An Out of this World Humanist Wedding at The White Horse, ChilgroveBelinda & Alex's woodland wedding

An Out of this World Humanist Wedding at The White Horse, Chilgrove

Happy New Year! I thought it’s about time I had a little catch up on some of my previous weddings! I’m looking back to August 2019 and to an out of this world humanist wedding at The White Horse, Chilgrove with the adorable Belinda and Alex. There was definitely a spacey vibe going on, as you’ll see!

The Couple

I love when I’m contacted by guests of my former clients, especially when they loved their friends’ photos and want me to capture their wedding next! Belinda and Alex were guests at Olivia and Toby’s stunning wedding at Itchenor Sailing Club. They got in touch because they’d loved a shot I’d taken of the two of them as guests. 

I was totally taken by this couple from the start. They’re a couple of adventurers, so open, fun and happy to try just about anything. I found out they love travelling and hiking and the great outdoors. And when they mentioned they were getting married in a tipi, I knew they were my kind of couple!

Morning Prep

I joined Belinda and her bridesmaids (including my lovely former bride Olivia!) at the couple’s home near Chichester in the morning. It was really lovely and calm, which is always a bonus. The “out of this world” theme started early, with a gorgeous gift from Alex of a map of the stars from the night they met. Guys!!! How romantic is that? I loved how this theme continued throughout the day.

Like a lot of my couples, Belinda and Alex are pet owners, and Belinda was keen for me to get some photos of their cute kitty, who was happy to pose for a few despite the busy preparations and excitement of the morning.

And can I take a moment to mention Belinda’s dress? It was, without a doubt, one of THE dresses of the year for me! Super frilly and a gorgeous champagne blush colour, Belinda looked absolutely stunning in it as she floated downstairs to the waiting bridal party!

The Ceremony

Once they were all ready, I whizzed off to the venue, The White Horse, where  met up with Alex and his Best Man, who were resplendent in their blue suits and quirky succulent buttonholes.

The tipi itself was all set up for the ceremony, and it had been decorated to perfection with lots of beautiful flowers and arrangements. However, the weather that day was causing some issues. I remember the winds were whipping around like crazy and gale force winds were hammering the entire country that weekend! Luckily for us, the day stayed dry, and the tipi stayed upright, although there were a few hairy moments when we all wondered if it would! 

Belinda and Alex opted for a humanist ceremony led by the wonderful, and award-winning, celebrant, Claire Bradford from Creating Ceremony. I’d highly recommend Claire for your big day. She’s incredible to work with, and she wove together the story of Belinda and Alex’s love so beautifully, before performing a handfasting. And then they were married!

The White Horse, Chilgrove

The couple could not have picked a more perfect venue. The White Horse had so many different areas, which meant each part of the day flowed so well. When the guests arrived, they were able to enjoy drinks in the pub before heading out to the tipi. After the ceremony and formal photos, people went back to the quirky building, whilst I whisked the couple off for a wander in the woodland nearby. 

Knowing the woodland was there was down to the reccy I’d arranged with the couple months before the day. We were able to explore and find some great spots for their couple photos. In the pub itself, I was able to make suggestions about where people could stand for the speeches as it was an unusual layout. 

I loved that Belinda wasn’t afraid to scoop up her dress and traipse out into the woods for some photographs – I do love an adventurous couple, and it always makes for some beautiful pictures. 

Party Time!

As the evening progressed, there were so many lovely details and moments I thoroughly enjoyed capturing. Some highlights were the beautiful speeches, which took place before a cracking pie lunch. I must say the vegan pie was delicious!

The couple really paid attention to details too. From the cake with its ‘Love you to the moon and back’ topper to the stunning florals and succulents, this wedding was so photogenic. We had a super informal cake-cutting then after dinner, there was plenty of fun to be had outside with space hoppers and hula hoops for the guests. The tipi was transformed for the evening reception, and a wicked DJ got the crowds going with some fantastic tunes. I loved spending the day with these two and their families. They were adventurous, open and so much fun. And they were so in love. That’s the bit that’s so evident about these two!

Belinda also left the loveliest review: 

“Mona helped us to achieve the woodland look we were going for by searching out beautiful backdrops in the fields and woods surrounding the pub in which to take our couple photos (all whilst battling against gale force winds)! She also helped hugely to keep the day running smoothly without being at all intrusive. I couldn’t believe the close-up shots she got of myself and my husband during the speeches as I hadn’t even noticed she was there at the time! Mona captured the feel of our wedding perfectly, including all the little details and moments between friends and family.”

Thank you so much, Belinda and Alex! It’s a little late but congratulations and I wish you many, many adventure-filled years together! 

Thinking about a humanist ceremony for your big day? I’d love to capture it for you. Get in touch, and let’s see how I can help you with your plans. And watch out for one of my next posts on humanist & celebrant-led wedding ceremonies which are increasingly popular these days!