A-Z of Weddings: A
3 Ideas – 3 Venues – 3 Suppliers
Each week the A-Z taster presents ideas for your wedding, civil partnership or vow renewal. Mini blogs of just 200 words introduce you to each idea.
Click ‘Contact’ if you want to know more.
Up to 3 Venues and 3 Suppliers are featured each blog.
As far as possible, these are local Lincolnshire businesses.
A mix of established and new, large and small, traditional and alternative. To be fair, each is presented without comment (unless an explanation is needed), and with a link to social media or the website so you can find out more.
Walking down the aisle towards the one you love. Aww, whose heart doesn’t skip a beat?
Traditionally, with bride and groom, the groom stands at the top of the aisle, waiting for the moment he can turn and catch the first glimpse of his beloved as she makes her entrance.
If you want to break with tradition, especially for equal marriages and civil partnerships, you might mix it up. Both of you could come in together, hand-in-hand, or walk from different doors or corners of the room and come together at the top of the aisle. I say walk. Dance if you like! Enter on a motorbike, Space Hopper, or be carried in Cleopatra style and unrolled from a rug! It’s your big entrance – do it your way! Have an escort if you’d like – a parent or even a pet.
Whether you’re marrying inside in a function suite, in a barn or tipi, or outdoors in woodland or on the beach, there are many ways to reflect your style in the aisle (that rhymes!).
Red or white carpet, a custom printed runner, rugs or skins, or barefoot on sand – what’s your preference? Lined with candles, vases of flowers, leaves or grasses, scattered petals, trees or rustic logs, shells, rocks or stones, perhaps with an archway under which you can pause to relish the moment.
Alternative ceremonies are for couples who break the mould – and they remove any traditional elements that aren’t ‘you’, such as being ‘given away’ or wearing a white dress, because that’s expected. Wear a black dress or a trouser suit if that’s what makes you feel great. It’s not only about style though. It’s a celebration of who you are and is a reflection of your personality, and beliefs (if any).
Alt ceremony weddings are sometimes called an un-wedding, non-wedding or anti wedding to distinguish them from convention. They are often described as quirky, unconventional or bold. They may be designed around your heritage, style or lifestyle – pagan, steampunk, gothic, boho, vintage, rock ‘n’ roll; or themed by your interests and inspiration – rainbows, dinosaurs, film noir, Harry Potter, Alice in Wonderland, The Little Mermaid etc.
Alternative venues and locations are popular – mystical woodlands, majestic coastlines, atmospheric caves, the giraffe house at a safari park, a brewery, a hot air balloon, or sky dive if you’re brave! It’s about understanding what is authentic and true to you, and what will make your day truly your own. Then going for it! Don’t want a big fuss? Elope! Do it your way.
Love animals? How about including them in your day, actually or symbolically? If you love horses, you could arrive by horse-drawn carriage or on horseback. Some companies provide llamas, alpacas or goats for your special day.
How about your pet? Check first with your venue or location, and consider their personality, to see if your pet could attend too. Dogs are popular, and look amazing dressed in bow ties and little suits. Your pet pooch could take on a traditional role - ring bearer, best dog, dog of honour or flower girl. If you have a pet sitter for the day, they might bring the pet along for a short while so they can be part of the day. Your celebrant ceremony certificate could have space for a witness paw print (scanned in digitally if it’s not practical on the day).
Your animal theme may be reflected in the wedding stationery or cake design. How about a 3-tiered cake with layers of leopard skin, snake print and zebra stripes?
You could include your pets in your vows too, promising to take care of them together, or to love your partner *almost* as much as them!
Venues - A
Remember – a celebrant-led ceremony can take place at any venue; it doesn’t have to be licensed for civil weddings or partnerships. Here are some venues for a Lincolnshire wedding.
Abbey Farm Weddings
Suppliers - A
A Booth and Beyond
Amy Lauren Weddings
Anna Belle Designs
Let Me Marry You!
This year saw the first World Celebrants Week (Woop!) - a chance for professional celebrants everywhere to engage with the public, and each other, and share their enthusiasm for this wonderful role.
National Celebrants Day first ran last year, on 20th November, and so #WCW2021 was a natural outgrowth of this. Each day had a theme, such as best advice for couples, or describing your favourite ceremony, and social media was filled with lots of inspiring stories and images.
I was interviewed by Radio Humberside about it - the clip is below.
As vicars are mentioned, just to clarify, presently a marriage (in England & Wales) is made legal by a faith leader or registrar.
Marriage law is currently under review, and fingers crossed celebrants may soon be registered to conduct legally binding ceremonies.
In the meantime, it's a question of popping to the register office for a 10 minute registration of marriage, and then onto the personalised celebrant-led celebration - whether that's a big do or a micro-wedding, at any venue of choice and a time to suit.
If the Law Commission recommendations are accepted by the government, it will make things much easier for couples to have the wedding they want, their way.
The final report comes out summer 2022.
There have been much response to the need to modernise marriage. If you feel strongly that people shouldn't be forced to choose between a religious wedding, or a barebones civil service at a register office, then do write to your M.P.
Let them know that couples need the choice of a legal marriage conducted by a recognised celebrant (independent or humanist) also - so they can have the personalised ceremony that is most meaningful for them - at a time and place they choose, with the content that is right for them.
Here's to positive change, and genuine choice!
Hurrah, I got to see the piece that was in Funeral Service Journal, thanks to a kind funeral director sending it to me.
In hindsight, I'd probably change some of what I said, but oh well!
*snaffles celebratory Ferrero Rocher*
Shining Star - Who, Me?
I'm featured in April's Funeral Director Monthly magazine, published by the NAFD (one of the main trade bodies for funeral directors).
Here's the screenshot if you'd like to read it.
Breeze Memorial Services held a special week in the run-up to Christmas 2020, with contributions from established celebrants offering a poem, song, or some comforting thoughts.
All of the videos can be found on the Facebook page, along with this - a short winter consolation I wrote for the solstice.
A Day in the Life of A Funeral Celebrant
What do I get up to on a typical day? As a celebrant that is!
Find out here in this guest blog written for the Funeral Notices website.
Click the link:
Self-Care Tips When Grieving
I was delighted to be guest blogger Funeral Notices website; where you can find details of upcoming services, tributes to families, funeral service providers, and help and advice.
September is self-care month, so here's the article I penned for it.
There's an easy mnemonic to help you be mindful of your needs.
I hope you find it helpful.
Click the link:
What is a Celebrant!?
After frequently being met with blank looks when asked what I do professionally, I decided to make a video to explain what a celebrant is, and what I offer, so it's an 'infomercial' I suppose.
It was put together by the very patient guys at A-Z Promotions in Cleethorpes!
Funerals in the Time of CoVID
During the first lockdown in Spring 2020, I was invited to speak on Radio Humberside about how funerals had changed under the restrictions brought in due to the coronavirus.
Those early days were difficult for families and funeral professionals alike, as legislation and guidance changed frequently.
Welcome to the blog - enjoy! Contact me if there's anything you'd like me to cover about celebrant-led ceremonies.