What happens if one of us has to cancel?
Things happen! If you need to cancel, complete and send me the cancellation form provided. As long as I receive it within 14 days from the day after our in-depth meeting I will refund your booking fee. After 14 days the booking fee becomes non-refundable.
If you cancel after you have paid the balance, no refund will apply but I will send you the completed ceremony script.
But what happens if I have to cancel?
While I will do everything I can to honour my commitment to you, if I can't avoid cancelling I'll give you as much notice as possible and do all I can to secure satisfactory alternatives for you, including suggestions for a replacement celebrant.
If I need to cancel within the first 14 days I will refund your booking fee (just as if you cancelled).
Do I charge for travel?
Yes, if your ceremony is more than 10 miles from my home. I’m using public transport at the moment, so it’ll be the cost of my return fare (we’ll sort this out and agree the price based on published fares at the time of booking). I also charge for overnight accommodation if necessary (if you’re a long way away, your ceremony is very late or very early in the day).
Are my ceremonies 'official'?
For the moment Celebrant-led ceremonies do not carry legal status. But separate the legal registration of your marriage/civil partnership from a celebration ceremony and enjoy the best of both worlds. The 'legal bit' at a Registry Office need involve no more than making your declarations in front of two witnesses and obtaining a marriage licence. Make sure you ask for a 'statutory ceremony' where you'll just sign the legal paperwork (about £60 for one copy of the certificate - check your local Registry Office for details).
Then you can have your wedding or civil partnership celebration ceremony with a Celebrant. For most couples the Celebrant-led event is the 'real' ceremony, with the fancy frocks, vows, readings, ring exchange and everything else that makes the occasion special.
Don't get me wrong; if you want your union to be official you need the legal paperwork. But I'd argue that a couple ceremony is about much more than obtaining an official certificate. It's about intensely personal statements of love and commitment, special little rituals and symbols that express your hopes, values and personalities. While some of this is may be available in a Registrar or Minister-led ceremony, much of it isn't. If a deeply personal vibe is important to you, you'll probably want a Celebrant-led ceremony after the 'legal bit'.
None of the other ceremonies I offer (or that you may be able to dream into marvellous reality!) need legal paperwork anyway, so the question doesn’t apply to them.
Why choose me rather than a Registrar?
As I explain above, for an officially recognised marriage or civil partnership you'll still need the Registrar - it isn't an either/or choice.
If you want a truly personal and bespoke celebration you need a Celebrant as well.
A Celebrant spends time getting to know you. You'll get a unique ceremony that tells your story using your words, music, movements, rituals, prayers and whatever else you want to include. And on the day, your ceremony will be my sole business.
By contrast, registrars are required to carry out numerous ceremonies per day. They can offer only a limited selection of vows to choose from. Readings and choice of music are narrowly restricted by law (no ‘religion’). You’ll be in-and-out of your venue in about 15 minutes. And the choice of venues is limited (Registrars can only conduct ceremonies at premises licensed for legal marriage). There are also restrictions on when Registrar-led ceremonies can take place. So, no star-lit ceremonies. No vows at Midnight. No dawn promises or affirmations.
Celebrant-led ceremonies don't have to contend with any of these limitations.
I’m terrified of writing my own vows, is there an alternative?
Don’t panic, I’ll help you find a solution. You don’t HAVE to write your own vows. Your day - your rules! If you want to write them I can help with a wealth of ideas. Maybe it's just reading them that terrifies you? I can read them for you and you can repeat them. Or just say the “I do” bits. I even have a few cool ideas for exchanging your most heartfelt and intimate promises without anyone having to speak a word in public!
Can we involve our pets in our ceremony?
Of course. But can you please make sure they’re people-friendly, well behaved and chilled around crowds, noise and hullabaloo? A fractious animal is nobody’s idea of fun, and it’s not fair on the animal either. And try to find out if any of your guests are nervous of animals or have allergies. Cousin Beryl sitting wide-eyed and rigid with terror, or uncle Ravi raking his skin off in the third row is nobody’s idea of fun either.
What do I chill to?
Early music. Opera. Trad folk. Trad world music. Old school ambient. Qawwali. Art punk. 'The Great American Songbook'. 80s Goth. Gamelan. Throat singing. Renaissance polyphony. Anything with a drone, especially uilleann pipes.
Where do I find inspiration?
Writing, sketching and painting. Philosophy, metaphysics, magic and quantum theory. Singing, storytelling, teaching. ETs, hauntings and the paranormal. Speculative and fabulist fiction. Conservation, landscape and nature. Architecture and the built environment. Role-play, ritual, dressing-up and performing.
And ice cream. Always ice cream!