Amanda and Matt: intimate humanist wedding ceremony at Lanwades Hall

The gorgeous Molly, beloved pet pooch and star bridesmaid!   Image: Him & Her

The gorgeous Molly, beloved pet pooch and star bridesmaid! Image: Him & Her

Amanda and Matt had me hooked the minute I opened their first email and read their plans for Molly the dog, who, they told me, would be attending their wedding ceremony as STAR BRIDESMAID (a couple that plan their wedding around their dog have their priorities right, in my view!).

I’m a big fan of dogs at weddings especially when said dog is the very reason a couple got together in the first place…

Amanda and Matt have been together for several years now. They went through a period where they split up for a few months, and lost touch for a while, but Amanda immediately got back in contact to arrange a play date when she heard on the grapevine that Matt had got himself a puppy!

The two of them met up and had one of those magical days on Holkham beach - catch ups, beers and naughty puppy escapades - and they both realised that they were actually still very much in love. Yay!

The rest, as they say, is history!

Amanda and Matt’s Humanist wedding ceremony

Amanda and Matt’s Humanist wedding took place on a sunny August afternoon, in the gorgeous gardens at Lanwades Hall, Newmarket.

Amanda walked down the aisle (following Molly, who was looking very fetching in her sparkly gold bowtie!) to the theme tune from Disney’s Up. This seemed a particularly fitting choice as the film’s famous multi-colour balloon motif inspired many of the details of Amanda and Matt’s special day, from the enormous colourful confetti-filled balloons, which adorned the dance floor, to Amanda’s INCREDIBLE full-length, rainbow speckled veil which she made herself (and which I COULD NOT PEEL MY EYES OFF!).

JUST LOOK AT THAT VEIL!   Image by Him & Her

JUST LOOK AT THAT VEIL! Image by Him & Her

In preparing for Amanda and Matt’s wedding ceremony I’d asked each of them to separately send me a list of things they loved about each other, and my favourite moment of their ceremony was the point at which they nervously opened the secret envelopes I handed to them, and read their reasons out to each other (when Matt, half joking, harrumphed to Amanda ‘All the reasons I gave are A LOT nicer than yours!’:

Extract from Amanda & Matt’s humanist wedding ceremony, August 2018:

I ask every couple I meet what three things they LOVE most about each other. And you wouldn’t believe how difficult it is for most couples to think of one reason, let alone three! I mean, if someone you’ve just met puts you on the spot with a question like that, your mind goes blank, right?!

 And Amanda and Matt were no exception. They could not think of a single thing! In our meeting, I could see their little faces going pale, brains physically being racked. They were like a pair of mutes sitting before me, totally dumbfounded as to what it was they actually liked about each other. Did they like anything about each other???  Go away, I said, mull it over, in complete confidence they would come back to me later on with a whole host of lovely (and slightly weird) reasons that they had fallen for each other. And I was not wrong!

They each separately sent me a long list of the mad things they loved about the other. And, brilliantly, neither of them knows what the other has said. So… I’ve got their ‘Things they love most about each other’ in these two envelopes – and I thought it would be fun for Amanda and Matt to pick a few of the other’s reasons out at random, to read in front of all of you now!

Amanda and Matt opening up their ‘Love Reasons’ … with some trepidation!   Image by Him and Her

Amanda and Matt opening up their ‘Love Reasons’ … with some trepidation! Image by Him and Her

Amanda: He understands that the dog talks (and the cats and the panda)

Matt: She doesn't find it weird we've got talking animals. And bears

Amanda: He thinks we’re fancy enough to shop at Waitrose

Matt: She makes me want to be a better me

 Amanda: He puts up with my mug collection

Matt: She's got good taste in random crap

 Amanda: He always wears check shirts (like a Simpson)

Matt: She's got good hair and dress sense

Amanda: He will go to the shop when it’s late and we need biscuits for tea

Matt: She likes cuddling up, watching endless Friends and Gilmore Girls episodes

 Amanda: I can tell him anything (even if he isn’t listening most of the time)

Matt: I can be myself around her and talk rubbish. Which I generally do.

Amanda: His dad dancing in the kitchen!

Matt: Her smile and trying to make her smile. Her eyes light up when she smiles 

I love finishing a wedding with a big group sing-along and we ended Amanda and Matt’s ceremony with ‘A Little Respect’ by Erasure which, I have to admit, was a choice I was initially dubious about because it’s a seriously hard one to sing (the notes are weirdly way too high and low for me!). But thanks to Best Man Simon absolutely BELTING out every single line (he didn’t need to look at the lyrics once!), we all followed his lead and went out on such a high!

I had face ache from all the smiling - thanks Matt and Amanda!

Before we even met I was pretty definite that I wanted Katie to be part of our wedding. We weren’t really sure what we wanted at the start but she worked with us until we figured it out and delivered an AMAZING ceremony with touches that we hadn’t even considered.
— Amanda & Matt