Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Wedding Ceremony Elements | The Ring Couriers

Civil Wedding Celebrants are gaining somewhat of a reputation for introducing "special elements" to their clients wedding ceremonies.

One such element, gaining in popularity, is using "birds of prey" to be the ring bearers. Sounds fantastic, does it not? Maybe - but beware - you must choose your falconers / handlers / service providers with care.

No matter how well intentioned the service provider is, they are trying to control a wild predatory animal. On more than one occasion I was the wedding celebrant at  ceremonies where these beautiful "winged bearers" were used.

Flying the Knot

Only 3 from 5 went without a hitch - in the other two one owl decided to fly up to the rafters of the barn where the ceremony was being held and rest up (for a few hours) the other, at an outdoor ceremony, landed as planned but flew off before the rings could be removed or indeed before he could be tethered - it appears the owl successfully managed to have his lunch in the process. At least everyone could see the funny side despite their obvious disappointment.

Fortunately, I was prepared by having 2 brass rings about my person so that the ceremony could still continue. You know what they say about working with children and animals....?

That said one of my clients had an eagle owl deliver their rings - as the celebrant, I had the best view of all - what an impressive wonderful sight - the owl looked like he/she could have picked up the bride and groom.

The moral of this story is to do all you can to ensure that the chosen Falconer has been recommended, has a good track record (testimonials) , carry Public Liability insurance and are registered with DEFRA. Several people have recommended Wendy at Flying the Knot to me however, I have yet to work with her myself - but she does tick all the right boxes.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Naming Ceremony Elements | The Naming Ribbon

Unlike those of a theistic nature, Civil Celebrants whilst officiating Naming Ceremonies prefer not to perform "water boarding" or "simulated drowning" rituals on their clients charges,

Elvis Winston Mandella - Seriously?
Naming Celebrants have found various methods to endow "names" without the need  to resort to the abhorrent rituals above. One such method goes something like this (pictures to follow)

The naming celebrant produced a suitably coloured satin/silk ribbon (25-30mm wide & upto 30m long) and at one end fashions a loop to fit over the left wrist of the child to be named. The ribbon is then systematically wrapped around the left wrists of each parent, grand parent, aunt, uncle, other family members and everyone assembled for the event. When everyone has been "wrapped" the loose end is then fashioned in to another loop and placed around the right wrist of the child to be named - thus completing the circle. The child is then given their "forever name".
This ritual is a beautiful, simple and memorable way with which to engage all those present in bestowing the name on a child as well as being an all inclusive Unity Ritual - No religion, pretentiousness or water necessary.

Next Time : Wedding Ring Couriers

Monday, 21 July 2014

Wedding Ceremony Elements | Ring Warming

If you are looking for an alternative or an addition to Unity Candle / Sand Ceremonies that engage every wedding guest - this could be for you.

Prior to the "procession" the wedding celebrant makes that announcement that the "Wedding Ring - Warming Ritual" is to take place and gives appropriate instructions.

Wedding Ring Warming alternative.
The wedding celebrant or best man then places the wedding rings in a small velvet pouch with a drawstring (or ties them to a small cushion). The rings will then be given to one of the guests with the instructions to hold the pouch with both hands for a few seconds whilst passing on their good thoughts and best wishes to the "intended couple" - this guest will then pass the pouch to the next guest and so on - until all the guests have done the same - the Best Man / Wedding Celebrant or Ring Bearers will take the wedding rings from the last guest and present them to the intended couple for the exchange of rings.

Obviously, there are limitations to a ring warming: it wouldn't work well for super large weddings, and if you're having a big wedding you may want to have someone watching the progress of the rings and keeping them moving in a timely manner through your guests.

Wedding Ring Warming Pouch
This is one great way to engage those people assembled and make them feel an integral part of the days proceedings. Obviously , there are many ways that the above can be achieved, but the "symbolism" of this action is clear for all to see.

Next time - "The Naming Ribbon Ritual"