Ceremony Review of 2017

Dec 28, 2017
civil celebrant before outdoor civil ceremony abroad

As another year comes to an end, it‘s only natural to look back. What has been especially memorable? What has stood out?

Every ceremony is different, of course, so it’s impossible to compare like with like. However, I did my first destination wedding in September, so perhaps it is inevitable that I mention that.

Destination Wedding

A lot of work went on in this country beforehand – starting with my rigorous interview (or, actually, interviews). Once the groom had met and approved me, it was the turn of the bride. During that meeting, a recording of me reading was made, and sent off to her parents. Eventually, I received the green light.

This was a five-star wedding in Cyprus. The groom was a South African-born Jew, and the bride Russian Orthodox. In fact, religious content turned out to be minimal, but I needed to be able to address the Russians in an acceptable accent (hence the recording at interview).

The venue (Hotel Anassa), about 1.5 hours from Paphos was a stunning location, and no expense was spared. For reasons of confidentiality, the only photo I can show was of me (flowers – and the wonderful ocean backdrop) before we started (see picture above).


Other ceremonies were less glamorous, perhaps, but nonetheless enjoyable. I particularly think of two, both handfastings.

Source: louiedonovanphotography.co.uk

The first was at Lillibrook Manor, which has a fabulous half-timbered barn and, indeed, wonderful atmosphere. A room was even set aside for me to prepare in, which is most unusual in my experience. The couple were so kind, considerate and warmth glowed from them that it was impossible not to be carried away with the whole ceremony. (I had to make sure I kept my mind on what I was doing!)

The other handfasting was at the Grim’s Dyke, which is a fabulous setting. The weather was glorious, so the ingredients were perfect. The couple, who were both on their second marriage, were initially nervous, but relaxed totally by the end, and their happiness was infectious.


People often ask me why I love funerals. Of course, I am sorry that people have died, and their survivors are grieving. The great thing is that I can offer a lot of help and support during the short period that I know them, and that is so satisfying.

Just one example of what I can offer comes in this testimonial:

Dear Michael,

We just wanted to say thank you for all your help and support in the last couple of weeks and during the service for Bill/Dad yesterday. Everyone we talked to said it was a lovely service.

Thank you again,

Margaret, Colin & Graham W.

So it has been a successful and enjoyable year. I have seen my business grow (though not dramatically – I still have availability for 2018!), and I am looking forward with optimism to the New Year.

May I thank you for your support and interest, and wish you all the very best for a healthy, happy and successful 2018.