Why should I choose Tulip Ceremonies for my ceremony?
Your celebration is important and your choice of celebrant will influence how special your day becomes for you and everyone joining in your celebrations. I will make you my priority to ensure you can relax and make memories to treasure. You will have easy access to me during the planning with guidance through every step of the way to develop a final script that reflects your aspirations.
Getting to know you, liaising closely with you to develop the script that reflects your hopes, dreams and heartfelt thoughts is my ethos. This ceremony will be about you, at your chosen venue and written just for you.
Is it possible to meet up before making a decision?
Yes! I would be delighted to meet with you to discuss your plans and this meeting will be the foundation for our close working relationship.
As I speak with people, encouraging them to talk and listening attentively to them it builds a relationship that grows. Our first conversation generally lasts up to an hour and gives ample time for both parties to chat and get to know one another.
Face to face meetings are ideal if distance allows, though I am equally happy to do Skype, FaceTime, phone, What’s App or email.
How is a Celebrant-led ceremony different to using a Registrar?
Choosing a Celebrant allows you to get to know the person who will work alongside you to make your ceremony individual. From the first contact with you the relationship develops to create the format and content that reflects the person or people for whom the ceremony is tailored.
Your ceremony will be centred on you, bringing creative processes to reflect elements of your life, such as your “Love Story”, or the joining together of two families with a “Sand Ceremony”. With frequent contact and thorough development we will achieve a truly memorable script to share with your loved ones on your special day.
You have endless possibilities to create individuality in your ceremony as there are no limitations on time of day or length of ceremony, the venue, the content or format, adding in other ceremonies (e.g. a baby naming with a Handfasting/Vow Renewal). The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.
Where can we have our ceremony and can it be outdoors?
It can be almost anywhere you choose: a private garden; village hall; on your favourite beach; at an historic stone circle; atop a mountain; in natural woodland or by a river; a restaurant; a place of special memories, etc. The only requirement is to have the permission of the landowner.
Al fresco weddings are becoming increasingly popular and are a beautiful way of celebrating your special day in the natural elements and environments. Bear in mind that with the vagaries of the British climate you may wish to have a Plan B for the outdoor options, even if it’s providing wedding guests with brollies and wearing your best wellies!
What time of day can we choose for our ceremony?
At a celebrant-led ceremony, there are no time limits – you choose!
Can we have our ceremony abroad?
Of course you can. I would be delighted to travel to your destination to be part of your celebrations, having worked alongside you to prepare and develop your personalised ceremony. (Travel and accommodation costs would be added to the fees charged.)
We are a same sex couple. Would you perform our ceremony?
Most definitely! I would be delighted to be your celebrant regardless of your race, colour, religion, sexual orientation or disability. Celebrating your love for each other with a personalised ceremony is my aim.
Will you do a naming ceremony for me – I’m transgender?
Absolutely! Taking a new name for whatever reason is a huge step and it would be a privilege to celebrate it with you and assist in introducing you to all those present by your new identity.
Can we have live music/sing during the ceremony?
This is your ceremony, so you choose the music/readings/poems you wish to include.
You can include any content that is acceptable to your family and friends, without offending or insulting anyone. You will be assisted with developing all aspects of your ceremony including making suggestions and giving examples whenever required.
What is allowed in our ceremony?
As in the saying – “Anything Goes”! This is about your wishes and dreams for your special day. You have the final word in any drafts written, add as much content as you wish, correct and suggest changes as often as you wish until the ceremony is perfect to celebrate your event.
You can involve any number of family and friends in traditional or alternative roles, including “furbabies” if you wish – bearing in mind their safety and that of others present of course.
Being an Independent Celebrant, the ceremony can include a blend of different styles and ideas as fits your views. Though you may have had religion in your upbringing, you may not wish to have a ceremony following those traditions, but perhaps include some symbolic rituals e.g. a unity candle; breaking the glass; Celtic Handfasting; Jumping the Broom etc. in your personalisation of the script.
Is the ceremony legal?
Celebrant led ceremonies are not legal at present and this is why you can have your ceremony outside of a licensed venue.
Many couples will legalise their wedding in a simple marriage registration ceremony at the Registrar’s either in advance or soon after their wedding celebrations. International couples who host a celebration in the UK will obtain their license in a similar way.
Your guests may not notice any difference, unless they are informed, especially as you sign a commemorative certificate with witnesses towards the ceremony end.
Some couples choose to have a Handfasting as a public symbol of their commitment to each other and no legalisation is necessary for this or for Vow Renewals and Naming ceremonies. However, a birth will need registration at your registrar’s office and change of name through adoption/gender reassignment is required by Deed Poll.
How do I arrange a legal ceremony?
Contact the Registrar at your local council to give notice of your marriage – https://www.gov.uk/register-offices
You will be issued an authority for marriage by the Superintendent Registrar allowing you to get married in any district by submitting your completed marriage notice forms to the Registrar of Marriages in the area of your choice for marriage.
You can then arrange your marriage registration ceremony whenever you want – before or after your wedding ceremony – on the day itself, or a day or two before. You can dress as you choose – so long as you’re decent!
Your marriage ceremony with the Registrar will take approximately 10-15 minutes. This will consist of a short statement about marriage and you will be required to repeat a legal declaration.
You have the option to exchange rings but you can opt to do this when you have said your vows at the Wedding Celebration Ceremony.
Both of you and your two witnesses will sign the marriage register.
The total cost for a marriage registration ceremony at the Registrar’s Office, including notice will be around £120.00, including your marriage certificate.
Your Wedding Celebration Ceremony can then be enjoyed without any restriction on content, time or venue.
Will Cathy be there on time on the day and when will she leave?
I arrive at least an hour ahead of your ceremony time to make sure there is time to speak to the key individuals on the day, including yourselves, photographer/videographer, event planner, best/grooms men and maids, musicians or any other contributors. Specific roles for the day will be reviewed and their prompts for key moments discussed, allowing all involved to feel reassured.
Following the ceremony I will mingle with the guests and leave when my services are no longer required.
Yours will be the only ceremony booked for that date to ensure there is no conflict in timings and travel arrangements.
What happens if you are unable to do the ceremony through accident or illness on the day?
If unable to attend on the day I will endeavour to engage a trained celebrant colleague to fulfil my role.
This has yet to happen!
What do you wear for the ceremony?
During our initial chat you will be asked how you would like me to dress on the day as some ceremonies lend themselves to different types of clothing e.g. for a Handfasting some couples request that a traditional long gown and cloak are worn. Suffice to say, I will dress smartly and follow your request as closely as possible to put you and your guests at ease.
How much will it cost?
My fees reflect the attention given to provide you a bespoke ceremony and co-ordination from the first planning meeting to ensure your ceremony fulfils your dreams and wows your guests.
The charges for ceremonies are dependent on your individual requirements and may include additional costs for long distance or overseas travel and overnight accommodation as required.
As a general guide: Fees start from £495 for all couples ceremonies as Cathy will spend a greater amount of time getting to know both people in the relationship, ensuring the ceremony reflects their personalities and individuality. Naming and Funeral ceremonies start from £250.
You will receive a commemorative certificate of your ceremony, a presentation copy of your script and many extra elements offered are included in the fees paid, e.g. personalised candles, Handfasting ribbons/cords, sharing a Loving Cup.
Do I have to speak in public? I’ll be petrified.
You can relax knowing I will be there to support and assist you with any prompts you may need.
You can say as little as “I do” or even nod your head if that’s not possible. Most people need support of some sort (even those who appear confident) whether it is written, verbal or just a physical presence, so above all don’t worry unduly about this aspect of your day.
How do we make a booking?
When you are planning your date call or email me to check it’s available in my diary. We will arrange to chat for our initial meeting and following this you will have 7 days to make your decision to confirm your booking.
If you decide to proceed and book me I will email you the Agreement Form for completion and signing by both of you. You will also receive details for making the non-refundable deposit payment via Bank Transfer.
If your question isn’t answered here contact Cathy by email via the contact page or message her through the Tulip Ceremonies Facebook page, and your query will be answered promptly.