I recently shared a post on Facebook about a couple who met at Glastonbury who then had their wedding ceremony there this year. What a brilliant idea and of course a celebrant-led ceremony could be held at any festival that you particularly love because no license is required.
Are you thinking of getting married in a faraway exotic location but don’t want to use the venue’s prescriptive script? Or perhaps you have a friend or family member you would love to present your wedding ceremony here at home but don’t want to give them the added pressure of writing the script? In either of these situations you may be interested to hear that I offer a script only service.
- You make the brilliant decision that you don’t want a ceremony that reads the same as everyone else’s and contact me. The next important decision is to make sure I am the right person for you. You must like me; like the sound of my voice and indeed my style of ceremony.
- If we all decide that we ‘get’ one another, ideally the next step would be for us all to meet face-to-face however if, for whatever reason, this isn’t possible Facetime is a good alternative. This meeting is not long but it is just to confirm that your instincts were right and that I am the right person for you and for you to ask any questions you may have. All being well you will then pay a deposit to save the date and I will send a contract for you both to sign.
- The next time we meet will be about two to three months before the big day. I like you to allow at least two hours for this. It doesn’t have to be at the venue but if the ceremony is to be held at your home then that would be ideal. If it’s at a venue, I’ll meet you locally here in Devon. However, many of my clients are based in London and if this is the case, I will happily meet you there.
- Prior to this meeting I will send you some homework in the form of some questions. Ideally, I like it returned before we meet but this is not essential. Many of my clients find this a very reflective exercise and rather fun. The questions cover everything from the details of your bridal parties to telling me all about your relationship, your characters, your families and of course the proposal. In short, the story of you and your partner. This is the essence of your ceremony script and what makes it entirely bespoke. For me this is my favourite part of my job. I introduced the questionnaire a year ago. I’d rather spend this precious time with you both, getting to know you, rather than having to concentrate on getting the chronology and detail correct. That way the script will be truly reflective of you.
- We will kiss goodbye and I always hear myself saying ‘Most likely the next time we meet will be on your big day’. I always feel like I’ve made some new friends and hope that you will feel the same.
- I go home and write the script and then send you the first draft with everything crossed my end that you will love it and that I’m along the right track. You will tweak, amend as necessary and I will do the same and the script will go back and forth until we are all absolutely happy.
- In the meantime, I will also, if applicable, liaise with the venue and make sure that the event manager and I are entirely happy with the production on the day.
- A week or so before your wedding I will email to confirm the finer details on the production of the ceremony, confirming that we all know who is doing what, where everyone is seated and so on.
- Then it’s the big day! I always arrive an hour beforehand which gives me plenty of time to introduce myself to members of the families and of course the rest of the bridal party. I’m always equipped with plenty of water for nervous dry throats, tissues for the regularly teary groom, and Vaseline for the ring fingers in case of sweaty hands. I always bring laminated copies of the readings for the readers just in case.
- My second favourite part of my job is standing with the groom (or bride) awaiting his bride (or groom!). When the music starts and she’s on her way my heart skips a beat, often my eyes fill with tears and I must give myself a metaphorical kick to pull myself together! That’s how involved I feel.
- And so, I read our script and I mean ours. We created it together – the three of us. I issue the immortal words, “You may kiss your beautiful bride (or groom!)” and for me ………. It’s nearly over. But for you it’s the beginning of bigger and better things.
- Before I leave, I love to get a picture of the three of us. These pictures are the most special of all.
So, there you have it. I hope I have answered any questions you might have had before reading this post. If not, just give me a shout and I’ll be only too happy to chat with you.
I met a couple last week to discuss their wedding for next year and when asked does it matter that I don’t want etc etc, ………….., I heard myself say again, “Absolutely NO, it doesn’t matter!” This is all about doing your wedding your way. The beauty of a celebrant ceremony is, there are no rules or regulations. Be inspired by other’s clever, individualistic ideas, tweak them to suit you. Do it your way.
I’ve heard of couples going to the most amazing lengths to be different. Take your bouquet, for example. Fresh floral bouquets are, without question, beautiful but what if you don’t want to do it the ‘normal’ way? A fabric bouquet, or one made of buttons and brooches, won’t wilt, fade or die. It lasts forever and can be made to your specific colour palette. And you can even have a special heirloom brooch sewn into it to remember someone special on your big day. Or perhaps you’d prefer not to carry anything at all. What an opportunity to be creative and design either a bouquet that’s completely your own or carry something completely non-bouquet and unique.
Furthermore, your bridesmaids could carry something other than flowers too. How about a beautiful clutch bag or something similar which can they can then keep as a very useful memento of the day. Lanterns are also a wonderful alternative especially for an evening winter wedding with the added benefit that they offer additional lighting too!
I suppose actually there IS one rule. If it doesn’t mean something to you both; don’t do it! Pop over to our Pinterest boards for more alternative bouquet inspiration.
Image sources (left to right, top to bottom)
– windmill, paper, starfish, white
– lantern, lantern, parasol, cuff
– lollipops, sweets, paper, heart
– charm, single flowers, felt, jewels
– fern, hoop, feathers, butterflies
A celebrant wedding can be a truly liberating experience. No matter what you have been told, or your parents or grandparents did in the past, YOU can literally do what YOU want to do. Buck the trend, call it what you like. Don’t be influenced by what has been done before or worry if it’s OK to do it this way or that; if you want to do it differently go ahead. Here are my suggestions of some alternatives to the more traditional wedding element.
When your family is big or you have lots of friends, choosing who is part of your bridal party, can be a difficult task and normally ends up with someone feeling left out or upset. Well guess what? There is absolutely no need for you to have a bridal party. If it’s just too hard to choose who should stand with you, consider viewing ALL your guests as your bridal party. Alternatively, maybe you want the only people to be at the front and centre during this important moment to be the two of you and your celebrant. Feel happy and proud to stand up there together, just the two of you.
You don’t have to make a grand entrance. You may find that way too nerve-wracking. If you just want to enter together supporting each other. Do it. There is no rule that says the groom has to be the one nervously waiting for the bride to turn up, and no rule that says anyone has to walk down an aisle. Indeed, if you’re having a more relaxed, casual wedding, you both may want to be in attendance to greet your guests as they arrive, and just get the ceremony started when it feels right.
The layout of the ceremony does not have to be the traditional format of the couple in the middle with their guests sitting in rows, like in a theatre. Why not seat your guests in a giant circle of love around you both.
Here’s a thought – why is it only the bride who gets the big entrance? How about the groom making one too, with or without his best man, accompanied by some pretty cool music?
With a celebrant ceremony there are no rules; just what matters to you both. It’s your day and we can create something truly memorable and special. More ideas to come in Part 2 of this blog post…