Melissa and Dave: urban wedding in the Steel City

Melissa and Dave’s humanist wedding ceremony took place at The Lantern Theatre, Sheffield. Image by     Photography 34

Melissa and Dave’s humanist wedding ceremony took place at The Lantern Theatre, Sheffield. Image by Photography 34

Melissa and Dave’s wedding was my first of 2019, and really started my season with a BANG! Neon lights, disco balls and all the heart-achingly cool urban vibes.

Despite the fact I gave birth to my daughter less than two months before their big day, and was still breast feeding, I knew I had to be there. And so, in early March, I packed my entire family (and our two dogs!) up in the car and headed up north to celebrate with them!

Til Death Do Us Party sign was the centre piece of Melissa and Dave’s Trafalgar Warehouse reception  Image by    Photography 34

Til Death Do Us Party sign was the centre piece of Melissa and Dave’s Trafalgar Warehouse reception Image by Photography 34

WHY A HUMANIST WEDDING CEREMONY?

Melissa and Dave wanted their wedding ceremony to tell their story and reflect their personalities, all of which they knew that they would get from working with a humanist wedding celebrant. They completely related to the central premise of humanism - that we have one life so we need to fill it to the max with amazing people and experiences (the theme for their day was ‘To Death do us Party’!).

THE VENUE

Lighting up the room. Image by Photograph 34

Lighting up the room. Image by Photograph 34

Dave and Melissa’s wedding ceremony took place at The Lantern Theatre, in Sheffield, a really unusual and intimate working theatre and bar, which only offers a handful of weddings each year, and seats around 80 guests.

Because we were so limited with space, we actually staged it so the bridesmaids and groomsmen were sat on stage with us throughout the ceremony. It really worked, having the effect of surrounding Melissa and Dave with their beloved squad, making them feel that they were with their guests, and it was a shared experience.

The interior was also very dark (as theatres tend to be!) but Dave and Melissa made a virtue out of this, with all their bridesmaids walking down the aisle, carrying lanterns instead of bouquets (because The Lantern Theatre, yeah - gettit?), which looked so beautiful. They also commissioned a bespoke neon ‘Peas in a Pod’ decal from Vowed and Amazed for their ceremony focal point, which beamed out in the darkness from underneath a stunning Plantology floral archway.

THE CEREMONY

Back Chat Brass joining us on stage for the end of Melissa and Dave’s humanist wedding ceremony.  Image by    Photography 34

Back Chat Brass joining us on stage for the end of Melissa and Dave’s humanist wedding ceremony. Image by Photography 34

Melissa and Dave have been together for 18 years and their lives are very much intertwined. They’ve got a long history together, a joint mortgage and two much-loved cats. So, in our ceremony planning meetings, we explored why they wanted to get married now; what this moment really meant to them, and how they thought it would change things, if at all. This all informed their humanist wedding ceremony which was, ultimately, a huge celebration of Melissa and Dave and all those years they’ve spent together, and a celebration of everything they have yet to come as they take on the rest of life’s big adventure as HUSBAND AND WIFE (Like Dave said of marriage, ‘it just feels ridiculous to keep calling Mel my girlfriend!’).

THE BIG SURPRISE

The Love Actually wedding (where the brass band pop out of the pews to play ‘All you need is Love’) is one of my favourite movie moments EVER. I think it’s probably, sub-consciously at least, a big part of why I became a celebrant; I just love creating those ‘wow’ moments in my couples’ ceremonies! Anyway, all that’s to say I was SO ON BOARD when Melissa and Dave revealed that they had booked Back Chat Brass to burst through the back doors of the theatre to coincide with big pronouncement, surprising all their guests with their version of Jess Glynn’s Hold My Hand (if you can’t picture how that would work with a brass band, check out their performance of it here). I was in my element! It was such a wonderful and energetic way to end Dave and Melissa’s ceremony, with everyone in the theatre dancing and feeling the love!

I went to university in Sheffield so I always love going back there! Thanks to Melissa and Dave for inviting me to be a part of your wonderful celebrations, and helping me to realise my LOVE ACTUALLY WEDDING OF DREAMS. I’ll never forget it!

Katie is brilliant! She conducted our humanist wedding ceremony and made it such a special day for us. We were delighted with how personal it was and all our guests commented how good it was. It was humorous, emotional and allowed us to incorporate our own personalities into the day. She even unknowingly matched her outfit to the venue decor
— Melissa and Dave