Frequent readers of my blog will know I spend a lot of time at Skipbridge Country Weddings in York. And for good reason. It’s a whimsical, woodland wonderland filled with magic, scenic beauty and a folksy vibe that fits perfectly with my style of music and running of weddings. I don’t do traditional or conventional and neither do Skipbridge. Hand in Glove…as one Stephen Morrissey said.

So to Richard and Claire. Quite the couple. From time to time, quite a lot actually, I meet couples who I don’t just get to know on a professional level but also on a very personal one too. Richard messaged me in March 2016 with the words, “Hi Steve, put 29th July in your diary, you’re booked.” And that was it, one wedding singer in Yorkshire booked! Easiest sell I’ve ever had to do. Since then he and his merry band of ale drinking men (and women, including his now wife who can drink him under the table) have followed me to just about every public gig I’ve had in the Yorkshire area. That’s why we know each other so well. Richard and Claire are one of the loudest, quirkiest and down to earth couples you are ever likely to meet. Once a week my facebook notifications will ping with a note saying Richard has tagged me in a post where there’s the potential of a gig in the local area.

For their boisterous nature he and Claire are an incredibly reflective couple. So much fun but totally serious and considered when they need to be. When it came down to the planning of their big day they exuded a wonderful mix of knowledge about what they wanted paired with submission to those around them with experience. It was a pleasure planning their day at Skipbridge. We began with a thoughtful religious ceremony officiated by their friend, a vicar they met down the pub! A vicar in a pub? Now I’ve heard it all </sarcasm>.

Graham Dutton, of Bradford Beer and Hymns fame, led a wonderful ceremony and I was privileged to do something I never get the opportunity to do. Despite the vast majority of my weddings being humanist and civil in nature I am myself a man of faith so it was a pleasure to lead the guests in a few hymns we all remember from the school hall days, One More Step Along The World I Go and Give Me Joy In My Heart. Great choices, it transported everyone back to their childhoods.

After a few acoustic sets at the drinks reception and a hearty meal we headed into the first dance, a mashup put together by Richard and Claire themselves. 5 minutes of hilarity. It was very them and it was nice to be able to booked the dance with a live rendition of Chasing Cars. Very theatrical.

The evening kicked off big style around the fire where Claire asked me to go live on facebook…so we did before a few more sets in the marvellous grain silo around some whiskeys.

It was one of the biggest, rowdiest and insane weddings I’ve been to in ages. But I expected it because of the nature of our bride and groom. Claire said to me that all of the suppliers for their day had been really chilled out and relaxed. I immediately shot back to her that the reason for this was because of them. They have a knack of bringing out the fun side in everyone. But when the chips are down they know how to be thoughtful and serious. And I love them for it. I feel like I’ve made friends for life. And apparently I have given that Claire told me, “You’re not rid of us that easily,” as I was leaving.

NOTE: As I’m writing this blog Richard messaged me on facebook to tell me he’d made his final payment but had deducted a pound because I sang Ed Sheeran…I cried with laughter! He didn’t really but to be honest if he had I’d have found him, turned him upside down and shook all the coins out of his trouser pocket. Then he’d have bought me a beer and we’d have laughed about it. Happy to have made friends for life and have a deep respect for this wonderful couple.

Thank you for inviting me to your day.

Wonderful to work with the following suppliers:

Joel Skingle Photography

Eat Art Venues providing the catering

PapaKata tipi hire

Sweet Sugar Sixpence provided the cake

Natasha Jayne Events – room dressing