A wedding ceremony led by a celebrant can be held at a time and place of your choice (subject to celebrant approval) and take a form that reflects your personality and wishes. Likewise vows can be exchanged that come from the heart.
By choosing a wedding ceremony officiated by a celebrant you have much more freedom than either a civil or religious ceremony - and you can include whatever content you want. You have complete freedom of venue (a stone circle, the beach or even your own home), of date (New Year’s Eve or Valentine’s Day perhaps) and of time (a sunrise or sunset wedding).
I would be delighted to work with you to design a ceremony that will include everything you want including walking down the aisle, attendants, vows, ring exchange, music, readings, hymns, prayers etc. You could even include contributions from family and friends! This will ensure your day is memorable to you, your family and your friends.
It is quite easy to do this and follows the same process of some European countries or of couples marrying abroad. You marry in your local Register Office with just two witnesses present and then have the ceremony with family and friends at a time and place of your choosing led by your celebrant.
Same Sex Weddings / Civil Partnerhips
A same sex wedding is no different to the ceremony offered above and I am committed to creating an event that is dedicated to you. Working together we will create a personal ceremony and include everything you want to celebrate your legal marriage or civil partnership. It may be traditional, formal, relaxed or contemporary, include friends and family who support you both, and the content can be secular, religious or a combination. There are no limits!
Renewal of Vows
If you are celebrating a special anniversary, perhaps you married abroad or your home towns are a long distance apart and not everyone you wished could attend your wedding a Renewal of Vows ceremony is a wonderful way of publicly declaring your love and commitment to each other. Whether you want a small intimate event with just family and close friends present or a big celebration working together we can create a unique, personal and meaningful ceremony that all will remember.
The content of the ceremony will reflect your past as well as your hopes and aspirations for the future. With music, readings, poetry and even contributions from friends and family the celebration can be traditional or contemporary and may include religious or symbolic elements.
There are many extra enhancements and additions that can be included in your wedding ceremony to make it extra special and unique to you. A few are listed below but of course there is also the option of creating your own ritual, something that makes sense or is more in tune with you.
As a sign of commitment that the bride and groom have made to each other a certificate is signed marking the event with their names and the date and place where the ceremony took place. Witness are usually chosen from the wedding party and may be the Best Man, Chief Bridesmaid, parents or other special friends.
Symbolizing the joining together of the couple and their families. The taper candles be lit by the bride and groom or by a member of their family, and the pillar candle lit using the taper candles when the two are joined as one. The candles can be personalised to mark the day
The people most often left out at a wedding are the bride and groom’s mothers. They bring you up go through all the heartache and then do everything they can towards the big day, put on their posh frock and have nothing to do on the day. This presentation makes sure that all the mothers do is recognised.
A rose is presented to the mothers of the bride and groom to mark their participation. Some couples surprise their parents and it is very well accepted.
A variation can be used for fathers or other important people such as grandparents.
Another way of including the mothers of the bride and groom in the ceremony. The couple are invited to remember their first kiss. It was from their mother at birth and so it is only fitting that their last kiss as a single person should be to their mother also.
Hand Fasting is an ancient, traditional, Celtic form of commitment. It is from this ritual that the term “tying the knot” originated. You may invite the mothers to help with the ribbons. The finished ring is kept as a symbol of the couple’s love for each other.
Tying the knot
The couple tie a fisherman's knot, a true lover's knot, for it is the strongest there is; its bond will not break, becoming ever stronger under pressure. The finished knot can be kept as symbol of the bond between the couple.
The couple toast each other and share their drink celebrating the start of their life together.
Champagne or any drink which is special to them may be used and it can be taken in a special glass or even a quaich (a traditional Scottish drinking vessel used for toasts).
Sand of different colours is poured alternately into a special vase and represents the individual lives of the bride and groom. The different layers of colour show that both the bride and groom have retained their unique identities and personalities.
This is an ideal ceremony when there are children to welcome into a new family as each child can also add a layer of different colour showing they are part of the family whilst also remaining an individual. It can also be done with other people special to the couple.
Jumping the Brush
An old tradition from the days when a legal wedding was not possible and the origin of the term “living over the brush”. The couple would jump over a broom as a sign of their commitment to themselves and to all those present. The brush symbolises sweeping away the old and welcoming the new.
Broom and Sword
Brooms symbolize the sweeping away the remnants of the past whilst the sword symbolizes the wielding of power and personal responsibility.
As the Bride and Groom jump they are reminded that remaining vigilant over these aspects of the day to day shall help them to achieve the quality of life that they aspire to.
At the end of the ceremony the bride and groom (and as many of the gusts as they wish) release a gas filled balloon with their details on a label complete with a return address to see how many and from how far away they are returned.
Options on this are to have a butterfly or dove release
The guests are provided with a heart or label on which they write a message to the couple and place it on the tree as they arrive or leave the ceremony. Those placed on before the start may be read during the ceremony.
Other mini-ceremonies which may be included
Guests are invited to bring a flower or similar with them which the bride collects as she makes her way down the aisle. These become her bouquet for the wedding.
The washing of the hands at the beginning of the ceremony signifies that you start your marriage life with a clean slate – putting problems big and small behind you.
The Pebble Tradition
Everyone holds a rock or pebble which they bless and place in a container prior to the ceremony. As a variation each guest may be asked to write their names or a message on it
SHELL (FOR BEACH) – PEBBLE (FOR LAKES)
Each guest receives a shell prior or stone at some point during or after the ceremony. They hold the shell/stone and, with a wish, and throw it into the sea or lake where all your hopes and dreams will become one with the universe and join the well wishes of all of those gathered on the day.
The flower garland is a symbol of love. It is also a symbol of things fragile and temporal. A flower garland will last for only a day or two and then it is gone. Our lives are like the garland within the span of eternity.
Ring Warming (or Blessing of the Rings)
After requesting the rings the celebrant explains a little about the significance of rings and they are passed around on a pillow, box or bag. For a small, intimate wedding all the guests may take a turn otherwise select certain special people from the wedding party (e.g. parents) to hold the rings and say a little blessing.
Chocolate is broken into small pieces and fed to each other signifying that they will feed their bodies and their souls. One dark and one milk and one white piece each.
Rose/Flower/ Stones Ceremony for the guests
Each guest is invited to place a flower on a central vase to create a garden of love. The stones as the foundation of your marriage.
First Gift Rose Flower Ceremony
The bride and groom exchange red roses, symbolising the giving and receiving of their love for each other. The Rose Ceremony also conveys how to use the rose and its symbolism in difficult times in order to forgive each other. It is also an expression of union and love the exchange of a rose between the bride and groom. This is very simple but very moving ceremony.
Variations can used where the families exchange roses or the bride and the groom exchange roses with their parents, or just with their mothers (see above).
Tree Planting Ceremony
Plant a tree together (with a little dirt from your childhood homes if possible). The parents may water it to symbolise the way they have been an influence in teaching and encouraging love. After the ceremony the potted tree is transplanted at the newlywed’s home to symbolize putting down roots, longevity, and strength within this marriage.
Breaking the Glass
Traditionally a Jewish ceremony the breaking of glass during the wedding ceremony reminds everyone of both the permanence and the fragility of marriage