Vows, the modern love letter.

I often think of writing personal vows is like the modern love letter. In our busy lives it’s a beautiful time to pause and reflect on what it is you love about your partner. You may lack the confidence to put pen to paper or wonder where to start, so here’s my advice on writing personal vows.   

Remember this isn’t about wowing your guests it’s about your connection and speaking your truth to each other. Your guests will be in awe anyway of what you say to each other because it will be personal and from the heart.   

Before you write anything down decide if you’re going to write your vows together, alone or as a surprise to each other. Whatever you choose to do find yourself a space without interruption, pour a drink and put on a song that reminds you of your love.  

These few questions will help you get your creativity flowing, there’s no wrong or right answer. 

·         What did you think when you first met, how did they make you feel?  

·         When you look back at your relationship what stands out, why?  

·         Write 5 things you love about them and think of examples.  

Is it their generosity? How do they show they have a generous soul? 

Do they inspire you? How do they do that?  

What have you learnt from them?  

What drives you crazy?  

Do you have any in jokes or quirks?  

·         What does this marriage mean to you?  

·         How would you describe your love?  

·         What do you hope for your future?  

·         How do you want your loved one to feel, when they hear their vows?  

Words that you can use to help you link your vows  

I promise to … 

Because of you I … 

I vow to fiercely … 

Thank you for …  

I’m grateful … 

Without you …  

I will always …  

Inspiration can come from anywhere a favourite song, movie or a book. Here’s some of my favourites;   

All I’ve ever wanted, all I’ve ever needed, is here in my arms  - Depeche Mode

I love you for all that you are, all that you have been, and all you’re yet to be  - Ernest Hemmingway

I don’t know where we will go from here but I promise it won’t be boring   - David Bowie

I'm not your average celebrant

I recently won The Best Wedding Celebrant in Yorkshire and North East at the prestigious The 2019 Wedding Industry Awards.

It’s such an honour to win this award which is decided by real client feedback. It marks the end of an incredible first year for me as an independent celebrant. I’m so pleased to hear my couples have loved my ceremonies as much as I have loved working with them.

For me, the exciting benefit of working with a celebrant is the opportunity to rip up the rule book. It’s perfect for couples who want a truly bespoke ceremony that reflects your vibe and personality.

I pride myself on bringing integrity to your ceremony, I will spend time getting to know my clients so I can make the perfect suggestions from content and music to sharing ideas for symbolic rituals. 

Adding rituals and traditions to your ceremony is one meaningful way to include your values and beliefs on your wedding day.  One of the most simple and beautiful ways is to use a candle. Light is one of the most universal and fundamental symbols. It can represent the spiritual, the divine and intelligence. In illumination, light is seen as a source of goodness and reality. Adding light to a ceremony can demonstrate unity, a new beginning and act as a source of comfort in dark times.

Celebrant ceremonies offer couples an unlimited choice on where and when you can have your wedding celebration and there is no restriction on content or style. It’s a great choice for couples who want something alternative, that’s going to wow your guests. It can also be a budget friendly way to have the wedding of your dreams.

I’ve always been inspired by the truth of love, how it uplifts and can heal us. There is no greater feeling than at the start of a ceremony when you can feel how much love surrounds the couple. I really enjoy encouraging my couples to think outside the box, together we’ll craft a masterpiece that will evoke feelings that will last a lifetime.

What you can expect from me after you've made an enquiry

“What happens next?” is a common question a lot of couples ask me. You're in the driving seat but I'll be here to make sure it's a smooth ride and we have fun along the way.

It can be overwhelming having unlimited choices, where do you start? I like to get to know my couples as soon as possible. I'll give you a call or FaceTime to say hello. It's important that I'm the right fit for your day. I'll spend some time on the call getting to know what you'd like from the ceremony. You may not know the details yet but we can start to think about style and how you want to feel on the day.

Closer to the day we'll meet in person over a glass of wine or cake. We will create the format for your day and plan readings and symbolism.

After this I'll be working away in the background listening to the songs you love and a bit of Leonard Cohen for inspiration.

Next steps are sending you the draft copy. I hope you like it! At this stage you can edit, add bits in, take things out until it's right. I, like you want this ceremony to be one that's remembered for a lifetime.

Where to start, when planning a wedding.

The internet is flooded with resources on how to plan your perfect day covering everything from managing a budget to recommending the latest trends in wedding decorations.

It can easily become overwhelming planning a wedding, from not knowing where to start to trying to keep everyone happy. 

I recently met with my newly engaged friend who’s planning her wedding and it got me thinking about where do you start. My recommendation would always be to agree your budget, add on a little contingency and stick to it. Agree together what’s most important to you as a couple, is it spending most of your budget on the venue or outfits or would you prefer to splurge on the catering or honeymoon. Once you know what’s important for you to have you can prioritise your spending in those areas.

Now the budget is set I’d say the next thing to consider is your venue. Here in the North East of England we have some of the best venues in the world. From historical castles to urban creative spaces, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting the right venue for you.

My last piece of advice is to ask for help. If you’re pushed for time or need someone to organise your ideas call on the support of those closet to you they will be honoured to hear you’d like them to help. Delegating tasks to those you trust will make the planning more enjoyable and allow you to use your time for other things. If you don’t have that support available consider hiring a professional wedding planner they aren’t as expensive as you might think especially given the discounts they will be able to negotiate for you from their various contacts.

How a celebrant can give you the ceremony you want.

“You’re a what?” Is often the first thing I hear when I proudly say, “I’m a celebrant.”

The truth is not that many people have heard of a celebrant or let alone considered a celebrant led ceremony for their wedding. It’s the best kept secret! It’s a shame really because a skilled celebrant has so much to offer. I can help you explore and decide on a ceremony that fits you as a couple. I meet and really get to know my couples to find out what’s important to them. We work together to create a ceremony that can include all the traditions, none of the traditions and everything in between.

One of my friends recently talked to me about her wedding day and shared;  I really wish my ceremony was less formal we only started to relax after the ceremony.  This makes me feel sad, that they didn’t enjoy what is the most meaningful part of the day.

If you want a relaxed and less formal feel, defiantly consider a celebrant they will help create the right ceremony. From discussing how you want to feel, to giving you options for your entrance and adding in some creative symbolism there are lots of ways to make it a ceremony that truly suits your personality. This can all be beautifully achieved without losing any of the importance of celebrating your love.

It was only by chance that I thought about a celebrant for my own wedding day. We wanted to marry late in the evening which wasn’t possible at the licensed venue we choose. The registrar couldn’t marry us after 4pm. Without wanting to comprise on the time we wanted to wed and our dream venue we looked at alternatives to being legally married onsite. This is when I first realised that a celebrant could give us everything we wished for, and luckily for me I happened to know one.  

Barbara really held our hand through the whole thing helping us to really think about what we wanted and then making it happen. We did the legal marriage one week earlier at the register office with both of our Mam’s then had the most memorable wedding ceremony celebration in front of our closet family and friends. 

If you want something more personal then I’d encourage you to explore alternatives for your ceremony.  Give it a go and create a day that’s as unique as you are.