Personalise your Wedding Ceremony

How to Personalise your Wedding Ceremony

personalise your wedding ceremony custom unique tailored wedding ceremony independent celebrant katie keen true blue ceremonies

One of the top wedding-related searches on Google is “Personalise your Wedding” as more and more couples strive to ensure their wedding day is absolutely true to them and their personalities.  So why not start with a personal wedding ceremony?

The beauty of hiring an Independent Celebrant like me to write and conduct your Wedding Ceremony is that the content is absolutely yours to choose and own.  It really is the perfect opportunity to completely personalise your day and make it different from everybody else’s!

Write your own Wedding Vows

 

To personalise things, couples should definitely try writing their own wedding vows to one another, but if you’ve no idea where to start there are tons of vow writing ideas to be found on the internet.

I send all my couples a long list of example Vows, Personal Promises and Ring Vows that they can use as a starting-off point to cherry pick and tweak or add their own twist to.  Wedding Vows can be short, simple and poignant, or much more involved.  They can be a few lines long or stretch to a full side of A4 paper!  Remember you’ll be reading these words out to your spouse in front of your loved ones so if you’re prone to being emotional it might be best to keep them brief!

Personal Readings or Poetry

 

Why not ask a friend or relative to write you a bepoke poem?  Alternatively they could read a particularly meaningful piece of prose or writing.  If you have a Celebrant-led wedding ceremony you are not bound to those restrictive civil marriage laws as you would be with a Registrar so if you wanted a religious text, prayer or blessing then that’s fine too!

 

Ritual and Symbolism

to personalise your Wedding Ceremony – there are so many lovely ideas that you might want to consider for your own day and here are just a few examples that have been used in Ceremonies I’ve written and conducted for my own clients:

Hand Fasting

hand fasting ceremony couple laughing angela winsor photography tunbridge wells wedding celebrant one warwick park

Here you can see one of my couples during their mini hand-fasting as part of their personal wedding ceremony at One Warwick Park in Tunbridge Wells.  You can see their hand-fasting cord bound around their clasped hands.

Rose Ceremony

rose ceremony mother of bride mother of groom anglo japanese wedding ceremony chilston park hotel true blue ceremonies katie keen independent celebrant
Here are two single stemmed roses which are about to be presented to both mothers of an international couple as part of their English Wedding Ceremony.  Other ideas could be a potted rose bush ready to plant in a garden, or a bouquet of roses (or any other flower for that matter!).  A lovely way to thank your Mum for her unconditional love as a parent.

 

Sand Ceremony

coloured sand ceremony jars sand blending ceremony wedding couple independent celebrant katie keen true blue ceremonies

After hearing that my couple got engaged in the Moroccan Desert and were going to be honeymooning in the Arabian Desert, we chose to incorporate this unity symbolism into their bespoke Wedding Ceremony.  I started by pouring a foundation layer of sand at the bottom of the glass vase, after which the Bride and Groom layered the two other colours together in a pattern, signifying that their lives were now intertwined and impossible to part – like the grains of sand.

 

Unity Candle Ceremony

unity candle ceremony bride and groom personal wedding ceremony katie keen independent celebrant true blue ceremonies

This symbolic candle lighting will make a ceremony really quite special, and is designed to celebrate the joining of two individual people in marriage, and two families coming together.  The two taper candles are lit by family members, and passed to the Bride and Groom who join those two flames to light the central unity candle. These sets can be personalised especially for you and easily purchased online from a number of retailers.

 

If you would like a personalised wedding ceremony that’s written just for you and tells your own love story please do get in touch.  Take a look at my Contact Me page or complete my Make an Enquiry form.  I’d love to hear your ideas!

Spring is in the Air

After the horrendous weeks of weather we endured over the Winter it’s lovely to see that Spring is in the air and there are some signs of it having already arrived here in Kent. There are swathes of snowdrops blooming in churchyards and I’ve noticed patches of daffodils getting ready to pop open and flower.

Here the sun is out today and the temperature is rising just a little.   Spring is a beautiful time of year and I thought I’d share some images of Spring weddings here on the blog to cheer everyone up!  All images courtesy of Pinterest.  While you’re about it, why not come and follow me over on my Pinterest page.

spring is in the air
A beautiful yellow green and white bouquet

 

Spring is in the air
Bright yellow daffodils arranged in a milk churn

 

Spring is in the air
Simple tied bouquet with herbs, mixed daffodils and narcissi

 

Spring is in the air
Fresh and crisp spring tablescape with primroses and lily of the valley

 

 

Spring is in the air
Reception Table set in a field of daffodils
Spring is in the air
Pretty teacups filled with spring flowers in a rustic style

             

Don’t Take My Word for It

Don’t Take my Word for It – here’s what people have been saying about True Blue Ceremonies ….

Don't take my word for it
True Blue Ceremonies – Independent Celebrant
“There just aren’t enough words available to us to thank you for every single wonderful thing you have done for us.  You made our wedding magical, meaningful and completely and utterly perfect.  We both feel that we were married by a friend and you now have a very special place in our hearts.”  Clients Sarah and Ian after their bespoke wedding ceremony. 
“I cry my eyes out every time I read your beautiful words – how am I going to get through the ceremony?!  It’s so lovely, Katie – thank you so much!”  Client Gem, on reading her draft Wedding Ceremony.

“Katie that is amazing, got a lump in my throat reading it.”  Client Lindsey, on reading a first draft of her Renewal of Vows Ceremony.

“Hi Katie and so many thanks for performing a wonderful ceremony at our wedding last Saturday – the sun even shined for us.  A lot of people commented on how lovely and special it was – I can see why you have so many weddings now to perform!”  Clients Anne and Rob, after their bespoke garden wedding ceremony.

“If only we had known about this 7 years ago, instead of having to get married at 4.30pm in a hotel and rush through our celebrations.”  Nina, North Wales.

“We’re so pleased that we can recommend Katie to our Brides.  She is professional, friendly and always delivers beautifully personalised ceremonies to each and every couple.”  Clare, owner of The House Meadow (rustic outdoor wedding venue, Kent).    

 

If you would like a personalised Wedding Ceremony or Renewal of Vows please get in touch with me as soon as you can – the earlier the better, in order to research, plan and write your unique, bespoke script.    All the very best, Katie.  x

Music for your Ceremony

Having conducted and officiated at hundreds of wedding ceremonies, I can tell you that your choice of music is an absolutely key factor in the success of a ceremony.  Aside from the vows, and the wording of the wedding ceremony itself, music really is the next most important aspect and needs careful consideration.

Flute and Musical NotationAnd it’s not just the pieces you choose but how it is played.  Think about whether you want to have live music, for instance a harpist, string quartet or small band.  Perhaps recorded music is what you prefer, via a CD player or playlist on your iPod.  However, even the best behaved music players provided by your venue will occasionally get hiccups and I have been in the embarrassing position of pressing Play and nothing happening more than once.   And it has always been at the most crucial moment as the entrance of the bride is announced to the room of awaiting guests!

As an Independent Celebrant I want to ensure that this never happens to my clients so have invested in a very robust outdoor portable PA system with a long battery life which packs a mean punch when the volume’s cranked up!  It also enables me to take it into the middle of a forest or on a beach where there’s little likelihood of an electric socket being available.

My PA allows me to play music from a smart phone, USB memory stick or SD card and musicians may hook up to it to amplify their own instrument or voice.  I always take it on my rehearsals so that we can have a sound check prior to the big day.  It’s the only way to ensure stress-free music!

Just for fun, here’s a link to the Top 30 Wedding “First Dance” list with videos … enjoy!

Top 30 First Dance Wedding Songs of 2013

Outdoor Ceremonies

I love to conduct outdoor weddings for my clients, and am becoming well known for these.  Most of the couples who contact me wish to hold a truly outdoor wedding, often in a place where there is no civil licence.

A particular favourite is The House Meadow at Worsenden Farm near Biddenden, Kent.  It is set on a working stud farm but is a complete blank canvas for brides to dress the way they want.  Lots of couples like the relaxed vibe at the farm, and hire yurts, tents and marquees to give a festival type feel, often taking over the venue for the whole weekend.

Check out The House Meadow website for further details  House Meadow

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Ceremony area in the rustic Gazebo 

on the Pond at the House Meadow

Christina and Ben hired me to conduct their outdoor wedding ceremony at Hadlow Manor Hotel, a Grade II listed Georgian manor house, near Tonbridge.  We held the ceremony on the lawn in the beautiful hotel grounds.

Take a look at Hadlow Manor’s video showreel on their homepage here

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We arranged the seating in a semi

circle with a wide aisle

underneath the shade of the large tree

 

 

 

I conducted a romantic wedding for Nick and Katie at Wilderness Wood, Hadlow Down in East Sussex in the summer of 2013.  Wilderness Wood is 62 acres of award winning sustainable woodland and the ceremony was held “streamside” a 10 minute hike to the car park! A unique back to nature experience!

Wilderness Woods

 

The Chestnut Pole Pavilion

at Wilderness Wood

decorated for a wedding reception

 

 

 

A lot of couples wish to hold a ceremony in their own home.  I was asked to write and conduct a Renewal of Vows Ceremony to celebrate a Ruby Wedding Anniversary for Viv & Keith in their beautiful garden in West Malling this year.

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Viv had created a beautiful arbour in

the garden decorated with flowers

under which we held the ceremony