Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Surrey 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.
Especially for you
Q. What questions should we ask a celebrant before booking?
A. Rebecca Douglas says: Choosing a celebrant for your wedding will allow you to create a personal and bespoke ceremony, giving you the opportunity to include elements that are unique and special to you. There are many suppliers available and it's important therefore that you find one who you connect with, as they will be responsible for creating, what I consider, to be the most important part of your day. Without a ceremony, you are basically having a party in a very fancy frock! I would always suggest speaking with a celebrant before booking as this will give you a good insight into whether they have the same values as you and can see the vision you wish to create.
Find out what style they have, as some celebrants have a particular image. For me, however, the most important questions would include how do the celebrants work with their couples? Will they meet you before the ceremony or plan multiple visits? How much involvement can you have with ideas for the ceremony? Do they work from a script, or will what they write be personal to you? Find out if they can include any religious elements or rituals as some celebrants will do this and others may not.
The best advice I can give before you arrange a call with a celebrant is to decide, as a couple, what the most important parts of the ceremony are and what tone you are hoping to create. When chatting with a celebrant you will soon see if you're compatible.
Rebecca Douglas, RD Ceremonies
Just the two of us
Q. My hubby-to-be and I are looking for a celebrant to make our ceremony fun and personal. How do we find the perfect supplier?
A. Rebecca Douglas says: To ensure you get the celebration you both want it's important to find a supplier that shares the same values as you. There are several ways to find a supplier, for example, search engines, wedding magazines, websites or The Celebrant Directory. I advise reading bios and visiting the websites of those you like so you get a feel for their style and how they work with couples. Each celebrant will differ in how they work or the style in which they conduct the ceremony. Some offer specialities such as rituals, outdoor weddings or a particular theme. Once you've looked at enough websites, organise a call with your top three and see who you click with best. It's important to have a good rapport with your supplier so you can be open with them. I meet with my couples after the initial phone call as I think it helps build the relationship, and I like to keep them involved when I am writing, so I can ensure I get everything spot on. One bride who contacted me used the same words to describe how she and her fiancé wanted their ceremony as I used to describe mine to the celebrant I chose, so we just clicked automatically. Whoever you choose though, I wish you a wonderful day and a lifetime of happiness.
Rebecca Douglas, RD Ceremonies
The love of my life
Q. We want to write our wedding vows. Can you offer us any tips?
A. Tony Dunne says: Writing your own vows can be daunting, but if you follow some simple guidelines, then it can be the emotional highlight of your 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.
Remember to be yourself. If you're a romantic person, then this is the time to be as affectionate as you wish, and don't forget to tell your partner what you love most about them.
Read your vows out loud 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. We've just started wedding planning, and I'm slightly confused about what a celebrant does! Can you help?
A. Helen Noble says: The ceremony is the heart of the day, and a celebrant will set the vibe, tone and energy for the rest of your nuptials. A celebrant-led ceremony allows you to make it personalised, heartfelt, silly or fun. We bring your vision to life. We can weave your words and songs into a tailormade one-of-a-kind service. There are no rules, regulations or limits to what you can and can't include.
Your supplier will explore what you're about as a couple. What your hopes and aspirations are, so you can begin married life feeling happy and excited about your future. They will rehearse with you so you can manage your anxiety, get the timings right, support the reader as they share your readings and make sure you're both 100 per cent ready for the day.
Usually, as a celebrant, my couples would have done their marriage license ahead of the ceremony, but occasionally the registrar kicks off the ceremony with the legal details, introduces me, then leaves, and I take over. Sometimes I conduct the ceremony, then whilst the guests have canapés, the couple register their marriage and join us afterwards.
Helen Noble, Helen Noble: Celebrant of Surrey
You're the one
Q. My wife-to-be and I are thinking of hiring a celebrant, but there are so many to choose from. How do we find the right supplier for us?
A. Helen Noble says: It's a fantastic choice to have a celebrant as it means you're able to create and bring your style to the heart of the day. The ceremony is the reason everyone is there, so it's important to choose the right supplier. There will be a celebrant out there to suit everyone, so work out your style, energy or vibe. What feeling do you get from them? What's their energy? Do you like their style? Will they come to your chosen venue? What is your biggest worry about the ceremony, and do you feel that they could resolve that issue for you? Do your other suppliers know them? Even though the wedding industry is huge, the networking is incredible, and if a celebrant is being supported by other suppliers, that's always a good sign.
There are directories out there you could look at, and venues may have their own recommended list. Above all, the best way to find a celebrant is to pick up the phone and call them and see how they are there and then. It's all about live interaction. Of course, have a little noisy on their website and social media, but the most important thing is who they are as a person because that is what you're hiring. Try video calling, a phone call or meeting in person, and you will know within moments if they're the one for you.
Helen Noble, Helen Noble: Celebrant of Surrey
Love of my life
Q. How can a celebrant help us make the ceremony extra special?
A. Helen Noble says: The beauty and advantage of a celebrant-led wedding can be seen when this opportunity is truly utilised. A celebrant is your supplier. You choose them. People often don't realise you can choose the person to stand up with you on one of the most pivotal moments in your life. A celebrant is not a stranger in the room. You have hand-picked them to suit your style, vibe, partnership and feel of the day. There is a supplier out there to suit everyone. We are creative, romantic wordsmiths and will bring so much to the table that the hard part will be working out what not to use! There are ring warming ceremonies, rose ceremonies and cocktail ceremonies – the list is endless. With so many rituals available I would say the main thing, for me, that I think is extra special is that you have freedom of speech. We make your ceremony 100 per cent you. We help you find the words you want to say and the way you want to say them. Marriage is about giving your word. It's about a choice. A celebrant will enable you to say your words truthfully and beautifully with all your heart.
Helen Noble, Helen Noble Celebrant
The one for me
Q. Our wedding planner has suggested we hire a celebrant for our big day, but we're not sure what the role of a celebrate is. Should we book one, and what are the benefits?
A. Barny Harrison says: Your wedding should be personal to both of you. The beauty of a celebrant-led service is that it's not governed by the same fixed script as a registrar. Remember your nuptials should be exciting, romantic, fun and creative. We can also incorporate any specific beliefs or particular traditions that you would like to include.
A celebrant-led wedding allows you to choose your venue, the people involved and the content for the service. Your options are endless when it comes to your venue. You could choose a luxury hotel, a sandy beach, your favourite pub or someone's back garden.
I meet my couples in advance to discuss their vision, whether it be a traditional, formal or casual service, I devote my time in getting to know them to ensure they love everything I write.
Barny Harrison, Impressive Ceremonies
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