Personalise your Wedding Ceremony

How to Personalise your Wedding Ceremony

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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

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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

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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

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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!

Top Advice for your Wedding

It’s so easy to get caught up in the moment and forget what’s really important when you’re planning your wedding day, isn’t it?

With the average cost of a wedding in the UK now estimated at between £18,000 and £20,000 (depending on which survey you read), it’s essential that you look at the budget you have available to you, and spend it wisely.  
When planning your wedding there really is no Right Way or Wrong Way …. just Your Way!  You should definitely stamp your own individuality onto the proceedings, with personal touches and ideas, for instance using an Independent Celebrant like me to write and conduct your ceremony (it’s more affordable than you might think).

But please don’t feel trapped into doing things in a certain manner either to please a family member or just because you think you ought to – spending your precious budget on superfluous items that nobody will remember just days, never mind years, later is just wasteful!  Now, if money were no object then we’d all be sitting on solid gold chairs with the finest French Champagne on tap … but that’s not a reality for most people.    Your Wedding should reflect the two of you as a couple, and the promises you’re making and keeping, and should not leave you exhausted, stressed and still paying off bills months later ….

Here’s my Top 10 of what I believe to be the most important aspects of a Wedding :

(1) A ceremony/reception venue that is flexible, not one that wants to steer you into having their “standard” wedding package.

(2) A photographer who has met and understands the two of you and will create beautiful images without making you feel awkward.

(3) Fresh flowers and bouquets made by a professional florist – I know they are more expensive but honestly it’s worth it (scrimp elsewhere!).

(4) A wedding dress/groom’s outfit that truly suits your body shape and feels comfortable to wear (you’ll be wearing it all day …) – this includes shoes!

(5) A sensible guest list that includes only those people that mean the absolute most to you!  With many wedding breakfasts costed per head, this is key.

(6) An element of your own personality on your wedding – whether this be home-made decorations, DIY favours or writing your own Wedding Vows.

(7) Someone to run the day for you; this could be the venue duty manager, wedding coordinator, wedding planner, your caterer, or a Toast Master.

(8) Simple, tasty food done well doesn’t have to be a la carte – sometimes a hog roast and a groaning table of delicious salads and home made cakes will do it!

(9) Music and entertainment that all your guests will appreciate and enjoy (and join in!) whether they are 2 or 102.

(10) Finally, the best bubbly you can afford for reception drinks and toasting, whether this is Asti Spumante, Prosecco or Veuve Cliquot!

Good luck with all your wedding planning, your wedding really is one of the most fun you’ll ever have amongst friends and family, and creates memories that will last forever!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Bespoke Personal Ceremony & Vows

To make your wedding day and ceremony truly personal I can write and deliver a unique ceremony tailored entirely to the two of you, without the restrictions placed upon a traditional religious, civil or Humanist event.  If you’d like to do it your own way, rather than conform to a fixed standard format or a “one size fits all” approach, then it’s entirely possible!

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 I believe we are really only limited by our own imagination – why not give your guests a wedding to remember, and some amazing memories that you’ll both treasure for years?

We can include many different elements in your ceremony, from performing a traditional hand-fasting, to the lighting of a unity candle to signify two families joining, or perhaps a sand ceremony (especially if we’re at the beach!).

There really are so many ways to celebrate your nuptials, why follow the herd when you can add your very own personal stamp to the proceedings?  You will spend time researching and planning your colour scheme, wedding theme, your decorations, invitations and name places, why not spend a little time on your vows and personal promises too?

Contact me now to have a chat about your ideas – and let’s start getting them turned into reality!