What do Celebrants do?
While I cannot legally marry a couple, many couples choose to have this done at a registry office (or if you are having your wedding in a church, there is generally a designated side room for you to complete it). This can be done before or after your ceremony and the cost is around £100.00, depending on where you live. As an independent celebrant, I am not restricted in the way a registrar is. A registrar must adhere to a script, whereas an independent celebrant is free to create something that is tailored uniquely to you. I can include religious elements, prayers, poetry, readings, anyway you choose to express your relationship is encouraged. Your friends and family may also wish to take part in the ceremony by singing a song or helping to perform a ritual. As part of a wedding, commitment or renewals of vows I endeavour to tell the couple’s story in a way that is exactly right for that couple. The same goes for naming ceremonies or gender reassignment ceremonies. I work with my clients from inception, to the special day itself and want to get to know you as much as possible and hear your own thoughts and ideas (I also have loads!).
What are some of the Rituals I can include in my ceremony?
Handfasting is a historical term for ‘betrothal’ or ‘wedding’.
In the early modern history of Scotland, it means to formally promise yourself to someone within the context of marriage. Your hands will be bound by ribbon to symbolise your commitment to each other. It is a beautiful tradition that is wonderful to see.
Jumping the Broom
Jumping the Broom has been used in many cultures. It has been revived by African Americans of late as it was used during slavery, a ritual when a ‘wife’ moved in with her ‘husband’ as slaves were not allowed to be legally
married. Jumping the broom was also used by Romani People and often in Wales and is mentioned in Charles Dickens’ ‘Great Expectations’. The ritual involves the couple holding hands and jumping over a broom into their new lives as life partners.
Sand ceremonies are ideal for all types of events. For baby naming ceremonies, the God-parents/or supporting parents can make their promises to the baby and all pour different colored sand into a keepsake for the child. For weddings, it symbolises a new union between two families.
Wishboxes are chance for your guests to write down their hopes for your marriage. This is a wonderful keepsake and something couples can open and read on anniversaries.
What does planning a ceremony entail?
We will generally start with an initial 15-20 minute Skype/Phone call so we may get to know each other and I can get a feel for your particular needs (type of ceremony, dates etc.). If you are happy to continue we will meet for a consultation, at your chose venue where possible so we can get to know each other! This typically takes up to two hours. At this point, I will require a booking deposit. I will also leave you with a questionnaire if you are celebrating a wedding or vow renewal so you can write a bit about what your partner means to you.
We will then have a second meeting to read through a draft ceremony script and go over any requirements or last minute details. By this point we will have finalised any rituals, readings, roles friends and family may play and this will take up to 90 minutes. This is also when your final payment will be made. After this, I will write the final draft which will take between 2 to 4 hours.
I am available to help all my clients and give advice wherever needed about any aspect of your ceremony up to the day.
Another reason we'll spend so much time together (!) is because, by expressing your exact needs, we can make the event you imagine is the event you’ll get. I will always do my best to take care of the smaller, tedious details and arrangements so that my clients can focus on the important stuff and knowing as much as possible makes it easier for me to do that.
I can also attend wedding rehearsals for an additional small fee.
All inclusive of fee;
Writing the ceremony in full cooperation with you
Counsel and information during the Planning stage
Delivery of the Ceremony
Reading of Vows/Announcement
A personalised script