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Stunning sea views and rose-tinted romance

Cynthia and Wesley are just the sweetest pair ever. Seriously! When I first met them, they did not stop holding hands, okay maybe once or twice for a few seconds, but their love for each other was so plain and so evident, as was their excitement for their wedding day, that I just couldn’t help but wish the time away for that day to arrive.

I LOVED their enthusiasm and fab ideas for their ceremony that they had from day one. Family is very important to them (hence why they’ve now got a little bubba on the way!! Me and my big mouth!!!) and they really wanted their ceremony to reflect the importance of family and their love for their own families.

Cynthia was really keen to involve a candle lighting during the ceremony to honour her grandmother who has passed away but whose memory she wanted to evoke because she felt that she was and still is, such an crucial influence in her life. It was a very touching and poignant moment.

There is so much to say about this ceremony which took place on the sunniest of September afternoon’s this year, and there are so many amazing photos to enjoy thanks to the uber-talented Jeremy Standley. So without further ado, I will let the photos do most of the talking with a few interjections from me along the way, of course!

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Lovely ways of honouring those who are no longer with us.

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Think pink





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 The first look



Now, if you are not Dutch, Belgian or from any other country where the ‘first look’ is a staple element of a wedding day, then you probably have never heard of it. The first look is where couples, before the ceremony get to see each other and have their, yes, you’ve guessed it, ‘first look.’! I was first introduced to this idea a few years ago when I conducted the ceremony of a Dutch couple and I must say, I really like it. I think it is so nice for a couple to have a few private moments before the ceremony and I think for some couples those nerves can be banished when they get to see their love bunny before the ceremony. Although that said, you would never had thought Wesley had seen Cynthia beforehand because he was still so nervous before the start of the ceremony. Sorry Wesley!!


 The ceremony








Cynthia lights the candle to pay her respects to her grandmother

As I mentioned before, family is key to Cynthia and Wesley and one way that they chose to honour theirs was to include a wonderful Spanish Arras ceremony with their parents, which again is such a brilliant way of getting family members and friends involved. I have turned the traditional Spanish Arras ceremony on its head and made it a more modern and egalitarian ritual, which also means that you can involve friends and family in the process, making it even more personalised. In Cynthia and Wesley’s case, their mums and dads placed four of the thirteen coins into the box for them, whilst saying the words that corresponded to them and then Wesley and Cynthia placed the rest. You could see that their parents were so proud to have their extra special role during the ceremony, too. So sweet!





The vows

One thing I love about doing wedding ceremonies where the couple’s first language is not English (C&W are Belgian) is getting to hear their personal vows. I love that fact that although I cannot understand a word of what is being said, I know that the words being said are so incredible and special and beautiful because the guests are crying and so are the couple! I love that. I always say that love has its own language and I think that is so true. Cynthia and Wesley chose a question vow for me to ask them in English, which they then followed with their own amazing personal vows in Dutch. As I said, there was not a dry eye in the house!



Cynthia and Wesley also chose to include a butterfly release during their ceremony, as Cynthia is butterfly mad and even their order of service had a lovely butterfly design on it. Normally, I am not a fan of butterfly releases and I have explained my reasons for this in the past, but I would never have mentioned this to Cynthia and Wesley, as it is their special day and very important that they do exactly as they wish. I must say however, that these butterflies were really well cared for before the ceremony and their release was very poignant and I think just what Cynthia and Wesley had wanted. And the photos of them are stunning.





I love this shot of Cynthia looking up at the remaining butterflies.

A beautiful end…

One of the best things about having over a year to work with couples on their wedding ceremony, is getting to see that ceremony come together in exactly the way that they wanted. Sometimes, a year feels like too long a wait, but in the end the wait is ALWAYS worth it!




 …to a beautiful beginning




Mad love to;

Jeremy Standley Photography

Fiestasol Weddings – Planning and Styling

And the gorgeous Cynthia and Wesley for letting me share their beautiful day.


About the author

Natasha Johnson

Natasha Johnson is an experienced Wedding Celebrant, blogger and writer on all things related to weddings, in particular wedding ceremonies. Her mission is life is to encourage couples to see the importance of their wedding ceremony and to get married in just the way they want to. Make sure you catch her on the Engaged and Ready Wedding Podcast, here or on iTunes and Stitcher.

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