This Real Wedding has been shared by the very lovely Ana Kelly, Celebrant of Wiltshire.
Read on to hear more of David & Alex's Cotswold wedding day at the glorious Babington House Chapel, Somerset.
WOW, David and Alex were truly delightful to work with! Alex, a Venezuelan, sought me out and luckily I was free for their wedding date at Babington House in Somerset. Alex just loved the fact that I have lived in Venezuela, and David loved that I had attended one of the first legal gay weddings in Canada - he is Canadian. We really did get on like a house on fire! As the couple lives in London, all of our meetings took place on video calls - but we really did 'get' each other and were totally comfortable and familiar with each other by the time we met on the Big Day.
The couple were in the capable hands of Hannah Sage from Sage & Flo Wedding Planning, who also was amazing to work with and totally organised, helpful and supportive in every way. Their photographer was the wonderful Damian Bailey - who kindly gave his permission for these photographs to be used. Babington House's staff were unbelievably helpful. As always, I was on site over an hour before I was due - having chamomile tea on the garden terrace and soaking up the late summer sun was a real treat. IS this really WORK?! Babington House is a dream location to work in! I can certainly see why Alex and David fell in love with this venue on a weekend away some years ago.
The small chapel on the grounds is really magical, with super acoustics; it is intimate yet majestic. Lit candles and the natural lighting make the gilded features glow, as you can see in the photos. David and Alex read their personalised vows to each other from the gilded cards I had printed for them - which they kept as keepsakes.
Alex and David's service was written with the 'journey motif' around two beautiful poems they found meaningful. One of them, which I had suggested after our first meetings - 'The Road Less Travelled' by Canada's renowned poet, Robert Frost - just seemed so appropriate for their journey of love.
This wedding service was a total joy to plan, write and deliver. Very special.
Sadly, the full portrait photo cannot be posted on this site, and is even more stunning. The colours and light in the chapel have been captured so skillfully by photographer Damian Bailey. The couple entered hand in hand to Eva Cassidy's stunning version of 'Songbird'. Being hand in hand very much symbolising their unity, their established love, and their continuing journey. I was asked to wear a colour that would go well with their blue suits, hence my satin cocktail attire. Cocktail dress was the order of the day!
Most of the guests were staying a couple of nights at Babington, and there was a wedding meal, a wedding breakfast the next morning - it really was planned as a whole-weekend affair; many had arrived the night before for the legal declaration. Babington House has 33 bedrooms and some wonderful facilities, so this really would be an amazing place to stay the weekend, and to celebrate a wedding.
Seeing the guests, in their wonderful attire, walking over from the house to the chapel was wonderful, stylish and colourful site. Everything about Babington, the glorious weather and the anticipation just exuded happiness! David and Alex walked back down the aisle to 'Wings' by Haerts.
Further shots of the inside of the chapel. The chapel has enclosed, gated wooden pews, with beautifully upholstered seats; it is evident that the upkeep on the chapel is taken very seriously. There are raised platforms that speakers may use, or - as the readers did today - speakers may stand at the front. The length and narrowness of the chapel is really quite cosy, as it makes for an intimate ceremony, with everyone able to get a good view of the aisle.
Alex and David completed their legal declaration words the night before in the main house at Babington, with a Registrar in attendance; the legal declaration would not have been permitted in the chapel, so it was really meaningful to conduct all of the ceremonial elements - such as the vows and the ring exchange in the service - in this chapel. As with any Celebrant-led service, the 'legals' can be completed at any time or place that suits the couple. This arrangement very much suited Alex and David's very busy lifestyles.
As with any of my ceremonies, I am happy for the photographer to move around and get the shots s/he prefers.