your special day your own unique way
So this is exciting! If you’re looking at this page you may be thinking of tying the knot and if you are recently engaged or betrothed...congratulations! I have personally always loved weddings.
By considering an Independent Celebrant you are already taking control of your special day, I explain more about this and the legal status of marriage in England in the video opposite.
Now the creativity can really flow. How will we tell your story? Where will we hold your ceremony? On a hilltop with breathtaking vistas, deep in a forest witnessed by the ancient trees, within a sacred stone circle or perhaps on a beach with the gentle lapping of the ocean? A castle perhaps? Maybe an inside venue you've fallen in love with, we can bring elements of nature inside for a Hand Fasting inspired ceremony or a more familiar style Wedding ceremony.
As an Independent Celebrant I impose no rules, you remain in control of your day and you have the freedom to choose what is meaningful to you. I am your guide and I will work with you to help you craft something really special.
Below I have written about some different ceremony options, feel free to contact me to discuss your ideas.
The full origins of Hand Fasting lay lost in the mists of time and therein lies a romantic attraction. A Hand Fasting is the ceremony of choice for many who follow earth centred and nature religions or spiritual paths and I am familiar with these.
If it is your tradition I can also work alongside a female Celebrant in a joint led Hand Fasting ceremony, important symbolism for some earth based paths.
Increasingly couples from many different backgrounds are also choosing to incorporate this beautiful and symbolic joining of hands with a ribbon or cord into their ceremonies.
There is evidence that Hand Fasting was a term used in Scotland which gives us the echoes of the mysterious and magical 'Celtic' history of these lands that many find so very enchanting. We can build in visually stunning symbolism of these mythical days of old, or we can keep it simple.
We know too that in Medieval times the Anglo-Saxon word handfæstung, likely to be derived from the earlier Norse word handfestr, was used to describe the making of a pledge by the 'giving of ones hand', essentially why we still say today that we will 'shake on it' when making an unwritten agreement. And of course, give our hand in marriage.
A Hand Fasting ceremony crafted to your beliefs, path or outlook can be a wonderful and unforgettable experience for you and your family and friends.
The Vikings seem to hold an enduring fascination for us, but there was much more to these Norse people than the common image of raiding warriors. These were a sophisticated people with a complex culture and spirituality.
Whether you are enchanted by the stories of these warrior people, are a committed re-enactor or if you follow a Heathen faith such as Asatru, I have studied what we know of rites of passage in the Heathen and Nordic traditions and can work with you to build a meaningful and exciting ceremony. Will we Hand Fast you or use the Oath Ring as the Godis did? Will we include the wonderful symbolic sword ceremony using historically accurate Viking swords? Perhaps the keys and sword ceremony or a variation of it?
Whatever you decide I will work with you to ensure that when the ice melts and your kindred gather, your ceremony will be one to remember.
In today's world an increasing number of couples have different religious or cultural backgrounds from each other and what a wonderful thing that is. I understand however that this can present challenges when planning a wedding ceremony. How to properly represent each persons story, how to make it your day without isolating relatives who may well be used to a different way of marriage.
I undertook a year of experiential interfaith studies, immersing myself into different world faiths as well as modern and earth based spiritualities. Our group journeyed with a Shaman, learned meditation with a former Buddhist Monk, broke bread on Shabbat and explored the place of Christianity in the modern world with 'extreme pilgrim' Peter Owen Jones. I visited Synagogues, Churches, Mosques, Hindu temples and a Goddess temple.
If you are a Christian marrying a Pagan, an Atheist marrying a Spiritual But Not Religious person, a Hindu marrying a Jedi, or any other wonderful combination I would love to work with you to create something reflective of your combined story.
I am also very happy to work with a religious leader from another faith in a joint service. If you'd like me to co-lead the service with a representative of a particular faith but don't know someone from that community willing to do it then let me know and I'll see what I can arrange, through my studies and local interfaith work I know open hearted people from many different religions and spiritual paths.
I really love working with people who feel a little different from the mainstream and would like their ceremony to reflect that. I'm all about the different! Whether you are a LARPer, Cosplayer, a Star Wars re-enactor, a member of the Steampunk community, a Goth, a Biker... if you have met with rejection elsewhere I can assure you that your enquiry will be met with love, acceptance and non judgement here.