Real Weddings

Real Weddings | Celebrant Wedding for Chelsea and Athanasios in Somerset

Greek Wedding in the heart of Somerset at The Yeovil Court Hotel

Read this couple’s beautiful plate smashing story captured in Somerset as told by their Celebrant, Amanda-Louise Knight featuring UK and Greek wedding traditions in the summer of 2021:

The Couple

This gorgeous couple heritages come from Dorset UK and Greece, so its was important to blend their cultures and traditions into their wedding celebrations.  Their love of gaming together with friends brought out their competitive side, and their personalities were wrapped around their love of their family and friends. You just can't stop smiling when listening to them talk about what they meant to each other, their love story has been a fairy-tale that was waiting to be retold…

The Proposal

They had met on a double date arranged by their bridesmaid Bethany, and Groomsman Jordan back in 2016.  The ever-romantic Zakk popped the question in 2020 whilst they were away on holiday in Spain celebrating Chelsea’s grandparents wedding anniversary.

The Planning

I first met this couple just when covid hit us, so our meetings were via zoom – I even met their puppy Lola virtually!    I was booked as their Celebrant and personally wrote their wedding ceremony, after listening to their story and what was important to them.  

They wanted to capture what they mean to each other, how important their mothers and grandparents have been in their lives, and their party times with their friends plus to incorporate their heritages and traditions.  After discussing options open to them, I was able to capture all their dreams....

The Rehearsal

Chelsea & Zakk with the bridesmaids and Chelsea’s mother we spent time easing the nerves,ready for the big day.   We practiced the pace of walking, in which order and where to stand, and run through of the handtying ritual.  

Zakk laughed when I suggested to practice the ‘kiss’ moment in the wedding, telling me he was good at that!   Once I explained we need some stage management at this point, to give their photographer opportunity to capture the right shot, we practiced options how long to kiss, etiquette and where to put their hands!

The Venue

The Yeovil Court Hotel in Somerset was chosen as wedding ceremony location and their whole day to celebrate with family and friends on 14th August.  The ceremony took place in their conference rooms, then out onto the terrace for drinks.

I also assisted them with some aspects of wedding planning co-ordination to ensure their vision of their dream day became reality - this definitely was key on setting up the ceremonial room so that the decor was just how Chelsea had imagined it to be. This meant on the actual day, I was working with the hotel team moving furniture, and adjusting the seating, and ensuring the decor was in place.

On the Day

Chelsea arrived in style by a 1920s vintage car, which had been secretly booked by her mother and stepfather. (Chelsea was so surprised!)

The bride's dress was a white/ivory shade with a train and fitted waist, and her bridesmaids wore blush pink/lilac dresses, and these colours were picked up in the wedding bouquets.  The groom and his groomsmen wore grey suits with lilac shirts and ties.

The wedding ceremony room was decorated with tea lights and rose petals outlining their aisle with an oval wedding feature of an arch decorated in lilac chiffon and balloons to add some vibrancy and pops of colour which complimented the colour schemes of the flower bouquets.

The Ceremony

Zakk was waiting with his Groomsmen by their wedding arch surrounded by lilac balloons, where I spent time chatting and easing their nerves whilst they waited for a little while longer......

Zakk turned around just at the right moment that Chelsea walked into the room, accompanied by her Grandfather Colin – perfect!

The wedding ceremony gave thanks to both Mothers, and Chelsea's Grandmother, Trish, read a poem entitled ‘Love’ By Roy Croft. I remember Trish feeling very nervous about standing up and giving that reading,so together whilst waiting for Chelsea to arrive before the ceremony, Trish and I sat down and practiced, and I gave her some reassuring advice how to over come her nerves. Trish read it beautifully during the ceremony, and it was more sentimental with tears flowing knowing how much it meant to her to see her beautiful Granddaughter so happy with her love of her life by her side.

The ceremony continued with me sharing with the guests of the couple’s love story.

The Vows

After words of about marriage, the couple shared their personally written vows to each other – they read from vow sheets prepared, while they both listened to each other with tears rolling down their faces (note to self, bring more tissues!)  Traditional words to love, honour and protect were then said and ‘I dos’ when they exchanged their rings.

Special Elements & Rituals

The Readings

‘Love’by Roy Croft

Handfasting

Chelsea & Zakk wanted to participate in a Celtic tradition,so we followed with a hand-tying ritual remembering those times in Dorset where Chelsea was born, of her ancestors performing handfasting to demonstrate their marriage during a time before rings where exchanged.   Both mothers placed the first ribbons over their wrists welcoming each of them into their families.A green ribbon chosen to represent our earth that has sustained them and given them their home, blue ribbon was placed symbolising passage of time since their blind-date and to their future adventures. A red ribbon was draped for their love and passion for each other.   Their wedding guests clapped after the couple stepped back and had ‘tied their knot’ – this ritual is of course where that saying originates from.

Wedding Certificate

The couple took a moment to sign their blessing certificate and have some beautiful photos taken by their talented photographer, Leigh Ann.

Ritual Honey & Walnut Greek Tradition

It was important for this couple to recognise Zakk’s Greek traditions,so with a treat offered with honey and walnuts we took part in this ritual.   The honey symbolised the sweet life, we all wished them to have together, and the walnuts represented fertility.  So, whilst officiating this part of the wedding, I gave a spoon of this mixed ingredients to the couple and wished them an abundance of children in their happy home together!That created laughter from their guests!

Exchange of Rings

Whilst I explained why their actual rings are so precious,reminding them of their never-ending love for each other.

The Wedding Kiss

Zakk took his time and savoured the moment, and I moved out of the way at just the right moment.

The Wedding Reception Party

The celebrations continued to the bar, then out onto the terrace where I helped serve raki shots to the guests in keeping with the Greek customs.

The reception followed in the same venue with a hearty wedding breakfast meal prepared by the Hotel’s Chef.

The groom took part in ritual of greek dancing where his best man knelt in their custom

Plate smashing was hilarious in the car park, along with the groom showing his famous greek dancing to wow his guests!

This was followed by Prescott Entertainment DJ getting the party started for the evening affair.

The Feedback

‘your vows really got to us.  Very well written and they revealed to me how important you both are to each other. Chris &Emily

‘the wedding ceremony was so special, it was so nice to have both your heritages incorporated.’Steve & Nicky

‘wow,Amanda-Louise the speeches & the emotions – such a beautiful and memorable wedding service’ Natasha

‘loved the speeches, brought tears to our eyes. Seeing the knots being tied and the honey and walnut ritual was great to see.  Such a wonderful ceremony’ The Skinner Family

‘The wedding ceremony was beautiful and personal. I loved the tying of the knot and how all the family was involved.’ Lisa Mason & Phil Nutman

Congratulations Mr and Mrs Papasideris you area 'smashing' couple! Amanda-Louise Knight Celebrant & Wedding Planner

The Suppliers

It was a pleasure working with the talented

Leigh Ann Photography, Prescott DJ and The Yeovil Court Hotel

Written by
Amanda-Louise Knight

Amanda-Louise Knight is an experienced Celebrant and Toastmaster associated with ICPC and Celebrant Circle. BBC trained and public speaker for over 30 years. She is an Independent Marriage Proposals, Weddings & Events Planner and creates unique personal days for those who want to celebrate special moments in life. Her business also includes Somerset Wedding Day Dog Chaperoning so the dog comes too. Her mission is to encourage everyone to make the most special occasion in life better than imaginable. She is based in Somerset and covers the UK. Amanda-Louise can be contacted on hello@alkcelebrant.co.uk or 07879 220046.

‍Blog Disclaimer - the article is opinion based by the author only, the content is for information purposes only, and as such is not guaranteed. Whilst is intended to be accurate there may be some unintentional errors, mistakes or omissions and therefore may be subject of updating. In accordance with advice articles should the reader wish to rely on this information, they do so at their own risk. Any prices quoted are accurate at time of writing content.

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