• Lisa Flahant

Real life wedding: Sam and Adam

Updated: Nov 1

Sam and Adam’s wedding celebration was held at the fabulous Pynes House in Devon on Monday 12 July 2021, with the ceremony set in the beautiful drawing room…


…. And it was a ceremony filled with singing, sneezing and several wonderfully fun and happy moments!


Oh my gosh – what a journey I have been on with these two! The wonderful Sam and Adam had planned to marry in 2020 in a gorgeous art deco style holiday home by the sea in Cornwall – and really, no more needs to be said on that particular subject! Having hunted high and low for that flawless venue, it was a real challenge for Dorset wedding photographer Sam and her hubby-to-be to find the ‘next’ perfect place – having photographed about a zillion weddings herself, Sam was looking for something stylish, contemporary and devastatingly beautiful, and she eventually found it at Pynes House.

An elegant and deeply romantic country house, approached by the longest of tree-lined drives, Pynes House is a well-kept secret that’s for sure. Apparently the inspiration for Barton Park in Jane Austen’s Sense & Sensibility, it feels exclusive and decadent, yet is still ridiculously pretty. And while our original plan had been to hold the intimate ceremony on the entrance steps framed by the beautifully ornate doors, the ever-changing weather meant a relocation to the truly exquisite drawing room – where the light poured in through the south facing windows and the views over the terraces and gardens were just mind-blowing.


And just in case you'd like a look for yourselves....


But I digress! Clearly I am girl swayed by very pretty things! Back to the main event - Sam and Adam. I first encountered this loved-up twosome quite soon after their engagement and before booking me, Sam wrote me a lovely long email, describing herself and Adam: very informal people, who like to laugh, be a bit silly and “don’t want too much ‘cheese’ with our ceremony.” They wanted something nice and relaxed, different and a bit special, not too “wedding-y”, filled with love and laughter.

She added that as a photographer, she’d seen hundreds of weddings and wanted to avoid the scripted, repetitive, conveyor-belt approach she’d become so familiar with, but added that when she’d photographed celebrant-led weddings she could appreciate how these ceremonies felt a lot more personal and engaging for the guests than the registrar-led version.

I was hooked! This sounded like the perfect match – Sam and I were definitely on the same page – the wedding ceremony should be the part that STARTS the party, not holds it up. The bit that captivates and inspires EVERYONE – not the part that has guests shuffling in their seats and stifling yawns. And so as I got to know the couple, I felt very invested; I felt like I’d actually been there for the wildly romantic proposal in Rome when Sam nearly hyperventilated over that dazzling engagement ring, that I’d witnessed them create some of their crazy culinary delights (and disasters) while dancing like loons around the kitchen, and I could even visualise those moments when Adam regularly leaves the fridge door open on purpose, just so he can enjoy Sam struggling to keep a straight face while telling him off.

So we worked on a draft together, and Sam and Adam made some brilliant contributions, including their own intensely personal vows and some ideas of how to ensure their guests felt a big part of the ceremony. And if you know my style, you’ll know that I too love to bring some fun into a wedding – and one my favourite ways to do this is using songs as readings – who wants to hear Shakespeare when you can have Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers? Yep, that’s what we decided to do, although it was to be a complete surprise to Sam. Adam had selected a song that he knew his bride-to-be loved, especially as it had been parodied in an episode of Gavin and Stacey – and that was Islands in the Stream. As the two readers delivered their lines in a very dead-pan style, Sam’s face was a picture – only topped by her infectious giggles as the guests broke into a rousing final chorus.


Another cool moment was our very own game of Mr and Mrs – where guests had to vote on everything - from who deals with the spiders in this relationship and to who is the better driver and fussiest eater. Hilariously, Sam and Adam appeared to disagree on most of the answers, and while it appeared that actually our guests did know our couple rather well – if there’d been a winner, it would have been Sam!



But don’t be misled; this wasn’t a frivolous ceremony by any means. The tears did in fact flow from the outset, courtesy of the groom as soon as he set eyes on his stunning bride descending down the magnificent staircase, and by the time the beautifully written vows were read (Jurassic Park references and all), there was not a dry eye in the house. Oh and the sneezing I mentioned earlier? That was all down to gorgeous Harry the puppy, who accompanied Sam on her grand entrance with dad Ken, whose furry feet had pride of place in the front row, whose comic timing was most evident in sneezing at the quietest of moments and had me reaching for a tissue for his snuffly nose :-)


I received a beautiful thank you card this week (which prompted me to get on and write this blog!) which read:

Lisa, where to start! Thank you! A million times over! We just had the best time during our ceremony and that’s because of you. We are truly grateful. I’ve been part of many ceremonies and I’m so glad that ours was the most enjoyable – fun and full of love. We couldn’t have asked for more. You were an absolute joy to work with and we will forever remember you as the wonderful person who married us! You are a dream. Thank you so much.

I’m blushing as I type this.

You can read Sam and Adam’s review here :-)


Photos courtesy of the awesome Harry Michael


#celebrantwedding #celebrantceremony #celebrantweddingceremony #celebrantincornwall #cornwallcelebrant #celebrantcornwall #pyneshousewedding #pyneshousecelebrant #pyneshouseceremony

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