Next Steps - Booking and Preparing
Let's Take The Next Steps to Making Your Dreams a Reality
It’s our goal to make sure that your ceremony is the least of your worries preparation wise; that you can relax knowing that we will guide you and let you know what you need to do when, and that the end result will be a ceremony according to your wishes whatever they are.
With every ceremony we give you suggestions and ideas as needed, and you can choose to include only those elements that mean something to you to have included, like –
- prayers or meaningful words to create a sense of occasion
- personal (legal) vows with a ring/gift exchange
- music to begin and end, and during the ceremony too
- ritual like a hand tying, sharing a drink from a quaich, candle lighting or sand pouring – or something more unusual and unique to you
- readings and blessings
- your story from meeting to marriage if you like that idea
You can choose as much or as little guest participation as you feel fitting depending on who will be present at your ceremony - we have both fun and serious ideas for guest involvement. And if you have children already we can explore how they can be involved in the ceremony if that would be important to you beyond giving them a mention. We also invite you to share something about you - why you're choosing to get married, what you love about each other, what you hope for from your future married life.
Having your input helps us to make your ceremony personal and an authentic reflection of you, which is what we hope every aspect of your day is all about. So whether you're an alternative or rock'n'roll bride looking for something different, or a couple who have differing beliefs looking for something quite traditional but personal, or you have no particular beliefs and no clear idea yet what you want, please get in touch for a no obligation chat or more information.
How to Book and Prepare a Ceremony
- Form and Deposit. As soon as you know the date we can make a booking. We ask you to please fill in a form and pay £100 deposit to secure the date and set the ball rolling. (If having a legal marriage, before you make your legal application you need to know the date, location and who will marry you.)
- We Confirm in Writing. On receipt of the form and booking fee from you we send you a letter of confirmation clarifying the date, time, venue, fees etc. Together we decide when to begin the ceremony preparation.
- We Invite Your Input. We send you some or all of the following to help you get clear as to what elements are important to you to include in your ceremony. For legal weddings it’s good to start this ceremony preparation process around 3-6 months prior to the date of the ceremony if possible – but be assured, we can do it in much less if you’re looking to get married with short notice or are choosing a ceremony which doesn't have a legal aspect. We can use email or meet face to face or speak on the phone or Skype or FaceTime or WhatsApp – whichever way you choose.
Personal Questions help you reflect individually as deeply as you’d like on the step you’re about to take. We may use some of this in your ceremony to make it personal and about the two of you.
Practical Questions help you think about every aspect of your ceremony to ensure you’ve thought of everything, to discuss and decide together.
Ritual Ideas could be helpful to inspire some of the content of your ceremony. It’s helpful to know why you’ve chosen the rituals you’ve chosen – how they’re meaningful to you. We also need to clarify the ritual objects you might need to gather together or order in advance – perhaps a special set of candles for a candle lighting ritual, or perhaps a piece of wedding dress fabric, entwined with a piece of kilt tartan to make a cord for the handfasting?
Reading Ideas are part of what we offer. We have gathered together some ideas for readings you can choose from or you may already know what you’d like. We like to know why you’ve chosen the ones you have – what’s made them so meaningful to you. You can choose from a religious text or write something yourself, or find something from our selection or one of the hundreds of wedding websites out there.
Music is great to have to begin and end a ceremony, and for during the signing. We have put together some ideas for music – if wanting live music we might be able to help recommend local musicians if needed, or perhaps the wedding planner at the venue can help? Or we can bring along our portable music system.
Personal Vows appeal to some couples, just as quite traditional vows appeal to others. We support you to choose or write your own vows if you wish and have lots of examples both traditional and alternative for you to choose from or feel inspired by. We also have lots of examples of words you might say if you’d like to say something when you exchange rings.
- Creating Your Ceremony. Once we have gathered all the information from you – something about your beliefs and how you aspire to live your life, your choice of vows, personal information, a practical overview of the ceremony, and any ritual, readings and music you’d like and why - we have everything we need to begin creating and writing your ceremony. You don’t need to worry about the order and how the different aspects will fit together – that’s our job!
- You Approve. We produce a first draft of your ceremony and then email it. You see how it lands with you and then we make any changes needed to ensure that you feel 100% happy with it ahead of the day – we give you final editorial control.
Making Your Legal Application to Marry
Three months before the date of the ceremony you must make your application for your ceremony to have a legal aspect. You make an application to the Registrar who covers the postcode or ordnance survey reference where your ceremony will take place.
The Seven Days Leading up to Your Wedding Day
One of you must attend the Registry Office in person to collect the Marriage Schedule which is the piece of paper we need to sign during your ceremony for your ceremony to be legal. We cannot begin your ceremony without this document.
Within 3 Days Following Your Wedding Day
You or a family member or friend return the Marriage Schedule to the local Registry Office and the Registrar issues your Marriage Certificate(s). The start of your wedding bliss!!!