At One Curious Dream, we work incredibly hard to create a day that is personal and unique to each couple we work with – no conveyor belt weddings here! One of the key aspects of your big day is the ceremony itself, however, many couples are still unaware that a celebrant led ceremony can be completely tailored to your requirements. Sarah Baker of Norfolk Bluebells Celebrant gives us the lowdown on what her role as a celebrant involves and how she creates beautiful, bespoke ceremonies for the couples she works with. Over to Sarah…
Did you know that the legal and statutory part of a civil marriage service comprises saying less than 40 words each and signing a marriage register? Amounting to approximately two minutes worth of the entire ceremony. The remainder of the proceedings is the ‘important and memorable bit’ – the vows, the promises, the pledges of love and commitment, the exchange of rings. These are the elements that everyone remembers in the weeks, months and years ahead.
A celebrant will work with you from the outset to create a highly bespoke and personalised ceremony script which has been written to reflect your personalities, your individuality, your wishes, your beliefs and your style. After all, you choose ALL the other elements of your special day so why compromise on the ceremony itself by opting for the same script that every other couple get? Should you opt for a civil marriage with your local Registration Service, you will not have an opportunity to meet your Registrar until approximately 20 minutes before your ceremony starts and you will undoubtedly be one of several couples they are delivering that very same script to that same day – is that really what you want?
One of things I hear time and time again is the fact that couples think the ceremony isn’t ‘real’ if they don’t do the legal bit on the same day. I try to put this into perspective by reminding people that each year, they celebrate their birthday on the anniversary of the day they were born and not on the anniversary of the day their birth was registered. Marriage can be treated just the same – legally register it on one day but have the celebration on another day, enabling you to have a ceremony which has been written from scratch, to reflect your preferences and your uniqueness.
It also means that you can have your ceremony at any time and in any location – you are not restricted to an approved venue, a church or a register office. You really can have that dream wedding on the beach, in bluebell woods, on a boat on the Norfolk Broads … you get the picture! There are no limits – only your imagination!
I guarantee that a ceremony which has been written just for you will be far more meaningful and memorable, not only for you as a couple but also for all your family and friends attending. If you wish, we can include elements which bring in other key family members – for example, a sand ceremony, unity candle or a ring-warming. You can even have your pet dog as your best man / woman if you wish! Basically, there are no rules – it’s your day and you should have a ceremony which reflects you and your wishes. There are so many wonderful symbolic options we can incorporate, which will enrich and enhance the more traditional elements of the ceremony, should this ‘take your fancy’.
I draw upon my many years of experience in writing and conducting ceremonies to offer guidance, support and inspiration to the couples I work with, ensuring that the final script and content reflects perfectly their ideal ceremony. This is one of the key moments of your life and it needs to be ‘just right’.
With my previous experience as a Registrar, I can also offer advice regarding the legal formalities required and can assist you in making sure that side of things is taken care of as effortlessly as possible – treat that bit as ‘doing the paperwork’!!
Simply put, my aspiration is to help you achieve the ceremony you dream of and one which you will remember for all the right reasons (and not because the Registrar forgot your name – and yes, I have seen that happen…).
If you’d like to chat more about having a celebrant-led ceremony, then please do contact me for a friendly and informal chat.
Don’t settle for second best! This is your very special day – so have a very special ceremony!