Updated: Dec 1, 2021
You have said yes and you've agreed the date, booked the most perfect venue, and you are now wondering about what you want your ceremony to feel like. The promises you are going to make to each other on the day are important and you want to get it just right.
Some couples are happy with the traditional vows and promises used during church weddings and registry office ceremonies because there is something comforting and familiar about the words. We have all heard them before and those traditions date back to 19th century; however, some feel they are a bit out of touch.
For those of you who are looking for something more personal to reflect you as a modern couple, you might want to look for a special ceremony? If so, an independent celebrant will be perfect for you. Independent Celebrants write and create your bespoke ceremony that tells your unique love story!
Celebrants cannot legally marry you but I, as your celebrant, will make sure that your wedding, civil partnership, vow renewal and baby naming ceremony is going to be truly personal, bespoke and memorable for you, your family and friends for years to come.
You can create your personal vows, if you like and you can choose your own readings and poems which reflect the feelings and love for each other.
It’s worth considering a celebrant led ceremony because it is less restrictive and sometimes even less expensive because you can be flexible about the venue or setting for your ceremony. You can consider getting married outdoors in your back garden, a field or the woodlands or even on a boat. A wedding celebrant can deliver a ceremony anywhere with a special meaning to you both.
Once you've completed the legal bit, - which can be inexpensive at the register office, if you chose a midweek appointment – you can then go ahead with your ceremony…..
Your Day, Your Way!
Your personal ceremony, led by a celebrant, can be a simple or an extravagant affair with traditional rituals like the exchange of rings or more symbolic rituals like a sand ceremony. If you are stuck for ideas or inspiration for your ceremony, I am sure your celebrant will be able to help you!
In a celebrant led ceremony, couples can involve their guests by asking them to contribute to the ceremony with a poem or a special reading. Some couples are very musical and they have live music during their ceremony. Couples might want to perform their favourite song or have a violinist playing the Pachelbel Canon whilst the bride walks down the aisle. You can choose traditional music or you plan a group song to involve your guests.
Other couples want to include their children into the ceremony or even their pets. Dogs make very cute ring bearers or you can have a 'bitch of honour'.
As your celebrant, I will write your entire ceremony and create an order of service for you. Once you've shared your love story with me I can write your vows or promises to each other with you. Some couples might prefer to write their own vows, but they will ask the celebrant to read them out loud. It's entirely up to you, there is no right or wrong - just an awesome ceremony!!
To make your ceremony extra special you can add 'symbolic rituals' to it and these rituals are becoming increasingly more popular. Here are just a few examples you might want to considered for your celebrant led ceremony...
Jumping the Broom
This symbolic ritual has its origin in many cultures and it is a tradition used commonly in the past centuries. Couples are literally jumping over a broomstick together as a 'leap of faith'. It symbolises your love for each other, as you jump into the future together. The one who jumps higher apparently is the one who leads in the relationship. I am not entirely sure about that though!! This ritual allows you to ask for audience participation. The helpers hold the broom a few inches off the ground whilst the couple close their eyes, and count to three to jump the broomstick into the future together.
Choosing a symbolic ritual like a sand ceremony will symbolise the coming together of the families. A real favourite if you are blending families with children from previous relationships or just the coming together of two individuals to make one loving couple. During this ceremony individual glass vessels of coloured sand are poured into a third vessel to symbolise the blending of the lives and families. Just as the grains of sand can no longer be separated, so should your lives now be as one. A great visual keepsake from the special day.
The traditional Celtic ritual of hand fasting or hand tying has been used for centuries and it is the equivalent of 'tying the knot'. The couple hold hands and the celebrant uses coloured ribbons or braids to tie the hands together loosely. These ribbons often match the wedding theme or the colours have a special meaning to the couple. This ritual signifies the binding together of your lives. During the handfasting the couples can make their promises to each other or say their personal vows. The celebrant will use a special technique to make sure that the ribbons are secured in a knot once the couple release their hands. Or you can stay tied together for a while, if you like.
The warming or blessing of the rings is a very popular symbolic ritual which enable the couple to include their guests into the ceremony. The rings are placed in a ring box or velvet bag before the exchange of the rings. The rings are passed around the wedding guests and each guest holds them for a few seconds to bestow their love and positive thoughts towards the couple and their marriage. When the rings are returned to the couple, they hold all the love and best wishes for the future from their family and friends. A personal favourite of mine!!
This is one of the really beautiful and simple symbolic rituals during a ceremony because candles represent light and hope. A couple lighting a candle symbolises their union and hope for the future. Children and family members can get involved when lighting the unity candle as this symbolises the coming together of two families in joint love for the couple.
Individual smaller taper candles can be used to light the one unity candle which symbolises the coming together of two families. Usually, you would light the candles after exchanging the vows but this can be adapted and you are free to decide.
Whilst there can be different times to light the candles, different amounts of candles to be lit and different people lighting the candle, it all comes down to making this ceremony unique for both of you – shining brighter and stronger as one.
Some couples relight the candles each year on their anniversary. You can choose to decorate your unity candle with a quote, vows, or a photo from your wedding, it can also be a beautiful keepsake for years to come.
However you are planning to celebrate your love for each other, whatever venue or symbolic ritual you may choose for your ceremony, a celebrant will support you and your ideas for your special day to create memories to last a lifetime.
If you are looking for a ceremony that is uniquely yours get in touch and we can discuss how we might work together to achieve this.
Lots of Love,