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News and musings about my life as a civil celebrant
So you’re engaged!
So you’re engaged!

25 June 2018

The proposal is over and done with. You’re engaged! What an exciting time! Congratulations!

Of course, this is a wonderful period. You’re walking on air.  But maybe I can bring you down to earth just a little. There are some questions you need to consider.

Are you going to name the day now? What sort of ceremony will you have? What about the reception? Where will it be? Who will you invite?

And so it goes on …

That’s reality, I’m afraid!

First things first

If you’re opting for a full-religious ceremony, then your church/synagogue/mosque etc. will give you the information you will need.

If you’re not so sure you want to go down this route, then it’s worth reading on. Because you do have choices.

Options

There’s a register office wedding. That covers the legal bits. However, the ceremony is, frankly, not particularly special. The service (apart from the names used) will be the same from one couple to the next. You can feel part of a ‘conveyor-belt’.

Better than this is what a civil celebrant offers. He will create and conduct a tailor-made ceremony for you. You’ll still need to go to the register office with two witnesses to get the legal bits done before the civil ceremony. (This can happen the morning before, or a couple of days before.)

If you prefer, and you’re using a licensed premises, the registrars can be booked. They’ll come along, and, as soon as they have legally married you, you can proceed with the (celebrant-led) ceremony of your choice.

Advantages

One advantage of a civil ceremony is that you can have a service that is as religious – or not – as you want. Or – and this is great for people who are not marrying someone of the same faith – you can have a mixed religious ceremony. So, for example, I’ve been able to marry a Jew and a Christian, a Jewess and a Muslim and even a half-Jew and a pagan. We’ve been able to incorporate elements from both cultures each time, so everyone was happy.

The full-religious and, indeed, the Register Office, ceremonies follow a set pattern. However, with a (bespoke) celebrant-led ceremony, you can set your individual stamp on the proceedings.

Following a chat with your celebrant, who can suggest to you what is possible and guide you, you can work out a ceremony that reflects your personalities and beliefs, and will be everything you want it to be.

That means you have input into, and editorial control over, everything. You decide on the texts/poems/reading, reciting of vows, who actually participates, music, rituals etc. That’s what I mean by “tailor-made”. The ceremony will be unique: unforgettable for you and your guests; relevant and meaningful.

I can gladly give you more information. Just call or e-mail. This can be an excellent starting point for you, now that you’re engaged. Let me help you successfully tread the exhilarating road that leads to marriage.

 

 

Author:

Michael Gordon can help prepare and conduct a tailor-made civil ceremony in or around London or, indeed, in Europe. Telephone me now on +44 (0)7931 538487 or contact me directly by e-mail.



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