Here is a selection of Q&As from Your North West Wedding magazine whether it be about flowers, hair and makeup, fashion, wedding themes, health & beauty, cakes, stationery, legal advice. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
To view more expert advice on a different topic, please select one from the list below.
The love of my life
Q. How can we make our ceremony personal to us?
A. Vikki Harris says: As a modern celebrant, I always spend time getting to know my couples to create something unique and joyful. The only limitation is your imagination, from fun, traditional, modern to religious, symbolic and quirky, the options are endless.
Don't just think about the ceremony content, keep in mind where it is taking place and if it is somewhere special to you both.
Think about the seating layout of your ceremony and talk to your venue about different options - could everyone sit in a circle, so no one has a bad view? When it comes to walking in, mix it up a bit. Walk in alone, with your best friend, together or with your dog.
You can involve your guests in symbolic ways with things like unity candles, sand ceremonies, tree planting, ring warming, handfasting or simply by mentioning special people.
My favourite part of any ceremony is the bit where I tell all your guests your story, what brought you together and what's kept you together. A celebrant will help you to create personal vows, as well as suggest appropriate elements that you could include.
It doesn't have to all be serious. Music that makes your guests smile or laugh or sing along always goes down well. Enter to the theme tune to Jurassic Park, if that's your thing, or get everyone to sing Wonderwall as you leave.
Vikki Harris, Vikki Harris Celebrant
A day to remember
Q. How can we find the perfect celebrant?
A. Nikki Bithell says: Choosing the right celebrant for your ceremony is an important decision, so shop around and don't rush into booking anybody until you are sure they are the right supplier for you.
Start by looking at websites and social media, this will give you a feel for their vibe. For example, if their gallery is full of sassy and fun pictures from previous ceremonies, then explore further to see if it's the right balance of excitement and romance for you.
Make contact and expect a timely response – it will give you an idea of how much value the celebrant puts on customer service. A tardy response may indicate a shoddy commitment to being on hand to respond to you in the future when you need advice.
Meet face-to-face or via Zoom! It's extremely important to have a good relationship with your supplier. Are they onboard with your theme, and do they have lots of wonderful ideas to enhance your ceremony and make it personal to you as a couple? Do they pay attention to detail? At Pink and Ginger, our motto is, "Your Day, Your Way," it's your ceremony, after all!
Are they bubbly and enthusiastic without being overbearing? A celebrant's enthusiasm should be infectious. They should leave you excited and confident that all your plans are coming together. They should take pride in ensuring you are happy with every single detail and be prepared to make amendments at your bequest. Your ceremony will be bespoke to you, so nothing less than perfect will do.
Nikki Bithell, Pink and Ginger Ceremonies
Ready, set, plan!
Q. We're getting ready to book a celebrant. What should we ask before booking?
A. Deborah Bootle says: Congratulations on deciding to have a celebrant-led ceremony! You already know that you want something different for your wedding day and are happy to go off-script to achieve the ceremony you really want. A celebrant-led wedding is intimate and special, but the right supplier can elevate the merely fabulous to create something completely magical.
Your supplier is going to spend a lot of time with you, getting to know you and learning about your journey so far. They will listen to your story and weave it into your wedding script with the right amount of gravitas, warmth, humour and sentiment for you as a couple. For this reason, you need to make sure that they're right for you.
My number one piece of advice is to speak to as many celebrants as you need to in person, by phone or by video call and find out what their style is. Ask them questions about themselves, the way they work and what type of wedding they most like to officiate. Do they have a similar vibe to you and your fiancé? Do they have a similar sense of humour? Will they be able to set the right tone for your day and get the party started in style?
With the right pairing, both parties should arrive on the day feeling comfortable and calm, like they've been best friends for years!
Deborah Bootle, Ribble Valley Celebrant
Especially for you
Q. Our wedding planner has suggested we hire a celebrant for our big day, but we're not sure what their role is. Should we book one, and what are the benefits?
A. Leanne Gateley says: A celebrant will design a tailor-made ceremony that reflects your personalities and wishes. The celebrant will work with you to understand who you are as people and what is special about your relationship in order to create a personal service. While celebrants can't currently conduct legal marriages in England and Wales, the legalities can be completed separately at a minor cost. Here are some of the benefits of hiring a celebrant:
- You will have complete flexibility and can get married wherever and whenever you like. It doesn't need to be on a licenced premises and could be on a beach, on top of a mountain or in your back garden, the choice is yours!
- Celebrants generally only take one booking per day, so you will have contingency in the event of a delay and won't be bound to a strict time window.
- You get to choose an officiant who you like and feel comfortable with. You will meet months before your big day and will feel like friends time the day comes.
- You can include prayers and readings, and as you're not bound by civil laws couples who come from different backgrounds can include both their beliefs.
- Your celebration will be completely bespoke to you, meaning your ceremony will stand out and be memorable for your guests.
Leanne Gateley, The Manchester Celebrant