All you need is love and … love and fun and celebration.
This wedding season 2016/2017 is officially over for me. It’s been my biggest yet, with over 25 weddings performed, and I have absolutely loved every moment of it. Well, what’s not to love, I get to be right in the thick of a whole lotta love, and people pay me for it, crazy, I know.
My wedding season, here in Dunedin, pretty much runs from September to May, because not a lot of people down here choose winter weddings. This season has seen my marry 4 different Sarah’s, one Angela (in fact every year I’ve married an Angela, which is crazy, and I even have one lined up for next season) and one friend, and second brother from the same family.
I have married couples in their favourite restaurants (at least they knew the food was going to be outstanding) and in their living rooms. I have performed weddings in gardens, in beautiful chapels, in tiny little churches in tiny little places with magnificent views, and on beaches. I have wed couples on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and even Wednesdays. There have been morning weddings and late afternoon weddings, and even a surprise wedding, where the guests didn’t know there was going to be a wedding. There were weddings with 200 guests and weddings with only 10. I have had brides arrive by tractor, and a groom land in a helicopter. I have had brides be late, early and right on time. I have had some of the cutest ring bearers and flower girls you could imagine.
I have worked with some amazing suppliers who have toiled tirelessly to make sure that a couple’s dreams and ideas will come to life and exceed their expectations, and have been gracious enough to share their work with me.
I have offered advice on everything from dress choices to photographers, to time lines to invitations to florists, and of course wedding ceremonies.
Every single wedding is different, because every single couple and love story is different, I have married couples who met at Intermediate School, and other couples who met on Social Media. I have married couples who have been together for a short time, and others who have been together for 18 years. Every single wedding makes my heart sing, because every single bride and groom are being brave enough to put their hearts on the line, and share what it means to love and be loved, and you can’t really get better than that.
Yes there have been moments when things didn’t go according to plan, little people didn’t want to play ball, or some-one forgot to use the fancy thingy the bride bought especially, but you know what, no-one cared, because everyone was too swept up in the love filled moments which were happening all around them.
I can’t think of another job that exists where everyone’s happy. Maybe not a the rehearsal, generally brides are overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done, and can be a little stressed, but that smile on a bride’s face when she walks down the aisle is absolutely priceless.
I can’t wait until September when I get to do this amazing job all over again.
I’ve decided that I’m a professional celebrater! Is that actually a thing, I’m not entirely sure, but I know I’m a professional celebrant, and yes I officiate weddings, where two people share their love story and commit to loving each other forever, and then generally celebrate the bejezzus out of the occasion by bringing together their favourite people and kicking up their heels. So I essentially help people celebrate one of the biggest days of their lives.
Yes there are a lot of different big occasions that people celebrate, weddings, birthdays, Christmas, Easter to name a few on the calendar. But why do we wait to celebrate just these occasions? What about the fact that it’s Friday, and so take the kids down to the local cafe, and “hot chocolates, all round!” why not celebrate ‘hump day’ by having Fish and Chips for dinner, or celebrate the fact that it’s May 3 by getting out the fine china and having an afternoon tea party?
Life can whizz past us so quickly, and I swear the older we get the faster it seems to go, and throw in kids, jobs, after school activities, play dates etc and the weeks can fly by before you know it. It can seem so easy to just put your head down and just ‘get’ through the day/week/year, and then relax on the weekend, and do it all again the next week, and before you know it the kids are leaving home and you’re wondering where those 18 years went. Why not bring some surprise and magic and naughtiness and spontaneity to your day/week/year by remembering to have more fun. Life is so serious, but does it have to be all the time? Hells No!
Why are we only saving the celebrations in our life for big events? Weddings, big birthdays, graduations? Why aren’t we celebrating the people in our lives more often, instead of when they die? Why not get your girlfriends together one Saturday morning a month and have a brunch date? Why not grab the mates once a month and have a few beersies down at the pub? We should be celebrating and acknowledging the people in our lives on a regular basis, because it will make you feel great, and make the other person feel amazing too. Where’s the harm in that?
Why do we only celebrate the dates we’re told to celebrate, birthdays, weddings etc? Why don’t we celebrate the day we moved into our first home together, or when we bought that new car? Yes, you may be looking at me a bit sideways now, thinking this lady is a nutbar, but is there anything wrong with creating our own traditions and rituals and customs, as well as celebrating the more well known ones that society tells us to celebrate, why not create some of your own?
If you really want to fully embrace the idea of celebrating, then there are a multitude of things that you can celebrate, take a look at days of the year who have a huge list of reasons to celebrate each day of the year. It’s also a good idea to come up with some of your own, things that are important to you and your family. Ask the kids what things they want to celebrate, and how. You may be surprised by what they think are reasons to celebrate. They don’t have to be elaborate or cost millions of dollars, one family I know choose every Wednesday night dinner to have a different accent to accompany dinner, so if it’s Italian night, everyone has to speak in an Italian accent, huge fun, and doesn’t cost a thing. Or choose a different day each week to add a wee note into one family member’s lunch box, once again free!
Let’s face it life can sometimes be monotonous and boring, but wouldn’t you rather look back on your life and think about all the fun you had?
Ok, so you’ve locked in your dream celebrant. They’re organised, down to earth, a wealth of ideas, and get your vibe. Yay for you, now how are you going to get the best out of your celebrant. Getting the best out of your celebrant, doesn’t mean they’ll be doing your dishes for the next 6 months. But it does mean that doing and remembering a few key ideas will ensure you get the best possible ceremony, and the best execution on the day.
Be open-minded – I’m not talking keys in the bowl type of open minded (but if that’s your thing, more power to you) I’m talking, ask your celebrant for ideas, what are the different ways we could do this? Does it have to be done this way? Could we do it like this? Your celebrant has done more weddings than you have, probably (hopefully) so they will know what will work, and what may be awkward. Listen.
Be engaged – Not just with the ring type of engaged, but the listening, and asking questions, and putting your phone down for 10 minutes type of engagement. I know weddings can be a subject that completely makes the groom zone out, but if you want it to be your day too then listen. A good celebrant will make sure they talk to both of you, not just the bride, and you should both have a good feeling about the celebrant. I know meeting new people, especially a celebrant, can be daunting to some people, but most of us are warm, personable and down to earth.
Short and sweet isn’t always best – I know some people just want to get the ceremony bit over so they can move onto the more fun bit of drinking, dancing, and cake eating. But, and again I may be biased because I’m a celebrant, the focus should be on the ceremony. You are going to be standing in front of your nearest and dearest, and maybe Dave from work, telling your soul mate how important they are to you, and sharing your love story, surely that deserves longer than a 5 min ‘wham bam thank you ma’am?’
Don’t leave booking a celebrant till the last minute – In my opinion it’s never too early to book your celebrant. The good ones, like venues and photographers will get booked out pretty early on. You may get lucky with a last minute phone call, but that is the exception rather than the rule.
Feel free to interview, or chat with more than one celebrant – It’s not like dating, we won’t mind. What we do mind, is if you don’t tell us that you have booked someone else, and we keep the date open for you. A simple “we have decided to go with another celebrant” is great. No hurt feelings, honest! We want you to have the best wedding possible, whether it’s with us or not so if someone else floats your boat and gets your vibe, go for it!
Don’t change anything about the ceremony, and not tell the celebrant – Especially if you want the celebrant to be there on time! I usually double check at the rehearsal what time the groom will be at the venue, to make sure we’re all on the same page regarding start times. But I have heard of angry calls to the celebrant when everyone’s at the ceremony inquiring about their whereabouts, when the couple have changed the time and not told the celebrant.
Give us the dirt, all the dirt – Most celebrants will send you a questionnaire to fill out (I call them my homework questions) to get to know you better, they will either come and visit with you again to discuss the answers to your questions or just write your ceremony from those answers. Give us as much info as you can on your questionnaire, the more info you give the better ceremony you are going to get. It’s really hard to personalise a ceremony (which is what most good celebrants will want to do) when you give nothing personal to work with. I for one, want to know what you love, what you don’t love, what you enjoy doing together, all great fodder for a ceremony.
Try to be organised – I know there are a million and one things that need to be organised for a wedding, but if you can get back to us sooner rather than later when we request information that would be grand. It’s no fun for a celebrant to be waiting the day before the wedding for the groom to get his vows to them. It creates stress not just for the couple but for the celebrant. If you can’t make a designated time for a catch up, let them know as soon as you can.
Send us an invite – We love weddings, all the weddings. So if you want us to get an idea of your style, colours and personality then give us an invite. Also helps so we know where we’re going and at what time (see point Don’t change anything about the ceremony and not tell the celebrant)
Good manners – Like your mumma always said, good manners go a long way! If you like the vibe and style of a celebrant, then they will probably either have a Facebook page, Instagram account, or website, do a bit of stalking, and you can probably find out their price. We don’t love texts/emails/Facebook messages that just say “how much?” We do love texts/emails/Facebook messages that say “Hi Angela, We are getting married 9/12/2017 and are after a celebrant, are you available and what is your price?”
Thank you’s – If you are the type of bride/couple who are going to do a thank you post/wedding post on Facebook, please please please thank or acknowledge your celebrant, if they did an awesome job, if they didn’t then maybe contact them and tell them why, don’t splash it on Facebook. For us reviews are like gold, so go ahead and give your celebrant a review, tell them what a great job they did. They will love you for it, and it only takes 5 minutes, and you are helping other couples out by leaving honest feedback.
Try not to turn bridezilla on us – I know planning a wedding is stressful, and expensive, and not everyone wants to do what you want them to do as fast as you want them to, but your celebrant is a professional. We will act like the professional we are, and should be treated as such.
Remember, we may only be a part of your wedding day for a short time, but we are emotionally invested in your day. We have taken the time to get to know you, spent time with you and your family, helped bring your plans/dreams to life, written and performed an amazing ceremony for you about you, met your friends and family, calmed you down, made sure everything is perfect for you and your guests. A little acknowledgement goes a long long way, kilometres in fact, like from here to the moon!
“Let the adventure of planning your wedding begin!”
If you’re planning on getting married anywhere that isn’t a operational church (a church that only allows priests etc from that church to marry people) then you are going to need a registered wedding celebrant.
Like everything else wedding related there are a million different choices, which is a good thing, generally speaking. But where do you start?
Other vendors – If you’ve already booked a venue, or photographer, or florist, or make up artist then ask them. They would have seen/done enough weddings to have a general idea on who they like. They have often seen way more than one celebrant, and a venue and/or photographer would have been present while a celebrant has lead a wedding previously.
Facebook – The internet is a great place and can bring the whole world to your computer. There are numerous private wedding groups on Facebook, and they are a great place to ask for recommendations, and you will get honest feedback. Facebook is also a great place to stalk some of the celebrants you have heard about, most celebrants these days will have a professional Facebook page, and looking at this will give you an idea of the style of a celebrant, and if they have photos of previous weddings, you’ll get to see them in action. A good Facebook page will probably also have reviews, so take a look at these too, find out about what couples have said about them.
Friends/Relatives etc – Ask around your friends, rellies, work mates and get recommendations from who they may have used, or celebrants they may have seen at weddings they have attended.
Wedding shows – Check out your local wedding show, they always have a few of each vendor, and that way you get to have a chat, ask any questions, and maybe organise a time to meet up and talk in more depth.
Uncle Google – Just type in “Celebrants in Dunedin” and you’ll get pages of info, from there you can check out their website (if they have one) and any social media they may have.
Celebrants Association– The Celebrants Assocation is a voluntary association for Celebrants in New Zealand. Belonging to the Celebrants Association means that a celebrant is governed by a code of conduct, and has access to on-going education. The website is pretty easy to use, just type in your area, and it will come back with all the celebrants in your area that are members of the Celebrants Association.
So, once you’ve have a look and seen one or more that you like the look of, then contact them to see if they are available for your wedding date. Good celebrants can be booked a year or more in advance, so it’s best to get in early. If they are available on your date, then it’s a great idea to organise a meeting (either at a cafe/pub/your home or theirs, or if you are out of the area or country then Skype) I always offer a non-obligational first meeting, it gives you a chance to have a look at some of my work, chat about my style and what you have planned and your ideas for your day.
It’s a good idea to meet with more than one celebrant, you’ll learn a bit more about what you’re looking for, don’t worry we won’t be offended if you do, we want you to get the right fit for your ceremony too. Feel free to ask a lot of questions, it will make you feel more comfortable with your choice. Make sure that once you have made a decision on which celebrant you would like to book, that you contact the other one to let them know you are going with someone else.
I know weddings can be mega expensive, and I know it can be all about making that dollar stretch as far as it can go. But there are certain elements to a wedding day that you really don’t want to skimp on and I believe a celebrant is one of those things. I know there are also a lot of different price points for celebrants, but don’t just go with the cheapest. Make sure you do your research and find out what you are getting for your money. There is a common mis-conception that a celebrant just turns up on the day, says a few words and then leaves, and then pocket a bucket full of cash to do so. A good celebrant will want to build a relationship with you, to ensure that you have a ceremony that is heartfelt, but is also a reflection of your personality and your love story. A good celebrant will meet with you at least on two different occasions, write you a ceremony from scratch, that is personalised to you and your love (there is no cut and paste), they will be there to answer all your questions/texts/emails/phone calls, provide you with inspiration to write your own vows (if that is what you choose) they will offer suggestions for different elements you may like to include in your ceremony (readings, ring warming etc) they will facilitate a wedding rehearsal, to ensure everyone knows what is going on, when and how, they will be there early to liaise with your other vendors (photographer/video/venue) to ensure everyone is on the same page, and that the ceremony runs smoothly. They may run your music for the ceremony (creating a personalised playlist for you) and have their own PA system, and microphone.
Your celebrant should make you feel excited about the wedding, they should inspire you with suggestions, they should empower you to make the ceremony and day about what you want, they should be organised, and calm and relaxed on the day. They should be the person who sets the scene for the entire day.
I believe a celebrant should have a passion for the job they do, it should show in their eyes, that they love being a celebrant, otherwise it will reflect in a lacklustre wedding ceremony, lacking in personalisation, warmth and professionalism.
All you need is love and … how to include your fur baby in your wedding.
Many couples have pets together before they get married, and a lot of couples consider their pets as their fur babies and so want to include them in their wedding, naturally. So here’s a round up of ways to include you pets in your special day.
Use your pet to propose – How super cute is it to include your pet in your proposal? You could tie the ring on their collar, and then tell your partner that you have a new collar for the pet. Instant brownie points. You could also have a sign made to go around the pets neck with “will you marry my dad” on it.
Save the dates – Use your pet to announce to your guests your wedding date.
Engagement photos – Include your pet in your engagement photo shoot.
Wedding photos – If you’re not sure about your pet coming to the ceremony or reception then ask someone to bring them along for the wedding photos. Brides all dressed up with their pets make magic photos.
Flower Girl Escort – Let your flower girl escort your pet down the aisle.
Pet instead of bouquet – Carry your pet down the aisle instead of a bouquet. Obviously dependant on the type and size of pet. But a rabbit or kitten would look super cute in a flower adorned basket.
Have them by your side during your ceremony – If your pet is the sit still and not move type of animal, and would no be phased by all the attention and people around, it would make for an adorable photo.
Include them in your vows – I have included many a mention of a pet in a wedding ceremony. You could include them in your vows “I promise to love you as much as Oscar (the dog)”
Dress them up – there are a few ways you can dress up your pet for the big day, without hindering it’s movement, or dignity. Try a cute bandana around it’s neck for something understated.
Cake topper – Order a customised cake topper which includes a nod to your fur baby as well.
Table numbers – Incorporate photos of your pet as your table numbers, that way everyone gets to see your pet.
Cardboard cut out – Have a life size cardboard cut out of your pet made, that could be displayed at your reception, or used as a prop in a photo booth. It would be just like they were there.
There are a few things you may need to consider when deciding if your pet is going to be a part of your big day. How are their socialisation skills? If you have time to get them training, then that would be wise, if they are the type of pet who will wander in and then fall asleep at someones feet, then they are the perfect candidate. If they have not yet been trained and bark at everything that moves then it’s probably not a good idea.
Take your pet to the venue well before the big day, so they get comfortable and familiar with the place. And make sure that your pet is allowed at the venue.
Make sure there is adequate food and water available for the pet during the day.
Let your guests know before the day that your pet will be attending, that way if they are allergic to animals they can take precautions before hand.
Ensure you have a pet wrangler available on the day, who isn’t yourself or your partner. I recommend someone who the pet knows and is quite happy to look after your pet during the day.
Pets are very special members of the family, so of course they should be included in your wedding day.
All you need is love and … to look after yourself.
Wedding planning is hard, and stressful, so very stressful. And we all know that stress has a huge impact on your body and your mental health. And we all want to go into our wedding day, and our married life, looking and feeling our absolute best. So I’ve put together some tips on how to look after yourself while wedding planning.
Leading up to the wedding day
Get yourself organised – Now is the time to organise yourself, especially if you are organisationally-challenged. Get yourself a wedding planner, any kind will do, whatever suits your personality and lifestyle, and use it. She said yes have a beautiful one, you’ll feel better knowing that there’s not a chance of you forgetting anything.
Start a exercise plan – If you are wanting to lose a few kilos for the big day, or just want to be in the best possible shape for your wedding day, then formulate an exercise plan. Enlist the help of a nutritionist and/or personal trainer if you like, or just rope in the bridesmaids for added incentive. Exercise as well as making you look great, will also make you feel great,and it’s also a great stress buster.
Skin care/Hair care- Now is the time to think about how you’re going to get your skin and hair into tip top condition. Talk to your make up artist and your hair dresser about the best way to do this. They may suggest regular treatments and/or products to use leading up to the wedding day, to ensure you have the perfect canvas for the day.
Multi-vitamins/supplements – Now is a good time to talk to a professional about what type of vitamins or supplements it may be a good idea to start using to make sure you both look and feel your best. You may need to think about a supplement to help with stress, or energy to help you get through the wedding planning intact. Make sure you are getting enough fruits and vegetables too.
Water – Up your water intake, nearly everyone doesn’t drink enough water, so increasing your water is a great way of helping with hydrating your body. It will give you glowing skin, and help you flush out toxins. If you’re not a water fan, try using sliced fruit in your bottle to add a tasty flavour.
Delegate – Don’t try to wear too many hats. Make sure you do your research with vendors, so you know they are professionals, and can do the job, and trust that they will on the day. Sometimes you need to choose what you can let go of and delegate. There are always lots of people who are just waiting for you to ask for help.
Wedding week –
Exercise – Keep up with the exercise. It will help relieve stress, and zone out in this busy week.
Wedding day contact – Choose someone to be the wedding day contact. Someone who you can trust to make decisions on the day so you can relax. This is where a wedding co-ordinator or day of wedding co-ordinator would step in.
Pamper yourself – It’s time to book in for a massage, or some other type of treat for yourself. It’s your wedding week, it’s time to indulge yourself.
Good People – Surround yourself with good people. The type of people who will bring you good vibes, not stress. If you have to deal with a family member who you know will stress you out, then be very selective with how much time you spend with them.
Set aside more time – Give yourself way more time than you think you’re going to need to complete errands, everything will seem to take much longer than you think, which will leave you running late, and thus stressed, something we are trying to eliminate remember.
Wedding Eve – Don’t go too hard the night before the wedding. It’s ok to have a celebratory drink with the girls, but you want to be waking up fresh faced and bushy tailed, not like a zombie, with dark circles and a monster headache.
Sleep – Make sure you are not burning the candle at both ends leading up to the wedding. There’s a reason it’s called ‘beauty sleep’
Eat – Make sure you have something in your belly during the day, to stop you feeling faint, and the wine going straight to your head.
Exercise/Fresh Air – Go for a quick walk with the girls in the morning before breakfast. Getting some fresh air will make you feel amazing.
Water – Make sure you are hydrated, especially if you’ve planned a outside summer wedding.
Mediation – If you’re a mediation fan, then this is the perfect time to practice a little quiet time to re-focus your mind and energy as you head into a full-on day.
Focus on what’s important – Make sure you take a little time on the morning, especially if you’re feeling stressed out, to focus on what’s important about the day. That you are getting married to your soul mate, nothing else matters!
All you need is love and … a beautiful new wedding venue.
Feast your eyes on the beautiful Port Molyneux School
A few weeks ago I attended the official opening of a brand new venue. I knew it was going to be awesome, partly because of the location (hello, stunning Kaka Point, Catlins!) and partly because I had met Jade (the director and visionary behind the venue) and her enthusiasm and positivity for the whole project was infectious (definitely my kind of people)
Jade and her family rescued the “Port Molyneux School” from ruin, after coming across it by accident, and realising that it was for sale. She could see the potential of the location (right across the road from the beach) and for a venue in the area, because her husband and her had struggled to find a suitable venue in the area, when they got married.
So after a lot of blood, sweat, tears and restoration work, the venue was open to the public for the first time, and it is beautiful!!! The character of the place is still in tact but it has been bought into this century with a lot of love and care, and has everything you could need to hold the wedding of your dreams.
The school rooms have been lovingly restored and are a blank canvas, as either a ceremony space area, for after wedding cocktails or sit down reception space. They feature wooden floors, and beautiful windows letting in an abundance of natural light and views across the road to the ocean. There is of course ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ toilets (apparently part of the bathroom decor is original) and a fully equipped kitchen for event catering.
Part of the hire of the venue includes the use of the headmasters house, a stones throw along a stone path from the main building. This 3 bedroom house has been fully restored and decorated and has everything you would need to spend your wedding night in absolute bliss. The section the venue is on is large enough and flat enough to be used by your guests if they wanted to camp for the night also. On the open day Tussock Country had set up one of their luxury camping tents, and it was amazing, so much more civilised than a pup tent and a sleeping bag.
Outside the school at the front, there is a beautiful spot which has been specially created to accommodate outside weddings, there is a mantle and seating. This all coming together to create a perfect spot with the ocean roaring in the background to exchange your wedding vows.
The Port Molyneux School is not just available for weddings, but any occasion that requires a unique and beautiful setting. Now I just need someone to get married there so I can visit this beautiful spot again, but as a celebrant.
Find out more about this very special wedding venue.
Jade McNab +64 (0) 21 1202 722 or firstname.lastname@example.org
As a celebrant I am able to perform many different types of ceremonies, and as well as wedding ceremonies I am also available to conduct naming ceremonies. Back the truck up, but what is a naming ceremony? How does it all happen? Sounds like fun! How do I go ahead with it?
What is a naming ceremony? A naming ceremony is a non-religious celebration of the arrival of a new child, a way to introduce him/her to family and friends. It is usually organised by parents who want to mark their child’s arrival with a celebration, but in a non-religious way.
Is a naming ceremony legal? A naming ceremony is a private occasion, so there is no legal status to the ceremony. It is not the same as legally registering a child’s birth through Births/Deaths and Marriages.
Who can have a naming ceremony? Naming ceremonies are appropriate for any age, a new baby, and adopted child or uniting step children, or even a adult name change.
Where can we have a naming ceremony? Naming ceremonies can be performed anywhere, as long as you have the permission of the owner. Popular spots are homes, parks, halls.
What kinds of things are included in a naming ceremony? The sky is the limit for this one, because it is not a legal ceremony, there are no real “have-to’s” attached to the process so there are lots of ideas, including poems, readings, quotes, time capsule, tree planting, candle lighting, wish making, video for guests, wishing well cards etc. Your celebrant will be able to point you in the right direction and offer you heaps of ideas to make your ceremony perfect
I don’t know of any quotes or readings I want. Do I have to have them? No, your child’s naming ceremony will be completely unique to your family, so if you’ve not sure about poems or readings then you don’t have to have them. Your celebrant will be able to share with you some appropriate examples of readings, if you do want to include one but aren’t sure where to start.
I want to include my child’s grandparents. Is there a way to do this? Absolutely. I recognise the importance of a child’s extended family, and there are many different ways we can recognise, acknowledge and include any of the extended family into a naming ceremony.
When can we have a naming ceremony? There is no time limit for when you can hold a naming ceremony for your child. A lot of families combine the first birthday and naming ceremony. It’s a great way to have a double celebration at a time when you may have gathered friends and family together already. Some couples like to wait until the first few months are out of the way, when things are a little more settled in the family. Older children also love to have a day of celebration all about them, so any age is fine.
Does it matter if I’m a single parent/we’re not married or a same sex couple? Absolutely not! I’d be delighted to be involved in helping any parent or couple celebrate and mark their new arrival.
A naming ceremony sounds right up my alley. But I hate public speaking, as a parent do I have to say anything? Most naming ceremonies do actually include the parents making some kind of commitment or promise to the child. However if you would prefer not to speak there are definitely ways around it. For example you could do a “we promise” answer after the celebrant has read your promises.
How much work will I have to do to organise the naming ceremony? I completely understand that first year brain fog of child-rearing. So much like a wedding ceremony I will come and visit you at your place, no need to drag your family out to see me. We will discuss what your thoughts are, I will offer suggestions and examples, ask you a whole lot of questions, and then head off and write you a naming ceremony. I will send this to you to take a look at, we will fine-tune it, and then that will be what is performed on the day. I will have all the props and tools for the day with me, so you don’t have to remember to bring anything with you. My aim is for it to all go smoothly, well as smoothly as a ceremony involving a small child can (I know they can be unpredictable) and for you as parents to totally enjoy the experience and day.
Is there any way to add a momento of the day? I have totally customisable certificates that parents and guide-parents can sign on the day as a keepsake of the special day, for the child to treasure in days ahead.
How is a naming ceremony structured? Below is a loose structure for a naming ceremony, of course everything is customisable to the family.
Introduction and welcome to guests
Reading or poem
Information about the child – their arrival, personality, traits so far
Words about the importance and responsibility of parenting
Parental promises to the child
Reading or poem
Importance of wider family in the child’s life (grandparents/cousins/aunts etc)
Appointment of guideparents/mentors/support/godparents
Reasons for choice of name
The naming itself
If the idea of a naming ceremony sounds like the perfect way for you to celebrate the arrival of a new member of you family, then get in touch and we can discuss the best way to mark your new arrival. And of course you can include cake and wine!