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Weddings and Hand Fasting

Ann Marie Marchant - weddings and hand fasting

When two people are at one in their inmost hearts,
they shatter even the strength of iron or bronze.
And when two people understand each other in their inmost hearts,
their words are sweet and strong,
like the fragrance of orchids.
I Ching

Weddings are a time of celebration, new beginnings, hope and of course that four letter word – love! Love is in the air and what a truly gorgeous time to honour your commitment to each other and share the ultimate union of your love through a Wedding or civil ceremony.

If you are looking for a wedding or civil ceremony that is just a little different, alternative, off the wall or completely traditional – you will require a celebrant to oversee the ceremony and blessing.

What can Ann-Marie offer you?

As a Multi Faith Minister Ann-Marie has the unique training, experience and melting pot to bring together weddings and civil ceremonies that are non-religious or a combination of faiths and beliefs. Your wedding day can be as unique as you and therefore be a true reflection of your personal beliefs and desires. Thankfully this allows a freedom to create a space full of individuality and truth.

In the melting pot of your combined hearts a vision can evolve and grow into a beautiful eclectic ceremony that joins your values and souls together.

Ann-Marie will be with you each step of the way or when you need a helping hand. There will be an initial first consultation to chat about your wishes and the practicalities and then two other meetings before the wedding day. She will also be part of the rehearsal and help you plan the order of service. On the actual day of your wedding or civil ceremony Ann-Marie will oversee the ceremony and blessing.

She can also offer one to one spiritual guidance if you feel the need for extra support prior to your wedding. (See below)

Wedding Vows

The freedom to choose words from you heart and to construct your personal wedding vows, can be very moving and liberating. No longer are we constricted by the prescriptive wedding vows of the past. They can be as simple or elaborate as you wish, bringing together your personal dreams, wishes, feelings and hopes for your future together. Ann-Marie has a selection of inspirational and meaningful wedding vows to help you decide what is right for you both. More importantly you can choose exactly what you wish to say to each other in a sacred and touching way.

Exchange of Rings

Some couple wish to bless the rings before the wedding day itself and imbued them with oils, flowers, incense, crystals, herbs, colours, sacred water etc. etc or you may wish to simply exchange rings at the time of your ceremony. You may or may not wish to have your rings blessed. This is something that you can decide together and choose when and where you do this.

Rings may of course be engraved with special symbols, words or even be made from natural material you have sourced yourself that are special and meaningful to you both, and can therefore have a much deeper meaning to your commitment to each other.

You may of course choose not to have rings but have an alternative symbol of your marriage. Ann-Marie encourages individuality and freedom and know how valuable this it to a couple.

The legal marriage requirements

It is not possible at this point, as a non-denominational minister in England, to do the legal registration of the marriage. This has to take place in a registry office or at a venue like a hotel where a Registrar will come and oversee the legal requirements.

Your “statement of intent” and exchange of rings do not have to take place at this time but can be kept for the heart of the ceremony which I will lead and of course where all your family and friends can be present to witness the special occasion.

Some couples like to go to the Registry office before the wedding ceremony or choose to do this afterwards – you are free to choose when you do the legal bit…..

Hand Fasting

Handfasting was originally practiced by the Greeks and Romans. The Romans created a garland made of magnolia, elder and roses. It was then wrapped around the couple’s wrists to signify love and fidelity. In ancient legends, lovers were united together as they “tied the knot” in the tradition of Celtic handfasting. The hand fasting wedding ceremony was especially common in Ireland and Scotland. It was commonly the way that couples were “officially” married before the church became involved in Wedding ceremonies.

In this tradition of lightly binding the hands of the couple together cord, rope, ribbons, a scarf, tartan or strips of fabric can be used. It is meant to signify a couples coming together as “One”. Whatever it’s original intention, it has become a popular, alternative wedding ceremony tradition for today’s couples seeking new and Spiritual ways to honour their love. Even Prince William and Catherine incorporated handfasting in their royal wedding.

The colours you use for your cord can add an extra dimension to the meaning of your ceremony.

Red: passion, strength, lust, fertility
Orange: encouragement, attraction, kindness, plenty
Yellow: charm, confidence, joy, balance
Green: finances, fertility, charity, prosperity, health
Blue: tranquillity, patience, devotion, sincerity
Purple: Power, piety, sanctity, sentimentality
Black: strength, wisdom, vision, success
White: purity, concentration, meditation, peace
Grey: neutrality, cancelling, balance
Pink: unity, honour, truth, romance, happiness
Brown: earth, grounding, talent, telepathy, home
Silver: treasure, values, creativity, inspiration
Gold: energy, wealth, intelligence, longevity

Music, Poetry & Readings

The power of the spoken or sung word is without doubt very moving and uplifting. To incorporate this into your special day is of such value and again is such a unique way of sharing your love for each other.

Ann-Marie has a wealth of poems and readings to inspire you and also encourages you (if you feel creative) to write your own words of truth and meaning.

Music and song can be incorporated into your day in any way you choose. You may wish to keep it traditional from a harp or bag pipes to singing bowls and gongs. The world really is your oyster. She can also suggest singers and musicians to inspire you if you so choose.

“I just wanted to say a massive thank you for making our day so special on Saturday. The ceremony was beautiful, so personal, and we even managed to convince a few ardent Catholics who were a bit skeptical of our choice to have a handfasting ceremony! We had an amazing day and we couldn’t have done it without you. We’ve also had so many people asking after you and asking us to let you know how beautiful the ceremony was, so we really can’t thank you enough! So many people said that it was unlike any ceremony they’d ever been to before and that it suited us as a couple down to a T, so you obviously did an amazing job capturing our relationship and personalising the ceremony!”
Emily and Joe

Celebrant prices:

Wedding Ceremony Fee

The fee is £600 and includes your initial consultation, two further meetings (if required), a rehearsal and the actual wedding ceremony.

An extra fee will be charged for accommodation (pre wedding day) if beyond a 30 mile radius of Upper Beeding, West Sussex.

Travel costs are in addition if they exceed 30 miles from the above mentioned location – at a cost of 40p per mile.

One to one support/spiritual guidance – £55 per hour.

Renewal of Vows

A vow renewal ceremony is a special way to declare your continuing commitment to your partner before family and friends. The ceremony can occur any time after your original wedding.

Couples who eloped or had a ‘destination’ wedding may choose to renew their vows shortly after the original wedding at a gathering for the family and friends who were unable to attend the wedding. Others may choose to renew their vows on a special anniversary.

Some couples also choose to publicly recommit themselves to one another after going through a difficult period in their lives.

Why Renew Your Vows with Ann-Marie?

Ann-Marie would be delighted to join you at such an auspicious time and help you to celebrate and honour your commitment and love to each other. She will gently guide and support you through the stages of planning your ceremony and will hold a loving and gentle space for you.

Once you have decided on the final details, Ann-Marie will be there as the Celebrant and conduct the ceremony for you.

As a Multi Faith Minister Ann-Marie will embrace your particular wishes, beliefs and ideals and she knows how important it is to feel heard and listened to.

Fee for Renewing Your Vow

The fee for renewing your vows is £450 which includes an initial consultation and telephone liaison, a meeting and planning session prior to the ceremony and holding the ceremony itself at the venue of your choice.

If the venue is over 30 miles from Upper Beeding, West Sussex, a charge of 40p per mile will be added, as will overnight accommodation.

Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast,
it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking,
it is not easily angered,
it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil
but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts,
always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8