If you cannot find the answer to your question below, please contact me and I will be happy to discuss your query.
Where can we hold our ceremony?
More or less anywhere you like: any indoor venue that hires rooms for social events such as a hotel, castle, village hall or somewhere that has special meaning for you. The venue does not need to be licensed. Outdoors can be in a wood, your garden, on a beach, a stone circle… You will need to obtain written permission from the owners and possibly pay a fee. Also consider accessibility for guests of all ages, seating arrangements, tide timetables and the British weather – especially rain. I work predominantly within the Forest of Dean but can travel to Ross-on-Wye, Monmouth or Chepstow.
Can we have religious or spiritual content in our ceremony?
Yes. Hymns, prayers, poems, spiritual readings – the choice is yours. Customs and traditions from other religions and cultures can be included as well. Just tell me what you want.
How do we contact you?
By phone or email – you can find my details on the Contact page. If it is for a funeral ceremony, you could ask your Funeral Directors to contact me instead of doing it yourself. When they have instructed me, I will phone you to arrange a visit so that I can create a personalised ceremony for your loved one.
Do we need to be legally married in order to have a wedding ceremony?
You don’t need to but if you do want legal recognition, you can arrange to do this in a registry office any day before or after your civil ceremony. You don’t make vows or exchange rings in a registry office. You simply answer a few questions and sign the paperwork. Spiritual or religious words and music are not allowed.
What is the difference between a Registrar and a Civil Celebrant?
A Registrar is responsible for legal records. A wedding performed by a registrar must take place in a licensed venue using specified wording. An enhanced Registry wedding gives you a greater range of “templates” to choose from but is not personalised.
A Civil Celebrant will take time to get to know you, your personalities, wishes beliefs and values. The ceremony will be bespoke and unique. Options and guidance will be offered but you will make all the choices and the script will be edited to your satisfaction by a trained, professional celebrant.
Can we involve children and pets in our ceremony?
That’s fine by me but you must check whether the venue allows them.
Can we have music at our ceremony?
Yes. If your venue doesn’t have a PA music system, then you are responsible for providing your own PA system and music. If the venue allows live musicians, you are responsible for booking, instructing and paying them.
How long will my ceremony take?
A funeral ceremony is a maximum of thirty minutes – unless you book a double slot – and that includes seating the guests and exiting. Crematoriums have a tight schedule, as do Funeral Directors, and Priests/Vicars nowadays administer to two or even three parishes single-handedly.
A wedding ceremony is thirty-five to forty minutes. I will arrive an hour before the start to meet the main people and check that all is in order for the ceremony.
A baby naming ceremony takes about thirty minutes but as long as the baby is happy, then I’m happy to overrun a little bit.
Other ceremonies are usually thirty to forty minutes.
You can write your own vows or use traditional ones. You can read them yourself, repeat them line by line after me or simply say “I do”. I want you to feel relaxed and comfortable so the choice is yours.
The same applies in Vow Renewal ceremonies.
Can we acknowledge people who are unable to attend our ceremony?
Yes. They can be mentioned during the welcome or, if the venue permits it, a candle can be lit to represent them.
Can we have a ceremony for a burial?
Yes. Whether it is a burial in the local churchyard or cemetery or a green burial, together we can create the ceremony you want for your loved one.
Can we have godparents at our baby naming ceremony?
Yes, but in a baby naming ceremony they tend to be called guide parents, mentors or supportive adults – or you may even come across another name for them. The role is the same, though.
Can children, grandparents and friends be involved in our ceremony?
Yes, of course. It is your ceremony and your choice. There are various creative ways to involve them.