In my work as a Celebrant I offer a holistic process and I want your ceremony to be truthful and reflective of who you are. I want your union to be a dynamic and rich place from which you can live and grow. I have found that the more time and thought you bring to the planning and creation of your ceremony, the more of yourselves you invest in the creation, the richer and more transformative your marriage day becomes and as a result, the stronger the foundations of your lives together.
Marriage is not for everyone. It’s not a ‘one size fits all’ institution. In fact, many people in this country are denied access to the socially sanctioned and age old institution of marriage. Whilst this debate continues to gain prominence and widespread support, peoples’ love and their lives continue.
For those unable to legally marry, a commitment ceremony, is the most chosen way to honour your union. The challenge facing many couples is knowing what union means to you today, and how to bring expression to this.. For some, to follow the form or a marriage ceremony is important. For others, doing something completely different is important.
There are also many couples who, whilst able to legally marry, decide that marriage is not for them, but that they wish to celebrate their love and lives together.
I understand my role as one of creating with and for you a ceremony that contains the best of who you are and what you want to bring to your union and your lives together. I listen to you and bring my ideas and experience to every aspect of your ceremony. creating ceremonies that are reflctive of the diverse communities we live within is a true challenge and an honour.
I understand my role as providing you with information, knowledge and choice and the best possible process to realise your ceremony.
Standing up, in a deeply personal and public arena and declaring your love for and commitment to each other is perhaps one of the few radical acts left to us. Your ceremony and your day need be limited only by your imagination ( and possibly your resources1).
I welcome the auspicious responsibility I have in walking with you to the place of your public and sanctifed union and beyond.
There are few opportunities to effect change in our lives, your commitment to each other, and your ceremony is one of those times. I dare you to go for it!
The 1st meeting –The process and your questions
This is a no obligation meeting at a mutually convenient time and location and usually it is about 30 to 45 mins long.
In this meeting I outline my process, listen to your needs and respond to questions. I bring a resource package to this meeting and use it to outline the choices you have in creating your ceremony. We discuss the fee, the time frame and any other key elements you want to bring to your day.
If you decide you’d like to work with me and in the way I have outlined you can take the resource package and begin the process. Some couples wish to see other celebrants, to think and reflect. You need not make a decision at this meeting.
I offer a flexible working process tailored to your time and to financial investment you can make. I offer a fully facilitated process where I work with you and write your ceremony, based on your input and I also offer a process whereby you can write and assemble your ceremony with me acting as your guide.
Both these processes are aimed to offer you the opportunity to work as best fits your time, desired investment and budget.
Whichever process you embark on, the process is as follows-
The 2nd meeting – Your stories
This meeting is anywhere from one to two hours in duration.
I find that this meeting is always very fruitful and exciting for couples as the shape and feel of your ceremony begins to emerge.
From this meeting, if I am writing your ceremony, I craft a working copy of your ceremony and we communicate by email and phone. You begin work on your vow or pledgess and choosing readings.
If you are writing your ceremony from here, we cover the elements of the ceremony in more detail and I furnish you with advice and resources to go and begin!
Writing or assembling or choosing your vows or pledges is something that most couples enjoy. And it is the part of the ceremony that is most essentially yours.
I have resources available and a tried and true process that supports you to know what you want to include in your vows to you loved one and how to express yourself in your own words. I also have a vast collection of readings and poetry, song lyrics and literary extracts to support you in finding the right readings for your ceremony.
The 3rd meeting
This is most often via email where we edit and shape the working copy of the ceremony that either of us have prepared. We speak to reading choices, music, vows and inclusion of any other ceremonies as befits your ceremony.
Some couples wish to have a face to face meeting at this point or on site, if the place is of special importance. We meet in the place you have chosen for your ceremony (if possible). We do a read through of the draft copy of the ceremony and begin to bring form to the ceremony – to pick the exact location or where the bride may arrive from, etc For some couples, this meeting is not possible or necessary, but it is offered if appropriate.
The 4th meeting – The onsite rehearsal
This meeting is best any time from 10 days to one day before the ceremony. At this meeting as many of the key people are present. We run through the entire ceremony (save the vows ) at the same time of day the ceremony is scheduled for (or as close to) so as to see what the light, sun and shadows are doing.
By this stage the ceremony is finished and almost word perfect. The rehearsal consolidates the preceding process by allowing you to have an experience of standing in the place of your wedding ceremony and of going through the form of the day. How you arrive, when you turn to face one another, the exchange of rings, etc.On the day, this experience, possibly more than any other one thing, supports you to be as present as you can be and to truly remember your ceremony.
Why would you want your ceremony to pass in a blur of adrenaline and unfamiliarity ?
The 5th meeting – The day of your commitment ceremony.
I arrive an hour before and set up the sound system (which I provides unless there is one at the venue or place) and signing table. I liaise with musicians, meet and greet guests if desired by you, and to provide a calm presence in the place of your ceremony to ensure that your guests arrive into the most welcoming and rich environment as possible.
I perform the ceremony with openness, presence, attention to detail, joy and an ability to really connect with your guests and yourselves to make this meaningful and transformative for all family and friends. I memorise and speak the ceremony with clarity and sincerity. I make and maintain eye contact with you and your guests, involving and including them as the ceremony progresses. I am very well dressed in keeping with the colors and aesthetics of your day
Your vows and all readings are printed on card (which you keep). Your certificates, if you would like them, are hand written. As I read from a book, a copy of your ceremony is also included.
If how I work is of interest to you and you’d like to arrange your no obligation meeting, please contact me directly. I look forward to hearing from you.
Follow up –
In the resource package you are given at the beginning of the process I have a feedback sheet which couples complete (usually a few weeks) after their ceremony. This is of great value to me as it supports me to continue to provide the best possible process for you. For many couples a coffee and conversation about the ceremony, looking at photos and sharing experiences are great ways to finish this working relationship.