Tuesday 15 October 2013

A ceremony suitable for the 21st century

I had an interesting discussion this morning with a potential client about why more and more people are using celebrants for the key life-cycle events in our lives, such as weddings.

This particular couple, to me, were not unusual - I have come across people in their circumstances many times as a Toastmaster. One of them is nominally Christian, but doesn't go to church, and the other is an atheist. They each have a child from previous relationships, and so this is not just about them "tie-ing the knot" with each other, but about creating a new family unit, where all 4 of them will have a say and a status.

So as I said, they were not unusual... although I guess 100 years ago it would have been very out of the ordinary.  With the exceptions of the laws about civil partnerships in 2005 and potentially a new Marriage act for same sex couples nothing has changed in relation to wedding law since 1931 (at least according to Wikipedia!)

What this couple were looking for is a wedding ceremony that can both be traditional and yet accommodating for the needs of a modern family living in 21st Century Britain. I really liked that being a definition of why you might wish to use a Celebrant for your big day, and so asked them if I could steal it for this blog!

Friday 20 September 2013

Why choose a celebrant?

There are few moments in our lives which are truly life changing, such as the naming of a child, a marriage, or the death of a loved one. Each of these moments is unique, special and emotional, and deserves to be handled in a sensitive, appropriate manner.

Many people turn to religion for guidance and support through such moments, but for those of us who do not have a faith, or for those in mixed-faith relationships, where religion could be a complicating factor, you may think that you have to “make do” with what the state can provide.

If you have been to 2 or more registry office weddings, you’ll know that registrars read from a standard script. There is little opportunity for the ceremony to be unique to you – to reflect your hopes, desires, dreams and love for each other. That’s where the celebrant comes in. A professional independent celebrant will work with you to understand exactly what you are looking for in  your ceremony and to then write and deliver a truly bespoke, custom service, that really does meet your needs.

There are really two parts to getting married – there is the formation of the legal contract, which can be done very cheaply at a registry office with just 2 witnesses, and there’s the ceremony – the time when you make your public declarations of love in front of your friends and family. For most of us, the ceremony is actually the most important part – it’s the bit we remember, the bit our friends and family will talk about. It need not consist of just 2 readings and a standard text – the opportunities for a really meaningful and personal ceremony are endless.

You may have heard that for most people it’s not legal in England to get married outdoors – well it’s true that it’s no permitted do the marriage contract part outdoors, but your independent celebrant can officiate at your service wherever you choose.

You may have thought that a civil wedding ceremony will be over in just 20 minutes. That need not be the case – your independent celebrant can provide the structure, ideas and format to create a meaningful service with many elements that could take as long as you wish (and without your guests becoming bored!)
You may have thought that weddings are a serious affair – well they are, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun too. If you want a themed wedding, then the service as well as the party could follow that theme. Ceremonies can be as light-hearted or as serious as you want them to be – when you get an independent celebrant, you get what you want!

Matthew Adam has been trained as an independent celebrant to the highest standards by the UK Society of Celebrants, one of the premier Celebrant Organisations in the UK. He is able to officiate at many family occasions, and has a network of other Celebrants he can call on through the UK Society if for any reason he can’t personally met your needs.

So if you are planning to get married, renew your vows, name a child, or almost any other event which requires some form of structure, service, formality or order, then get in touch with Matthew Adam, or a local independent celebrant from the UK Society of Celebrants, for a no obligation chat about the options and opportunities to make your day truly special.