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Surrey weddings ~ a labour of love

PUBLISHED: 18:19 02 October 2012 | UPDATED: 21:58 20 February 2013

Surrey weddings ~ a labour of love

Surrey weddings ~ a labour of love

Everyone wants their wedding to be memorable, but these couples went the extra mile to make sure their day was something a little bit different

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine 2012

Everyone wants their wedding to be memorable, but these couples went the extra mile to make sure their day was something a little bit different

Words: Debbie Ward

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Natural nuptials with the human touch

Our first couple, Jamie Farquhar and Katie Bannon, tied the knot literally in a relaxed woodland wedding

Jamie Farquhar from Cranleigh married Katie Bannon in a unique ceremony in a private woodland near the Surrey/Sussex border. The couple wanted an individual, non-religious wedding. Inspired by a friend doing a PhD in Humanism, they found a like-minded celebrant through the humanism website, then the perfect woodland setting Katie had dreamed of.

During the ceremony, Jamie and Katies mums tied the couples clasped hands together with ribbons, then ushers and bridesmaids helped plant a tree. With humanism, its how were part of the earth and humans that youre celebrating, explains Jamie. So we decided our own vows, the wedding structure... we got a complete free rein. As outdoor weddings are not legally-binding in England, a simple registry office marriage had been performed the day before.

Canaps and champagne followed the woodland wedding, then a marquee reception with hog roast. Most guests camped for the night. I remember dancing round the campfire with my bridesmaids and my mum saying, mind your dress! says Katie. It was the most casual wedding Ive ever been to and thats exactly how we wanted it.

Jamie and Katies top tips:
If youre marrying outdoors, have a bad weather contingency plan. Get everyone involved. We relaxed on a mini-moon afterwards in a Surrey spa.

Supersonic romance lifts off at Brooklands

Our second couple, Jan Knott and Sandy Cornish, met through Concorde and went on to have their wedding onboard the plane at its new Weybridge home

Jan Knott and Sandy Cornish were brought together by Concorde and this June married on board the famous aircraft at Brooklands Museum in Weybridge.

The couple met in 1998, working at a tour operator that specialised in Concorde charter flights. Jan is now Brooklands Museums Concorde operations manager, in charge of special events.

For Jan and Sandys wedding, 60 guests arrived from Brooklands Hotel in the museums 1925 open-top double-decker. Each had a Concorde flight ticket and half were seated in the front cabin for the marriage ceremony while others watched on screens behind. The register was signed in the cockpit then everyone enjoyed post-flight Pimms under Concordes wings.

Our caterer, Creativevents, even recreated the menu from my last Concorde flight to make the whole experience authentic and bring back memories for us, adds Jan.

Jan and Sandys top tips:
Surrey has a wealth of great wedding venues. Allow plenty of time to visit those you prefer. Facilities will be obvious from the publicity material but the atmosphere a venue can generate is important too.

And, finally, a rather special proposal

Okay, so not a wedding, granted, but we couldnt resist including this beautiful proposal story of our third couple, Bruce Asher and Laura Jones

School sweethearts Bruce Asher and Laura Jones are both graduates of Royal Holloway, University of London, so when Bruce popped the question he chose a romantic spot on campus.

The would-be groom had Laura first follow a treasure hunt around Egham, ending with a reference number for a book in Royal Holloways library.

Laura says: I found the final clue in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, which simply said Picnic in the Quad? As I walked into the Founders Building a voice said, Youre late, Miss Jones!, and I looked up to see Bruce in a suit walking towards me along the balcony. The proposal was a bit of a blur but it was magical.

Unbeknown to the couple, the romantic moment was captured by an acquaintance on their phone and posted on Facebook. Bruce says: It wasnt until we got home that evening that we realised the rapidly-spreading picture not only had managed to rack up 150 likes and an abundance of comments, but had been posted online before even our families knew!

Royal Holloway offers weddings in the historic Founders Building and the couple say its a definite possibility for when they get to planning their big day.

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