So what is the difference between a marriage and a wedding in Ireland? it can be confusing if you are trying to arrange your wedding in the gorgeous country of Ireland. One of our members gives us her advice for organising a legal wedding ceremony in the beautiful Emerald Isle. How To Get Legally Married in Ireland Marriage ceremonies in Ireland have changed hugely in recent years. With many couples now recognising that they can separate contracting their legal marriage from having the wedding ceremony of their dreams wherever they want, celebrant-led weddings are in great demand. Ireland has a variety of independent wedding celebrants, each with a different personal style, but all offering highly bespoke ceremonies delivered with love…

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Here’s how not to get married in Greece! “It was all over in the ‘blink of an eye’ “. One experienced celebrant shares her tops tips on how not to get married in Greece with advice on how to make the most of your celebrant-led destination wedding in the Greek sunshine.   Photo credit: Savvas Argirou at Atrium Prestige Resort and Spa Hotel The destination wedding business is changing, in the modern world we live in, marriage equality is a must. Celebrant led ceremonies are trending in Europe, however until now, in most European countries a celebrant cannot conduct a legal marriage and this includes Greece. A symbolic wedding ceremony in Greece. Now you see it now you don’t! I created…

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When a couple has children, either from their relationship or from previous relationships, your Celebrant will likely 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. How do I include my children in the ceremony? With a Celebrant-led ceremony, the options for you to involve your children in the celebration are endless. From gifts to roles, vows to time capsules, this is your chance to include your child in a meaningful way. 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…

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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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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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I recently had the honour of being asked to lead a wedding in the Worthing Dome. The Setting The Worthing Dome is a stunning example of Edwardian splendour with beautiful arched windows overlooking the sea and is approached by a winding staircase where the bride makes her entrance from down below. In the centre of the licensed room is a round glass balustrade that creates a circular feature in the middle of the dome. You can look down to the floor below. Guests sit on either side of the wedding couple. Everything had been carefully planned. Where the groom would be. Who would sit where, and how the bride would arrive up the stairs.  To be sure that everything would…

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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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Handfasting Ceremony

What is Handfasting? Handfasting is a beautiful, symbolic marriage ceremony, or ritual, and is believed to span several cultures dating back thousands of years. However, it is widely accepted as being of ancient Celtic origin and a nature-related ritual with a spiritual tradition. The phrase ‘tying the knot!’ and the action of shaking someone’s hand to agree on something, are probably derived from this action of binding the couples hands together, often with coloured ribbon or cord to symbolise their union of love. Beautiful words are spoken by the Wedding Celebrant before, during and after the ceremony which adds real romance and significance, making it very special! Hands can be joined by crossing them or side by side and the…

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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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Getting the party started at the ceremony Live music at a wedding can come in many forms. One thing for sure is it always makes an impact and, depending on your choice, may well and truly get the party started. One celebrant gives us their personal top tips for using live music to jazz up your wedding ceremony. Photo: Key Reflections www.keyreflections.co.uk The traditional string quartet at your ceremony can still be lovely, there is certainly a place for it in the right venue at the right wedding. Let’s face it though, there is so much more out there. When planning your wedding ceremony the initial thought may be to think recorded songs for walking down the aisle at the start and…

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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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It’s hard to disagree that children can be a delight at weddings; they look adorable, they make the best natural photos and bring a lot of joy to the occasion. But no one wants that special moment spoiled by a toddler tantrum, and this leads to a lot of couples leaving them off the invite list. Only you will know the potential impact on your relationships with parents that have to make childcare arrangements or cannot attend if their children aren’t invited (on the other hand some might be delighted for a night off!). Before you think this one over, think about why it is you might prefer they didn’t attend, and how having a celebrant-led wedding with a carefully…

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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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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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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? The vast majority of couples enter into their first marriage genuinely in love with their…

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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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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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With many couples deciding to contract their marriage in their home country then escape to the sunshine for a destination wedding, here our our top tips for a destination wedding on a budget. Photo Ana Marielina 1. Destination weddings don’t have to be long haul You do not have to travel to far flung destinations to get the best weather. Research the weather at short haul destinations within three hours of your home airport. You may be pleasantly surprised! The sun shines on average for 320 days of the year in southern Spain for example. Flying outside of the prime summer months means you can travel a shorter distance, at a lesser cost. If your chosen destination wedding is an island…

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Organising your wedding is one thing, but having to change the date of your wedding is one event no couple is prepared for. We are here to help you plan how to reschedule your wedding. The main thing is, don’t cancel your special day, just postpone it! Here are some positive steps you can take to reduce the stress of rescheduling your ceremony when faced with saving a new wedding date. Choose a new date sooner rather than later What can you do if you have to postpone your wedding? In early 2020 there may be a lot of wedding couples looking to reschedule their wedding or vow renewal ceremony date, so the sooner you choose an alternative, and rebook…

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Weddings are Emotional! A wedding is guaranteed to be one of the most emotionally-charged days that you will experience in your whole life.  And this can be even truer when there’s someone very special who is missing from your big day. Our grandparents and parents are our first role models as we grow up: they shape who we are and who we become.  Their support through the defining moments of our lives is fundamental.  So when we lose a close relative – and especially if this happens near to the wedding date itself – it’s important to honour and acknowledge their love, guidance and support. If you’re struggling to feel as excited as you should about your wedding, because there’s…

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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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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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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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Themed weddings are so on trend right now. Everyone wants some fun and laughter in their lives. When you use a celebrant at your wedding, we guarantee a totally unique ceremony that family and friends will always remember. But there is unique and then there is…….Star Wars!  When fabulous couple Rachel and Paul wanted a Star Wars themed wedding, their lovely celebrant jumped at the chance. Read their real ceremony story below.   May the force be with you We celebrants love themed weddings and one of the weirdest but best weddings I ever did was with Rachel and Paul, who told me they wanted a Star Wars themed wedding service.  When I first met the couple, Paula’s parents were also…

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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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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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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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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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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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