Unique Wedding venue ideas to suit you!

Weddings are one of the most special and memorable days of your life, so there is no need to stick to the standard venues – let your imagination run wild! Find yourself a venue that really means something to you as a couple, and a Celebrant can hold your perfect ceremony wherever you dream of! Here are our top 10 ideas to give you some inspiration: Farm Farms have some fantastic building which can decorated in your own way, and have plenty of space to have areas for the different parts of your ceremony including the reception. Some farms already cater for events and will have some options for you, or you can go really rustic and ask a working…

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How to include Indian rituals in an Indian/Western fusion wedding

What Indian rituals can I include in my non-religious Western style wedding?  As an Asian celebrant, Sonal Dave was recently very lucky, to be able to conduct a non-religious, spiritual wedding ceremony for a young Hindu couple. They wanted to show respect to their parents beliefs during the wedding ceremony but focus on their own wishes to have a few Indian symbolic rituals mixed with the Western ceremony. Here she shares her experience and advice for how to have an Indian/Western fusion wedding ceremony with inspiration for Indian clothing, live music, vow writing and cultural Indian traditions. Spiritual rather than religious ceremonies For many years Asian and Western families have followed what their grandparents or the family priest told them…

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Why include crowns in your Greek destination wedding?

Greece is an amazing destination for your wedding.  You are practically guaranteed sunshine, gorgeous scenery and it’s easy to get to from almost anywhere in the world.  All of Greek life is jam-packed with tradition and ritual, and none more so than a Greek wedding ceremony.  Take stamping on your husband’s foot to establish dominance in the marriage for example.  No, really, it’s a thing! But my hands down favourite has to be the wedding crowns. It’s nice to embrace some of the traditions of the country where you are holding your destination wedding, and if you have chosen Greece there are many ways in which the crowns can be incorporated into your ceremony. They are also visually beautiful and…

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Are same sex weddings any different to heterosexual weddings in the UK?

Ok so this is a question we often get asked, and it has a very simple answer, hell no! Bet you didn’t expect that…. ok so what we mean is every ceremony is different, unique, and personalised. Heterosexual, bisexual, gay or just a little bit barmy, it doesn’t matter who you are marrying, you can pick and choose the elements you like from a traditional ceremony and mash it up with your own style. On a serious note however, legally, a marriage is the recognized union between two people partnering in a personal relationship whether that be two people who are a man and women, two women or two men. It is simply two people declaring their love for one…

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20 of the most romantic vow renewal spots around the world

Vow renewals are becoming increasingly popular. They can be small and intimate or grand and luxurious. You can invite as many people as you would like, or you can celebrate just the two of you. Whether you’re celebrating one year or fifty, these celebrations are about your love for each other. You will say the vows you said on your wedding day (or more personal ones if you choose) and confirm your commitment to each other. While these celebrations are usually less nerve wracking then a typical wedding, they are still exciting and take a lot of planning. Here we have some inspiration for you if you are having trouble deciding on a venue location. 1. Original Ceremony Site Your…

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Reflecting brightly coloured rainbow wedding celebrations in your ceremony

With summer just around the corner many couples are looking to style their special day with a little (or a lot!) of bright colour. Instagram is full of floristry and bridal party couture inspiration, but there are lots of easy ways to inject a rainbow of colour into the most special part of your day; the ceremony! This makes sure you kick your big day off with a clear shout that this is a bright, joyous, colourful occasion! Here’s a few ways you can ensure you walk down the aisle to a burst of brights… Shining happy people! Of course your bridal party will be a rainbow of colour, but the majority of brides don’t want to give up the…

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How to work with photographers at a wedding

One Celebrant and hobby photographer looks at wedding photography from both sides to tell us how these two critical protagonists at your wedding can best work together. Great advice for couples and wedding professionals alike! Photo: Sidewayz Photography How to work with wedding photographers There are two people at your wedding who will hopefully perform services which will last for life and they are?? Yes! Your marriage Celebrant and your photographer! How important is it for you, as bride and groom, to have fabulous photos from your wedding that catch all the little details that you spent months planning and organising?  I’m guessing it’s really important. There are all those other special moments that are not planned, but happen anyway,…

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Unity Candle Ceremony: Everything you need to know

As you move into the beautiful bond of marriage, it isn’t uncommon to feel the need to recognise this life-changing moment in a memorable, symbolic way. One tradition that remains popular is that of the Unity Candle Ceremony. A Unity Candle Ceremony is a great way to personalise your wedding ceremony; plus, it is arguably the tradition rooted in the most romance! What is a Unity Candle Ceremony? A Unity Candle Ceremony is when a couple each take a lit candle and simultaneously light what is known as the “unity candle”. This symbolises their joining together as a family, while maintaining their individuality. Here at The Celebrant Directory, we have seen a huge increase in couples integrating Unity Candle Ceremonies…

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Wedding Trends: Our Celebrants Predict How We’ll Wed Next Year

The wedding trends of 2023 will be shaped by our recent past, with a focus on sustainability, intimacy, and fun! It seems strange to be saying that 2023 wedding trends will be a reflection of our experiences during the pandemic, because that’s ancient history now, right? Gone are the tight restrictions, the face masks and invasive pre-holiday testing! We are now free to live as we did before the pandemic. And thankfully that means weddings are very much back on! But that doesn’t mean Covid, and our experience during it, has been forgotten. 2023 will be a big year for the wedding, and after speaking to our team of celebrants in the UK, and across the world, they predict trends…

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How to invite God to your Civil Wedding

If you’re not getting married in a church, synagogue, mosque or temple, UK law is adamant that you can’t invite God to your wedding. A registrar-led marriage ceremony can’t be ‘religious in nature.’ The law lists everything you can’t have in your civil wedding: no hymns, no chants, no religious rituals, no readings from religious texts, no worship of any kind. That’s fine… Except for when it’s not fine. We don’t all fit neatly into the box of either devoutly religious or resolutely atheist. If you imagine a spectrum, with the Pope sending out benedictions from one end and Richard Dawkins rolling his eyes at the other, where are you? How many of us actually mooch about in the grey…

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Celebrant Feature: Who walks the bride down the aisle?

“Of all the walks we have taken together, today is my favourite.”  That is one of many lovely sentiments that a bride can offer her escort when they have been given the honour of walking a bride up the aisle on her wedding day. The beauty of getting married in this era of ‘anything goes’, means that brides, grooms, and couples can choose exactly how they wish to honour that moment when all eyes are on them walking up the aisle. With wedding ceremonies being influenced less by tradition these days, and with much more of a blank canvas than they were years ago, there are so many other options for a bride or a couple to walk up the…

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Wedding Planning – what are the roles and responsibilities?

Your fiancé has gotten down on one knee and asked you the most important question of your life. You (probably) cried and said yes! You’re so excited to spend the rest of your life with your best friend. Now you get start planning the wedding you’ve always dreamed of! But you have no idea where to begin. Don’t worry, we’re going to break it down so it’s not so overwhelming.    Bride Brides tend to think they need to plan everything and all at once. This is a good way to get a little overwhelmed and risk going into “bridezilla” mode. This doesn’t need to happen! In fact, the bride could have the same number of tasks as the groom.…

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Choosing a Wedding Celebrant

Choosing the perfect Wedding Celebrant is an important task. Just picture this scenario, you’re walking down the aisle, waiting for your partner to spot you. They turn and see you and you take their breath away.  After weeks, months or even years of planning, you are finally taking your vows in front of your loved ones on probably the most important day in your lives. The person standing together with you in front of all your guests, welcoming them and officiating your ceremony is one of the most significant people at your wedding.  They are the one asking you to commit your lives together and you now have the opportunity to find the perfect Celebrant for you as a couple…

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Planning your Wedding Ceremony

You’re engaged! Congratulations! It’s a really exciting time in your life. There are so many wonderful things to organise when planning your big day, including the most important part, the ceremony! Our group of expert Celebrants have come together to create a list of your do’s and don’ts when it comes to planning your wedding ceremony. Book the venue As Celebrants, we can officiate wedding ceremonies in any location, you are free to let your imagination run wild! Ceremonies can be performed on the beach, at a festival, in a stately home or even in a tipi. The options are endless which is fantastic as it opens up so much choice!  When you’ve chosen your wedding venue, just let them…

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Getting married second time around. I do, take two!

Debbie Skyrme shares her thoughts with The Celebrant Directory on saying I do, take two! Well here’s the thing, I marry people in love and I celebrate whatever your love is. I am a writer and a Celebrant and I love my craft. I was recently asked if I had a favourite wedding and my reply was “the second time a-rounders”. As a Celebrant I totally love writing wedding ceremonies for couples who have been married before – whether widowed or divorced, couples getting married for the second time around are extra special to me. So that got me thinking, why on earth do people get married again? And why do I love celebrating their weddings?! Why do people remarry?…

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How to write your Wedding Vows

For some people, getting your wedding vows down on paper can be a daunting task. How do you put all of your thoughts, feelings, memories and hopes for the future into just a few lines? How do you remember all of that and say it right with all those people watching? It’s that one moment during your wedding day when all eyes are on you, but you will be purely focused on your partner. You will want to get those words right! But don’t worry, we are here to help! Following these steps will help you write the perfect wedding vows. Step 1: Seek inspiration What does ‘everything I do, I do it for you’ and ‘you are beautiful in…

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Olives, ouzo and pomegranates! Celebrant led weddings, Greece!

Chosen Greece for your destination wedding? Are you looking through your destination wedding options on line? Are you looking at an array of beautiful sandy beaches, stunning blue waters, ancient columns standing majestically for thousands of years, wonderful photos of pretty archways, small white chapels, floral arrangements, eclectic menus and endless entertainment options? If so, you have chosen Greece! Anybody choosing Greece as the venue for their destination wedding will not be disappointed. More often than not, the country is chosen for its great weather and fabulous sea views, not to mention the fact that a destination wedding can be a whole lot cheaper than a wedding at home! Not only will you be tying the knot but also you…

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How to choose your ideal wedding venue

Want to create a unique wedding day, but worried about the cost? No wonder! According to Brides Magazine, the average wedding in this county is currently costing a staggering £30,000, and a big chunk of this can be for hiring the wedding venue.  So here are a few examples of how you can reduce that element of the cost, and others too, by having a Humanist wedding. Humanist Celebrants will create a special, personalised wedding ceremony for you, ANYWHERE.  And this can mean that you cut £3000-£5000 off the cost of the ceremony instantly, because then you don’t have to use a registered venue.  Grand hotel or stately home wedding venues are great but can feel that the couple are…

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Bespoke rituals for bespoke weddings!

Having a Celebrant led wedding is all about choice and all about you! There are no rules, anything and everything goes, with the ultimate goal of creating something completely unique that is all about you, your love story and, fundamentally, about making the ceremony at the very heart of your day to create lasting memories. Why settle for anything less? In the same way, working with a Celebrant means that you don’t have to settle for ‘off the shelf’. When I work with couples, I take time to get to know them and have designed a series or questionnaires which are fun to complete and ensure that I get them talking about all those funny stories. I want to know…

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How to modernise traditional wedding rituals

So, ceremony rituals are a new thing right? Well no. Wedding rituals, symbolic or not, have been with us for ever and a year. Weddings themselves are a ritual, a rite of passage, a culturally or religiously defined act. In most countries, weddings have a legal status. In the UK, the legal registration of a marriage is a slightly different matter to the ritual of the wedding ceremony. Hands up if you are not familiar with this wedding ritual; No prizes I’m afraid, but if you answered ‘the exchanging of rings’, then you can give yourself a pat on the back. Many people don’t realise that there is no legally binding need to exchange wedding rings. It is however, one…

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What is a Wine Ceremony and is it right for you?

You’ve planned your ceremony and you’ve decided to have a unity ritual. Adding a wine ceremony is a great way to symbolise the unity of your two lives together. Wine is known for celebrating and romance. So why not add it to the biggest celebration of your life? Here we’ll talk about the symbolism of the ceremony and how you can add it to your wedding day. Symbolism           Wine is universal and is known to have many different symbols, the wine ceremony is no different. It can represent the richness of life, the sweet and bitter elements life throws at you or the idea that like wine, life changes through time. However, how you want to…

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Handling the stress at your Wedding Ceremony

Weddings are both special and exciting days, but they can come with their fair share of stress! Nerves and wedding day jitters are common, so here are some tips to help you enjoy your day without the worries. Get a good night’s sleep The day of your wedding can often be a long one, with preparing and getting ready in the morning, the ceremony itself and the following celebrations that will probably last long into the evening.  Getting a proper sleep the night before is a good idea so that you feel refreshed and are able to fully enjoy your day. Don’t forget to eat Nerves or being busy with preparations on the day could mean you end up not…

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Real Handfasting Ceremony at Stonehenge Wiltshire

A Handfasting Ceremony at Stonehenge Inner Circle Jessica and Philip celebrated their love with a special handfasting ceremony officiated by Glenda Procter known as the Queen of Handfastings. Torrential rain did not dampen their spirits nor take away any of the romance and love that radiated between them. The rain-soaked them through and the umbrella they shared did little to keep them dry… but they had their love to keep them warm. Glenda shared their story with us.     Many couples look on a Handfasting Ceremony within the Inner Circle at Stonehenge as the ultimate venue for their spiritual Handfasting. Conducting a handfasting ceremony at Stonehenge within the Inner Circle is just so special. To be invited at short…

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How to have a perfect wedding kiss

5 things you need to know about your ceremony kiss – you will be surprised! I have witnessed hundreds of couples first kisses! They have varied hugely from a full-on snog to a turned cheek! Equally embarrassing for all! A couples first kiss is said to be the most important and meaningful one they will share. There will be much anticipation and excitement leading up to your first kiss as newlyweds, so this advice may be all you need. Give some thought to your kiss. The following tips will ensure all goes well and that your eager crowd of family and guests are not disappointed, nor indeed are you! How to kiss or how not to kiss – that is…

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Real Ceremony: Lara and Ben

Real Wedding Couple: Lara and Ben Date: Saturday 29th April 2017 Celebrant: Samantha Kelsie, UK Celebrant Venue: Huntsham Court, Tiverton Lara and Ben met on social dating app Tinder in 2013. Lara was initially drawn to Ben’s casual air of nonchalance, when she turned up to their first date and spotted him propped up with one leg balanced against a wall. He looked like something out of an old movie! Ben, however, was simply stood waiting and wondering whether he was about to meet a blonde or brunette – Lara’s online gallery of different hair styles had suggested it could be either! The Proposal Ben asked Lara to be his wife over breakfast. It took her a few moments to realise…

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How to keep your wedding within budget

Planning a wedding isn’t a piece of cake (wedding cake that is); it takes time and plenty of money. This is why the first step in your planning schedule should be setting a budget. A survey from Bridebook.co.uk has revealed the average cost for a wedding in the UK is  £30,350. We have laid out an average wedding budget breakdown below. We also provided suggestions on where you can cut costs to make sure you stay within your budget. Venue – £5,000 Your ceremony and reception venue(s) is one of the most important parts of your wedding day, and as such will definitely take up a big part of your budget. You will need to find something big enough to…

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Inspired by a hearing impaired wedding

A Real Celebrant Wedding with a twist – working with hearing impaired couples Experiencing a hearing impaired wedding, one Celebrant was inspired to write this Real Ceremony experience as a help to others I am always very excited when I received an enquiry by email for a Celebrant wedding. This one particularly interested me in that the bride, Emily, said they were looking for a Celebrant whom her partner, Dan, would be able to understand. Apparently the groom was partially deaf, he did wear hearing aids but did not want anyone doing sign language as he could read lips. I kept asking myself, how difficult could this be? Was it just a matter of slowing down my speech or would…

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Ceremony music – make a song and dance about it!

I’m a massive music fan. Particularly where romance and storytelling are concerned. Wedding ceremony music is so important to settle guests, for an emotional anticipation when walking down the aisle, for serenity during certificate signing and/or during another symbolic act, and to celebrate the marriage as you exit; but the logistics can be a minefield if you don’t know what to expect! Type of music Wherever you are getting married, your wedding should be personal and whether you want drum and bass or opera, it’s your choice. Whilst classical music as you come down the aisle can portray an elegant and timeless entrance, you could also choose an instrumental or acoustic version of a song that holds particular meaning. The…

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16 Unique & Alternative Wedding Readings

Want a reading with a difference for your wedding ceremony? Whilst some love traditional poems, they don’t suit every couple. And what are we all about here at The Celebrant Directory, you got it – personalising that big day! So where do you start when searching for that fabulous reading that’s going to grab everyone’s attention? Here are a great selection of brilliant wedding readings and some top tips to get your search off to the right start! Think Personality First You’ve been together for a while, you know each other well, so what makes you both tick? Are you going traditional for your big day, or seeking something more alternative? Once you’ve found your wedding niche, you can start…

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Secrets of involving guests at a wedding ceremony

Audience participation at your wedding ceremony They’ve come all this way and dressed their best – your fabulous friends and family all coming together at your wedding ceremony is one of the most special things about your big day. So special in fact that couples are increasingly looking for ways to include their guests, not just key members of the bridal party but their whole audience.   A trend towards a less-formal, relaxed wedding vibe has contributed to this, as has the popularity of celebrant-led weddings; meaning couples are more aware that they can be creative in their ceremony, where fixed civil formats don’t enable them to. I also think couples are more aware of how much guests have contributed,…

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Personalising your wedding ceremony

All too often when we plan our ‘big day’ it’s very easy to get sidetracked with the smaller details; the catering, the style and theme, personalised favours and evening entertainment…. the list goes on!  But are these the most important elements about a wedding? We dont believe so but can totally relate to what you’re going through, its a stressful time! For as long as anyone can remember, we have celebrated our big moments in life with ceremony and ritual. Ah yes! CEREMONY and RITUAL….the most important and defining element of your big day! The precise moment when all of your loved ones witness you express your love and commitment to the person you standing in front of you. A…

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Wedding Traditions: The low down on Ring Bearers

Here at The Celebrant Directory we are constantly on the look-out for different ways we can change up tradition, adding that extra sparkle when it comes to your wedding day.  However, there is one particular tradition that tugs on our heart strings with overwhelming cuteness which is Ring Bearers! What part does a Ring Bearer play in your Wedding? Typically, the Ring Bearer will be a boy who is around the ages of 4-8 years old. They could be related to you or a godson or even a close friend who has children who are a part of your lives. The Ring Bearer is tasked with the responsibility of carrying the wedding rings down the aisle behind the bride. This…

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Top Celebrants Reveal their Best and Worst in Wedding Ceremony Music

Wedding music reveals a lot about the couple getting married – and has been an eye-opener for some of our Celebrants! I spent some time last year quizzing some top Wedding Celebrants, and members of The Celebrant Directory, in the UK on their best and worst experiences with wedding ceremony music and asking them to reveal their thoughts and advice for those choosing those tunes. What song springs to mind as the most memorable when it comes to ceremony music and why? JASON & CATHY: We think the most memorable have been of a romantic nature. Two spring to mind but to pick one … my first my last my everything by Barry White has to be a fav. It was…

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5 top tips for guests at a gay wedding ceremony

Guest etiquette at a same-sex wedding ceremony You and I, would both agree on the joyous nature of our LGBT community and if you are someone, who is about to attend their first gay wedding, you are in for a treat! Here are 5 guidelines that will help you become a better guest at a same-sex wedding. Photo credit: Agata Jensen 1. Same-sex couples aren’t looking for approval from you: “I am so glad you guys are having a same-sex wedding.” This might seem harmless to many but can be offensive to same-sex couples. They are having a wedding, a traditional wedding, that a lot of people in love generally do. It’s special or not special because of the couple involved…

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Achieving a truly personalised wedding ceremony

Unique, bespoke, unusual weddings are terms we hear a lot – but when you think about it, do you want different for the sake of it, or is what we’re really talking about personalisation; making one of the biggest days of your life as personal and meaningful to you as a couple, reflecting and telling your own love story rather than following an established way of doing things. It’s one of the main reasons couples choose a celebrant-led wedding; a civil or church wedding offers very limited opportunity to bespoke any element other than choosing your readings or music, and of course a celebrant-led wedding means you can hold it when and where you want! The first step for you…

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A Dutch wedding ceremony: 10 steps to the perfect order of events

Good news. You’re getting married in the Netherlands. Congratulations! You will love the Dutch wedding ceremony. But first, before you plunge into the planning, let’s think about the order of events. In case you don’t know, there is a format you must follow. A wedding ceremony in Holland is a little different to an English one. How? The celebrant will pronounce that you are man and wife before the first kiss. Whereas, at an English wedding, that announcement is made at the end of the ceremony. Another thing, exchanging of the rings happens immediately after you say, “yes, I do”.  Once you know the rules and regulations of a Dutch wedding, you’re set to go. I’ll walk you through the whole process… The authorities have a policy that…

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Planning an outdoor Wedding? Read this!

So, you are planning an outdoor wedding. Amazing, nothing like the bright blue sky, warmth on your back and sweet sounds of a light breeze in the air. Well, that’s how you imagine it! Sometimes the reality can be a little different, especially if your big day is in the UK! How many times have you heard, ‘what if it rains?’ Having an outdoor wedding is all about the planning and devising strategies to prepare for less favourable weather.  It can be a fantastic choice, sometimes more affordable too but you must be prepared, so our team of Wedding Celebrants have put together a guide to planning your outdoor celebration! 1. A Garden Wedding PROS: Booking a venue that includes all…

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Walking down the aisle: Tradition v Modern Day

The opportunities for getting married in the 21st century have never been so abundant and choice so diverse.  The world has shrunk; traditional ‘local ‘ customs have now become global, and we, certainly here in the UK, are allowed to marry the partner of our choice, regardless of race, creed, sexuality or religion. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before people the world over have the same freedoms as we enjoy. Its seems that the world is certainly heading in this direction which makes total sense. Life is about love and more importantly, loving whomever you choose, without judgment and discrimination. In today’s wedding world, there is no right or wrong way of getting married, having a wedding ceremony or…

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5 Top (Easy) Tips for a Tech Savvy Wedding

How to easily have a modern tech savvy wedding with 5 top tips Whether you’re going with a festival style wedding with tipis and hay bales, or a fairytale woodland setting, or vintage Great Gatsby, or full on Game of Thrones themed wedding, these 5 ever-so-easy top tips will work well to modernise your day for a tech savvy wedding. I wouldn’t consider myself to be a tech savvy person by any stretch of the imagination. I was one of the last of my friends to own a mobile phone (and I still harbour suspicions that my Smartphone is a bit smarter than I am!) but nowadays I get excited at new hashtags that show me inspiring wedding images on…

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Why have a Destination Wedding?

Planning your wedding is no mean feat.  It takes patience, stamina and for some quite a budget!  Every bride and groom who choses to have their ceremony on their home turf are sad that the day seems to be over in the blink of an eye and just wish they could do it all over again.  This seems to be one of the best possible reasons to choose a destination wedding. Combine the excitement of your special day with a fabulous trip for you and your loved ones! Why consider a destination wedding? By having your ceremony abroad, somewhere you love, you take your guests with you and you all get to share special times and amazing memories which will…

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Who should influence your wedding ceremony?

When it comes to planning the perfect wedding ceremony, there can be a lot to think about. Where should you hold it? What kind of dress will you wear? Who will you invite? And so on and so on. It can be tricky to narrow down all the details, and even harder if it feels like everyone and his mother are trying to have an input on what you decide. So, who SHOULD have an influence on your wedding ceremony? The simple answer of course is yourself and your partner. Your wedding day is about celebrating you as a couple, and your commitment to each other. Your wedding ceremony should be a reflection of your own values and personalities. And…

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Top tips for planning your 2018 wedding

Getting married this year? Then here’s some useful advice on how to make your big day go with a bang… Remember, no matter what all those wedding and lifestyle magazines would have you believe; this is NOT a competition. Having the grandest venue, or the most expensive dress in the shop does not grant you the wedding of your dreams.  In fact, budget-friendly, DIY weddings, full of everything heart-felt and home-made, are proving time and time again to be a winning formula. Let go of the ‘wedding blueprint’ and plan a day that is authentically ‘YOU’. Have your eyes open, and your ears ‘on slumber’ Look around you – are you and your partner really all about fine-wines and fancy-pants…

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Who should lead your wedding ceremony?

Friend or Celebrant? Why your mate may not be the perfect replacement. When it comes to your Wedding Day, it can be vital to manage the finances and make savings where you can. A recent spate of articles, suggests that one way of doing this is to have a friend or family member officiate your ceremony. But there are some important things to be considered before assuming they can do the same job as a professional Celebrant. Is the person officiating at the heart of your big day the best way to save a bit of money? One experienced Celebrant tells us why your mate might not be the best person for the job.   The pressures of public speaking…

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How to do a jumping the broom ceremony

What is a jumping the broom or besom ceremony? Congratulations! You have already decided that choosing a celebrant to deliver your wedding ceremony gives you a whole range of options that a registrar just can’t. A favourite option with many couples is ‘jumping the broom’ – a ritual that is full of fun and theatre, that is a great way to involve your guests and looks amazing on your photos and video – what more could you want?! Read on for more ideas about how you can incorporate a ‘jumping the broom’ ritual into your ceremony. Where did the tradition of jumping the broom come from?  ‘Jumping the broom’ seems to have started originally in Wales where the idea of…

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Real Wedding Ceremony. Seville. Emma and Glenn

Real wedding ceremony in Seville, Spain Read Emma and Glenn’s beautiful real life ceremony story at the Hacienda San Rafael in Seville as told by their celebrant, the lovely Nikki Kulin Meet the wedding couple Emma and Glenn, of Irish and Australian descent and based in Sydney, contacted me to conduct their Wedding Ceremony at the beautiful Hacienda San Rafael in Seville, a year in advance.  I’m often asked if it is more difficult working with couples who you cannot meet in person.  I can say categorically that, thanks to the wonders of technology and my tried and trusted methods, all my couples feel that they get to know me and I them in the run up to the ceremony…

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How to plan a vegan wedding ceremony

Eco and ethical weddings: a vegan viewpoint Planning a wedding, as we all know, is not without its challenges. From finding the perfect venue to locating the most exquisite dress, the checklist grows every longer and the need for a wedding planner ever stronger! So you might think that planning a vegan wedding is even more demanding, requiring a much higher degree of research and organisation. Fortunately the reality is that it’s never been easier. A vegan wedding is so much more than the food Thanks to consumer-demand, the wedding industry is experiencing a huge growth in online resources for those brides and grooms wanting to reduce their carbon footprint and make better environmental choices for their most important day.…

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Do I have to change my name when I get married?

Traditional Debunked! Do I have to change my name when I get married? Traditions and laws around the world, in relation to the giving and taking of a forename and a surname, are so varied and indeed complicated that it is fair to say there is no one cap fits all and …oh boy, is it a contentious subject! The simple answer is no. You don’t have to change your name, but traditionally women in the UK do. What’s the tradition behind it? Why do women take their husband’s family name? Historically, this all began in the 16th century, a woman was compelled to take her husbands surname after marriage by law. She gave up all rights of ownership and…

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So you want to get married in Canada?

Canada is a wonderful place to get married. It has breathtaking scenery, from oceans, to lakes, to mountains, beaches, forests, Provincial and National Parks. For indoor ceremonies there are restaurants, golf and country clubs, banquet halls, theatres, art galleries, museums, beaches and boats. Best of all, you can get married in any of these places that takes your fancy. There are no residency requirements, and very best of all, in Canada one fee pays for the legalities AND your ceremony! Here are 8 essential things to know if you want to get married in Canada: 1. Licensed Officiants The way the marriage laws work here, Licensed Officiants (the Canadian word for Celebrants) can legally marry people and conduct ceremonies absolutely anywhere…

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5 tips to prevent your wedding guest list from getting out of hand

You just got engaged and you’re ready to start the wedding planning. You and your fiancé have talked budget and how many people you want to invite. Your guest list is off to a good start when you start second guessing whom you should invite. Do you invite that distant aunt twice removed? Do you invite that friend you were really close to in high school but you haven’t spoken to in four years? And your mum just rang, she wants to invite all the people she’s ever talked to. Who do you cut? Should you rethink the size of your wedding? Don’t worry, we’ll help with those questions and offer some tips to help you decide who should be…

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Home is where the heart is; planning a garden wedding

Weddings at home are increasingly popular, and it’s no surprise as they fit with two key wedding trends; focussing the budget on what matters most to you rather than what’s expected, and achieving a relaxed, more personal feel to a wedding. The awareness and popularity of personalised, celebrant-led weddings has certainly also helped, with more couples completely open-minded (and keen to be creative!) with their wedding location, free from the restrictions of civil ceremonies. So if you, your family, or a particularly amazing friend has room for you and your guests then here’s my advice to ensure your ceremony space is both practical and looks amazing for the big day: 1. Look at what nature has given you Most home…

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What is a Micro Wedding and is it right for you?

So, what are micro weddings and why are they so popular? Micro weddings are weddings on a smaller scale – yes pretty much exactly what they say on the tin! They give the couple a chance to take the pressure off from a huge, 200 guest set wedding and scale back to what’s most important to them. Planning a wedding can be slightly overwhelming so micro weddings can offer a beautifully intimate alternative and offer greater flexibility. Once the pressure is off from trying to organise a big wedding, it can be liberating! You have the freedom to make decisions and spend time on the finer details that really reflect you and your partner. Here are just a few reasons…

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Why choose a Celebrant?

So, here we are just coming towards the end of the winter months… warmer days ahead and lots of planning to be getting on with for your wedding, whether it’s this year or a bit further ahead. There is much to consider and organise as you approach your big day, but have you given any thought to the most significant words you will ever say to one another? Many couples get caught up in all the other aspects, such as flowers, the dress!, make up, photos, cars, cake and so on that they don’t give enough time to consider their options when it comes to the ceremony itself.  Do you really want to be saying words that you’re told to say?…

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Your checklist of questions for the perfect wedding ceremony

How do I start a checklist for my wedding? You want to get married, you want a celebrant led wedding ceremony but there is so much else you want to know! How do you even start writing a checklist of to-do items? And in order to get all of the answers, what questions should you be asking yourself in the first place?! Don’t panic, sit down and relax and read this quick guide to asking the right questions to create your ideal wedding ceremony. Who will I marry? OK a fairly fundamental question, but let’s start off on a positive note and assume you have found the perfect partner!  Check. Do we want a marriage or a wedding? Actually, the…

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How to plan an elopement beach wedding for sweet souls

So… You’re engaged, congratulations! Want to know where to start planning an elopement? Want a tropical beach destination? This could be because you’re not the couple who wants hundreds of guests around when you marry the love of your life so you are choosing to elope, or you’d like an adventure together in the process. Take a look at this Bowleaze beach elopement for a little inspiration, and a reason you don’t have to jet set across the world to find this. An elopement does not have to be far from home, in this case for many of the suppliers Bowleaze beach was not too far from them. An elopement really is just about celebrating the love you share for…

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5 Unforeseen Wedding Expenses to look out for

You’ve met that special someone, asked ‘that’ question or said that ‘Yes’, and now it’s time to start the exciting task of planning your perfect wedding! When organising your special day, it’s helpful to have worked out a budget, so you can keep control of your costs. Most people will start with having all the obvious things accounted for – wedding dress, venue, the wedding breakfast and so on. It’s those little things that you may not think of straight away that can end up adding unforeseen expenses to your wedding budget. Here’s a heads up on some of the things that are often unplanned for. Stamps When choosing or making your wedding invitations, it’s easy to overlook the cost…

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Sand Ceremonies – What’s it all about?

Sand Ceremonies: What are they, why do we do them and how you can create a special sand ceremony yourself! Sand ceremonies are becoming increasingly popular as couples are finding great ways to add a modern twist on a traditional ceremony. So what is a Sand Ceremony and why are we so excited by them?! The beauty of a sand ceremony is the visual symbolisation of joining two people together in marriage by the blending of two coloured sands.  It can be a quirky twist on the traditional unity candle ritual (and perfect for outdoor weddings, saving you from re-lighting the candle 10 times on a windy day!). Sand ceremonies can also be a beautiful way to show the joining…

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Registrar or Celebrant? You have a choice!

“Does a Registrar have to officiate our ceremony at a UK licensed venue?” One UK Celebrant answers the questions asked by many couples when deciding on their wedding officiant, including “Does a Registrar have to officiate our ceremony at a UK licensed venue?” Great question to start with, and one I am regularly asked and the answer is No!  …  You have a choice!   If you are engaged and are now embarking on finding your perfect wedding venue congratulations!  It is wonderful that you are exploring the possibilities available to you.  Not only do you choose your venue, flowers and music but you also have a say in who conducts the heart of your day, your ceremony.  Bear in…

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Real Celebrant Wedding – Valeria and Joeri

Couple: Valeria and Joeri Venue: Museum – Het grachtenhuis, Amsterdam Date: 5th November 2017 Valeria and Joeri are a charming international couple. She is Italian, and he is Dutch. They live in Amsterdam. This down to earth and passionate pair love life and are inseparable. Their small intimate wedding day echoed the importance of a close-knit family, their special bond and ceremonial love songs. They wanted to keep it personable and exciting. The focus was the joining of two unique families and creating a special welcoming ambiance for everyone. The Proposal Valeria and Joeri went out for drinks to their favorite bar café Luxembourg and left for some fresh air. It was a crystal clear starry night. The moon was shining brightly. By the waterside at the Spui,…

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The Ultimate Guide on How to Write your Vows

Do you and your partner plan to write your own vows for your wedding ceremony? You’re probably feeling a touch overwhelmed right now. Afterall, how can you turn the beautiful whirlwind of emotions and memories you have with your other half into one short piece of text? You want them to be perfect. To capture your bond in a seamless, extraordinary way. But… you don’t know where to start. Don’t worry. You certainly aren’t alone! How do you write your wedding vows? Your promise to your partner will be personal to your unique relationship, and so however you choose to write your vows, they will represent your shared story in a meaningful way. There is no ‘wrong’ way to write…

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How to have the wedding you want

You’ve just got engaged and now you are very excited to be planning your dream wedding. The choices are overwhelming, in all directions. Everyone you know wants a say in shaping that dream. How do you keep everyone (including yourself) happy? 1. Focus on the most important elements of your wedding Once you have answered the question of what matters most, everything else will start to fall into place. Every couple will have a different response, there is no right or wrong answer. Go with what feels perfect for you. Have you own general idea of what you want the wedding to be. Make sure there’s lots of flexibility within the framework, for good ideas to find their place and for…

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Add extra personality into your Wedding with a Unity Ceremony!

So what exactly is a unity ceremony? Unity ceremonies symbolise the joining of two people together as one, they offer magical moments within a wedding ceremony where two separate journeys come together onto a single pathway. They allow couples the opportunity to be individual and creative within their ceremony and provide a beautiful keepsake of the day. I love to add beautiful unity ceremonies into wedding ceremonies and how many I add is completely up to the couple I’m working with, there are lots of lovely ones to choose from! Many of my unity ceremonies take place in the Algarve and due to the beautiful natural resources available you don’t have to worry about taking excess baggage…think sand, shells, lace,…

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Breaking the rules: Who will walk down the aisle first?

It’s time to make your processional, progressional! Who walks down the aisle first and why? One of the logistical questions I ask all my couples as a Celebrant is: ‘Do you want a traditional entrance with the groom waiting at the front with me and then the bride entering last, or try something different?’. And I really, really want them to say: ‘No! We want to try something different!’. But more often than not, in fact always, they want the brides big entrance.  ‘It’s her day’, the husband-to-be invariably says.  Well actually guys, the day belongs to BOTH of you!  I mean that’s very gallant and all that, but c’mon – its 2018.  We want equality in everything (rightly so)…

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Real Ceremony: Alice and Amy

Real Wedding Couple: Amy and Alice Date: 5th September 2015 Venue: Fernhill Farm Celebrant: Jennifer Constant Photographer: Unknown The Proposal Amy and Alice’s first date was enjoyed exploring Bristol’s famous Harbourside Festival. They very quickly fell head over heels for each other, and at a Christmas party they both attended a short time later, it became apparent to all that they had fallen in love. Alice was dressed up as Jack the skeleton for the party, Amy as Mike Makowski and they spent the whole night hysterically laughing.  The Meeting Amy and Alice were a fantastic couple to work with. They are both full of energy, love and have a huge zest for life. They were full of ideas and…

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Celebrant secrets to a relaxed wedding ceremony

One celebrant shares a few professional tricks to make sure that your guests feel like they are a huge part of your day… from the ones you’ve known for 20 years to the ones who’ve been in your life for 20 months and even the new  ‘plus ones’ that you haven’t met yet!. After all, there’s always one person at a wedding that’s never met the wedding couple, so read on for celebrant secrets to a relaxed wedding ceremony. The Welcome… May all who come as guests leave as friends Setting the right tone starts with making those people who don’t know anybody feel like they know everybody! A super shiny smiling celebrant will BE THERE for your guests as…

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Looking at the pros and cons of a wedding ceremony abroad

You are engaged! Yay! Now you are thinking ahead to your Big Day and weighing up the different options.  Church wedding? Register office wedding and ceremony? Or register office and a bespoke Celebrant-led ceremony? Choosing a Celebrant-led wedding gives you the option to include religious elements, blend multi-faith traditions, embrace customs from different cultures and incorporate symbolic rituals. But the choices don’t stop there! Having officially contracted your register office marriage will you then opt for a Celebrant-led “outdoor wedding” in your own country or a “destination wedding” abroad? Outdoor wedding in your own country There is a joke that the difference between an English summer and an English winter is warm rain or cold rain. An outdoor wedding at…

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How do Celebrants write Wedding ceremonies?

Couples always tell me they want their guests to feel joyful, captivated, to feel the love, experience the passion in their relationship, and generally have a heartfelt experience from their wedding. Ceremonies that are personal to a couple’s story are written to capture the couple in a way where the whole idea of wedding ceremonies seems to have been invented solely with them in mind. Every Celebrant has a different approach and style of writing. Crafting a bespoke ceremony is largely influenced by the Celebrants personality, capacity for creative and eloquent story telling, and an ability to write from the heart. That is precisely what sets Celebrant-Led Ceremonies apart from what we have known as the traditional flow and content…

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Help! Who should speak at our wedding?

5 top tips for who should speak at your ceremony You are in the early stages of your wedding preparation. You have found the venue, the Celebrant you feel is right for you, the magical-eyed photographer. You are still thinking about a thousand aspects. And then a question pops into your mind, which makes you feel a bit anxious: “Who should speak at our ceremony?” Many of the people who have chosen me to weave and officiate their ceremony (wedding, symbolic union, baby naming, kind uncoupling, etc.) ask me this question quite early on our path together. Please take a deep breath. Exhale. Let’s solve this together… 1. No “should”… ideally This ceremony is first and foremost yours. It is…

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Wedding traditions and where they come from

The story behind the traditions… When you’re planning for your wedding, you probably find yourself automatically planning for things such as wedding rings, a white dress, bridesmaids or groomsmen. But do you know the story behind those traditions, and what the meaning of them is? Here’s a look at some of the most popular wedding traditions and where they came from. Wearing a White Dress Wedding dress shops are full of beautiful white dresses which are often seen as symbolising purity. Did you know that the trend of wearing white actually only dates back to the 1800s when Queen Victoria chose to wear a white dress when she married Prince Albert? In fact, brides would usually simply wear their best…

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How do I include my children in my wedding ceremony?

Here’s a summary of our top ideas to include a child in your wedding ceremony Write your children into your wedding ceremony Give your child a meaningful gift A family wedding certificate Include a child in a Handfasting ceremony Involve your child in a Sand Ceremony When a couple has children, either from their relationship or from previous relationships, I ask how they envision including the children in the ceremony. Sometimes they consider a traditional wedding party role, though more often than not, they have limited ideas for how to involve their children. If the ceremony is celebrating the blending of a family through marriage, it’s not only a nice idea to include the children, it’s essential that everyone in…

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3 ways to turn a wedding celebration into a ceremony

How to make a wedding more than a very expensive party According to recent news reports the average wedding in the UK now costs £27,000 and can take up to 18 months to plan, with couples searching for ways to make their big day memorable and personal to them. Equally, news of celebrity weddings focus on the venue, the outfits and who is (or isn’t) on the guest list, with little mention of the ceremony itself and, yet, without the actual ceremony a wedding is nothing more than a, very expensive, party. With all the time and money invested in a wedding, it’s a real shame that so many couples are having to settle for an off-the shelf wedding ceremony.…

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5 Wedding rules that were made to be broken

Weddings come with a lot of traditions, but who says you have to stick by them? Whether you’re having a white wedding in a local church, or jetting off to the Bahamas for a sunset beach ceremony, it’s YOUR big day, and you only get to live it once. If you’re feeling uncertain about what your day should include, here are five things you really shouldn’t be worrying about, as these rules were made to be broken. 1. The bride’s parents should pay for the wedding This tradition started hundreds of years ago in Ancient Greece, when women were considered chattel and the bride’s family had to give money to the groom’s family in the form of a dowry –…

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Scotland! The secret destination wedding location

Thinking Destination Wedding? Think Scotland! Lonely Planet lists Scotland in the top 10 places in the World for people to visit making it an ideal destination wedding location with a difference.   Scotland is a land of history and romance and, as soon as you step foot in the country you can tell it is one very special place.  As a wedding celebrant, here is why I think Scotland should be high on your list when planning your Destination Wedding, Elopement or Renewal of Vows.   You can get married anywhere in Scotland! The first thing to know is you can get married ANYWHERE in Scotland.  Venues do not need special licences; all you need is the relevant permission from the…

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How to legally marry with a UK Wedding Celebrant

Want to know how to legally marry when having a Celebrant-led wedding in the UK? The Celebrant Directory have teamed up with the lovely Jenny Knight, from Knight Ceremonies to give you the information you need to know to be legally wed. Jenny has been in the wedding and events business for 22 years and is a professionally trained Celebrant. She knows her stuff! So Jenny, what are the steps a couple need to go through in order to get the legal part of their marriage complete? Over to you! Thanks! Great to be here! Getting the legal part of your marriage complete is really easy. I am here to guide you through that process in a few simple steps!…

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Real Celebrant Wedding – Emily and Sam

Couple: Emily and Sam Date: June 2018 Venue: Whaddon Village Hall Celebrant: Emily Rawlinson The meeting I originally met Emily at a wedding fair and we instantly gelled.  We met again with her fiancé Sam in Ware.  Emily and Sam brought along photos and we drew up plans for the day.  We chatted until the shop was practically closing around us; discussing lots of great ideas, and I learnt all about Emily and Sam’s love story.  We agreed many things including that their handfasting would be an ‘unbreakable vow’ and their lovely dog, Chester, would be ring bearer. The proposal It is still usually the groom who proposes.  I love hearing these stories and Sam’s did not disappoint!  He proposed…

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A bride’s guide to winery weddings, vineyards and wine ceremonies

A winery can make an unforgettable wedding venue and here in Kent where I am lucky to live and work in the UK, we have plenty to choose from. As a celebrant, vineyards are my favourite venue, because they offer me the chance to craft some amazing ceremonies for couples who wish to do something a little different for their special day. Vineyards vary hugely in size and facilities. Some are well experienced and have dedicated event space and teams of planners, others are more intimate and rustic, which offers scope to create something really original. Wine itself has been used throughout millennia in many and varied rituals and celebrations, in both religious and non-religious ceremonies, and as with most…

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