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Good Things Come in Small Wedding Packages

MICRO WEDDING is the latest buzz word in ‘wedding world.’  In a nutshell it is an alternative to a full-blown elopement.  The definition of elopement is the act or instance of running off secretly.  A micro wedding is not that but more an occasion which allows the focus to be on the ceremony attended by your very closest family and friends.

alternative-elvis-elopement-in-vegas-13-780x521Image Source

Elopement suits some.  Running away in secret to get hitched privately is romantic but it can potentially hurt, disappoint and can cause misunderstandings which is of course is not the intention.  However, if you want to keep your wedding small, simple or short and you don’t want to spend a small fortune a micro wedding might be the answer.  It is a whole easier to keep sight of your budget when are only 20 versus 150 guests.

A ‘micro’ is simpler in format, relaxed in atmosphere, less stress to organise than a traditional wedding and much easier on the pocket.  The whole occasion can no more than 2 hours allowing sufficient time for a meaningful ceremony, photographs to remember the occasion and some celebratory drinks afterwards.  By limiting your guest list, the emphasis is on the ceremony and those precious people who are key in your lives whom you want to witness this significant and important event.  Not only will you feel more connected with your family and friends but they, in turn, feel hugely honoured and valued.

lindsie_grey_wedding_photography_candid_documentary_aperture_room_winter_wedding_1098(pp_w768_h512)Image source

The whole concept of a micro wedding ‘marries’ (excuse the pun) perfectly with a celebrant ceremony.  Bespoke, unique, intimate and inclusive.  Here’s a thing, you could rent a beautiful house in your most favourite place and invite only your closest friends and family and get married in the garden or even in the kitchen if that suits you better.  You could even keep it a huge surprise for everyone.

Having said that many licensed venues are now offering elopement packages which are, in essence, micro weddings.  Our favourite is Bridwell Park.

I’d love to hear your stories of intimate weddings you’ve been part of, or you are planning yourself.

10 Reasons Why You Should Choose a Celebrant For Your Wedding

When it comes to deciding where to get married, there is an array of choices available to you.  All of which have their advantages and disadvantages – whether that be down to availability, size, venue restrictions or religious beliefs.

Deciding on who should marry you, however, is still something that falls way down to the bottom of most couples’ wedding preparation priorities.  I hope to change that by giving you 10 reasons to choose a celebrant for your special day, rather than a registrar.

Barons Hill Barn weddingChoose a wedding celebrant if…

  1. Your perfect venue does not have a civil marriage licence. This could be your own garden, woodlands, a beach or an unlicensed wedding venue
  2. You don’t want to be restricted by the limitations of a licensed ceremony
  3. You don’t want to be married by a complete stranger
  4. You want to be married somewhere where all your friends and family can stay together i.e self catering accommodation
  5. You want to include a religious element within your ceremony but don’t want to get married in a church
  6. You want to be married outdoors without a permanent structure
  7. You want to be confident in the knowledge that your celebrant will have one booking that day and therefore there is no need to rush or fit in with a schedule
  8. You want a ceremony that has no template or standard script, no tick boxes or restrictions.
  9. You want to add a hand fasting, sand ceremony, religious or cultural element, to give your ceremony added personality
  10. You want your ceremony to be completely personal and unique to you.

So, now you know. Your wedding need not follow the same template or wording. Your ceremony will not feel rushed or conveyor-beltish. Your special day will be completely and utterly unique. If you have any other questions please, please do contact me via the website. I’m always happy to chat and help in any way I can.

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Winter Weddings vs Summer Celebrations

When you think about ‘wedding season’, the height of it all tends to be around the summer months. But as the weather becomes more and more unpredictable in the UK and we hear stories of weddings being completely washed out, more and more couples are choosing the winter months to get married.

And why not? Tying the knot in winter alleviates the pressure of the ‘British’ summer.  In winter, good weather is a bonus and therefore not always a deciding factor when choosing a venue or a date.  The venues are also cheaper during the winter, sometimes as much as half the price of dates through June to September. And if you are looking for a last minute date, chances are they are more available during the latter quarter of the year.

winter wedding inspiration winter wedding inspirationThe scenery, whilst not bursting with floral abundance, is crisp and clear and minimal and fresh. The nights draw in giving the perfect backdrop for fireworks displays and festoon lighting. Tables can be dotted with candles and tealights and anything sparkly.  Couples should remember that natural daylight is best for photographs, so bear that in mind when timing your day.

Brides can keep warm under faux fur wraps and velvet capes. Guests can snuggle up under blankets and congregate around open firepits with hot chocolates and marshmallows.  Or warm their cockles on mulled wine or vodka ice sculptures.

And for couples looking to winter for inspiration in their wedding vows…

winter wedding, wedding vows

And if you are planning on lots of DIY touches, head over to our sister company Fanfare Celebration Supplies for all your winter wonderland wedding paraphernalia. Everything from paper snowflakes to napkins and crystals.

And here are just a few of our favourite venues that are simply stunning in winter. Some of them still have availability for 2018 winter weddings, so head on over and take your pick.

The Great Barn | Higher Eggbeer | Haldon Belvedere | Huntsham Court | The Corn Barn | Hayne Devon

 

Image source: lights, cocoa, bride, sparklers, mulled wine, blankets

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

pets at weddings, pet ring bearers, dogs, wedding ceremonies

Have You Got The Rings?

child ring bearersTraditionally, the Best Man was given the responsibility of keeping the rings safe and indeed the honour of presenting them to the bride and groom.  This responsibility is weighty.  Who can forget Joey’s nightmare in ‘Friends’ and there are countless other examples of best men finding it a nerve-wracking experience.

A celebrant ceremony is designed to be completely personal and the ring presentation is yet another element of the ceremony which can be adapted to include others rather than the traditional best man.  It is a perfect time to include the father of the groom for instance, a child, a grandparent or anyone who the couple would like to honour or validate as a special and precious part of their life.

Take the father of the groom. The father of the bride has such an important role to play as he is most likely to have walked his daughter down the aisle and ‘given her away’.  What a wonderful moment of validation to ask the groom’s father to look after those precious rings.  It brings an element of balance to the involvement of each family and a truly proud and special memory to cherish for him.

Small children presenting the rings will always bring heart melting moments and doubtless will delight by doing something unpredictable and sweet.  Older children will take the role very seriously and feel honoured and special to have this responsibility.  It can work perfectly as a bonding experience especially if there is a blending of families.

pets at weddings, pet ring bearers, dogs, wedding ceremoniesAnimals are a fun idea and using favourite pets to present the rings is popular if not a little risky.  Be it a dog or horse they will definitely steal the limelight momentarily but be prepared for it all to go hopelessly wrong.   There is a lot of truth in WC Fields’ comment ‘never work with children or animals’.

Finally whether or not you are a Harry Potter fan, you cannot fail to be impressed with a barn owl delivering your rings.  The soft silent flight of a trained owl will make the delivery of them a truly unique and special moment.

You're engaged, celebrant weddings, Devon Weddings, marriage

You’re Engaged

Huge congratulations to you! You’re engaged!

Whether you were hoping for ages that it would happen or it was a complete surprise, once you have recovered from the euphoria of the proposal of marriage and a date has been set. you need to start to preparing for the big day.

You may have been dreaming forever of your fairy-tale, traditional wedding day, or you may be the type who wants to take off and be married on a beach somewhere tropical. Whichever way you lean, the heart of the matter is the union between you and your partner.  The wedding day itself is the most wonderful excuse for a party and, if you are organised, there is no need for it to be stressful, but a truly joyful and exciting journey.

handmade-wedding-signs-from-etsy-personalized-wedding-ideas-we-doGet the ‘housekeeping’ stuff out of the way.  Set the budget, open a wedding account and start saving towards the day.  Assuming you are not flying off to the Caribbean and are marrying in a church or licensed venue, check availability for your preferred date.   Venues, because they are licensed to perform ceremonies, will recommend you contact the Registrar as soon as possible, as they often get very booked up. Please remember you also have the option of a Celebrant who although cannot marry you legally at the venue, can perform a bespoke, personalised ceremony to include your children, family members, pets, your favourite song, words from poems you love; the possibilities are endless.

The beauty of using a wedding celebrant like me, is that once you have done the legal bits, you can have your perfectly personal, loving ceremony at your chosen venue.  This is the heart of the day, the reason why you are both here and indeed why you want all your family and friends around you.

Notice given, venue and celebrant booked.  Now the fun begins on the organising front.  Food, gown, photographer, florist, stationery, transport, invitations.

During all the excitement stick to your budget and your guns; plan it the way you want to. Listen to advice, take some of it or all of it but always remember how excited you were when you were proposed to and don’t let that moment go.  That is the essence of what this day is all about.  Of course, you want everything to be perfect from the food to the music.   It’s your marriage you are celebrating and that unique precious moment in the day when you exchange vows and the promises you make to each other, is the part that matters.

Second marriages, getting married with children, celebrant weddings, Devon weddings

Love & Marriage, Second Time Around

Second marriages, getting married with children, celebrant weddings, Devon weddings(LR)

Love can be lovelier the second time around. Whether after loss or divorce finding someone special is thrilling and sometimes unexpected and very worthy of a proper celebration. And, let’s face it, finding someone who can handle the emotional baggage that comes from being a divorcee, widow or widower, as well as possibly an instant parent, is not easy.

However, thanks to celebrant ceremonies, the way that we can now get married or re-married allows for these celebrations and all for the better, I say! Weddings nowadays can be so much more about the union of two individuals. They can also be, and for many are, about the creation of new families. For many women their wedding day is about becoming a step-mother, as well as a wife. For many men it’s about becoming a stepfather, as well as a husband and more and more children are gaining new brothers and sisters and new adults in their lives to love and respect.

Second marriages, getting married with children, celebrant weddings, Devon weddings(LR)

So here are a few suggestions of superb ways to honour your partner’s children or vice versa and make them feel that extra bit special on your wedding day…

  • Give them a role for the day. Little girls can carry baskets of flower petals and both boys and girls make excellent ring bearers.
  • If old enough invite them to do a reading, if more than one child is involved pair them up so that they can take it in turns. Excellent for moral support and bonding.
  • If you are looking for inspiration, AA Milne always gets it bang on with Winnie the Pooh. I’d be cautious about asking children to choose the reading themselves especially if they are of mischievous persuasion. I heard a classic extract of a poem written by a child the other day ‘Mummy looks like a dragon in the morning and David’s head looks like a bum, but when they get showered and changed they look like the perfect couple.’ How brilliant is that!

There are many wonderful symbolic rituals out there that are just perfect for including children.  Here are some other ideas:

  • Unity Candle Ceremony – Instead of lighting the individual candles yourselves, an older child can light the candles and pass them on to you both to light the central candle. The symbolism of this would be pretty powerful too. It would be their way of saying they’re happy for your union and that they’re giving you their blessing by lighting the candle
  • Handfasting Ceremony. The children can help in tying the knot and have their own cords or ribbons with their chosen colours included in the ceremony.
  • If you are including a memory box (or time capsule) in your ceremony, the children can be asked to contribute something for the box, maybe a letter to the two of you, a poem, a photo or special painting of you both.
  • A sand ceremony is another wonderful way of including your step children and symbolises the uniting of the whole family. Have jars with the names of the children on them with their chosen colour of sand and one large jar into which the sand is poured. The grains of sand merge creating a union that can never be separated.

First of foremost keep it fun, make it inclusive and don’t forget to buy them a beautiful present as a keepsake of such an important day.

Second marriages, getting married with children, celebrant weddings, Devon weddings

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Image from Boho Weddings.

Ten Awesome Wedding Venue Ideas

The beauty of using a celebrant, like me, for your wedding, is that you can get married absolutely anywhere! And your choice of wedding venue can say a lot about you.

Once you have sorted all the legal side of things at your local registry office, unless you want to get married there of course, you are then free to choose a wedding setting that truly reflects you and your partner’s character, or a place that has sentimental meaning, or even your family home.

Here are 10 alternative wedding settings to give you inspiration for your big day. I’d love to hear your ideas for the perfect celebration setting for you!

THE OTHER COUNTRY

Weddings abroad, weddings in other countries, elopmentsSource: Mountain, Palm Trees, Floral Arch, Church, Crowd

THE BARN

barn weddingsSource: A&K, K&N, Reception

 THE BEACH

weddings on the beach, beachside weddings, Source: Boys, Message, Bride & Groom

THE CINEMA, MUSIC HALL, THEATRE

weddings in cinema, music hall, theatreSource: Cinema front, Centre stage, Down the aisle, Balcony, Front and centre

 THE GARDEN

garden weddings, weddings outdoors, al fresco weddingsSource: Paper lanterns, Canoe, Couple, Metal chairs, Striped aisle

THE PUB

pub weddingsSource: Left, Middle, Right

THE POOL

swimming pool weddings, weddings by the poolSource: Green stripes, Bride & groom, Lanterns, Girls poolside, Wedding vows

THE VILLAGE HALL

Village hall weddingsSource: Syrup, Dance, Reception

THE WAREHOUSE

weddings in warehouses Source: Stained glass, Fairy lights, BAR, Red chair, Bride & groom

THE WOODLAND

weddings in the woodsSource: Teepee, Mutual weirdness, Hand fasting, Wedding table, Bridal party