Monday, 26 September 2016

Family Focused Ceremonies

One of the biggest plus points of a Celebrant led wedding ceremony is that it can take place anywhere. Below are some images of a truly magical family focused wedding that I officiated in a beautiful outdoor setting.

Monday, 12 September 2016

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Your Dream Wedding Venue.

Choosing your wedding venue will, without a doubt, be one of the biggest decisions you make during the wedding planning process.   
The venue will determine the number of guests you can invite, the theme and style, catering and possibly even the date.  If your dream venue is booked on the date you have chosen, you can either look at a different location or change the date.

There are so many options for you and your intended to consider, you will need to allocate a good proportion of your planning time to getting this right.
A Celebrant led wedding does not need to be in a licensed venue and can even be held outdoors (follow this link to ensure you are legally Wed), so your options on location are truly endless.  With everything on offer from your own back garden, the beach, hotels, manor houses and tipi’s, there really is something for every couple.

So here is my ultimate guide for choosing a wedding venue.

1.  What type of wedding do you want?

Do you want a Wedfest  in a marquee or tipi or would you rather a Grand Affair in a Manor House or hotel?  Of course, you can mix styles and themes, like this vintage chic wedding hosted in a marquee with an outdoor ceremony area. 


or this Grand Affair hosted in the industrial looking Lincoln venue.


But you can potentially cross a lot of locations off your list if you know you definitely don’t want a certain kind of wedding.

2. Set a budget.

Before looking at venues set a budget, and assign money to the different elements in your day, for example, venue, catering, entertainment, dresses flowers etc . You may find this budgeting tool useful.

When you know what your budget is, you can look at venues with your head rather than just your heart.  You may find a venue that seems more expensive at first look, but there be elements included within the package that actually saves you money elsewhere. 

For example, there may be post ceremony drinks and first toast drinks included, the cost of which is saved from your catering budget.
You may also be able to negotiate a deal, but remember, all of your wedding suppliers are business and many, such as florists, photographers and venue dressers are either very small businesses or self employed. Therefore, offering deals can be a struggle when they are working on tight margins in an ultra competitive industry.   

3. Is exclusivity important to you?

Some venues will host more than one wedding in a day, which will mean at least one other Bridal Party and associated guests at the venue. If you were looking for an intimate day, with your family and closest friends a 300 strong all-singing all-dancing extravaganza of a wedding on the same site, will really impact your day.  
Some venues may only host a single wedding but parts of the venue may still be open to public use.
Remember to ask the venue wedding co-ordinator, who else will be using the location on the day.

4. Suppliers

Can you select your own suppliers, or does the venue insist that you select from their list of approved suppliers? Is this an issue for you? Are the approved suppliers prices competitive?

5. When to book?

Popular venues can get booked up 18month to two years in advanced, particularly for Saturday dates during the main wedding season (May – Sept). So, why not consider an autumn or winter Wedding, or perhaps a weekday or evening wedding.
A Friday evening wedding with cocktails and canap├ęs on arrival, a candle lit ceremony followed by a meal and dancing. Perfect for an adults only event, especially if all of your guests are local.
Booking out of season or non-Saturday dates may mean both a better deal and a shorter wait.

6. Options for guest accommodation.

If you have selected a marquee or tipi in a country side location, is there somewhere local for your guests to stay over or to freshen up?
If there is no local accommodation, it may be feasible for some of your guests to camp on the site, with egg or bacon butties the next morning for a group breakfast.  If camping isn’t the style of wedding you are creating, why not contact one of your local bus or coach companies.  You could hire one of their vintage or luxury vehicles to transport you and your guests back to town.  

7. Visit your venue

When you have narrowed the list of potential venues down by style, cost, capacity, availability and options, go and have a look at them.
Many venues will host either open days or wedding fayres where you can see the venue dressed ready for a wedding. Meet the co-ordinator and ask questions, go and have a meal to see the standard of the food, get a general feel for the place.

8. Involve your Celebrant

Your Celebrant may be able to suggest venues for you to consider.
Liaise with your Celebrant to ensure that they are available on your chosen date and when you have booked a venue, let your Celebrant know. If it is a venue they are unfamiliar with, they will conduct a site visit to help them plan your ceremony.

9. Get it in writing

Make sure you get a contract / invoice detailing what is included within your wedding package and the prices.
 Confirm (and get it documented) that the price listed is the price you will pay. If you are booking the venue and wedding package perhaps two years in advance, you do not want to be subject to two years worth of price rises.

10. Enjoy the process

Enjoy attending the open days and wedding fayres, there are often free sample or free food and fizz. Enjoy going for a meal at the venue or staying over in the accommodation. Planning your wedding should not be a chore, have fun and plan your special day, your unique way.

In the next edition, I will tell you some of my favourite wedding locations.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Naming Ceremony - Special Elements

 If you are planning on holding a Naming Ceremony, you may also wish to consider incorporating a Special Element to make the day extra special and unique. I have described a few of my personal favorites for you here.  

Time capsule/treasure box 
The Time Capsule can contain small gifts, photos, letters or written note cards. The capsule/box presented to the child when they turn 18 or 21. 

Planting of a tree / Bush 
If you are planning to hold the Naming Ceremony at your family home, then planting a tree or a hardy bush is a lovely idea. Guests help to plant the tree and as they place soil into the ground, they can say a words expressing their wish for the child OR they can just help in the planting. 

 Lighting of a candle 
Naming Candles can be personalised and decorated. The candle is lit during the ceremony.

 Fairy Dust 
 Glitter can be used at the blessing instead of roses/water. Special people say nice words/wishes as they sprinkle it (Fine glitter, non toxic – warning it sticks to absolutely everything!).

 Photo signature frame – frame a photo of your child with a large enough border for people to write on it. It becomes a beautiful reminder of the day and something you can hang in their room or the house.

Thumbprint Tree – A tree drawing is presented to your guests in A3 or A4 size. Each guest is invited to leave a thumb print on the tree to form the leaves. This looks lovely framed and displayed.

This is just a selection of Special Elements which can be incorporated into your Childs Naming Day Ceremony but there are lots of other options available too. 

Sunday, 28 August 2016

So, what is a Naming Ceremony?

This weekend I had the privilege of Officiating a Naming Ceremony for a fantastic little boy. 

The ceremony was held at Cafe INDEpendent on the High Street in Scunthorpe. If you have never been, you really are missing something special. It's an eclectic mix of art, books and music with scrummy food and delicious coffee, teas and alcohol. 

We were able to take over the entire mezzanine level and the guests sat on comfy sofas and chairs and after the ceremony the cafe served a buffet. 

So, you may be thinking, What is a naming ceremony?
A naming ceremony is a non-religious celebration of the arrival of a new child. It is a way of welcoming the child and officially introducing him/her to family and friends. However, if you wanted to include religious or spiritual content, then this can be incorporated.

A Naming ceremony is appropriate for anyone, at any age. The arrival of a new baby, uniting of step or adopted children within a family, or an adult name change are all great reasons to hold a naming ceremony.
specialdayscelebrantsunitysandceremonyNaming ceremonies involve the important people in the child’s life – family and special friends. Parents have the opportunity to ask other adults to play a supportive role to their child through to adult life (as  godparents, mentors or supporters).
Poems, readings, and quotes of personal significance can be used throughout the ceremony. Often a symbolic gesture is also made, such as the lighting of a candle or the planting of a tree. In addition, certificates are presented to parents and other special people as a record of the occasion.
While the Naming Ceremony and accompanying documents don’t have any legal status, they are a wonderful way to welcome your child and celebrate them as they begin their journey through life.   As such there is no need to have the local Registrar conduct the ceremony.
specialdayscelebrantsnamingceremonywithunitysand Indeed, you are likely to find that a Celebrant led ceremony will give you greater freedom with regard to content, special elements, location and timings.
With Special Days Celebrants, each ceremony is unique and is tailored to suit your individual needs.

For this Naming Ceremony we incorporated a Unity Sand Ceremony which was a lovely way to get lots of people involved.

In our next article, we will look at some of the other Special Elements that can be included in a naming ceremony. 

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Boutique Wedding Venue launched.

The Brew Haus, Lincoln. 

If you were not lucky enough to make it to the Wedding Open Day on Saturday 5th March, then you really missed out! But worry not, I have put together a short film highlighting some of the wonderful styling and baking that was on display.

Formally the Conservative Club, The Brew Haus, is a quirky venue in the heart of historic Lincoln. It features exposed bricks, antique wood and more character than you could hope for.

The film shows the wedding venue styles in two different ways, formal round tables and a more relaxed trestle table design. Both are stunning and can be styled to perfection by Danielle and Gemma from Save the Date, Event Hire and Stylists.

The cakes on display are by Sophie from The Confetti Cakery. as well as Wedding Cakes, Sophie also crafts fabulous sweet treats, which are perfect for Wedding Favours.

The Brew Haus, Wedding Open Day


Darina Stroda, Uk & International photographer, would be and idea choice for exquisite photography. Don't forget, the Usher Gallery, Lincoln is only a stones throw away. An amazing location for outdoor photography.

You can have your wedding ceremony within the venue, conducted by Yasmine of Special Days Celebrants. A quick trip to the registry office, for a Statutory Ceremony, will take care of the legal side. There is no need to say your vows, have readings or even exchange rings at the Statutory Ceremony. This can all be done at your Special Days Celebrants led wedding Ceremony.



To find out more information about booking The Brew Haus for your Wedding Ceremony, Reception or indeed both, please click on the following links.

The Brew Haus, Lincoln. HERE
Save the Date, Event Hire & Styling HERE
The Confetti Cakery HERE
Darina Stroda  Photography HERE

"Your Special Day, Your Unique Way"
You do not need a registrar for a ceremony!

Friday, 4 March 2016

Boutique wedding venue launched in Lincoln.

Saturday 5th March, I will be at the Brew Haus, Lincoln; in conjunction with 'Save the Date, Event Hire and Styling'.The Brew Haus has launched as a boutique wedding venue and they will be hosting their first wedding open day.

specialdayscelebrantsweddingsat thebrewhaus
The Brew Haus
"Brew haus is a world class drinking den in the heart of the City of Lincoln, occupying the ground floor of the historic old constitutional club on Silver Street. The venue has been fully restored back to its former 1895 splendour.
Exposed brick work, steel beams, antique light fittings, and a huge Chesterfield sofa are but some of the unique features the bar has to offer.
The range of cocktails has been specially curated by Manchester award winning bartenders, The Liquorists. To top it off, we garnish our cocktails with glowsticks, flames and roasted marshmallows."

The Brew Haus, Lincoln have teamed up with the amazing ladies from Save the Date, Event Hire and Styling to offer both wedding Receptions and Celebrant led Wedding Ceremonies. I am proud to have been asked to perform the wedding ceremonies in this unique, exquisite location. 

The Brew Haus, styling by Save the Date

This is a very sophisticated venue with a superb atmosphere, perfectly suited to a Wedding Ceremony or Vow Renewal. 

If you are marrying abroad, this is an ideal venue to hold a night reception and Celebrant led 'blessing' on your return. 

There are many different styling options, all of which can be discussed with the team from Save the Date.

if you have never eaten at the Brew Haus, you are really missing out!  why not book a meal and sample the delights on offer. 

Vintage place settings 

To enquire about weddings or vow renewals at The Brew Haus, contact Save the Date HERE