Funeral venues – it’s not only the crem!

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It used to be the case that if you wanted to get married, you’d go to a church or a registry office and those were your only choices. Nowadays, that seems very old-fashioned. There is a lot of choice for wedding venues (and you can get married absolutely anywhere if you use a celebrant of course.) And yet, when it comes to … Read More

Thursday Thoughts… on funerals

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Thursday Thoughts are very short videos, which I publish weekly on social media with the hashtag #ThursdayThought. Each video is around one minute long and contains a nugget of inspiration or something to chew over if you’re planning any kind of ceremony. Here are all the funeral related Thursday Thoughts so far. Do check back, as this will be added … Read More

Thursday Thoughts… on weddings

Thursday Thoughts are very short videos, which I publish weekly on social media with the hashtag #ThursdayThought. Each video is around one minute long and contains a nugget of inspiration or something to chew over if you’re planning any kind of ceremony. Here are all the wedding related Thursday Thoughts so far. Do check back, as this will be added … Read More

Adele and me…

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I’m writing this on the evening I’ve been looking forward to since Christmas Day. Not because I was excited about writing a blog post (although of course I love writing for you, dear reader…!) but because, until yesterday morning, I was going to be watching Adele at Wembley tonight. In a decision which disappointed approximately 196,000 excited fans – including … Read More

Circles and ceremony

Circles. They drip with meaning and symbolism given to them by mankind through the ages. Maybe it’s because early man looked up and saw the circular moon and the sun or looked in their companions’ eyes that we started our fascination with the shape. Whatever its beginning, over the years the circle has stood for wholeness, completion and has been … Read More

Decoy Ponds – a magical setting for your wedding ceremony

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A few short minutes’ drive off the A27 near Hammerpot, I arrived at Decoy Ponds. At first, I thought this couldn’t possibly be the right place. It was so near the main road and I had heard how peaceful and tranquil it was there. Surely I’d have further to drive to find a place like that? But I knew I … Read More

Sue and Okkie’s garden wedding – teamwork at its best!

One of the things I’ve loved since becoming a celebrant is the way that the wedding industry works. Whilst the media might have you think that we’re all money hungry vultures, waiting to fleece unsuspecting couples of all their wonga (whilst laughing maniacally of course), the reality is far different. Nearly everyone I’ve met in the industry has been passionate … Read More

I like big BUTS and I cannot lie…

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Haha made you look, made you stare! But it’s true – I DO like big buts – because answering them might just make the difference between you choosing a ‘meh’ wedding ceremony and a ‘HELL YEAH!’ wedding ceremony. So, what do you think? Fancy looking at some buts with me? Let’s go! BUT it’s not legal, is it? I don’t … Read More

New Year Dove Release 2017

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Happy New Year! As 2017 dawns, it brings with it that lovely ‘fresh start’ feel. It’s like slipping into clean sheets or those times when you got a pristine new exercise book at school. Ah! The promise, the potential! But it also brings with it the inevitable slew of self-inflicted misery: the strict detox diets, ‘dry January’ and the repeated … Read More

Advent Calendar 2016 – all the links, offers and tips are here!

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I hope you enjoyed Creating Ceremony’s Christmas Countdown for Cool-Cat Couples advent calendar. A mahoosive THANK YOU to all my wedding supplier chums who came to hide behind each door with a festive surprise, tip or offer for you. Lots of people had problems seeing the advent calendar on their devices, so I’ve compiled a list of all the doors … Read More

What is a ring warming or ring blessing ritual?

posted in: love, vow renewals, weddings | 0

A ring warming (or ring blessing) ritual is a really lovely way to get your loved ones involved in your wedding or vow renewal ceremony. Its very simple. Your rings are placed in a little bag or tied together with ribbon. At the appropriate time, the best man (or whoever is appointed the task!) hands the rings to one of … Read More

Creating Ceremony’s Christmas Countdown for Cool-Cat Couples

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Ta-dah!! I’m super excited to present to you a weddingy 2016 Advent Calendar, with love from Creating Ceremony and chums*. No chocolate, I’m afraid (it melts all over the keyboard anyway), but come back every day from December 1st until Christmas Eve for tips, offers, sillies and other lovely stuff from me and my wedding industry friends. And please share, … Read More

What’s good about marriage?

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One of my recent grooms, on his stag do, asked his married friends ‘what’s good about marriage?’ and was met with a mixture of silence and non-committal mumbling. Not very reassuring. Happily, he went ahead with getting hitched, but I promised I’d ask my Facebook followers the same question and pass on the answers. And look what a lovely flood … Read More

I’m a regional finalist in the Wedding Industry Awards!

Well I had some awesome news today. I’ve been shortlisted for the final of the Wedding Industry Awards for two different categories: ‘Special Touch’ (they don’t have a celebrant or ceremony option), and ‘Best Newcomer’. To say I’m chuffed would be the biggest understatement. The Wedding Industry Awards are a bit different from the usual ‘popularity contest’ style award ceremonies, … Read More

A Chat with Jake at Sussex Willow Coffins

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Tucked into a gorgeous bit of Sussex Downs countryside near Clayton, sits the workshop of Jake Whitcroft, owner of Sussex Willow Coffins. I’d first met Jake briefly at the Bentley Museum Wood Fair, where his stall was getting a lot of interest. In the few minutes that I was standing there, I heard at least three conversations that started with … Read More

Branching Out from the Norm?

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During the school holidays, I visited Branching Out Adventures with my family, after it had been highly recommended by a friend. Branching Out is an adventure activity site, situated in the heart of the ancient woodland of the Bentley Wildfowl and Motor Museum (my mind has always boggled at that unlikely combination) near Lewes, East Sussex. Anyway, Branching Out boasts a … Read More

Chris and Natalie’s superhero wedding

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I know it’s a bit woowoo, but I’ve got a real thing about the symbology of birds. It seems to me that often, when something momentous is happening or I need to pay attention to something, an unusual bird will pop up. A green woodpecker at the first funeral I conducted, crows when I’m thinking about change, it happens a … Read More

Fiona and Ben’s Wedding Under An Ancient Oak Tree

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Fiona and Ben were introduced to me by the lovely Becky Cook who manages Patrick’s Barn in Crawley, where the couple were having their wedding. Patrick’s Barn is a gorgeous 16th century barn – the stuff of wedding dreams – and it also happens to have an enormous 800 year old oak tree in the grounds. Fiona and Ben had … Read More

Sunday morning thoughts on the radio

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I was recently asked to join the lovely Emily Jeffery of BBC Sussex and BBC Surrey on her Sunday Breakfast radio programme, reviewing the papers and giving a ’60 second sermon’. Now, I review papers and chat quite regularly on Allison Ferns’ afternoon show on the same station, so I was quite comfortable doing that. But the 60 second sermon? … Read More

Anna and Guy’s Happy, Happy Summer Solstice Handfasting

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I think an early sign of how things were to go as I was working with Anna and Guy, was the fact that I must have spent around 3 hours at their house when I first went to talk weddings with them. In that time, we not only spoke about weddings but about children, kitchens, horror films, theatre, obscure Mexican … Read More

Kerry and Ben’s Romantic Cornfield Wedding

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I remember the first time I spoke to Kerry very well. She’d phoned me up to see if I was available on her wedding date (I was!), and we got chatting about what she had planned so far. When she told me that they had found a cornfield to get married in and the farmer had agreed to clear a … Read More

Meghan and Robin’s Forevering Festival in a Field

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At our very first meeting, Robin and Meghan mentioned three things that got me super excited about performing their ceremony (I know, I know – I live in a permanent state of excitement about weddings anyway – turn the dial up a notch to 11 for these ideas they hit me with but don’t forget to turn it down again … Read More

Brighton Death Festival 2016

posted in: funerals, loss | 0

Funnily enough, when I shared information about the Brighton Death Festival on my Facebook page and asked who fancied coming along with me, I didn’t exactly receive a deluge of yes pleases. A few people were interested, but the main response was the one that I often get when I talk about being a funeral celebrant or about Death Cafes … Read More

Louise and Mick’s Worthing evening wedding with a twist or two!

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Louise and Mick’s wedding was a joy in so many ways. First of all, they eschewed the conventional afternoon ceremony in a formal wedding venue set up, opting instead for an evening party style wedding in the bar at West Worthing Tennis Club. Doing things differently This pair were up for doing things differently all the way along – not … Read More

Getting married? Make sure there’s a Dymond!

posted in: life, love, weddings | 0

From an unassuming garden shed workshop in Worthing, West Sussex, pours a stream of exquisite bespoke jewellery, crafted by the appropriately named Carron Dymond. Carron doesn’t look old enough to have been in the jewellery trade for 24 years but she started when she was just 16 as an apprentice. After all those years of experience, she now runs her … Read More

Sarah and Pat’s wedding at Pangdean Barn

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Sarah and Pat’s wedding will always hold an incredibly special place in my heart for three reasons: first, it was my lovely friend’s big day; second, it was the reason I started on my celebrant journey, and third, because of its networking success story. I first met Sarah a few years ago at the Mumpreneurs Networking Club. Sarah is an … Read More

Looking for a grand yet quirky wedding venue near Worthing? Cissbury could be the place for you…

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I think I’d fallen in love with Cissbury before I even set eyes on the house. It was a cold day in February but the sky was a brilliant blue, the sun shone on the sheep that dotted the fields around the long driveway, daffodils and crocuses were poking up from the earth and there was more than a hint … Read More

What is handfasting?

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Handfasting has been used in commitment and wedding services for many hundreds of years as a symbol of being joined together. Ever wanted to know the origin of the expression ‘tying the knot’? You guessed it, it’s to do with handfasting. Many people associate this ritual with Paganism and indeed, it is pagan in origin, as it was being practiced in this … Read More

Bubbles, glitter and the Batmobile… a naming ceremony for Max

When thinking about a celebration to welcome a child into their family, most people think of a christening, with long, lacy gowns and screaming babies who don’t take too well to being dunked in the font. It doesn’t have to be like that. At the end of January, I had the pleasure of performing a joint baby naming ceremony and first … Read More

The wedding ceremony of Goldilocks and Trevor – a tale for National Storytelling Week

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I was inspired when I found out that this week is National Storytelling Week, so I decided to tell a story of my very own (borrowing ever so slightly from some tales you might already have heard). So make yourself a cup of tea, sit back, relax and enjoy the story of Golidlocks and Trevor…   If you’re a read-y … Read More

Just got engaged? 3 reasons to consider using a celebrant before you book anything

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You’ve just got engaged! Congratulations! No doubt you’ll already have a mile-long to-do list and you’ll be keen to get going but before you do (and especially if you’ve never heard the word celebrant), please, PLEASE watch this video, as it could save you bucketloads of regret later: If you’re on a train and you’ve forgotten your headphones, your fiancé(e) (squee!) … Read More

The Art of Ritual Conference, Brighton, December 2015

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Early in November, I stumbled upon a link to a conference called ‘The Art of Ritual’, which described itself as being for artists, celebrants, religious practitioners and event designers. The conference was to be held in Brighton and promised performance art, discussion and the opportunity to meet others – it was an immediate and definite YES from me! I turned … Read More

Syrian Crisis Dove Release Ceremonies

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After the shocking images of the worsening Syrian refugee crisis burst into our collective consciousness recently, Creating Ceremony joined forces with Lambert’s White Dove Release to hold a series of short reflection ceremonies after MNC networking meetings throughout October. These were intended to raise awareness of the crisis, collect money for the Red Cross and help those present to process their … Read More

Our relationship with animals and dealing with their loss

posted in: loss | 0

Isn’t it lovely when connection happens? I had a moment like this recently, when I was doing my monthly paper review on BBC Sussex and BBC Surrey with Allison Ferns and the subject of pet funerals came up. Allison was incredulous about the lavish and expensive lengths some people go to when their animals die (admittedly, some of the examples … Read More

Have your wedding in the heart of the Sussex Downs – at Long Furlong Barn

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Have you ever driven down Long Furlong near Worthing and seen that beautiful barn, nestled into an expanse of the South Downs? Depending on what time of day or year it is, the light that falls onto it changes from bright and sunny to moody and sculptural, but it is always breathtaking, and it has always made me turn my … Read More

Eulogy from a Physicist – Aaron Freeman

posted in: funerals, loss, readings | 0

A beautiful ‘alternative’ reading for a funeral. Maybe for scientists, atheists or both.   “You want a physicist to speak at your funeral. You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of energy, so they will understand that your energy has not died. You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the first … Read More

Sand ceremony

A sand ceremony, sometimes called a ‘unity sand ceremony’, is a lovely option to consider for any occasion that marks two or more people coming together. For this reason, it’s a particularly great choice for weddings (working especially well with blended families), vow renewals and adoption or naming ceremonies with children old enough to take part. Each participant has a … Read More

On travel sickness, the queen and squealing in a car park – a love story

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Corrina and Sam Gordon-Barnes make up one of the wisest and coolest couples I have the fortune of knowing. Rock solid in their devotion to each other, yet not soppy, coach Corrina and teacher Sam are the epitome of what a healthy and happy marriage should look like. When Corrina posted some pictures on Facebook with some thoughts about what … Read More

#myvow at the Quaint Queer Weird Wedding Fair

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Oooh I had the BEST time yesterday at the Quaint Queer Weird Wedding Fair in Brighton! I challenged unsuspecting passers by and fellow exhibitors to write a vow, either to themselves or to their partner, for a photo to be shared on twitter under the hashtag #myvow. It was brilliant that so many people were game, and the vows varied from silly … Read More

What the flipping heck is an independent celebrant?!

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You may well ask – lots of people do. Let’s start with what I am not. I am not a Humanist. Humanist celebrants do pretty much what independent celebrants do, but they are completely non-religious. This means that you would not be able to have any kind of spiritual or religious reading, reference or prayer in a humanist ceremony. Something … Read More