“Your wedding ceremony should be the most important aspect of your wedding day. It’s the part that really matters, the reason you and your guests are all there and the reason for the reception afterwards – to celebrate what happened in that ceremony.”

Alternative and unique wedding ceremonies with Carmela Weddings London and Surrey (1)

Photo credit: Maureen Du Preez

By Lisa at the fabulous Carmela Weddings

In reality, it is the part of the wedding day that is most often overlooked and more time spent on décor and entertainment than the words you’ll say to each other when you actually get married. I get it. It’s not the fun part and because of the rules around what words have to be said/can’t be said when using a registrar, there’s often not a great deal to decide on anyway other than some music and a couple of readings, right?

Wrong! There’s another way to make your ceremony really special that not many couples know about, although it is becoming increasingly popular as couples really want their whole day to reflect them and their personalities. I’m talking about a celebrant-led wedding.


There’s too much pressure to DIY wedding details, and so I’m proud to be featuring a classic English wedding today where the bride and groom found local suppliers to style their day… and not a sewing needle in sight. Joe and Florence had the most perfect wedding – a big party for family and friends with elegant styling in a Yorkshire stately home.

Rise Hall wedding blog with Lorraine Claire Photography (8)

Rise Hall is a venue with a unique history, which I knew nothing about until I’d read Florence and Joe’s wedding blog interview. The Grade II listed building was a convent, then abandoned and eventually rescued by Sarah Beeny, and is now an exclusive use wedding venue (interestingly, they never hold weddings on two consecutive days, so you can set up and clear away without any pressure!)

Rise Hall wedding blog with Lorraine Claire Photography (17)

Images are by wonderful Lorraine Claire Photography, whose new website is amazing and well worth a visit. Melissa Beattie was Lorraine’s second shooter on the day – she’s one of the loveliest and most talented people I’ve met in the wedding industry and you can find her here: www.melissabeattie.com


I do love a barn wedding… and Emma and Gavin’s is bursting with lovely little details which I know you’ll love. They married in October at Alpheton Hall Barns in Suffolk, and included lots of DIY details which are captured in the lovely photos I’m so happy to be sharing with you all today!

Barn wedding on the English Wedding Blog with images by Lorraine Claire Photography (21)

Emma told me “I especially loved that our photographer had captured so much detail of our day, having pictures of all the little bits and pieces reminded me of how everything had come together so well“.

Barn wedding on the English Wedding Blog with images by Lorraine Claire Photography (28)

The images are by Lorraine Claire Photography. Lorraine was excited to share the wedding with us all today: “Emma was honestly the nicest bride I have ever photographed. The whole day Emma was telling her bridesmaids how gorgeous they looked. All Emma wanted to do was to make sure everyone was having a good time. It was a gorgeous wedding full of happiness and laughter.

Barn wedding on the English Wedding Blog with images by Lorraine Claire Photography (18)

Find out more about Lorraine Claire here: