FAQs and expert advice about celebrant

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Berks, Bucks and Oxon 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 editor@yourberksbucksoxon.wedding


The great outdoors

The great outdoors

Q. What are the benefits of having an outdoor celebrant-led ceremony?

A. Colette Ashby says: Over the past few years, more and more couples are opting for celebrant-led ceremonies. They are fast becoming the go-to choice for today's couples who want the freedom to pick where, when and how they marry.

One of the main benefits of having a celebrant officiate at your wedding ceremony is that you can tie the knot almost anywhere – you have complete freedom of choice over your venue, time and ceremony content. Outdoor ceremonies are a growing trend amongst couples wanting to say 'I do' in a beautiful and natural setting.

So what are your options for an outdoor ceremony? The only limit is your imagination! Most traditional wedding venues have gorgeous gardens that can be transformed into a stunning ceremony space and, of course, you have nature as your backdrop.

When deciding on your venue for a celebrant-led wedding, you have more choice than you may realise, as you don't have to get married in a licensed venue. Imagine exchanging vows on a beautiful beach or in a wild woodland glade. You can even hold your ceremony in your back garden as many people choose to do. What could be more special?

How about a super-relaxed ceremony in a field with a marquee or tipi for the reception, mobile catering and chilled-out guests? Nothing formal, just friends, family, fun and the beautiful English countryside.

Outdoor ceremonies can be lavish – think fabulous flower arches and an aisle created from rose petals, or maybe simple and rustic is more your style. Of course, there are factors to consider with an outdoor ceremony, (not least the weather) and this is where your celebrant will guide and advise you every step of the way.

Wherever you decide to marry, choose a celebrant to create and conduct a bespoke outdoor ceremony with a touch of sparkle.

Colette Ashby, Colette Ashby Celebrant


'I do'

'I do'

Q. We want to write our wedding vows. Can you offer us any tips?

A. Tony Dunne says: Writing your vows can be daunting, but if you follow some simple guidelines, then it can be the emotional highlight of your wedding ceremony.

It's important to discuss your vows with your partner before you start composing them, so you can agree how long they should be, whether you would like them to include humour or to be traditionally sentimental or romantic.

Remember to be yourself.

If you're a romantic person, then this is the time to be as sentimental as you wish, and don't forget to tell your partner what you love most about them.

Read your vows out aloud a few times before the day to ensure you're very familiar with them, as you may be nervous on the day.

Finally, keep your vows secret from your partner until you're declaring them at the ceremony. This will heighten the emotion and love felt by both of you and your family and friends.

Tony Dunne, Stylish Celebrant




Q. Since the singer Ariana Grande recently married at home, it has coined the term 'ceremini' with demand for intimate weddings rising. Are you able to give me some ceremony ideas that are perfect for small, intimate weddings?

A. Lynn Tiereney says: Having a small and intimate wedding offers many opportunities to embrace romance and emotion – here are some meaningful examples.

Hand-fasting ceremony
Think Mel Gibson in Braveheart kneeling on a woodland ground, just a couple in love and their celebrant... well, maybe you wouldn't want to be kneeling, but you get the idea! Hands are held together and bound with each couple's own special cords as they make their vows.

Love letters in a box
A couple can write a love letter to one another, telling each other why they fell in love, what they still love about them and what each other's future hopes and dreams are. The sealed letters are placed inside a box to be opened and enjoyed on a future anniversary.

Love lock
There are bridges all over the world where lovers have placed their padlocks and thrown away the keys. Couples can find a spot in their garden, or a sentimental place to them, to attach their padlocks as they speak their vows, locking the love.

Personal vows or special poems
Imagine declaring personal vows, or a sentimental poem, in an intimate setting. Partners can share special words, written from the heart and committing to a future with the person who loves them the most in the world.

Loving cup
Consider sharing a quaich (which is a two-handled drinking cup) for the first toast. Couples can hold the cup between them taking three sips each - the first to toast the love that brought them together, the second for the love they celebrate on the day and the third for the love that carries them into their future.

Lynn Tiereney, Lynn Tierney Ceremonies


The rise of the ceremini

The rise of the ceremini

Q. Since the singer Ariana Grande recently married at home, it has coined the term 'ceremini' with demand for intimate weddings rising. Are you able to give me some ceremony ideas that are perfect for small, intimate weddings?

A. Alison Carter says: A micro-wedding, with just a few hand-picked guests, is an exclusive event. Couples may feel more comfortable expressing their emotions in front of a smaller number of loved ones. The focus is just on them and the commitment they're making to each other and having a smaller guest list means it's easier for everyone to get involved in the ceremony which creates some poignant heartfelt moments. Here are some ideas:

Promise of support
A marriage needs support. Here I ask the guests as a group to promise to support the couple, to love them and encourage their love for each other. The guests respond with “we will, we promise.”

Ring-warming ceremony
The exchanging of rings is the traditional way of sealing the marriage contract. It's an unbroken circle, symbolising unending and everlasting love and is the outward sign of the lifelong promise that has been made. You could introduce a ring-warming ceremony just before this where each guest holds both rings while making a wish, or saying a prayer, and then passes it on to the person next to them, creating an inclusive and intimate aspect to the ceremony.

An alternative way to approach the ring-warming ceremony is to have a ring-blessing ceremony that avoids the multi-touch element of the ring-warming ceremony. The rings are placed on a cushion, box or tray and passed around for each person to say a blessing.

At the other end of the scale is the new trend of anniversary receptions – you can easily incorporate a celebration ceremony where the couple can reaffirm their love with all their friends and family.

A very simple way to create a poignant moment is for each guest to light a candle and say a few words or to make a wish for the happy couple.

A ceremini with your trusted circle of family and friends, those that mean the most in the world to you, creates an intimate setting where everyone feels they can be more expressive with their emotions which makes the ceremony even more personal.

Alison Carter, Springwood Ceremonies