Marriages, Civil Partnerships & Vow Renewals
Previously you might have thought that the venue for your wedding or civil partnership ceremony would have to be the local Register Office or one of the few specially licensed premises nearby. While legal formalities must first be completed through the registration service, your bespoke ceremony can be held at any time of the day or night and wherever you want - on a beach at home or abroad, a mountain top, in the grounds of a castle, the local pub, a park, village hall or your own back garden. It can take on whatever theme you feel reflects your personality as a couple.
The same applies to Civil Partnership ceremonies. In 2005 in the UK, it became legal for same sex couples, to seal their relationships with a legal and binding contract known as a Civil Partnership. Although this document has to be signed and witnessed in front of a Registrar, afterwards, you can have a wedding or civil partnership ceremony that is personal to you both - one that you and your friends and family will always remember.
By adding personalised elements to the ceremony - such as “First Kiss, Last Kiss”, “Unity Candle” or “Unity Sand” - it can also include your children, mothers, grandmothers or close friends.
Just as no two couples are the same, your ceremony should be as unique as you are. There are no set rules for your bespoke ceremony - from start to finish it will be designed especially with you in mind.
You may write your own vows and say them to each other at whichever point in the ceremony you choose. How about combining the vows with a “Hand Wrapping or Hand Fasting Ceremony”? During this ancient Celtic tradition, (which is the origin of “tying the knot”), the couple’s hands are tied with different coloured ribbons each with a special significance. Rings or other tokens can also be exchanged at this part of the ceremony.
A Keepsake Parchment, signed by the couple and their selected witnesses, can also be incorporated into the ceremony and afterwards be presented to the newlyweds. Although this attractive document has no legal status, it is a wonderful, decorative souvenir.
As well as readings and music, your tailor-made ceremony can include almost any other element you can think of - wine, roses, candles, kisses, wood sawing, chocolate, love letters, glass breaking as well as “broom jumping”. The latter is based on a tradition which symbolises the clearing away of negativity with a sweep of the broom behind the couple. By stepping or jumping over the decorated broom the newlyweds have crossed over their “threshold” and into their new life together.
For some more specific ideas for these “ceremonies within your ceremony” please visit my Ceremony Menu page.
In recent years it has become increasingly popular for couples who are already married to renew their vows in a unique and personal ceremony shared with close family and friends.
It might be that you married abroad or that your original ceremony was a little disappointing. Or perhaps you have been through a tricky time or health problems and you want to have a ceremony that recognises how you have pulled through and are reconnecting with each other as you look forward.
Whatever the reason - or perhaps there is no actual reason at all - I can compose and deliver your personalised ceremony which re-affirms your vows and declares your continued love for each other,