Each ceremony I create is unique and is based on your wishes and dreams.
The starting point for any ceremony is a shared conversation.
If it is possible, I prefer to meet people face to face or via a video call. During our discussion we can talk about your ideas, I can make suggestions and we can get to know each other.
Using all of this I then create a draft script. The script may go through a number of revisions until it is exactly right.
There are many elements which can be blended to make the perfect ceremony and these include
The most common types of Celebrant led family and couples ceremonies are Weddings, Namings, Commitment and Renewal of vows. Within these categories are a wide variety of styles and possibilities.
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.
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. (Dependent on the local restrictions in place at the time).
Every ceremony I conduct is tailor-made to each couples requirements.
Personal choice of music, poetry and readings can be woven into the ceremony.
Symbolic actions such as exchanging rings, lighting candles, a sand ceremony, releasing doves, exchanging love letters or creating unique items to cherish are just a few of the things that can be included.
As an Independent Celebrant I am also happy to include some religious elements, if you want this.
Naming Ceremonies and Welcoming ceremonies
A naming ceremony is suitable for children of all ages. It is an ideal way of bringing family and friends together to formally welcome the newest member or members to the family. It is also an appropriate way to welcome an adopted child or children from a previous partnership.
During a Naming ceremony parents make promises to their child or children and share their hopes and dreams for their futures. Other adults too can pledge their support some as Supporting Adults who will play a significant part in the child or children’s lives or Grandparents.
A naming ceremony is a wonderful family occasion and can include elements such as tree planting, lighting a candle, a circle of support or gifts.
A Welcoming ceremony is very similar to a Naming ceremony and such ceremonies are often used to welcome an older child whose has been adopted. The aim of the ceremony is to acknowledge the new relationship and for the child or children to be welcomed into their new family and community.
A Commitment ceremony is very similar to a Wedding ceremony in its structure and can be offered where a couple wish to acknowledge their love and commitment to each other without undertaking any legal contract.
Renewal of vows
Ceremonies can take place where, when and how you wish.
Where a legal marriage has taken place a couple might choose to have a Renewal of vows ceremony to celebrate a significant wedding anniversary.
A Renewal of vows can also be incorporated into a family occasion to celebrate a Marriage which may have taken place abroad more than twelve months previously.
When considering the person who will lead your ceremony my advice would be to have a discussion with a number of Celebrants and then choose the person who you feel you can work with.
Each Celebrant has their own style and approach so it’s just a case of finding the person you have a connection with.
So if you are planning your special day why not get in touch and we can have a chat about how I could put your ideas into a ceremony which is reflective of you as a couple.
The reasons for choosing a Celebrant-led ceremony can be as diverse as the couples who choose them. However, the one thing which connects all of them is the wish to create a ceremony which is meaningful and personal.
Choosing a Celebrant-led ceremony gives a couple 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, at an unusual venue or outdoors - a Celebrant-led ceremony would be ideal. Possibly, you would like to hold your ceremony as the sun rises, or weave together two different cultural or religious heritages. All things are possible.
With there seeming to be no freeing of restrictions around weddings at the moment I think many people are being forced to rethinking their plans.
Many couples have already postponed their ceremonies once and some are now facing doing this a second time.
Perhaps one way forward for couples might be to complete the legal aspects of your marriage now.
Once legally married couples can then opt for a Celebrant led ceremony which can take place at any time, any where and with no restrictions on content, as soon as COVID restrictions allow.
In addition, if you have booked a venue a Celebrant led ceremony would mean you to use rooms or spaces which might otherwise be unavailable.
Food for thought ? I am always happy to have an informal chat about your plans so do get in touch.
Today the Law Commission published their proposals for reforms to the law governing weddings.
Many of the current laws date back to 1800's and are no longer relevant to the way we live our lives now
In their Consultation Paper, they suggest a
comprehensive new legislative scheme to replace
the outdated, overly restrictive current law of
"Individuals will be able to give notice of their intended wedding remotely, and choose the registration district where they attend to complete the preliminaries.
All weddings will be legally permitted to take place in a location chosen by the couple. Couples will be able to marry outdoors and in their own homes.
There will be no prescribed words, giving couples greater freedom as to the form their wedding takes, enabling the law to recognise the variety of ceremonies that people use to mark their weddings, including religious ceremonies.
So long as it is still identifiable as a civil ceremony, couples will be able to have religious songs, readings and hymns as part of their civil weddings."
Something that has been overdue for a while I feel.
What do you think ?
My final tip to all couples is be organised and aim to have all decisions made at least a week before your big day.
Ask family and friends to be responsible for aspects of the planning so that you do not have to do everything.
On the day - relax and enjoy it !
Just as all couples are different so are all celebrants. It is worthwhile contacting more than one to see who you feel shares your vision for your day.
It is a matter of personal choice how many different suppliers you engage to make your day special. You may wish to use the services of others or ask family and friends to each made a specific contribution. Inviting people to bring their own picnic is a great way to ensure that everyone stays safe. Also getting friends and family involved can help to share the load, and the excitement, in the build up to your ceremony.
As a legal marriage ceremony can only take place on licensed premises couples wishing to have a Wedding ceremony at home should can book a statutory ceremony (often referred to as a “two plus two”) at their local Registry office.
For your wedding day use a Celebrant to create and conduct your ceremony.
Alternatively you may wish to have a Commitment ceremony. A Commitment ceremony is as the name suggests an opportunity to express your commitment to each other but has no legal foundation.
Set your budget and try to stick to it !
Setting your budget at the start of the planning process is a good idea because it will help you decide on your priorities. Think about what you need to purchase and what could be hired or borrowed. Try to only purchase big items if they can be of use after the wedding.
Hiring items or asking friends of family to loan you things can be a good option.
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.