Ceremony elements can be included in your ceremony, but it’s important to say, a ceremony is just as beautiful with no elements.
A quick search on Pinterest will provide endless options! Here are some ideas to get started!
Time Capsule – Family members collect significant objects and place them in a time capsule to be opened on a set date.
Scrapbook – Family and friends are invited to write a message in a scrapbook; to bring photos of the parents when they were young, or bring their favourite song or poem.
Tree Planting – Soil is collected from the grandparents gardens and added to a sapling, then the guardians water the soil as a symbol of the commitment to support the child as they grow. The tree is then planted in your place of choice.
Letter Box – Parents, family and friends write a letter to the child and they are secured in a box to open at a later date. The box can be secured with ribbons of significant meaning.
Sand Ceremony – Different colour sands are mixed to symbolise the parent and guardians values and hope for the child’s future values. It represents inclusion of the new child into the family.
Hand Prints on Canvas – The child’s name is written in vinyl letters and stuck to a large canvas. Family and friends use different coloured paints to make a hand print on the canvas. When dry, the letters are removed and the child name will appear surrounded by family and friends!
Earth, Air, Fire and Water – Stones or glass pebbles are placed in a clear glass bowl or vase, to represent the earth, and water is then included. Sitting on the stones is a candle to represent fire. All guests blow the child a kiss, to represent air. The celebrant explains the meaning behind the different elements.
Fire – Vigorousness, zeal, enthusiasm, courage, decisiveness, power of creativity, daring
We had the pleasure of having the wonderful Simone as our celebrant for our baby’s naming day ceremony. Even now after three years people still talk about the ceremony and how personal and intimate it was. Many of our guests had never attended a naming day before and they thought it was so beautiful and felt Simone had made it so personal and special for us as parents but also included our guests. Simone is truly gifted at what she does and we are so happy we found her and would highly recommend to any future parents you will not be disappointed! Thanks again Simone, Olivia and Sami
The ceremony was more than we could have hoped for – we loved it! So many people came up to us on the day and since then to let us know how much they enjoyed it. My parents have never been to a civil ceremony and they couldn’t get over how personal it was, they loved every bit of it. Loads of people who have been to similar ceremonies said it was superior to anything they’d been to before, that it was so relaxed and meaningful and that you are so good at your job!
Thank you again, I can honestly say that the ceremony was a huge highlight of our day.
Caroline and Tomás
Arriving early is very important, this way I have plenty of time to speak with guests who have a role in the ceremony, and most importantly, chat with the bride and groom to settle any list minute concerns.
February 29th….what’s behind the tradition of this being the day a woman proposes?
Bachelor’s Day is an Irish tradition on leap year that opens women to initiate dances and propose marriage. If the proposal was refused the man was expected to buy the woman a silk gown or, by the mid-20th century, a fur coat (no thanks!). The tradition is supposed to originate from a deal that Saint Bridget struck with Saint Patrick! Continue reading →
I attended the launch of Marie Forleo’s new book ‘Everything is Figureoutable’. Marie posed the question, ‘do we misinterpret nerves and fear?’ Is the feeling of butterflies in our tummy, sweaty palms, and dry mouth symptoms of nerves? Or is it excitement? Bruce Springsteen once said he has these very symptoms before going on stage. Bruce does not associate these feelings with fear, instead, he knows it’s his body telling him he is ready to ROCK! Continue reading →
I advise couples to choose a celebrant they connect with. Someone they feel instantly at ease with. When I first met Sarah and Robert the roles were reversed! I was captivated by their story, and I knew right away, theirs was a story I could not wait to tell! <3
Sarah and Robert celebrated their wedding in the historic Mill House, Slane, Co Meath. They chose a handfasting ceremony using coloured ribbons that held deep meaning for them and their guests.
Thank you so much for being part of our wedding day. You made everything so easy and stress-free. Your professionalism, warmth, and creativity knows no bounds. You blew us away with the ceremony you created for our big day and practically all of our guests commented on how gorgeous it really was. It was the best day of our lives but the ceremony was definitely the highlight and that’s thanks to you. Thanks for all your patience and guidance – Sarah and Robert
I am really happy to talk about the subject of guests taking photos during a wedding ceremony, and if all photography rights should be exclusive to your photographer. In the planning stages of a ceremony, I give couples the option of me asking guests not to take photos and not to post images to social media. What do couples decide? The answer is a mixed bag, but most often its ‘leave it to the photographer’.
I recently delivered a ceremony, where the bride and her little girl, together with the bride’s dad entered the ceremony room to walk up the aisle. Naturally, the little one was a bit stunned but soon settled, and began to dance to the processional music. Yes, this was an adorable moment. BUT what hit me like a bomb was, the groom/dad could not see what was happening because the guests had taken over the aisle with their camera phones to record the moment. In truth, not one person with their phone out realised what the groom was missing.
Since that day, when couples say it’s OK for guest to take photos, I explicitly request guests not to lean into the aisle. The photographer always thanks me. Remember, on a wedding day, the celebrant, photographer, musician, florist etc are all one big team that is hired to do their job, work together and get things right!
I was curious to know what a wedding photographer thought on the subject. Thomas Stewart, a world-leading wedding photographer, is well known for his very clear message (all 26,000 words) about having an unplugged wedding and of course his famous photo seen below. (With kind permission from Thomas)
Another explanation on the impact of guest photography during your ceremony comes from Jenna Kutcher, an esteemed US wedding photographer (retired…a young woman who went on to do other great things). Jenna has very kindly given permission for me to share her views with you. It’s a long read, but hang in there, its worth it <3.
I’ve been wanting to write to you for awhile. The thing is, our paths only seem to cross on the weekends and while Saturday strikes and I think of the words I’d love to deliver to you, I forget throughout the week and fail to reach you… until now. Here’s the thing, I have so much to say to you, but I’m never quite sure how to deliver it, because I see you and I know your intentions are pure. So first, just listen to my side, maybe you’ll rethink grabbing out your iPhone or packing your DSLR for the next time you get to witness a precious round of “I dos!” As our generation becomes the most photographed generation on the planet, we have become obsessed with documenting everything: from the minute we wake up to what we eat for dinner. Our lives are shared with the world and while it’s a joy – it’s also become a big problem.
You might not know it, but I’m always looking for you at my weddings. You blend in so well, try to appear inconspicuous, but as I start at the front looking into the crowd, I am trying to pinpoint your whereabouts and plan how I can work around you. Wait, you didn’t realize that what you do impacts me? It does. So while you’re positioning yourself in an aisle seat and clinging to that camera before the bride rounds the corner, I am coming up with action plans in my head. Here’s what you don’t realize: as the professional photographer, we are given guidelines. We can’t use flash, we need to stay put and out of the way, and we must remain discreet while delivering the BEST photos to our clients. So I am sure you can imagine the shock when you’re flashbulbs go off and suddenly our settings are wonky because we had no clue you were ready to strike.
I’ve watched mothers miss their daughters walking down the aisle, I’ve seen grandma’s hiding behind the glowing screen of an iPad, and I’ve witnessed so many moments that were missed simply because someone was scrolling through their camera roll to check out “the shot.” I don’t know everything, but here are a few things I do know: you, my friend, were invited as an honored guest. The couple didn’t invite you out of obligation or because you know how to use Instagram, they genuinely wanted your presence at their day. Whether you’re their college bestie, you used to babysit them and you have horror stories, or you’re their next door neighbor – I’d like to bet that they would far rather see your smiling face than what iPhone you have. So while you’re doing your best to document that precious aisle moment that they’ve probably been dreaming of for months (even years) their professional photos (the ones they will probably hang in their home) will not be of your sweet face but of your phone screen and determined look as you try to nail a Facebook worthy photo – which, let’s be honest, your photos probably aren’t turning out that great anyway.
When I am hired to do my job, my couples are investing in me and trusting me. Trust isn’t something I choose to take lightly so I will go to the ends of the earth to deliver them the photos they’ve been dreaming of. I can tell you a few things: they didn’t dream of looking out into the aisle and seeing you (and ten of your posse) leaning in and holding out your phone in an attempt to be “discreet” and they definitely didn’t envision professional photos with all sorts of screens glowing in the background. When I see you, I feel a little sad, because here I am, a workhorse ready for battle and there you are throwing away an opportunity to be fully present for the very people who requested your presence.
What I don’t want you to hear is this: I am not a bitter photographer who is worried about you stealing my job, not in the least. In fact, I respect your desire to help remember the day! That being said, I think there is a time and place for your documentation (and it might not be in a dimly lit church with a captive audience!) I know my couples love seeing your images, I want you to be in them, but here’s what I would prefer to avoid: I don’t want to trip over you as you crouch in the aisle, I get distracted with you shooting over my shoulder, and I hate having to figure out how to creatively crop you out of the photos because you’re staring at your phone during precious moments. In fact, I am so set on seeing your face I make sure that my clients are given the opportunity to share their photos with their guests, so that not only can you live the day in the present, you can also relive those moments you were a part of for years to come.
So next time you’re inching towards the aisle or your point and shoot is ready to fire, I dare you to just sit back and relax. I was hired to document the day and I take that position seriously, so seriously, I might smile at you (but deep down I am willing you to simply enjoy being a guest!) My clients will thank you, I will thank you, and the photos that you get to be a part of will be a part of their legacy long after your blurry iPhones have been buried in the feeds of Facebook! Let’s not forget about what it means to be a witness to vows!
Let your presence be their present.
The Professional Photographer Hired to Do Her Job
Couples pay a lot of hard-earned money to hire the best photographers, and it’s not ok for the photographer to compete with your guests to do their job! What would it be like if a guest came to the front of the room and read their own random text alongside mine? Or if they popped into the kitchen and started putting a salad together…they would be booted out pronto!! So why is it acceptable for your photographer? Not the same thing? The conversation is happening over on Instagram, and I would love to hear your thoughts!
Attending a wedding fair, wedding showcase or wedding show is all part of planning your wedding. With the exception of summer, hotels and specialist venues host wedding fairs the rest of the year. Some showcase their services, and others will invite a range of preferred wedding suppliers. Continue reading →
Aoife and Robie celebrated their ceremony in the beautiful Trudder Lodge, a period House in Newcastle, Co. Wicklow.
Heavy rain showers had no impact on the style, elegance and excitement of the day! I was the very lucky celebrant who was chosen to create Aoife and Robie’s wedding ceremony and I loved every minute of it!
The ancient Scottish tradition of handfasting was a very special moment, when Aoife and Robie made joint promises for their married life ahead. Following this they shared their peronal promises for each other. Their marriage was sealed with the giving and receiving of a ring and New Zealand Jade.
They also secured love lettters in a wine box ceremony, that is waiting to be opening on their first anniversary!
I wanted to say thank you so much for your wonderful, personal ceremony on May 27th. Everyone raved about you and the ceremony. It was so unexpected for most people that I think they were genuinely entertained. The main comment was how personal and romantic the entire thing was.
Robie and I said from the start that you were our star supplier for the day. We knew once we met you that you were the perfect addition to our day. You guided us through it with such grace and determination that I honestly cannot imagine doing the day without you.
The one thing I really wanted to make sure is that we felt the ceremony, took it slowly and enjoyed it. I can honestly say that we did and it remains my favourite part of the day.
Aoife and Robie
If you would like to have a chat about planning your wedding ceremony, please feel free to give me a call on +353 877813594 or send an email to email@example.com