You might want a ceremony that's different from the norm; you may dream of tying the knot on a beach at sunset or saying 'I do' in a rustic barn in Autumn... You may love tradition with a twist- where all your friends and family promise to love and support you as newlyweds and they are ones who say, 'we do'!
A hand-fasting is my most requested ceremony and they are all different! Your friends and family can be involved in the ceremony too, for example, by asking them to make a vow to you! I don't charge extra for these rituals - I'm not easy jet - I just enjoy being creative and giving you a ceremony to remember!
Do you love cocktails? Let's make one as part of your ceremony! I've also been known to create a special wedding ritual from scratch, based on the interests of the couple, so anything goes!
I will listen to your story, be inspired by you and your uniqueness, and reflect all of that that in the ceremony I create for you. And then, on your big day, I will lead the cheering - and probably shed a tear - when I introduce you as newlyweds!
Nothing else matters on your special day, than being true to yourselves and celebrating your love in your own way (and if that means walking down the aisle to Metallica, then why not?) No two ceremonies are the same. There is no 'bog standard'.
Most of my ceremonies have taken place in unique locations – including beaches, woodland, back gardens, campsites and farms where the bride arrived on a tractor! I've also married couples in an historic castle (St Fagans), a charming medieval chapel, and by a lake, complete with dragonflies and nymphs (that one was at Oldwalls on the Gower!)
So, how does it work?
Frequently Asked Questions and
Is a celebrant ceremony legal?
In a nutshell, the celebrant conducts the ‘symbolic’ part of the ceremony, and not the ‘legal’ part. As with all weddings, you will need to give notice of intention to marry at a registry office. Then you must return to the registry office to complete the legal declaration, signing and ‘registering the marriage’, which you can do without ceremony (it costs about £50 depending on your local authority). This is usually done before your celebrant-led ceremony. Technically, once you have signed the register with an official registrar at the registry office, you will be legally married.
Most couples who choose to do this save the special things like the vows, guests, awesome outfits and official celebration for the wedding ceremony with the celebrant.
Does the ceremony with a celebrant have to be in a registered place?
No, as you will be signing the legal papers at a registered place, you don’t need to hold your ceremony in a licensed wedding venue, which can free up inspiring locations – and dates, where limited venues might be booked already. It also means it doesn't have to be in 'office hours'! For example, with a celebrant-led service, you can have your wedding in a beautiful setting such as the woods, beach – or even your own garden - at sunset, if you like!
Can we drink alcohol during the service?
Venue-permitting, as the ‘legal’ signing of the register takes place before or after your celebrant-led ceremony, you are free to celebrate your union with alcohol during a celebrant-led service. Obviously, you wouldn't want to be slurring through your ceremony, but it does mean your guests can pop corks at any given moment - the end is usually a good place - and everyone can toast you as the happy couple!
I want to make an entrance!
Yes! Yes, you can! And actually, working in the theatre and performance industry for many years, I have a few inspired ideas as to how you can make an entrance. For example, you, the bride, accompanied by your bridal party can waltz your way in, you can symbolically have your family or your friends ‘hand you over’ to your husband to be – or the other way around! Or you can get everyone involved and the whole congregation can enter doing the conga to music if you like! It is entirely up to you!
What can we expect from you?
To arrange your marriage or union, we will have an initial chat, during which we will discuss a few ideas and, more importantly, you can decide if you like what I offer (it is really important to get the right celebrant for your ceremony, and I won’t be offended if I am not the one for you!). You will fill in a questionnaire so I can get to know you, and your story and then we will have a meeting to chat through your service, what you'd like to include as part of your story and the fun stuff of creating your very own ritual or tradition. After this, our last meeting before the wedding (or rehearsal if you would like a rehearsal before the big day) is to make sure the story of your love, your vows, the running order of the service and any other additions such as tributes from friends and family, music and entrances and exits are exactly right. If you would like a rehearsal, this can be done a day or two before in the actual venue (permitting) or different location. And then it’s your big day!
What if we want to renew our vows?
I love meeting couples who want to reaffirm their vows - or perhaps create new ones going forward. Couples often love to do this after a milestone event in their lives or a special anniversary. The process is the same as above section 'How do you create our ceremony?'
We don't want to marry, we just want to have a ceremony to show our commitment to one another...
I think this is lovely - the fact that you want to let all your loved ones know that you both love one another and you are in a committed relationship. Again, the process is exactly the same to design your ceremony, the only difference is that I can't introduce you as a married couple, we can't pretend that it is a 'wedding' ceremony or imply that any legal declarations have been made.