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Creating a Celebrant Ceremony – The Process

I thought it might be helpful for those who are considering whether to use my services to write a bit on how the process works from the first point of contact until the actual ceremony. So here goes…

  • 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.

Fan xx

 

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.

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

Ann Kathrin Koch as featured on Rock My Wedding

Let’s Do It All Again – When & Why You Should Renew Your Wedding Vows

Ann Kathrin Koch as featured on Rock My WeddingImage via Rock My Wedding, by Ann Kathrin Koch

To some, renewing one’s vows might appear a bit showy, indulgent or even soppy, but actually it makes a lot of sense.  A love that withstands the test of time; the ups and downs that life can throw at you and come out the other side the same or even stronger, is a union that is truly worth celebrating.

The exciting ‘puppy love’ at the outset of a marriage develops into a more profound alliance with time.  The closest thing to that much-used expression ‘unconditional love’ is still sharing that love after years of living and being together, seeing and accepting every mannerism, habit and idiosyncrasy; however maddening.

This rollercoaster life not only shares special memories and joyful experiences but also endures the stresses and strains of everyday life, financial worries, ill health and more.  Then, for many, the introduction of children is thrown into the mix, with the inevitable changes in the dynamic that this causes.   A vow renewal ceremony provides an opportunity to reaffirm and celebrate an ongoing commitment as well as a pledge of continued love.

So when do you renew your vows? There are, of course, no hard and fast rules for this but for me 10 years is perfect if the circumstances are right.  The notorious 7-year itch has been survived and it is a significant landmark in any relationship.

wedding vow renewalImage source: Family, Story, Red Shoes, Stationery, Cake Topper, Desert

A renewal of vows ceremony celebrates the longevity, commitment, dedication and cohesiveness of love.  You could use the same vows you took on your wedding day or add new ones to reflect your personal journey and the joys and tribulations you have shared.  Many couples will include their children in the vow renewal too, uniting the family even more.  You may wish to wear a more simple gown or this could be the chance to wear the dress you always wanted to and never did. You and your partner may yearn for peace and privacy and seek a very intimate renewal in your favourite holiday spot or this could be the excuse for that big reunion party you have been meaning to plan.

Whichever way you choose to celebrate your love for each other, the ceremony will be filled with warmth, feeling and fun and is surely one of the sweetest things a married couple could ever do.