshments, the three of us began chatting about Becky and Alfie’s history covering all of the tales of how they met, how long they’d been together, what they had done together so far and what their plans were for the future.
After finding out that travelling had been a large part of their relationship, it was obvious that there was a theme to be added to the ceremony in order to make it totally unique to Becky and Alfie.
They also chose the symbolic ritual of the warming of wedding rings as one of the key factors that they wanted in their ceremony was to include their guests as much as possible.
The guests were sat on hay bales in a lovely semi-circle but were all standing on their feet clapping away to the song ‘She’s Electric’ by Oasis as the bride, Becky, walked in through the barn and down the grassy aisle with her Mum and Dad.
Becky and Alfie had also chosen the symbolic ritual of Tasting the Elements which has Nigerian roots where the couple have to taste different elements that represent different emotions. They must taste lemon, vinegar, cayenne pepper and honey which each have an emotion associated with them.
As Becky and Alfie had told me all about their story of getting together and their adventures of travelling, I created the ceremony to combine all of these parts and to also include the guests.
So with each tasting of each element, a part of their story was told and to introduce each part of the story, the guests were held out a greeting in the language from one of the relevant countries that Becky and Alfie had been to which they had to shout out in their best accents connected to the place in question!
Becky and Alfie had met at school and so many of their school friends were there and many stories were from that era of their life. We even recreated the famous dance that Alfie once had to do at a school concert to the song ‘Walk this Way’!!
Of course, Alfie didn’t know that was what was going to happen and so when it did, the laughter echoed all over the Yorkshire countryside!
After Becky and Alfie had managed to get through tasting all of the strong ingredients in the Tasting of the Elements ritual, we heard some beautiful readings from their friends and family which had been written specifically by them for Becky and Alfie. The words were funny but extremely meaningful as a result.
Worldly love and peace was one of the messages of the day and so as to embrace and celebrate this moment, we asked all of the guests to get up and hug each other as part of world peace and to spread the general feeling of love for the day whilst we played Bob Marley’s ‘One Love’ in the background. As you can see, the guests truly loved this part of the ceremony!
After I finally got everybody to sit down again after the hug, Becky and Alfie said their vows to each other before exchanging the rings. However, before they could do so, the rings needed to have felt the love and warmth of everybody in the ceremony and so the rings were passed around each guest on a ribbon so that each guest could hold the rings for a second and send a blessing to them. Bob Marley was again played during this ritual yet the song this time was ‘Is this Love?’
The rings were then exchanged by Becky and Alfie and the guests also made a promise to them both.
We had such a laugh during the ceremony and I loved seeing the constant smiling faces throughout the ceremony.
Becky and Alfie had a ceremony that was totally tailor-made for them and blended in different elements that certainly kept everybody entertained and engaged throughout. It made this part of the day truly memorable indeed.
The party of course then began with drinks in the tipi which had been provided by Wills Marquees.
All of the photos of the day were captured by We Are The Lous Photography and can be seen via this link for the full picture story from before and after the ceremony!
Lou Starr – Starr Gazing Ceremonies