What are the legal requirements?
The only requirements for a marriage or civil partnership to be recognised in law are to say the 41 ‘Declaratory and Contracting Words’, in a registry office or licensed venue. The rest of the ceremony, your choice of music, words, readings, vows, tributes, exchange of rings and the composition of the ceremony is entirely up to you.
Where can I hold my wedding?
Your ceremony does not have to be in a church or at a registry office Your wedding can take place anytime, anyplace, anywhere. It could be on a beach, up a mountain, in a field, in your back garden or in any special venue, indoors or outdoors. The only limitation is your imagination.
For couples within reach of Avebury, Wiltshire, ceremonies can be held around the stones there.
Why have somebody else’s often uninspiring, bland, basic wording when you can have words that are meaningful, personal and deserving of your unique relationship? This is YOUR beautiful, magical day.
You may be totally non-religious, partially religious or your partner may be of a different belief system or religion. You may want to include spiritual aspects. With a celebrant led ceremony you are free to incorporate any aspect of your lives into one magical moment. You can choose to write your own vows and words for the ceremony, which do not have to be serious! You can choose music that is appropriate to you and who will sing, play or read any poetry or tributes. I will help you to compose and then conduct the ceremony.
Who chooses a Celebrant led Ceremony?
Anyone who is not particularly religious and does not want to be married in church or to be restricted by the traditional liturgy. (There can be some small religious content in a wedding ceremony conducted by a Celebrant if the couple want it). Equally, those who do not want to be part of a production line in a registry office where someone that you have never met before delivers the same service to you that they have probably delivered to several other couples already that day. Such services are often uninspiring, lacklustre and without the pomp and flair that your special day deserves and restricted in time.
A Celebrant led wedding ceremony is particularly suitable for: –
- Mixed faith or mixed culture couples
- Semi-religious couples
- Divorced couples
- Same-sex couples
- Any faith that does not want a faith centred ceremony
Within the Wedding Ceremony you may choose to have other symbolic ceremonies such as: –
Traditionally this ceremony is a promise made between a couple for a year and a day. At the end of that period the couple can choose whether they renew their promises and marry for life or not. The ceremony involves the tying together of hands with a ceremonial cloth, cord or coloured ribbons to symbolize the coming together and the remaining together. It can also be used as a declaration of intent.
The rose is a symbol of love and fitting that the first gift a couple as husband and wife exchange is a single red rose. It symbolises their love for each other throughout their married life and can also convey how to use the rose and its symbolism in difficult times, in order to forgive each other.
Different coloured sands are mixed together to symbolise the coming together of two or more people. It would be impossible to separate out the different coloured sands again so this ceremony symbolises that this couple cannot be separated in the future. It is also a good way to involve any children with them having their own coloured sand to symbolise the family unit for the future.
Tasting the Four Elements
This ceremony dramatizes the traditional promise to love “for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health”. Four represents a strong foundation and the elements represent the sour, bitter, the hot and the sweet times of marriage.
Two tapered candles are lit at the beginning of the ceremony, quite often by the Mothers of the bride and groom or any other family representative. Later a larger pillar or unity candle is lit from the tapered ones to symbolize the unity of the families and the couple.
Jumping the Broom
A traditional broom is held across the floor for the couple to jump over at the end of the ceremony. This symbolizes the moving from the old single life into the new married life together.
Goblet Wine Ceremony
At the end of the exchange of rings a glass of wine can be shared by the couple to symbolize the celebration of the harvest and the changing seasons of life. It is also an expression of the hope and faith in the harvest of their lives to come and the commitment that they make to each other.
You can also devise your own ceremony, with anything that is symbolic to you. As always I will lead these ceremonies for you.
Same Sex Marriages
These are generally a process of registration with pretty standard wording delivered by a registrar that you have never met before using the same format as all the other ceremonies carried out. Why not follow the legal registration with a longer, more meaningful and personal ceremony written especially for you by me? This celebration can again be held anytime, anyplace, anywhere.
It may be that you merely wish to have a formal and public declaration of a commitment to another person or cause and would like a ceremony to mark it. I will work with you to write and deliver an appropriate ceremony of your choosing.
IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT THE LEGAL PART OF A WEDDING CEREMONY STILL HAS TO BE CARRIED OUT BY A REGISTRAR AT A REGSTRY OFFICE. MOST COUPLES DO THIS A FEW DAYS BEFORE OR EARLIER IN THE DAY OF THE WEDDING CREMONY. YOU JUST NEED 2 WITNESSES.
This ceremony is becoming increasingly popular and can be done at any time in your marriage or relationship. It might be right for you to re-affirm your original vows or to make new ones. It could be for a special or significant anniversary like the 1st, 10th, 25th, 40th, 50th or maybe to mark a new chapter in your lives. Often they are held following a particularly difficult phase of the relationship or life or if rings are lost or damaged and it feels ‘right’ to have the new ones blessed. You can renew your vows anytime, anyplace, anywhere.
The ceremony can be as simple or as lavish as you wish. You can choose words and music and I will write and lead it for you according to your wishes.
How Do I Work With You?
- I will meet with you for an initial FREE consultation to get an idea of what kind of ceremony you are looking to create.
- Once engaged I will ask for a 50% deposit and arrange to visit you for a couple of hours to get to know you, what style of ceremony you would like and a little more information about your wishes for ‘The Big Day!’ I am very aware that this is YOUR day and am happy to incorporate your ideas to reflect your own personalities.
- I can then begin the process of writing and preparing your script, writing words and vows and you can be part of this process as much or as little as you like. You will be able to see and approve all scripts before the ceremony is delivered.
- I will be available by phone, email or Skype as many times as you like to ensure that you get the ceremony that you wish for and always know how things are progressing.
- A few days before the ceremony I will hold a rehearsal with you and then conduct the ceremony itself on the day.
- I will be at the venue an hour before the Ceremony starts and will travel anywhere.
- Afterwards I will deliver to you a Presentation Script of the complete ceremony.
- You will also receive a certificate.
Weddings, same-sex marriages, commitment ceremonies – £510
Vow Renewal – £295
For an initial FREE consultation please contact me