Cecily and Valentin’s Wedding

Unique ceremonies for all occasions

Chateau la Durantie

7th August 2018

Valentin and Cecily, were the loveliest of couples to work with and very early on in our working relationship, I nicknamed this delightful pair, ‘My Handsome Frenchman and his English Rose’.

Their story was one of the most romantic I’ve had the pleasure to tell. They had met in France when they were just teenagers almost ten years ago, and at that time they didn’t even speak each other’s language.

Today, they both live and work in Cambridge and have overcome all of those communication problems. But with the strong French influence ever present – within both their partnership and their families, the wedding day was always going to be our very own Entente Cordiale!!

The Ceremony

The first thing to say about this ceremony was that it had style, personality and oodles of charm. 

It was light-hearted but romantic; sincere but humourous. It felt highly personal to both the couple and all their guests and, I’m proud to say, that it was a true and accurate reflection of Cess and Val’s unique personalities, characters and style.

This photo sums up perfectly the relaxed and  laid back feel of the ceremony. Neither of the couple had seen any of the ceremony beforehand and I think Valentin is just checking the script at his point before I was able to continue – cheeky monkey!

All the ceremony music was played by friends and family and as a final surprise for his bride, Valentin had arranged for his friends to play both La Marseillaise and God Save the Queen at the end!

Some lovely feedback from the bride and groom…

”We were lucky enough to have been recommended Lisa as our celebrant and we can safely say it was one of the best decisions we made about our wedding! 

We know we weren’t the easiest couple to work with and needed a lot of pushing to get everything done but Lisa was amazing all the way through.

We were her first Bilingual ceremony ever and we can’t thank her enough for how brilliant she was, our mixture of French and English guests were very impressed. 

She captured our relationship perfectly and we loved that most of the ceremony was a surprise to us, it was romantic, funny and very emotional. It was perfect !

From the bottom of our hearts thank you Lisa! We wouldn’t have changed a thing.”

The flow of a bilingual ceremony

Of the 120 guests attending Cecily and Valentin’s wedding, almost half of them were French and a significant proportion of those understood no English at all.

It was a key requirement therefore, that the ceremony should be bilingual. A straight translation would have been tedious for all the guests (and the couple who are both bilingual), and so the ceremony was created to effortlessly flow from one language to the other, and with minimum repetition.

Traditional vows were said in French, personal ones in English. The ring exchange promises were said in English by the groom and in French by the bride. We had readings in both languages, which were delivered by the couple’s siblings. I read some lenghty passages in French about what marriage meant to the couple, in their words, and we included some other little bits of frenchness which were neatly peppered throughout the ceremony.

I even made a few jokes in French, which was quite brave for my first ever bilingual ceremony, but I was duly rewarded at the end with the biggest cheer ever from the very grateful (and very kind) French guests!

Photo Credit

All photos courtesy of:

Steve, who is Cecily’s step dad, and fortunately he’s also is a professional photographer!

This photo, by the way, is Cecily’s gorgeous little sister, making her grand entrance as the cutest flower girl ever!