Fairy Tale Wedding in the heart of Devon at Huntsham Court near Tiverton
Read this couple’s tale of a quintessential English love story. A Devonshire man who fell in love with his Californian bride, as told by their Celebrant, Amanda-Louise Knight featuring a personally written wedding ceremony in the heatwave month of July 2021, and watch a clip of their wedding ceremony vlog:
Born in Devon then lived in Cambridge, the groom moved to San Francisco and lived with a colleague, working many hours, and half-hardheartedly dating. Our Hispanic bride from California had a love for the British accent and scrolled right on tinder after spotting each other’s profiles. On a cold Sunday evening they met for ice cream, and after several hours of talking and walking across San Francisco they warmed up by a fire pit and knew the ‘spark’ had happened – they had found the ‘one’.
They spent time going for hikes, visiting cites, cooking and wine tasting, and found a passion of beat saver – that’s a VR dance game in case you are not familiar!
They appreciated each other’s differences – our bride being a morning person who likes to make a decision early and doesn’t relax until all the plans are in place, our groom an evening man with an easy-going last-minute planning attitude. They laughed telling me how she doesn’t fully close the toothpaste tube and he won’t put the toilet seat down!
What they did have in common and felt strongly about was a relationship needs time, not to take each other for granted and how important their family meant to them. Their philosophy was to make the other person feel heard in their frustrations, and be clear about what is important, and what are unimportant details, they won’t even remember in a month’s time they told me.
These professional people work hard, play hard and aim to retire early to enjoy their future days side by side.
The couple had an extended weekend away planned at a hotel, but unfortunately our bride was poorly and was going to cancel, but luckily our groom changed her mind! After a long drive it was dark when they got to the hotel. The following day they went on a hike overlooking a waterfall, had a picnic, all very romantic, until our groom dropped the ring on getting it out(he had only just collected it from the jewellers as he had it commissioned handmade). Finally he produced the ring, and the answer was …..’are you sure?’
The couple found me on Hitched Wedding Directory, and our meetings were all done via zoom as they both live in California. Given the time differences, I made myself available late of night.
They completed my unique questionnaires which helped ease the process capturing information, and I sent them the draft wedding ceremony script I had written capturing what they had wanted in content.
We discussed the array of rituals and special elements that couples could have in their wedding, and this couple wanted to prefer to keep to a more traditional style but with a personal script that was meaningful for them.
Our bride’s parents couldn’t fly over to the wedding day, which was heart-breaking for our bride. The couple asked me to help them write letters of love and thanks which were left for our bride’s parents to read on the morning of the wedding, just to bring a special heartfelt connection, talking about how she had always dreamed of her father to walk her down the aisle.
I had prepared an order of service, so that they were able to give to their guests and helped our bride who liked to ensure everything was going like clock-work.
The couple and the bride’s brother flew over to Devon the week before and had isolated following our country’s quarantine rules. Then the night before the wedding, I was finally able to meet them face to face for the very first time when we had their wedding rehearsal.
We practiced timing, the order of the wedding party and even the kiss, and how we laughed doing this (as Im always told by the couple they know how to do this!) but in any wedding there is some stage management and photographers can miss the kiss if it is a quick peck.
Huntsham Court is a Grade 11 listed country house in Huntsham Village,Devon, England and was built in 1868-70. Couples hire the whole country estate and have exclusive use for their wedding guests. It includes the manor house, and extensive 5 acres gardens and has a relaxed style but beautifully maintained. The venue has a Church on its doorstep, has license for civil weddings by a Registrar also.
But our couple choose to have a Celebrant-led wedding and opted to have an outdoor wedding set in the grounds of the Manor House.
The bride wore a designer off the shoulder white dress, with fresh flowers in her hair and a veil. The bridesmaids wore pale pink dresses with fresh flower bouquets which matched the floral bouquets along the wedding aisle and at the top archway as our centre piece. The guests wore cocktail attire.
Our groom wore a navy blue suit and bow tie, so did his groomsmen.
I, conducting the ceremony, choose to wear a raspberry-coloured jacket which complimented the colour scheme.
On the Day
I arrived in good time, as always allow more time for traffic and just in case get lost on our west country roads! Plus I always like to ensure everything is how we planned from the ceremony perspective in good time, so no last minute rushing around, and was able to spend time with the videographer hooking me up to the microphones.
We started within the Manor House, in their Great Hall where I met all the family and friends before the ceremony. As the couple had wanted to incorporate warming of the ring’s ritual into their service, their wedding rings sealed in a velvet bag was passed to all the guests who each blessed the rings and said good messages onto them, before the rings were given to the Bestman – the bride’s brother. I also gave the guests advance notice that our couple wanted to involve everyone in their wedding ceremony, and I would be asking them all a question which they needed to answer! The guests laughed when I said they now had to listen carefully for their cue in the service...
Along with the groom, we all went outside (we had waited until the last moment due to sheer heat due to the heatwave weather). The String Quartet were lucky to be under a gazebo!
The venue’s wedding coordinator had everything prepared, and was assisting the bridesmaids on cue to commence their journey up the aisle before the bride accompanied by her brother, while I waited at the beautiful arch with the groom.
Looking back I would describe the feel of this wedding as traditional, almost regal and certainly a fairy tale; just how the couple had dreamed having to suit their style.
The wedding ceremony was live streamed for their family to watch in California and was videoed and photographed by the two professional suppliers whom the couple had booked.
Three poems were chosen, and I invited their especially chosen family members to read them.
They read their personal vows which I had helped them to form into sentimental words, and they exchanged rings knowing how they represent their ever circle of love for each other. The guests perfectly answered the question nicely and loudly to say 'yes' they would support this couple in having a happy marriage together, surrounded by their love.
We ended with that big kiss moment before the couple exited where the younger members of the family were eagerly waiting to shoot their bubble machines at the happy couple instead of confetti. We then went onto the main lawns where drinks were served, where we took some comfort in the shade.
During the ceremony, some of the petals from the top of the arch started to flutter down, due to the severe heat, but it made it magical in the moment...
Sample Order of the Ceremony I produced
11am Guests to start taking seats & ‘Warming of the Rings’
11.30am Ceremony Starts
Procession A Million Dreams played by Divertimento Quartet
Welcome Celebrant,Amanda-Louise Knight
Reading Extract from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - read by Brother
Couple Story Celebrant,Amanda-Louise Knight
Reading Not Love Perhaps (ArthurSeymour John Tessimond) – read by Aunt
Consent Celebrant,Amanda-Louise Knight
Reading Love(Roy Croft) – read by Aunt
Address & Vows Celebrant,Amanda-Louise Knight
Giving of Rings Couple
‘The Kiss’ accompanied by Kiss Me -Sixpence none the richer by Divertimento Quartet
To watch a clip from their professionally produced vlog please click below to watch highlights from the wedding ceremony:
The Wedding Reception Party
The party started with drinks by the Manor House, followed by official photographs, while I slipped quietly away. Then afternoon musicians played whilst the guests enjoyed games on the lawn. The wedding breakfast was in a 1920s theme, where the guests enjoyed dressing in the style. This was followed by evening entertainment.
The couple stayed at the venue overnight enjoying the company of their family and friends to the wee small hours.
The Feedback from the Wedding Couple
“Bespoke ceremony our guests loved
Amanda-Louise did a great job of working with us to learn our stories and what we wanted from the ceremony and incorporate them into a personal script. She worked with us right up until the day before the wedding making last minute tweaks and adjustments. Our guests called out how unique the ceremony was and appreciated the good humour she injected.” The Bride & Groom
Sending my heartfelt Congratulations to the happy couple and wish them a happy life together, warmest regards, Amanda-Louise Knight Wedding Celebrant at Huntsham Court, Devon, July 2021
My Memories of the Day
It was a pleasure working with this couple and learning how best to work with the bride and our long-distance working relationship.
Watching our bride beaming with her smiles at the groom during the wedding ceremony.
Our wedding ceremony script having been finalised and approved, just minutes before the big moment was changed - Just as we are about to start the ceremony procession, I received a message from the venue’s wedding coordinator to say our bride had wanted to shorten the service due to the heat…just as the entrance music started to play! Good Job I can multitask, as whilst I was reading my service, I was working out which pieces I could leave out, and of course, no-one was the wiser (except the bride and groom)
To put more sunscreen on my face during heatwave weddings!
Great Working Alongside The Wedding Suppliers
It was a pleasure working with the talented individuals, all of us sharing our passion to deliver a day just how this couple imagined and planned it to be - here are some of the suppliers whom I had the pleasure to talk to:
Evolve Photography https://evolvephoto.co.uk/
Tristan Adams Videography https://tristanadams.co.uk/
Huntsham Court Wedding Venue (Clare Flynn venue coordinator) https://www.huntshamcourt.co.uk/
Idyllic Days (Florist and Stylist) https://www.idyllicdays.com/liberty-florals
What Did the Couple Say About Using Amanda-Louise Knight's Celebrant Services?
Bride Kaitlyn wrote:
'Bespoke ceremony our guests loved - Amanda-Louise did a great job of working with us to learn our stories and what we wanted from the ceremony and incorporate them into a personal script. She worked with us right up until the day before the wedding making last minute tweaks and adjustments. Our guests called out how unique the ceremony was,and appreciated the good humor she injected.'
What to Read More Real Weddings Conducted by Celebrant Amanda-Louise Knight?
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Renewal of Vows Exmoor National Park for Jo and Peter
Fun And Lively Wedding in Somerset for Emily and Nico
Spiritual Wedding on Working Farm for Anne and Lewis
Beach Front Devon Wedding for Linda and Ed
Interested in Having A UK Wedding Ceremony Personalised and Written Just For You?
Whether you want a gentle or elaborate wedding ceremony, or a traditional or modern ceremony, chances are you would want an experienced Celebrant who is not just a creative writer, but also a specialists in public speaking. Look no more than Amanda-Louise Knight!
Just imagine having a personally written wedding ceremony just for you, by someone who cares and has an eye for detail, which can be delivered anywhere. Yes thats right, it could be in a hotel, manor house, on a beach, on a boat, in a field,in a marquee or barn, even your home or garden - in fact Amanda-Louise has no restrictions on where she can conduct your service. It can include everything you would expect in a wedding plus so much more!
Trained,experienced and has lots of imagination, ceremonies are written from the heart with the right balance of sentiment. Amanda-Louise makes the process from booking to delivery easy and smooth, and offers lot of advice. But she importantly listens to her clients to understand their vision. As a public speaker for over 30 years, trained by the BBC, she knows how to engage with everyone so they feel involved in the wedding.
So what are you waiting for - contact Amanda-Louise today to discover how she can make your words lift off the page by calling or emailing - you are in a safe pair of hands, award winning, fully insured and someone with bags of personality that can adapt to suit your style!