September 6, 2019 / /
Carrie and Ben’s wedding at Morden Hall in August was full of wit, whimsy and a lot of love! Having worked with Carrie and Ben over the last six months it was hugely satisfying to see all their work come to fruition.
True lovers of all things fantasy the wedding was infused with elements from some of their favourite books, games and films including Disney, The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, The Witcher and more. Carrie and her helpers (including fabulous bridesmaid, Kirsty, who was seen putting the final touches in place minutes before the guests arrived!) had created cute touches from a Harry Potter inspired Owl Post box to lantern centrepieces containing thematic elements.
Earlier in the day, surrounded by family and close friends, Carrie and Ben undertook the legal aspects of their marriage ceremony with local registrars who visited the venue. In comfy jeans and t-shirts everyone took time out to witness their legal ceremony. After the paperwork was signed, everyone returned to getting things set up. Carrie and Ben’s photographer, Paul Gapper, took some beautiful photos of Carrie, her bridesmaids and Mum getting ready while Ben spent time with his Best Man and Ushers. There was such a relaxed feel to the afternoon – no drama, no stress…just love and fun. Two qualities this lovely couple express boundlessly!
Later, as guests arrived they were invited to mix up their own confetti before walking out to the ceremony area. Given the theme of the day it was only fitting that the wedding ceremony took place outside under the shade of a huge chestnut tree by the river that flows through Morden Hall Park. It almost felt like we were in Hobbiton…give or take a few Hobbits!
Once everyone was ready, Carrie, her father and bridesmaids slowly walked from the Hall to the ceremony. Ben was beaming albeit a little nervous before the ceremony began. However, as soon as he saw his beautiful bride walking towards him and their new life together, you could see all the nerves melt away consumed by joy and happiness!
Love is the experience of crafting your own story. Carrie and Ben met through friends while teenagers and grew up together. They’ve shared many exciting moments but are especially proud of buying their first home together just around the corner from Morden Hall. I shared a little of their story at the start of their ceremony before Carrie’s brilliant brother Daniel shared a reading from The Witcher.
After saying their vows and exchanging rings, as a nod to Lord of the Rings, we performed a beautiful Handfasting using ribbons woven specially by Carrie. A wedding is largely about symbols; symbols are important and helpful, because they make an idea and a value concrete and physical – something we can see and touch. They’re helpful because they serve as a powerful reminder of a time and a place and a memory – a feeling and even a promise – that may have faded over time. A Handfasting is a symbol like this and it’s one of the world’s oldest wedding traditions to be found in cultures all over the world. In joining hands, Carrie and Ben symbolised how they freely offer their lives to one another. And in fastening their hands together, the ribbon symbolised how Carrie and Ben’s lives are now bound up together. The ribbons also represented the idea of two stories coming together with all their hopes and desires for the future joined in commitment and intention.
The ceremony concluded with a shower of confetti petals before guests meandered back to the hall for drinks and canapes before dinner.
As Paul’s photos show, the reception was lots of fun. The next day Carrie and Ben made the short trip over the channel for their honeymoon at Disneyland Paris.
Carrie and Ben, thank you so much for the privilege of being a part of your big day!
All Images by Paul Gapper Photography
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