Congratulations if you have recently decided to get married. So what should you do next ?
After you have let all the important people in you life know it is time to sit down and make a few decisions.
The first is about the style and feel of your special day.
Maybe you want something a little different such as a wedding festival or a themed day. If so then why not consider engaging an Independent Celebrant.
An Independent Celebrant creates and conducts non-statutory ceremonies. Each ceremony is unique and written to meet your requirements.
An Independent Celebrant differs in their approach from a Humanist as they will include some religious content with in the ceremony, for instance one of the elements may be a prayer, reading, hymn or blessing. This is often a good way to acknowledge your family's faith and beliefs especially if you as a couple have different heritages.
Choosing a Celebrant led ceremony gives you more choice about the content to be included. It also means there are fewer restraints on time and place.
So if you wish to celebrate your event at home, in a local hall or outdoors a Celebrant led ceremony would be ideal.
A wedding ceremony is conducted after a couple legally marry. Registering your marriage should be done at a Registry Office in the presence of two witnesses. For full information on the process is available on line or within the notes on my facebook page (within the notes section you can find my fact sheet).
There are a number of reasons why you might choose to marry and then have a wedding ceremony including the freedom to celebrate where, when and how you wish.
Each ceremony is tailor-made to each couples requirements. A wedding ceremony can be held in a location of your choice, at a time to suit you and there are no limits to the number of people who can be present.
Your choice of music, poetry and readings can be woven into the ceremony.
Symbolic actions such as exchanging rings, lighting candles, a sand ceremony, releasing balloons, butterflies or doves, or creating unique items to cherish are just a few of the ideas that can be included.
If you would like more ideas and an informal chat then please just drop me a line.
A Commitment ceremony is a non-legally binding ceremony in which each partner commits to the other.
There are many reason for opting for a Commitment ceremony including
Sequel Wedding celebrations are not new and in many different cultures it has long been the tradition to have multiple wedding ceremonies.
Couples choosing to have a Sequel wedding can spread their celebration over several days, weeks or months.
The legal declarations and contracting vows can be undertaken at a simple two plus two service at your local registry office for less than £50.
Then you may choose a small intimate celebration with close family and friends or follow it with a more lavish wedding celebration to which you can invite a larger group of guests.
If you complete the legal aspects before holding any other ceremony you can have a ceremony wherever, whenever and however you feel suits you as a couple. Maybe as part of a Wedding festival, or in your own garden ..... the possibilities are limitless.
A new briefing paper has been published to help inform the Law Commission's final report into wedding law reform in England and Wales. This paper relates to research funded by the Nuffield Foundation into non-legally binding weddings which explores non-legally binding ceremonies.
Their study investigated why ceremonies are being conducted outside the legal framework, the nature of such ceremonies, and the beliefs, practices, and preferences of those involved. It involved 170 participants.
As an Independent Celebrant I always make it clear to my clients that the ceremonies I conduct are non- statutory. The advantage for them of engaging an Independent Celebrant is that they can complete the legal formalities in a simple way and then plan a ceremony to celebrate their marriage whenever, wherever and however they choose.
I was particularly interested in the section of the paper concerning the cost of a wedding. The study found that the cost of a wedding at an approved premises was a major factor for couples to have a non-statutory ceremony.
The report found that many people were unaware that they could complete the legal declarations and contracting vows at a simple two plus two ceremony. (Current cost £46)
In some cases couples were charged more than the basic fee by a registry office because the offices were "approved premises".
Couples were open to the idea of having two ceremonies - one to complete the legal aspects and a second to celebrate their marriage. These couples also commented that this would give them wider choice and possibly reduce the overall cost.
In the conclusion the report states, "The Commission’s proposed scheme was seen by many as simplifying the law governing weddings, making it easier to understand, reducing the bureaucracy of the process, and making it easier to get married."
The report covered a wide range of topics as well as cost. It will be interesting to see how the Law changes when the final decisions are made next year.
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.