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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

I am here to support you create your special day…

Weddings are a time of celebration, new beginnings, union and of course that four letter word – love! It is an honour and privilege to support couples on this special journey.

As a Multi Faith Minister, I have 10 years of experience and creating meaningful and graceful ceremonies from the heart. Your wedding day will be a unique reflection of your personal beliefs and desires and I will support you to bring forth a clear vision for your ceremony, joining your values and souls together. I will be with you each step of the way with an initial consultation to chat about your wishes and the practicalities and will then write the order of service and will bring together any readings or poems that you would like to be included. I will also be part of the rehearsal and of course oversee the ceremony and blessing.

Wedding Vows

Whatever your spiritual beliefs or faith, you have the freedom to choose traditional or off the wall vows, and this can be a very moving and liberating expereince. 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. I have a selection of inspirational and meaningful wedding vows to inspire you and of course you may feel you would like to write your own sacred vows, which I will support you with.

Exchange of Rings

Some couple wish to bless the rings before the wedding day itself and imbued them with oils, flowers, incense, crystals, herbs, 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.

I encourage individuality and freedom and know how valuable this is 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.

I have a wealth of poems and readings to inspire you and also encourage 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.

“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 from London

Celebrant prices:

Wedding Ceremony Fee

The fee is £650 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.

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?

I 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. I 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, I will be there as the Celebrant and conduct the ceremony for you.

As a Multi Faith Minister I will embrace your particular wishes, beliefs and ideals and know how important it is to feel heard and listened to.

Fee for Renewing Your Vow

The fee for renewing your vows is £500 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