Celebration Ceremonies & Weddings
More and more couples are seeking an alternative to a Church or Register office do that gives them the flexibility to create a more personal ceremony and allows them to get married in alternative wedding venues or outdoors. Jan at Celebration Ceremonies & Weddings is one of Leeds' finest Independent Celebrants, in fact she is the only one in Yorkshire to be nationally qualified and approved. Whether you fancy a boho woodland setting, a festival style wedding or an english country garden at a private estate or castle, Jan is here to help.
We caught up with her recently to talk about conducting her personal ceremonies and why she loves weddings.
"If someone had told me when I was seven years old that I’d be creating wedding ceremonies for a living, I’d have probably have said “no way”!," laughs Jan.
"I’d never dreamed of being the princess with the big white wedding or even getting married for that matter! But a few decades later when I was actually getting married, a church or a licensed venue/Register Office just didn’t feel “this is us”. The ceremonies were all very formal and inflexible with no room to express our commitment to each other. We wanted an alternative to the traditional wedding venue, a bank canvas that allowed us to really do things our way and be more creative.
"Following a quick visit to our local Register Office to complete the legal bits with just our two witnesses, we had our ceremony and reception at home in our garden. It was just the best thing ever!! Needless to say this became my inspiration. I became one of the first in the UK to be nationally qualified and approved by Government training body Ofqual in wedding and naming ceremonies and set up Celebration Ceremonies & Weddings to inspire a new wave of brides and grooms looking for alternative. The rest as they say is history."
"We consider ourselves VERY privileged and I have to say, we really do have the best job in the world," she explains. "Most wedding suppliers don’t get to know their couples quite like we do and are not there to see that heart-melting moment when they say “we do”. We are always the friendly face at the end of the aisle. I love that couples are free to choose words, content and traditions that mean something to them and the variety and the creativity that comes with it. "
"The concept of being able to have a personal wedding ceremony anywhere is relatively new but we do like to be at the forefront of new trends and being the next best kept secret! In fact, the first ceremony we wrote was 10 years ago - our own - so you could say I'm a bit of a pioneer of personal wedding ceremonies as they just didn't exist then.
"Couples today are becoming more confident about breaking the mould and doing things their way. Even grooms, who traditionally would steer clear of any decision making, are now sharing and, dare I say, enjoying wedding planning!
"Most brides worry about being 'different', our brides worry about being 'the same' and are actively seeking unique places and wedding experiences - one of those being their ceremony, so we're happy about the future."
Images courtesy of: Rachael Edwards, Matthew Priestley, Opal Desires and AnneMarie King.
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