The Wonderful Wedding of Bex & Gavin

When I decided to become a celebrant, whilst I knew that I would be fully involved in creating a lifelong memory for couples and families, I hadn’t really allowed for how it would make me feel personally. For weddings, I presumed that I would meet a couple, they would book my services, we would convene regularly to put in place a truly intimate and personal service that they would share in front of their nearest and dearest, and afterwards, we would part company with a smile and warm handshake and I would move on to the next.

Well, what an emotional kick up the pants I was in for when I met Bex and Gavin. To become so close to a couple, so quickly and to be so involved in something so personal and precious, was truly a mind-blowing moment for me and really cemented why I truly love what I do.

www.lunaweddings.co.uk www.lunaweddings.co.uk www.lunaweddings.co.uk www.lunaweddings.co.uk www.lunaweddings.co.ukWe met at Huntsham Court, the venue for the wedding,  in November, for the first time. I’m listed as a recommended celebrant on the Huntsham website. I liked them immediately which, as you know, I think is as important as them liking me! Bex is an incredibly warm and fun person and Gavin is just the most charming laid back fellow. They were clearly very much in love and Bex in particular very excited about the whole thing. Not that he wasn’t but she just is an excitable incredibly enthusiastic type! He just sat smiling, letting her do all the talking with her ENORMOUS notebook. I took lots of notes about how they met, how he proposed, their families etc etc. and what they wanted out of the ceremony.

That was that until January when I sent them the first draft. It toed and froed for about a month. Then I met them again in London at a wine bar to go through the draft and who was going to do what, where everyone was going to stand, who was walking in with who etc etc. We had a very jolly evening. I felt very fond of them both.

Family and friends were particularly important to them. They absolutely loved Huntsham because it meant their nearest and dearest could stay with them and they could make a weekend of it. They wanted their ceremony to reflect their love of their parents and friends and also to have their story told with humour but sincerity.

By then we were good to go except for the vows. They were keen to write their own vows and read them themselves. Bex’s vows were prepared well in advance. Gavin appeared not to have really thought about them and I left him to it until about 3 weeks before the wedding and then put some pressure on him and when they were arrived I knew that Bex would never be able to hold back the tears. They were keen that they would not see other’s vows so on the day it would be a surprise.

On the Thursday before the wedding I met them at Huntsham to have a quick chat and a mini run through although the hall was not set up with all the chairs so we had to use our imagination somewhat.

Bex had asked me to arrive in good time on the day so I arrived an hour or so early. I went up to see her and then introduced myself to all the ‘key players’. It was good toput faces to all the names I had heard about over the past months.

The ceremony ran completely smoothly apart from an agonising rendition of All you need is love when I heard myself singing it at one stage almost entirely on my own as nobody was really joining in!! I left quietly. As I drove away my lovely couple were heading outside into the rain, full of love and happiness for their confetti shower.

Walk The Line – Wedding Processions

The wedding procession – sounds rather formal doesn’t it, but it has to be one of the most eagerly anticipated parts of a wedding.   Not only for the person making the entrance, but also for the one waiting at the other end and all the attendants watching. It’s also a chance for me, as a celebrant, to catch a glimpse of each person’s emotions as they see each other for the first time. A treasured moment.

Like all things wedding there is of course a traditional tried and tested formula.  There are two popular formats.   The bride to lead or be led.  The British tend to do it one way and the Americans the other.

wedding procession, walk the aisle, making an entranceSource: Left, Right

Traditionally Brits take the view that the Bride leads her attendants.   Cast your mind back to the vision of Catherine Middleton and indeed all the royal weddings. She was the star of the day.  The bride at this moment SHOULD be the star.  Majestic, composed, radiant, happy and beautiful.   Quite right that all eyes should be on her from the outset.

There is also a completely logical and practical reason for the bride to lead.  Most traditional wedding dresses have a train.  The attendants i.e. the bridesmaids, are there to hold the train and make sure that all is well.   They need to be behind the bride to do this.

Those across the pond go for the build-up of excitement and anticipation of the first glimpse of the bride whereby the attendants lead the bride down the aisle.   Sometimes this can turn into a huge procession of friends and family.  To get the full impact one really needs a big venue otherwise the party enters in drips and drabs and the whole affect is slightly lost.

I do believe a procession is an important element of any wedding ceremony.  For that special moment in time, those who are processing are transported from the humdrum of everyday life to the spotlight of a grand entrance with carefully selected music.  It is a fabulous way to honour your special friends and family too.

wedding procession, walk the aisle, making an entranceSource – Left, Top, Bottom

wedding procession, walk the aisle, making an entranceOf course, if yours is a same sex union or you are looking at something away from the norm, this can throw up a plethora of opportunities.   Walk in together.  This symbolises total unity with specific family members following behind.  One partner walks first escorted by one or both parents, the other follows with his or her family.  Perhaps have more than one aisle and approach together.  And how about this for an idea? A pre-recorded short narrative by yourselves of your journey to marriage.  Lastly you both could be at the front when your guests arrive and borrow from Jewish tradition whereby both sets of parents walk down the aisle and present you.

Which way are you going to process, British, American or something completely different?  I’d love to hear your ideas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Did I Become A Celebrant?

Why did I become a Celebrant?

The simple answer is, because I am dealing with love and meeting people at the most loved-up time in their life.  It is impossible not to make it sound anything other than corny, but it truly is a beautiful thing.

I hear a couple’s story and I can help them tell it however they like. Love is beautiful – actually, that doesn’t even come close to describing it.   And I make no apologies for getting caught up in experiencing a moment that is amazing.  I’m not, and I will never be – a ‘robotic’ celebrant.  I can’t imagine being a part of a wedding – where two people are expressing their enduring love for each other – and not being affected by it.   I’ve learned to take my own advice –  I tell my couples, when it becomes a bit overwhelming – take a deep breath – and soak in all the love that is around you.  There’s a lot of truth in Wet Wet Wet’s song ‘Love is all around us’

I feel it in my fingers
I feel it in my toes
The love that’s all around me
And so the feeling grows.

I won’t go on but you get the gist.  Don’t be ashamed if there are tears.  They are tears of genuine joy, emotion and happiness and everyone will be touched.   A moment’s pause may feel like a lifetime, however it reinforces that these special moments will last forever.  In the words of Dr Seuss “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory”

Love quoteI’ve never considered myself as being overly romantic but I do think everything involved in the planning of a wedding is infectious, joyous and exciting.    For me, I feel hugely privileged to be involved and trusted with a story.  My couples share with me their most personal feelings and tell me about the most important people in their lives.  It is a huge responsibility that I welcome and respect.

There is a powerful, infectious feeling of love, anticipation, excitement and I take the responsibility of my position very seriously and it’s not uncommon when a couple first contacts me – for them to ask for examples of previous ceremonies I have performed.  I’m more than happy to do so… but it comes with a very specific direction: “Don’t focus on the words, focus on the intention.”

Why?  Because when I write a ceremony, it’s a personalised ceremony… and it is completely and utterly customised to the couple who it is written for.

When the ceremony is over and ‘my’ couple immerse themselves amongst their nearest and dearest, I go home with warmth in my heart and a huge smile on my face.  A job well done.

 

Header image source

When April Comes

A topic that comes up in conversation on a regular basis, at Fanfare HQ and one that brings forth much debate, is which is the best month of the year to marry in? I am opening the discussion with April. A little inappropriate perhaps, as it’s currently March, but hey I like April.

April weddings, wedding celebrant, Devon wedding, AprilIf you believe in such things, what month you are born in can say a lot about your future together as a couple. April covers the signs of both Aries and Taurus and according to The Astro Twins, authors of Love Zodiac. “Aries is a very adventurous, bold, and independent sign. If you tie the knot during this time you’ll thrive as individuals and not risk losing sight of yourselves in the relationship. Your marriage will be filled with lots of spontaneity, too. Think last minute getaways, exciting dinner dates, and unexpected romantic surprises. But be careful not to get too competitive with each other, as Aries couples tend to do.”

“Taurus is an extremely sensual, decadent sign. You and your hubby enjoy the finer things in life, and you’re definitely not afraid to indulge your taste for luxury. Good news: You’re destined to have a very grounded marriage. Because both of you can get stuck and set in your ways though, it’s important to mix things up more and try new stuff — in the bedroom and out of it.”

April kicks off with Fool’s day and therefore paves the way for a month of fun and frivolity. It’s a mischievous month. It doesn’t just rain. It tries to catch you out with bursts of sunshine and then when you least expect it, it soaks you. Perhaps in human terms it could be described as optimistic but temperamental.

Happy words like love, hope and growth are associated with it and likewise happy colours like yellow and pastels. Although 1st March is technically the beginning of Spring, I think April is when it truly shows itself.

I like April. I was married during it. There was a spring chill in the air and a hint of a breeze but it didn’t rain on us. Perhaps we were lucky and that’s a good omen for anyone’s marriage.

What’s your favourite month? Will it impact on your decision to when you get married? Or is it just down to when your chosen venue is available? I’d love to hear why you love the month you love.

Throw Away The Wedding ‘Rule’ Book – Part 2

When I’m approached by couples at wedding fairs, my first question to them is usually, ‘Are you getting married in church?’  If they are not, then my next question is to determine their next step, which is usually to book a registrar.  Many couples have not heard of, or considered the services of a wedding celebrant and therefore are unaware of just how flexible and personal their wedding ceremony can be, without the constraints of a standard registrar service.

Below I reveal yet more reasons why a celebrant ceremony is so liberating and provide you with some alternatives to the ‘standard’ wedding rule book.

Throw away the rule book part 2. wedding celebrant, celebrant ceremony, personalised wedding, walking down the aisleMost brides will probably want to be escorted down the aisle (for support and to ease the nerves if nothing else).  Traditionally, of course, it’s Dad that has the honour, however there are many circumstances where perhaps he is not the chosen one or is not involved at all.   What I’m saying is that anyone can be the escort – your best friend, your mum, sibling, grandparent or even your child.  And if you want to go it alone – take centre stage and go it alone!

Furthermore, there is no need to be “given away” at all, if that doesn’t suit you.  An alternative might be to give the close family and/or friends of both the bride and groom  the opportunity to affirm their love of the couple and to promise to continue to provide love, guidance and support in their marriage. They can do this as a group, or individually. Standing, sitting, walking with you, gathered around you in a circle. Whatever is in your head and your heart, can be recreated on your wedding day. Just talk to me about your ideas.

Back to Basics – What Is a Naming Ceremony?

baby naming, naming ceremonyWhat is a naming ceremony?

Like a wedding, a naming ceremony, conducted by a Celebrant, is a unique and very personal way to welcome a child and officially introduce him or her to family and friends.

Naming ceremonies are appropriate for anyone, at any age.   The most common is the arrival of a new baby and the uniting of step or adopted children within a family.  More recently however, adults are taking part in naming or even re-naming ceremonies.  A famous example would be Bruce Jenner’s re-naming ceremony to change his name to Caitlin.

Whatever the age or situation, naming ceremonies involve the most important people in the individual’s life – family and special friends. In the case of a child, parents can ask other adults to play a supportive role to their child through to adult life (as godparents, mentors or supporters).

Poems, readings, music and quotes of personal significance can be used throughout the ceremony. Often a symbolic gesture is also made, such as the lighting of a candle or the planting of a tree. In addition, certificates are presented to parents and other special people as a record of the occasion.

Naming ceremonies are not a baptism or christening. While the ceremonies are non-religious, many parents with religious beliefs hold naming ceremonies to welcome their child. Doing so does not prevent the child from holding or participating in a religious ceremony at any stage of their life.

While the Naming Ceremony and accompanying documents don’t have any legal status, they are a wonderful way to celebrate the beginning of their journey through life.

Valentine’s Day Lamentations

At the risk of sounding like a grumpy old woman I’ve never been that keen on Valentine’s Day.  I fear it is turning into yet another commercial consumer racket.   Some people really feel the pressure for something extravagant to happen on 14th February and are weighed down by disappointment if doesn’t.  Furthermore, whether you are a teenager or adult looking for love and you don’t have a partner on Valentine’s Day, it can reinforce the very fact that Yes, you are on your own and there’s something wrong with that.

Whilst I was at 6th Form college studying (technically) for my A’ Levels, though if the truth be known I wasn’t doing much work …… I digress …… I was living with my bestie who just happened to be a boy magnet.  Both the years we shared digs  she received at least two bunches of flowers and the postman was weighed down with cards.  What did I get? A supposedly anonymous card from my dear father, kind but somehow it hit home even harder that I was somewhat lacking in the mysterious admirer or boyfriend department.

Valentine's Day, giving flowers, love, proposalsNick and I have just celebrated 25 years together and haven’t once given each other a card to celebrate Valentine’s Day. We’ve never really felt the need.   Having said that, some years quite unexpectedly he has gone out to the garden and hunted for a flower of some sort (quite a feat in February)  and then presented it to me as if it is the biggest bunch of roses you have ever seen.  It makes me laugh every time.  Having said that he is just as likely to do that on any other day of the year; in other words just because he feels like it.

My point is, don’t despair if you are on your own or there are no cards, chocolates, flowers or champagne. One day in February isn’t special but YOU are.

And if you are one of the lucky ones who gets proposed to on Valentine’s Day (or any day for that matter), many many congratulations and lots of love to you both.

What is a Wedding Celebrant?

VikkiJohnAssassynation-RocknRollBride

Fresh home from The Decidedly Different Vintage Wedding Fair at Exeter Castle I have been reflecting on the lovely couples I have met and the questions I was asked. Some of course were marrying in church but there were many who were going down the civil ceremony path and had booked their registrar but had no idea of the alternative I.E. a Celebrant Ceremony.

There are many excellent registrars who provide a great service but they are restricted by the law which results in a scripted ceremony and minimal choice. This is of course the huge advantage of going down the Celebrant path with no restrictions at all.

Our ceremonies accurately depict the couple and their love for each other and provide the opportunity for all their friends and family to celebrate their partnership and formalise it through marriage. People want ceremonies of meaning and substance where they walk away feeling happy and uplifted, and know they have truly celebrated the love and friendship of a couple they hold close.

We currently still need the Registrar to legalise the marriage but goodness Celebrants can offer so much more. The only limitation is your imagination.

 

Image source: Rock n Roll Bride

Exeter Castle

The Decidedly Different Vintage Wedding Fair

Come and join us at the Decidedly Different Vintage Wedding Fair this month.

We are thrilled to be exhibiting with some of the best wedding designers and suppliers in the county, at this fantastic show which takes place across the weekend of the 14th and 15th January, at Exeter Castle.

You can find us in Terrace Room 1. We can’t wait to meet you and chat through your individual, personal ideas for your wedding ceremony. Remember, where, when and how is completely up to you with a wedding celebrant.

Exeter Castle

Lamb

Music Speaks Volumes – Song Lyrics For Wedding Vows & Readings

I think song lyrics make the most wonderful readings, inclusion in your vows or simply beautiful, personal wedding music.  Some may need a little adapting and personalising, but here are two of my favourite to inspire you…

Miley Cyrus

I Adore you by Miley Cyrus

Are you listening?
Wondering, where you’ve been, all my life
I just started living
Are you listening?

When you say you love me
Know I love you more
When you say you need me
Know I need you more
Boy I adore you,
I adore you

Can you hear me?
When I’m crying out, for you,
I’m scared oh, so scared,
When you’re near me
I feel like I’m standing with an army
Of men armed with weapons.

I love lying next to you
I could do this for eternity,
You and me, were meant to be in holy matrimony
God knew exactly what he was doing
When he lead me to you

When you say you love me
Know I love you more
When you say you need me
Know I need you more
Boy I adore you,
I adore you

Lamb

Gorecki by Lamb

If I should die this very moment,
I wouldn’t fear,
For I’ve never known completeness,
Like being here,

Wrapped in the warmth of you,
Loving every breath of you,
Still my heart this moment – or it might burst.
Could we stay right here,

Till the end of time
Till the earth stops turning
I want to love you till the seas run dry,
I’ve found the one I’ve waited for

All this time I’ve loved you
And never known your face,
All this time I’ve missed you
And searched this human race

Here is true peace,
Here my heart knows calm,
Safe in your soul – bathed in your sighs
Could we stay right here

Till the end of time
Till the earth stops turning
I will love you till the seas run dry,
I’ve found the one I’ve waited for …

All I’ve known
All I’ve done
All I’ve felt
Was leading to this.

Keep reading our blogs for more wedding and vow renewal inspiration, to come.