Will our wedding be legal?
YES! Absolutely! The best part of my job is doing the “I now pronounce you husband and wife / wife and wife / husband and husband” bit!
I am an ordained minister with the OneSpirit Interfaith Foundation, which is what allows me to legally solemnise weddings in Scotland. Hang on a minute… don’t let the ‘minister’ bit scare you off… I’m not that kind of minister! I have no affiliation with any church, or any particular religious or spiritual path. I do not preach a specific religion, belief or viewpoint – and often perform non-religious weddings as well as those featuring an element of religion or spirituality. That’s what I love about being an Interfaith Celebrant… it means that I am free to create a ceremony that will reflect your beliefs and values entirely. There is no need to make any compromises whatsoever for you to have a fully legal, but also very personal, wedding ceremony.
What's the process like? How do you write our ceremony if you don't know us?
We’ll start with an informal meeting, which can be wherever you fancy. Perhaps over a coffee, a cheeky pint, or even surrounded by your kids in a soft play – whatever works for you and makes wedding planning as easy as possible!
At our first meeting, I can share information with you, and learn about your needs and desires for your wedding. I’ll talk you through every element of the ceremony from start to finish, and over time, I’ll help you find the vows, rituals and readings that work for you. You’ll also get some ‘homework’ from me – sorry, but I don’t really know what else to call it – once a Teacher always a Teacher I guess! The ‘homework’ is basically some questions that you’ll each fill out to help me get to know you and understand exactly what you are looking for. But don’t worry – there are no right and wrong answers and I’m there to help every step of the way. As we plan your wedding ceremony, I’ll provide lots of guidance, suggestions, and use my own expertise and knowledge to help you create a ceremony that is both enjoyable and memorable. The process will be seamless, worry-free, and fun!
After I have all the information I need, I’ll then write your ceremony for you, and send the draft to you for approval. We can include any quotes, elements, rituals, or readings that work for you – but there are no requirements. I am available to rehearse the ceremony with you, and will officiate the ceremony on your wedding day. Throughout the process, I am available for unlimited phone, Skype and email consultations. Clear and efficient communication is very important to me, and I want you to feel confident in your ceremony.
Will you be our Celebrant on the day?
YES, Handcrafted Ceremonies has only one celebrant – me! If you book with Handcrafted Ceremonies, I will be your main contact through the process, I will write your ceremony, and I will be your Celebrant on the day – what you see is what you get!
Do I get to read the wedding ceremony beforehand?
YES! I will take the information from our discussions and your ‘homework’ (the in-depth questionnaire that you and your partner fill out) to create your ceremony. Drafts will be sent to you via email, and I offer unlimited consultations on these drafts. When it comes to the ceremony, there will be no surprises on your wedding day.
How far in advance do you get booked?
I recommend booking your Celebrant at least one to two years before your wedding, for the best availability. I’m very grateful to get bookings up to three years in advance, but please don’t let that scare you away if your wedding is in less than six months as there are almost always gaps in the calendar! Send me an email to check my availability.
What does 'Handcrafted Ceremonies' mean?
I wanted to choose a name for my Celebrancy practice that captured my attitude and feelings about the ceremonies I write. To me ‘Handcrafted’ is something that someone has spent a lot of time over, and put a lot of love into – and that’s exactly how I write my ceremonies.
I borrow from many different traditions and backgrounds and sources, to create and shape the ideal and perfect ceremony that accurately reflects your relationship, your love, and your commitment. Giving you a wedding ceremony that can be a special part of your memories means a lot to me.
Do I have to write my own vows?
NO! Writing your own vows can be a bit daunting, I know! I have a lot of resources and options to help you create your own vows, and can also help you to edit and put them together, too. Of course, you don’t have to – if you’d prefer, I can offer lots of suggestions, and help you find the words that are perfect for your ceremony.
Will I have to speak a lot?
Not if you don’t want to. Uh-uh. Definitely not. I understand how overwhelming a wedding can be, and I want to make sure that you are as relaxed and comfortable as possible. If this means you saying the bare minimum to make it legal, then don’t worry, that’s what we’ll do! Of course, if your partner wants to say a bit more than you, then that’s perfectly okay too – after all, I want your wedding to reflect who you are as individuals as well as who you are as a couple.
What do you wear?
I usually wear a business style jacket, and a skirt or dress in muted tones. My idea behind this is that I want to be a silhouette behind you and your partner, so that I blend into the background. Nobody is looking at me anyway, but I believe that if my clothing is nondescript then it helps your guests to focus on the words of your wedding ceremony. I want people to remember the words that I said, not what I was wearing.
That said, I am happy to dress a bit brighter, or coordinate my outfit to your wedding colours or theme if this is important to you. Just let me know of any specific requests or colours you’d like me to wear, and I will do my best to accommodate. I don’t wear a minister’s robe or anything like that, and if there is something specific you’d like me to wear, we can discuss it (Got a great theme going on? Or are you thinking fancy dress? Gimme a shout as I’m game! You never know, I might even have a wig I could lend you 😀
How long do your ceremonies last?
It all depends on what’s in it! My custom wedding ceremonies usually last 30 minutes, but I have done shorter and longer ceremonies, too. My “We just want to say “I do” weddings typically last 15 minutes or less.
Do we have to have a rehearsal?
A rehearsal can help calm nervous bridal party members, and ensure everything will run smoothly on the day. If you have rituals involving a number of people, or children in your bridal party, I think a rehearsal is a great idea. Rehearsals usually take twice as long as the ceremony itself – we’ll run through it twice, to make sure everyone knows where to go, and I’ll provide cue sheets and information for everyone involved.
What rituals or symbolic gestures can we include in our wedding?
Quaich? Oathing Stone? Sand ceremony? Handfasting?
I would love to integrate any rituals, traditions, and readings into your ceremony that you’d like. If I am not familiar with the ritual, I will research it for you. That’s the beautiful thing about writing your own wedding ceremony – you can personalise it to your own taste and tradition, and include rituals to really make it your own. If you’re looking for some ideas on different rituals or elements to use, don’t worry – I have plenty! I specialise in creating truly bespoke rituals, and also in personalising those rituals which are more commonplace.
How do we go about getting the legal paperwork?
I’ll go over the legal details at our no-obligation meeting. It’s pretty easy! In Scotland, you can apply for your marriage schedule 29 days -3 months before the big day. Remember, regardless of where you live, you need to get your marriage schedule from the Registrar in the region you intend to be married. It’s important to remember that I cannot provide the marriage schedule for you, and if you fail to produce a marriage schedule for us to sign on your wedding day – you won’t be legally married.
Scotland: Please see the advice given here.
Do you do destination weddings?
Yes, I travel! Outside of my home area of Moray, additional fees may apply for travel expenses and accommodation. Please contact me, as we may need to discuss how the legality will be taken care of (depending on which country you are getting married in).