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. A Humanist Celebrant belongs to a particular belief group and follows a Humanist non-religious philosophy, and differs in many ways from myself, an Independent Celebrant, who is not affiliated to any faith or belief group or philosophy, and is free to include religion, culture, heritage, symbolic ritual and other elements in the ceremony.
These rituals can be created for each couple, and whilst the “props” might look the same, the wording, meaning and resonance is always unique. I love to create inclusive, authentic symbolic rituals that represent the values and beliefs of the couple, in a dignified and appropriate way if they are including religion or culture. There are many symbolic rituals that can be simply fun as well as meaningful, such as creating a Signature Cocktail, or a Wine and Letter Box. When I get to know you as a couple, I am able to not only recommend rituals, but also create new symbolic wedding and unity ceremonies.
Choosing me as your Independent Celebrant gives you the freedom and the choices 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. I am always here to support you and encourage you, and of course to provide a safe pair of hands, with my 10 years of experience and many many happy couples. 🙂
Yvonne was truly a wonderful person to perform our ceremony. She took the time to meet with us, understand what we were about and showed passion in wanting to deliver a meaningful, bespoke ceremony for us, which she did 100%. (Shereena Nain)
Where to begin? Yvonne is not just the most lovely, kind, and funny human being, she is also incredibly caring and passionate about her job. From the very first Skype call, we knew that she was the one! She was so wonderfully open to all of our ideas and suggestions, and she poured her heart into crafting a ceremony that was truly “us”. It was a joy and an honour to have her perform our wedding ceremony – shes a treat (and also a fabulous dancer!). Thank you Yvonne, you made our day truly special. x A&M
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!
Yvonne, thank you for putting together such a wonderful personalised wedding ceremony for us! You weren’t given much time (about a week if I remember rightly) to pull everything together, from chatting with us to see if we were the right fit, to writing a personalised ceremony which we wouldn’t change in a million years, even given more time. I wish you every success with your business and to anyone looking for a warm, loving and caring celebrant to conduct their ceremony I can’t recommend Yvonne enough. (Chantell and Simon)
BILINGUAL CEREMONIES (ENGLISH/GERMAN)
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! I am always delighted to be able to add language to the ceremony, and don’t charge extra for this service! It is simply part of the process of creating your magical wonderful amazing and singularly stunning Wedding Day!
There is no “set” structure for a Bilingual Wedding, and we can discuss a variety of options, and ideas. Sometimes my couple will keep the bilingual part a surprise, and I love to look up and see the delight on the faces of guests who hear me speaking in “their” language as we move through the ceremony. Check out my Blog on planning a Bilingual Wedding if you would like more ideas and inspiration!
Yvonne created the most beautiful wedding ceremony for me and my wife She created a bilingual wedding ceremony, my wife is german and she spoke the vows in English, I am English and I spoke the vows in German – to show respect to one another and to our family. It was simply beautiful all our guests had the possibility to understand everything and told us both how wonderful it was to see. (Katja and Hayley.)
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.
It was an absolute joy to work with you and have you as our celebrant! The ceremony you wrote was so special and captured our love so perfectly! (Kellie and Eddie, October 2021 Elopement)
I offer ceremonies in Europe, and specialise particularly in Austria, Switzerland and Germany. Travel and accommodation is something we can discuss, however, I am more than happy to recommend Peach Perfect Weddings, who really are a wonderful creative and experienced wedding planner offering you complete packages, which include me as your Celebrant. Check them out if you are planning a European Destination Wedding!
As wedding planners, we have had the pleasure to work with Yvonne for several of our wedding ceremonies. She is a fantastic wedding celebrant and wrote the most heartfelt ceremonies for our couples – be it for an elopement with just the couple or for larger weddings with more guests. I can only recommend Yvonne to any couple who wants an intimate and highly personal ceremony for their wedding day! Thank you, Yvonne. (Peach Perfect Weddings)
CEREMONY DESIGN AND CONTENT
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!
Yvonne is a superb Celebrant who did a fantastic job with our wedding in June 2019 in London. On the day she was great at delivering the words we had chosen together, and spoke very clearly and with warmth. She has a happy presence, and very professional, and put us all at ease, making it much easier than it could have been! We would have no hesitation in recommendng her! (John and Julie)
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!
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, which is how you get the legal protection within your marriage, and obtain your Marriage License.
To register your Marriage it is necessary to make 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 vetted by the Registrars, to ensure they do not 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. At the time of updating my website, there is both a backlog due to COVID19, and also the new ruling which allows Registrars to conduct a ceremony outdoors too – this is however still subject to certain restrictions, and as each Register Office has their own policies and procedures, it is really important that you gather your information and research options. I am of course, always here to help and advise you, without any obligation at all. Many of my couples have opted for the Standard “2+2” Wedding Service at the Register Office, followed by my specifically written unique Celebrant Ceremony which contains then all their wishes and choices.
Personally I have loved being able to respect and work with my couple’s wishes, values, lifestyle and beliefs as well as offering two languages! I have included hymns, and led prayers and also 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. I welcome the opportunity of working with Registrars too, but it is not a requirement to do so!
A last word about Registration and Licenced Venues: if you are registering your Marriage at a venue that has been “approved” it still does not mean that you cannot have a Celebrant led Ceremony at the venue. Venues are able to offer a variety of options, for indoor and outdoor ceremonies, Vow Renewals, and Commitment Ceremonies, and it is perfectly possible for Celebrants to be at licenced/approved, and unlicenced premises.
So let your own imagination and preferences be where you begin to plan your Wedding Day. I am always happy to have a general chat about your plans, and to help you determine what the best solution for your circumstances might be!
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!