A colourful hand fasting ceremony

I had an amazing time working with the lovely Aaron and Cleo, who are as relaxed and as laid back as they come !  From our 1st telephone conversation, Cleo and I hit it off straight away.

Cleo is really creative and very talented, designing everything for the ceremony, the reception and making the bridesmaid dresses herself.

It was lovely to see her enthusiasm and feel part of it, it was definitely infectious. When she excitedly told me about the bridesmaids dresses she had made, I asked if she had done anything like that before. " Nerrr,  I just had a look at a few u-tube videos and thought I'd give it a go. I mean, I just thought, how hard can it be?? " was the reply.

I mean, seriously??!! Thankfully they were not employing me for my seamstress skills as I would have been able to illustrate just how hard it can be when you're not too handy with a needle and thread! :) 

Cleo and Aaron are both super-smiley all the time and made me feel so welcome in their home, but they were literally beaming on their special day.  Cleo had it planned in her head perfectly :)  The guests were to arrive about half an hour before the ceremony where they would be treated to the sound of 'Goodnight From him' playing in the sunshine ready for the outdoor ceremony. Their beautiful sons would walk down the aisle in front of her and her brother would walk her down the aisle. 

 Cleo and Aaron are both very close to their family and wanted them all involved in some way. Cleo came up with the idea of inviting all the guests to bring a ribbon, which would be part of an elaborate hand fasting ceremony. 

Their attitude towards everything was 'it will be fine. It will all come together one way or another'.   And do you know what? It did. 

A traditional wedding with an American twist at the beautiful Belvoir Castle

The planning to Justin and Emily's ceremony started very early on, as Justin and Emily both live in America and it was actually Emily's mum who first made contact !

Justin and his family flew over to meet with me, as it was really important to Justin, that his parents were involved. There were lots of questions to answer about the ceremony and how things work in England. 

Quite a few cups of tea later and lots of questions answered, I became very excited at how things were coming together. The couple wanted to have the American tradition of having the Bridesmaids and Ushers stand at the front facing the guests.

I particularly love the photo that show the guests celebrating. The English guests clapping hands, whilst there were enthusiastic fist pumps and cheering from the Americans !! A completely natural photo, with beaming smiles all round x

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Lisa and Fliss's rustic wedding at Cattow's Farm

It was on a sunny and windy day in July, that I had the pleasure of finally conducting Lisa and Fliss's wedding ceremony. I say finally, because this super-organised pair booked me at the very beginning of their plans, which seems such a long time ago now.

I loved hearing about how their plans were progressing, from the room full of hand-made, multi coloured pom poms to the old-fashioned singer sewing machine, which would decorate the tipi's by Sami Tipi. We did divert on the odd occasion to discussing all the other wonderful finds, such as the green chesterfield chair,  and talks about family outings to Bradgate Park, but most of the time we tried to keep on track.  Without a shadow of a doubt, this wedding was going to be fun !

Everything included in the wedding was either made, included  or purchased with great thought and love. We went back and forth over the vows together, over a lovely cup of tea at Cattows Farm, until they were absolutely right.

Sometimes you just have to sit with a couple and watch the way that they look at each other says it all. Matt Brown Photography has captured this perfectly. So sit back, with a cup of something warm and enjoy a little look at their day.

 

Jo xx

Rob and Alex's colour spectacular !

I knew from the very first time I met with Rob and Alex that the styling of their tipi wedding would be something special; especially with Alex's creative flair,but I had no idea how spectacular it would be.

From the aisle scattered with flowers to the Bollywood inspired tables, to the reams of colourful ribbon, I am still not sure which bit is my favourite. Here is a sneak peek at a few photos of their colour spectacular.

A Hindu inspired Celebration

It all started with a telephone conversation about the sort of ceremony I could write and conduct. Kaajal and Nilesh were not looking to have a full hindu ceremony, however their religion is very important to them and they wanted to include key parts of the hindu ceremony if possible into the ceremony that I would conduct for them at the Chutney Ivy, mitchelin star restaurant in Leicester.

We had a meeting at their house, where I was made to feel so welcome and got an insight into how their religion played a key part of their daily life. After several meetings and conversations, the ceremony was complete and I had the pleasure of not only conducting their ceremony but being a guest at their spectacular wedding after the ceremony.

I asked the bride, Kaajal, a few questions about planning her day :

Why did you choose your particular venue ?

Nilesh and I had previously gone to Chutney Ivy shortly before we got engaged and had a really lovely meal there. When we were deciding where to hold the event, we decided to go to the restaurant as we felt that choosing an empty venue with the added extras of food, tables, décor and entertainment would be too much to manage. We had various meetings with the owner Shaf and explained how we wanted the day to go and thankfully everything went to plan.

How did you choose your photographer ?

When it came to choosing a photographer we had been looking around for some time. I spoke to my brother Bhav, and explained that we were having trouble finding a photographer that we liked and was reasonable when he mentioned that Liz ( Elizabeth and Alice Holt photography ) was a good friend of his and her photos were really stunning. When Nilesh and I had a look at her portfolio, we decided to book her as we loved her pictures.

Why did you choose My Perfect Ceremony ?

As we were not having a traditional Indian ceremony but wanted some parts of it that meant something to us, so we looked at booking Jo from My Perfect Ceremony. We wanted the ceremony to be bespoke to us and what our beliefs are. Nilesh was a bit sceptical at first, thinking that we did not really need someone to conduct the ceremony for us, however after we met Jo at our initial meeting, he understood why I suggested it. Once our meeting was over, we had a much more clear idea of how the day would work and how the ceremony would come together.

What was your favourite part of the ceremony ?

The favourite part of the ceremony was definitely the readings by our daughter Sania and nephews. We both really loved the exchanging of the vows and Jo's speech about marriage and what it means.

 

 

Please describe your day

The day overall was absolutely fantastic. It was an early start and a very late finish. Once the hair and make up was completed, my father and I made our way to the Town Hall in our tuk tuk. The ceremony itself seemed to go very quickly at the Town Hall. I think we were both more looking forward to the ceremony at the restaurant. Once we were finished at the town hall, Nilesh and I went to get some pictures taken in the tuk tuk near the Curve. I underestimated how cold it actually was on that day. We even managed to get a quick cup of tea before the ceremony was due to start. It was lovely to make our entrance, seeing all our family and friends there. It was a beautiful ceremony, the readings, the lovely words by Jo and the exchanging of vows and rings. We had the most amazing time being able to share our first meal as husband and wife with those closest to us.

 

What was your experience of My Perfect ceremony ?

Jo is extremely professional and approachable. When I first described the elements of the ceremony that we wanted, she had conducted her own research and we went through it together in our initial meeting. It was fun working with Jo. Nothing seemed to be too much of a problem, even when we were stuck on writing our vows, Jo was really helpful in giving ideas about how we could write them and even offered to go over them once we had an idea of what we wanted to say. Even during the ceremony itself, Jo was very calming, she explained what was going to happen to us both and definitely helped calm our nerves.

 

What were your favourite parts of the day ?

We had so many parts of the day that stick out in our mind. Seeing each other for the first time on the day of our wedding at the Town Hall, the ceremony, vows, the speeches, going around Leicester City Centre in a tuktuk. Also just getting a chance to speak to our friends and family that were there on the day was great, The evening party, our first dance which was so awkward that it became funny, the tuktuk photobooth. The whole day was just amazing.

 

Huge congratulations to the lovely Mr and Mrs Chohan, you are destined to have a wonderful life together xx

Celebrant : My Perfect Ceremony

Venue : www.chutneyivy.com

Chair hire for ceremony :bradgate-furniturhire.co.uk

Photographer : www.eahphotography.co.uk

 

 

Stanley's Naming Ceremony

I absolutely love Naming Ceremonies .They are such fun and a great way to bring family and friends together to celebrate the birth of a baby.

Often people say to me that they are not religious, so feel it would be hypocritical of them to have a Christening in a church but want a way to formally celebrate their child in some way, so a Naming Ceremony is perfect for them.

I was delighted to be asked to write and conduct a Naming Ceremony for Stanley, who would also be celebrating his 1st birthday. His Mum, Katie wanted the atmosphere to be relaxed and fun, and whilst the Naming Ceremony would be formally celebrating Stanley being born, the ceremony itself was definitely not formal !

As you can see from the pictures, the room hired was large enough to have children's toys to entertain the little ones, including a play tunnel, which Stanley was quite keen on crawling through along with a friend who wanted to bring it with him !

After the family and chosen Guardians made their promises to Stanley and we listened to a beautiful hand-picked reading, everyone enjoyed a delicious afternoon tea and cake. Just perfect !

Jo x

Twycross Zoo Wedding

I was absolutely delighted and honoured to be asked to write and conduct the first ever outdoor wedding ceremony at Twycross Zoo.

Nicola and Richard REALLY wanted to have an outdoor ceremony at Twycross Zoo, but were not sure if this was possible. When finding out that doing the legal bit at the register office first, then allowed them to have a celebrant from My Perfect Ceremony conduct their ceremony anywhere, things were looking up.

All that needed to be done now was get permission from the Zoo - thankfully they said yes !

A bespoke ceremony was written for this animal loving pair and conducted in the sunny private gardens. . As we all waited for the Bride to arrive, listening to songs such as ' I wanna be like you ' from The Jungle Book , quite a crown gathered on the outskirts of the garden , with the monkeys calling in the background.

When the Bride arrived, walking down the aisle to 'Roar' by Katy Perry, the crowd dispersed and the private ceremony took place - just as they had wanted.

/my perfect ceremony/wedding ceremony

A snapshot of 2015

Well, what a year ! I cannot believe how quickly it has gone and how much has happened. Here is just a quick snapshot of what has been going on.....

Spring Open Event

We started the year off at the Sami Tipi Open Event, which was held at the beautiful Bawdon Lodge Farm in Leicestershire. Whilst the weather was a little chilly, the atmosphere was warm and friendly , full of talented hand-picked suppliers and lots of excited Brides and Grooms.

I was a little nervous to start with, but within minutes Val from Benessamy Wedding and Events, Jodie from Sami Tipi and Lynn from Bawdon Lodge Farm took me under their wing to make sure I knew where I would be, if there was anything I needed and where the refreshments were ( I love tea and probably drink far too much of it ! )

I guess this must be how some new Brides- to- be might have felt. A little nervous about stepping into the unknown ( you don't get married everyday ! ), but very soon in their element as it was such a fun and relaxed event, with great food, drinks and music to enjoy - everyone was smiling . I know there is another one planned for 2016, so watch this space !

 This picture was taken at the end of the day with some lovely suppliers -Allie, Lisa, Karen, Lara and Kerry

This picture was taken at the end of the day with some lovely suppliers -Allie, Lisa, Karen, Lara and Kerry

Branding

I was very lucky to meet the super-talented Mirlah from Best Day Ever, who as well as designing this website, designed all of our branding. I am so happy with it all, as it is exactly what I wanted, embracing a soft, romantic feel - I hope you like it too.

Weddings

How lucky do I feel to have written and conducted such a wide variety of weddings this year ? Very lucky, I can tell you ! I love how creative people can be, once they are given free reign to include whatever they want. So many times I met with couples who would ask " Is it ok if we include this ? " Of course it is ! has always been the answer. From indoor to outdoor, marquee to tipi, candle ceremony to hand-fasting and even boom-whacking, 2015 has covered it all.  Here are just a few photos I would like to share..

Styled shoot and Open Weekend

I was delighted to be asked to be involved in the styled shoot at Swarkestone Farm, Derbyshire that is exclusive to Sami Tipi. I knew the photos would be great as they were being taken byYvonne Lishman photography, who I have been lucky enough to work with before.

The ceremony area, designed by Ticketyboo Events went down extremely well with Bride and Grooms- to- be and is sure to be a popular venue. It was great to chat with couples about their plans, whilst enjoying the sunshine and meeting a few family pets ! ( we are absolutely fine with having pets at the ceremony if that is what a couple wants ).

 Swarkestone Farm, Derbyshire. A Sami Tipi exclusive venue

Swarkestone Farm, Derbyshire. A Sami Tipi exclusive venue

The Wedding Industry Awards

Oh my goodness ! I only went and won Best Newcomer 2016 in the East Midlands at The Wedding Industry Awards !! I am absolutely thrilled and so proud to have received this ward. I am really thankful to all the Brides and Grooms who took the time to vote for me and the suppliers who I have worked with along the way this year who inspire me to keep improving and growing.

I think it is only fitting that along with the one of me holding my much-loved award, that I am pictured celebrating with Jodie and Craig from Sami Tipi, and Lynn and Richard from Bawdon Lodge Farm, who were there to support me at the beginning of the year when I started, and of course the lovely Thomas from Thomas the Caterer who won a well deserved award too.

So next week I am off to London, to The National Finals of The 2016 Wedding Industry Awards. The National Finals. That is not a typing error, I just had to type it twice as I still cannot quite believe it. I am keeping everything crossed !

I will keep you posted :-)

Jo xx