Outdoor wedding ceremonies
For couples planning a summer wedding in 2021 or beyond the next few months are an ideal time to start putting your plans together, particularly if you want an outdoor wedding.
Outdoor weddings are becoming increasingly popular with many licences premises now offering this option. Registrars will conduct a Civil Ceremony within a "structure" (usually a gazebo).
Equally you may wish to hold your wedding in a place which is special to you such as your own garden, a piece of woodland or field. My advice would be to complete the legal requirements first by booking a simple “two plus two” ceremony at your local registry office and then having a Celebrant-led ceremony at the venue of your choice.
Many couples are now holding Wedding festivals where guests have the option to camp overnight and there are a growing number of venues who offer this.
If you choose a venue in Staffordshire you can combine the Legal ceremony with a Celebrant -led ceremony. For further details check my website or visit Staffordshire Council website.
Wherever you plan to hold your celebration make sure that if the weather is inclement you have some cover - just in case.
It's becoming very popular to send "save the day" cards to alert guests about your planned wedding celebration. With next year looking as though it may be very busy now is the time to set your date.
Once you have all your plans finalised you then need to send a more formal invitation. The invitation should state your venue, date and time and information about the reception.
There is also the question of who will be hosting the celebration. Some couples follow a traditional route and the bride's parents host the wedding, especially if the bride's parents have made a major financial contribution.
Alternatively you may prefer to send the invitations from you as a couple.
When composing the wording for your invitations you can use the word "Marriage" if the Registrar will be present alternatively if the ceremony is Celebrant led then "Wedding Ceremony" is more descriptive.
COVID-19 wedding update
From 4th July wedding ceremonies will be allowed to take place, with a maximum of thirty family and friends, within a place of worship.
For couples wishing to have their ceremony at venue similar rules apply. However, only vows may be exchanged and there is no provision for a reception.
Currently there has been no guidance about Civil Partnerships and it is hoped that further easing of restrictions will be announced in the near future.
Renewing your vows
Every anniversary is a milestone and it's good to plan something special on your wedding anniversary to reaffirm your love for each other.
Plan to take time out to acknowledge the day. Maybe you could book a day off work, or enjoy a special meal just for two, or watch the sun set in a place that holds special memories. For the more adventurous there's always tandem skydiving !
Some couples often find romance in renewing their wedding vows. Why not invite friends and family to help you celebrate your marriage all over again with a Renewal of Vows ceremony as part of a family party ?
Frequently asked questions
Celebrating a Civil Partnership
Couples wishing to celebrate a Civil Partnership may wish to do so with a Celebrant led ceremony following the completion of the legal declarations at a Registry office.
Within a bespoke ceremony the couple may wish to express their commitment to each other, make promises for the future and exchange rings, gifts etc.
They may choose to use traditions and symbolic actions from a range of different cultures, beliefs or trends.
Many couples choose to live together rather than marry; by doing this they may forfeit their legal status as a couple. So if you do not wish to marry then a Civil Partnership may be the answer.
Couples who enter into a Civil Partnership are regarded in the same way as a married couple. The position of civil partners in relation to financial arrangements mirrors that of spouses.
The laws governing wills, administration of estates and family provisions applies to civil partners in the same way as to spouses.
Although we rarely like to consider what will happen when a life partner dies it is worth discussing the financial position. When a person dies without a valid will their property must be shared out according to certain rules. These rules are called intestacy.
Only married couples or civil partners and some other close relatives can inherit under the rules of intestacy.
Cohabiting partners who are neither married nor in a civil partnership cannot inherit under these rules.
Roots and wings
This is an extract from a Naming ceremony conducted in a small woodland clearing.
A gift of a feather was given to the child by her older sibling.
"It is said that there are two things that we can give our children, roots and wings and this feather is a symbol of these things.
Roots - not to tie you to the ground but to guide you to where fulfilment can be found, a nourishing start and a firm foundation.
Wings - to soar over obstacles, to fly free and glide the heights of the best you can be and to return you home."
Surely the wish we would like for every child.
Choosing a Celebrant to help you create that special ceremony is an important step towards making your occasion a really memorable one. Why not take advantage of the free initial meeting I offer ? I believe it is important to meet informally to discuss your ideas and what I can offer. Meeting also gives us an opportunity to explore the type of ceremony that would best suit your needs.