“What does a Celebrant do?”

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A wonderful Bilingual Ceremony in Berlin for Tian and Andre Summer 2018 (photo credit Matthias Friel)

That’s a really good question!  A  Celebrant is someone who will create a personalised, unique ceremony for your Wedding, Vow Renewal, Elopement, or Commitment Ceremony,  all carried out to reflect your own style and ideas.

Choosing a Celebrant gives you the freedom to hold your Ceremony anywhere, at any time, and gives you the chance to input your own style and ideas.  You can be as creative as you wish, and adapt and include symbolism and custom, blending the traditional with the modern.

WEDDING CEREMONIES

I often describe my ceremonies as “traditional but with a modern twist”.  The elements that are familiar, such as the I DO, the Vows and Ring Exchange, enhanced with storytelling, and symbolic rituals which are created specifically for you.  There is no template or standard text, every ceremony is an original.  Popular rituals chosen to represent the joining of two people and their families, are the Unity Candle Ceremony, a celtic style Hand Fasting, a romantic and emotional Ring Warming and for couples with children, a family Sand Ceremony.  New ceremonies can be created using your own ideas, customs, traditions, and heritage, and you may also wish to have your ceremony in  more than one language!

BILINGUAL CEREMONIES

I am able to offer ceremonies in both English and German, which is a lovely way of ensuring all of your guests are able to really enjoy this wonderful occasion with you.  My bilingual ceremonies are proving to be really popular this year, so get in touch if you are thinking of holding one, as I have lots of ideas and suggestions in how to bring language and heritage and culture into your ceremony!

CEREMONY DESIGN

I will help you to develop your ideas, create,  manage and co-ordinate all the aspects of your ceremony and be there to support you on the day itself, and will conduct your ceremony with warmth and sincerity plus a bit of personality,  in front of your guests.  If you wish to include religious content or hymns, then please let me know, I am happy to include faith and ritual, – as an independent Celebrant I am under no restrictions at all, and just want to help you enjoy your day by taking all your dearest wishes on board.

Together we create a ceremony which can be traditional or modern and, we can include your guests too!  For example, we can invite guests to take part in a “Ring Warming ceremony” before you complete your vows and exchange your wedding rings.

Your vows can be traditional or created just by you, for you.  There is no need to follow any “standard” text and I am here to guide and advise you on writing your vows if you wish.

Perhaps you’d like to say your vows in a favourite place?  No problem!  A Celebrant can work in any location and in licenced or unlicenced venues.   You could make your promises to each other on the beach,  on a boat , in a forest, at home in your garden or almost any where you wish.  Where necessary you will of course need to ask permission, but the options that are available to you mean that you can let your imagination soar!

We can involve children or other family members in the ceremony, making it a truly special occasion, and because it’s written totally for and about you, it will be unique and unlike anyone else’s wedding ceremony!

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VOW RENEWAL and ELOPEMENT CEREMONIES 

You may decide to Renew your Vows, or to Elope (or even do both!) – in which case, you have full flexibility in terms of the day, time, place, and content for these ceremonies.  Without the need to sign any documentation you have the option to hold a beautiful, emotional, sincere, private ceremony anywhere.  This could be a Renewal at your home, or even the place you were proposed to.  Perhaps you might like to elope to Europe and renew your vows in beautiful locations which allow you to have a second honeymoon?  Taking time for yourselves and being true and authentic is so important.  Get in touch with me and find your own true inspiration.  

HOW WE WORK TOGETHER  

Working together using email, text, phone or Skype or when possible meeting face to face – we create the ceremony you’ve dreamed about! With unlimited drafts you’re always in full editorial control. We can have a few surprises though – perhaps you’d like to keep your personal vows as a surprise on the day? No problem – I just omit them from the draft script until your wedding day!  On the day itself I will arrive early to introduce myself to your key guests, family, readers, and your other wedding suppliers so that everything is smooth and seamless.  But there is no rush.  The whole day is blocked out for you, and I will be there, with a huge smile on my face, to support you, and deliver your perfect Ceremony!

I love being a Celebrant! This is one of my lovely couples, Kate and Peppy, at Ham Yard Hotel, London, on their breathtaking Rooftop Garden and Lounge!  A beautiful personal ceremony full of love and laughter!

Kate and Peppy’s Ham Yard Hotel London video beautifully created by Cupcake Videos.

REGISTERING THE MARRIAGE

The current Marriage Act in England is under review, with a promise to offer more choice to couples, but as it currently stands, it doesn’t allow Independent Celebrants to Register a Marriage.

However to do this, it is really simply a question of booking an appointment with a Register Office, where during a short civil ceremony that costs around £50 to £60 (although please check as many offices vary their fees) you will  make a 32 word Declaration and Marriage Contract, in front of two witnesses.  Every Register Office must offer an office based service at their premises, but please check well in advance as naturally these may be booked up very quickly. You can give notice of your marriage up to 12 months beforehand. Your music, vows, and Readings will be checked as they cannot contain any religious or spiritual content.  

During the Register Office Standard Service, you don’t have to dress up if you don’t want to, and you also don’t need to say any personal vows or exchange rings,  as this is not a mandatory part of the Marriage Service.  You can save that for your privately conducted celebratory ceremony, led by your chosen Celebrant, who will have worked closely with you over many months, to get to know you both, and create a totally tailored ceremony for you, with no restrictions in terms of format, content, time or location.

Personally I have loved being  able to respect and work with my couple’s wishes, values, lifestyle and beliefs. I have included hymns, prayers and worked alongside family priests and clergy too, who’ve taken part in my ceremonies at certain points like Blessing the Rings, or giving a religious reading.  

couple getting married in a ceremony with a Celebrant in a decommissioned church in Peckham London
Photo by https://www.michellewoodphotographer.com Venue Asylum Chapel, Caroline Gardens, Peckham

Get in touch and let’s begin this wonderful creative process together!  Pop your details in to the form below, and I will be back in touch, excited and ready to hear all about your plans!

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