• Louise Gather

A Look Back at 2021's Kickass Gatherings

Quaich cups; Stefana crowns; a tequila ceremony; a film sequel theme; tipi weddings; a Hallowedding; and plenty of guest involvement: my 2021 wedding season as a Humanists UK wedding celebrant didn't kick off until June, but once it did, it had it all!


A quick look back at the year that was...



Summer 2021: Weddings are back!

After a delayed Covid roadmap and months of uncertainty, weddings were finally back! For many couples, their days had been disrupted or postponed several times, and it was a huge relief that they were finally able to go ahead.


Some couples had already had a simple legal ceremony with restricted guest numbers and were now having the big day they'd always planned for. Either way, each and every wedding I was part of was unique, special, and absolutely chock-full of love and joy.



Highlights from summer 2021's weddings

  • A sabrage-specialist guest, who whipped out a sabre to slice open a magnum of champagne at the end of the ceremony, so the newlyweds could pour the first drink for one another. Cheers!

  • A Birmingham wedding with a nesting duck; individually plated canapes; and a bride who doesn't know the difference between an emu, an ostrich and a dodo.

  • A West Mill 'sequel' wedding with plenty of film references and even a 20th Century Fox music moment.

  • A beautiful back garden wedding with some whole-family vows and personalised poetry.

  • A Yeldersley Hall explosion of colour, with both the bride and the groom making big entrances (see instagram.com/kickassgatherings for more about this!)

  • A spectacular Sandon Hall wedding with a handfasting, a string quartet, and a competitive element to decide who would say their vows first!

  • A tipi wedding overlooking the water, featuring a bulldog birthday card and a ceremony with secret guest input.

  • A handfasting in Staffordshire with a very special guest joining the bride and groom for the entire ceremony: Poppy the cocker spaniel!

  • In Chesterfield, a fifth-time-lucky celebration for a couple of food bloggers who had a fun and food-pun-packed ceremony rounded off with the Naked Gun theme tune!

  • In Suffolk, an outdoor ceremony with a quaich cup and Stefana crown-swapping ritual to reflect Scottish and Greek heritage.

  • An Inkersall Grange Farm tipi ceremony, where the couple's daughter got involved with the handfasting followed by lots and lots of cake!

  • A much-anticipated outdoor ceremony for a mega cool couple at Willow Marsh Farm, where the weather held out and the geese behaved themselves!

  • Food trucks and festival theme on a sports field in Burton Joyce for a Glasto-obsessed couple.

  • Plenty of Tolkein references in a ceremony for a couple who first bonded over a love of Lord Of The Rings. Their handtying was accompanied by a reading of 'Roads Go Ever Ever On' from The Hobbit.

  • A big outdoor celebration for a couple who had done the 'legal bit' in Scotland with a limit of 15 guests. Their personal vows included Friends references!

  • A taste of Jamaica in Derbyshire, with a totally tropical day soundtracked by a steel band and Bob Marley ceremony readings.




And once Autumn arrived

  • Shots, shots, shots! A laidback Sheffield ceremony, with standing guests, involvement of the couple's children, and a tequila shot exchange in place of rings.

  • A handtying with ribbons added by 15 guests at Hanbury Wedding Barn was rounded off with a surprise visit from some alpacas in bowties!

  • Groom in purple, bride in black, and pumpkin decor: a hallowedding like no other! Their personal vows brought everyone to tears and their Nightmare Before Christmas Cake stole the show.


Despite its rocky and uncertain start due to covid restrictions, 2021 ended up being an incredible year. I feel so honoured to have shared so many couples' special days; to bring their ideas to life; and to help them share their love and make personal, heartfelt commitments on their wedding day.


Pinch me: I really do have the best job in the world!


Follow me on Instagram to see the kickass gatherings that 2022 has in store!


#alternativewedding #alternativeweddings #humanistcelebrant #humanistceremony #ceremonyideas #symbolicrituals #weddingideas #kickassgatherings #derbyshireweddings



 

Louise Gather

I’m Louise Gather, and I am your go-to for kickass gatherings! My specialty is writing and performing wedding ceremonies that are both heartfelt and hilarious – I can guarantee laughter, fun, and happy tears! I absolutely love my job, because every couple’s story and every wedding day is completely unique.