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Remembering Absent Loved Ones At Your Wedding

A wedding is a time for joy and laughter and the bringing together of your loved ones and closest friends, in celebration. But what about those dearest family members who are no longer with you, or the friends living thousands of miles away, who can’t make it to your wedding day? How do you include them or commemorate them? Will drawing attention to their absence create too much sadness for what should be the happiest day of your life?

I’ve put together a few suggestions as to how you can remember a missing loved one on your special day.  And I can help you with making sure that your loved ones, dearly departed or just absent from your day, are remembered in the most personal, subtle, intimate or full on celebratory way you can imagine. Just give me a call to chat through your ideas.

family tree for weddingsSource

  • Put images of family and friends in frames and display them on a table, a tree or even a stepladder, so that guests can remember them in their own way, at their own time.
  • Save a chair for a missing family member, by adding a personal item or a photograph. Or set one chair aside, perhaps in a different colour or style, that is symbolic and for every missing person.
  • If you want to do something completely unforgettable, then release balloons or even white doves in memory of those absent.
  • For something a little more subtle, add a personal trinket, small locket or photo in cuff links to your wedding gown, suit, bouquet or even shoes (your loved ones will literally be walking down the aisle with you, even if they aren’t there).
  • For those that are perhaps living abroad and unable to attend, make them feel included by sitting your laptop on a chair and Skyping them throughout the ceremony.
  • Your speech or wedding vows are the perfect platform to remember a missing relative or pal. Or why not add a paragraph or so into your order of service; a keepsake for all.

Absent loved ones Absent loved ones Absent loved onesSource: Bouquet, Reading, Chair, Jacket, Front Row, Balloons, Chalkboard, Doves, Skype, Cuff Link

 

Throw Away The Wedding ‘Rule’ Book – Part 3

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.

alternative wedding bouquets

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.

alternative wedding bouquets

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.

alternative wedding bouquets alternative wedding bouquetsalternative wedding bouquets

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

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Celebrant or Civil? Choosing the Right Ceremony for You

If you’re not particularly religious or just want something a little less traditional than a church wedding, then we are here to share the other choices of ceremony and celebration available to you…

To put it as simply as possible, a celebrant wedding is completely personal to you.  Your words, your thoughts, your feelings, delivered by someone who you have chosen because they will be able to replicate it all in a way that represents you both as a couple.  Moreover the ceremony can take place anywhere, yes anywhere even on the moon if you could get there. So if you and your partner have always wanted to get married amidst the bluebell woods where you first met, or on the edge of the sea in your first holiday spot, then with a celebrant wedding, you can!

Civil or Celebrant weddings - outdoor weddings beach weddings same sex weddingsSource: Top Left, Top Right, Bottom Left, Bottom Right

A civil ceremony has to take place in a venue that is licensed to perform weddings.  These venues can be the most wonderful, unusual places or in your local Registry Office but, in either situation the ceremony is scripted.   A celebrant ceremony doesn’t have to stick to a set script; your wedding really will be personal in every way.

Currently a celebrant wedding is not legally binding, so you will need to visit your local Registry Office before your ceremony to make it all official.  There’s also a few other legal bits you need to do before you marry, but this can all be explained to you either by your wedding celebrant or the Registrar.

Civil ceremony or celebrant wedding. pets at weddings, outdoor weddingsSource: Top Left, Top Right, Bottom Left, Bottom Right

Once that’s all done, you are free to challenge all the stereotypes of a wedding. Throw caution to the wind.  Follow your soul.  If your thing is the beach – have your ceremony on the beach, if it’s your home, have it at home.  To all intents and purposes you are getting married where you want to and how you want to.  Surrounded by all your loved ones, your favourite people, your animals, involving them in your very personal day with as much interaction as you like, in a place that it is deeply personal to you, listening to music which has meaningful association with experiences and moments.

So, which kind of ceremony are you thinking of having for your wedding? Are you already married; tell us how you tied the knot! And if you have some ideas that you want to chat through, please get in touch.