January 06th, 2023
Inspiration for your wedding, civil partnership or vow renewal
3 Ideas – 3 Venues – 3 Suppliers
Eloping became is synonymous with Gretna when the 1754 Marriage Act prevented couples from England & Wales marrying under 21 unless they had parental permission, so many young lovers dashed to this first village over the Scottish border to be hitched without restriction.
Elopement is still popular, but for different reasons. Some couples like the secret rush of ‘running away’ to be wed; others see their union as something deeply personal and for them alone. Just as smaller weddings have become popular, some couples take the next step and dispense with the big do, and the fuss and expense of organising it, and keep things simple.
There can be more to it than popping to the local register office for 10 minutes. For couples who want a small but special event, there may still be planning to do – such as finding a wedding planner or travel counsellor specialising in elopement in your chosen county or country.
Some couples opt for a celebrant ceremony after the legalities, in a place meaningful to them or breathtakingly beautiful – atop a wild moorland, a dappled woodland, in an ice cave, or barefoot on a beach. Not forgetting the right photographer to accompany them too and record their magical elopement.
Weddings can be long events, and many couples give thought to how to keep their guests entertained (other than at the bar). Here are a few.
For the reception, there are lots of table activity options – from custom jigsaw puzzles, ‘Guess Who’ with guest pictures and ‘Find Your Partner’ clues on the reverse of the place setting. Many are paper based – such as best man speech bingo, betting cards or finish the sentence (also called mad libs), date night ideas/best advice slips to go in a wishing jar, trivia quiz on the couple, and I Spy or scavenger hunt challenges (such as taking photos of a kiss, a group selfie, chinking glasses etc) with a hashtag to share them with online.
For hired entertainment, how about a magician, fire eater, stilt walker, poi performer, arcade game or photo booth? Not forgetting the music of course – your musician, band or DJ to get the party started.
Of course, the newlyweds or couple are the star, and either your best man/woman or the celebrant (if you’ve hired them to stay) can orchestrate their games. A popular choice is the Shoe Game – a Mr and Mrs (or Mr/Mr, Mrs/Mrs) type quiz with each partner holding one of their own shoes and one of their partner’s to raise to answer the questions with.
The archetypal image of the start of a British wedding that we’re used to is of a groom waiting at the head of the aisle anticipating turning round for his first glance of his bride as she processes down the aisle to meet him.
There are no rules though; you can mix it up according to what suits you best, plus, the bridal-party style entry may not work for those wanting a more equal ceremony, same- or other-gendered couples, or those celebrating a commitment ceremony, civil partnership, or vow renewal who don’t want a traditional ‘weddingy’ feel.
Other ideas include:
Elsham Hall, N Lincs
Elderflower Events, Rural Lincolnshire
Elm Tree, Hundleby
Elizabeth Kate Bridal, Crowle
Enchanted Garden, Grimsby
Essence Flowers, Scunthorpe
✨C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S✨
Congratulations to all the Lincolnshire finalists in The Wedding Industry Awards (TWIA) 2023!
Some of these are placed in the East Midlands Category; others under Yorkshire & North East, rather than by county, so wouldn't it be handy to have all the ones in the county together? Well, here you are!
Here's the A-Z of local suppliers by category for Lincolnshire.
Bellamme Bridal - Lincoln
Bridal Reloved Caistor - Caistor
Bridal Reloved Caistor
Champagne & Lace - Grainthorpe
Champagne & Lace Bridal Wear
Cakes by Zoe - Lincoln
Cakes by zoe lincoln
Purple Pumpkin Cake Company - Stamford
The Purple Pumpkin Cake Company. Bespoke cake design
The Cake Queen - Lincoln
The Cake Queen - Lincoln
The Hungry Plaice - Holbeach
The Hungry Plaice
Dawn Kemp – Celebrant - Cleethorpes
Dawn Kemp - Celebrant
Abbey Farm Weddings – Woodhall Spa
Abbey Farm Weddings
The Rolling Scone – Lincoln
Flowers by Katie – Grimsby
Flowers by Katie
Sandra’s Flower Studio – Gainsborough
Sandra's Flower Studio
The Florist by Blush – Gainsborough
The Florist by Blush
Fusion Hair Co – Grimsby
fusion hair co
Louisa Sarah Hair & Makeup Artist – Sleaford
Louisa Sarah Hair & Makeup Artist
Perfect Silhouette Hairdressing – Lincoln
Perfect Silhouette Hairdressing
Rebecca White Bridal – Sleaford
Samantha Kate – Lincoln
Pink Photographics – Sleaford
The Jasmine Cottage Studio – Ulceby
The Jasmine Cottage Studio
Abbey Farm Weddings – Woodhall Spa
Abbey Farm Weddings
Cleatham Hall – Gainsborough
Elegance by Laura Elizabeth – Lincoln
Lincolnshire Wedding Prop Hire – Lincoln
Love in the Limelight – Cleethorpes
Ruby & Co Events – Lincoln
The Blissful Bride – Bourne
To see the finalists for the separate regions, see:
A-Z of Weddings: D
inspiration for your wedding, civil partnership or vow renewal
3 Ideas – 3 Venues – 3 Suppliers
Destination weddings take place away from the area the couple reside in. It’s not always somewhere abroad; it may be a county or two away. There are specialist wedding travel companies and wedding planners who are experts in helping you plan your destination wedding, and check you’ve thought of practical issues, such as vaccinations, whether there are requirements debarring your preferred destination, such as lack of marriage equality or residency requirements (although some may only require you to be there a few days beforehand), the time left on your passports, necessary paperwork (birth or adoption certificates, deed poll etc), and obtaining a CNI (Certificate of No Impediment) if required. Places that are easier to marry in include: New York, Italy, Gibraltar, Cyprus and the Caribbean.
If you’re thinking of marrying abroad, check here first: https://www.gov.uk/marriage-abroad
It’s a popular way to enjoy a holiday feel celebration with your guests, and it may work out cheaper to marry abroad than in the U.K. If it’s an intimate wedding, you may be paying for your guests to join you. If you are having a U.K. celebrant go with you, as well as their fee, you’d pay their travel costs and basic accommodation. Do check if the ceremony will be ceremonial only or be legally binding. There are helpful guides at: https://www.thecelebrantdirectory.com/tag/destination-wedding/
A diamond ring worth three months of the proposer’s salary is the expectation for an engagement ring, but why? Let’s look at the giving of a ring, and then where diamonds come in. Historically, weddings were less about love matches and more about an exchange contract: joining families, political allegiance, and ownership. Engagement rings of iron, and later gold, were worn in Ancient Rome as a sign of mutual obedience and a wedding promise.
In the 1940s, de Beers, the British company mining South African diamonds, advertised with the strapline ‘a diamond is forever’ popularising the diamond as the gem of choice. There is a notion that diamonds are rare – when in fact they are (now) a relatively common precious stone. Emeralds, rubies and sapphires are rarer, as is gold. However, good, clear diamonds are scarcer, pushing up the price. They are prized for their brilliance and durability – with a maximum 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness. Increasingly there is awareness of ethical diamond mining, with fairer wages and conditions.
There are plenty of diamond alternatives, and to the casual eye, few will know the difference, without a test (E.g., the breath fogging, or reading newsprint under the diamond) but unless they’re a jeweller with a loupe to hand, that’s probably a bit rude!
If a diamond ring is not for you (or indeed, no ring, or rings for you both – why not?); that’s fine – remember, it’s only carbon under pressure!
About 80% of brides will wear a white bridal gown, or white with an undertone of colour – ivory, champagne, eggshell. It is seen as the ‘traditional’ colour, but this is relative to time and culture.
White as a marker of ‘purity’ is at odds with contemporary mores, and may be a concept that is retrofitted. Blue is the colour associated with the Virgin Mary, and in Spain, the Catholic tradition is a black dress with lace mantilla representing a bride’s pledge to her spouse ‘until death do us part’- it was a common colour in Germany too. Queen Victoria wore white to wed Albert, and when he died, adopted black as mourning wear. Sunday black fell out of favour, and white rose in popularity.
White may have become the norm, not as a symbol of virginity, but of social status and wealth – being impractical and hard to keep clean. White is a ‘western’ colour; in India it is associated with funerals, so brides are more likely to wear red, as in China, where red brings good luck and prosperity.
Increasingly, brides, whether first time or not, opt for colour and practicality, and may swap a dress for a trouser suit or jumpsuit. Eco-minded brides may hire or buy preloved, and consider the ‘what next’ – converting their dress, or donating it to make angel gowns.
Remember – a celebrant-led ceremony of any type can take place at any venue; it doesn’t have to be licensed for civil weddings/partnerships. Here are some venues for a Lincolnshire or Yorkshire wedding.
Dower House Hotel, Woodhall Spa
Doddington Hall, Lincoln
Dunedin Country House, Hull
Danny Inwood Photography
Debbie Roe Photography (Family & Newborn)
Cremation: What Happens?
People sometimes have questions about cremation, either because they have heard things that worry them, or are curious, as it's not something that is spoken about much.
Below is a link to a short film of the cremation process.
If you are recently bereaved, or your grief is still raw, consider if this is the right time to watch it.
Before you watch, it’s worth knowing that this is a no-frills old US crematory, without commentary, so you still may have questions.
I'm always happy to answer questions. I’m ‘Death Positive’ – I believe people are empowered by knowing, and that death, dying and bereavement should be talked about, so people are equipped with information and choices.
As the area’s Coffin Club ‘Celebrant Plus’, I’m here to advise and signpost anyone in the local community about funerary issues; you don’t have to be arranging a funeral or have me leading a ceremony to chat to me.
Likewise, your funeral director and the staff at the crematorium are there to help.
Don't be afraid to ask them. There's nothing weird or morbid about wanting to know what happens, and it may allay any fears.
I was probably a bit scared of the idea of cremation and held some myths myself, until I witnessed it in full. I was honoured, when I first started, to be given permission to watch the full procedure for one lady (including taking regular peeps into the cremator to see what happened to her body, as you’ll see in the video).
The set up back of house varies considerably, from modern shiny spacious crematory rooms with large steel chargers, and a sequence of stations for processing the remains, to a more functional affair in a smaller space.
There is legislation that regulates administrative and practical procedures to ensure public health & safety and dignity in dealing with the deceased, cremation, and ashes return.
A little slip follows the deceased and is checked at each stage from the moment the coffin or person (or pet) arrives by hearse or private ambulance.
When the curtains close (if it's a funeral service, and you've requested that), nothing happens immediately. Forget what you've seen in films about seeing a coffin slide right through the doors into flames!
Often there's a cool room, anteroom or corridor to the crematory area. Staff move the coffin onto a trolley. That may be cremated straight away, or there may be a short wait till later that same day.
It depends on several factors including the number of cremator units, how busy that day is, coffin or shroud material, and some characteristics of the deceased that may affect unit efficiency, so the order of cremation may be optimised. Different body compositions, different diseases etc affect the time it takes, and the temperature of the unit.
Rear of house, there are trained staff who operate the crematory. For some faiths, a family member may be there to witness the charging procedure.
Only one person is cremated at a time in each cremator.
Cremation of an adult human takes about 85-90 minutes.
The remains are raked into a receptacle underneath before further processing.
Metal components that can be recycled are then removed in a machine that separates the remains. These usually go to raise funds for charity.
The remains then go into a cremulator which reduces them to ashes (or cremains).
For children, or body parts, there may be minimal or no ashes. Likewise for a small pet funeral.
Otherwise, the ashes then go into a container for collection by the funeral director or other person authorised to collect or scatter them.
Some people request that the crematorium scatter the ashes. The staff will record where and give you a map.
For people who wish to have them returned, they can then choose whether to transfer the ashes to a decorative urn, have an ashes interment ceremony, or scatter them at a place significant to the deceased, such as a beauty spot, or at sea.
Some retain a little to be made into jewellery or paperweights.
That’s just a very brief summary. If there’s anything else you’d like to know, or other topics you’d like covering (video tours of crematoria, or interviews with staff?), let me know.
The 5-minute cremation video.
The contact for bereavement services at Grimsby Crematorium. You'll also find the link for pet funerals at Treasured Memories. If it’s urgent, call. If it’s a general enquiry, send an email.
Bereavement services | NELC (nelincs.gov.uk)
Link to cremation FAQs:
Coffin Club and Celebrant Plus Directory
Local Ashes Jewellery
#funeral #cremation #ashes
Welcome to the blog - enjoy! Contact me if there's anything you'd like me to cover about celebrant-led ceremonies.