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The Hands of Love

 

 

Hands. Love. How often do you consciously put those two words together?

 

As a celebrant, they’re both at the heart of my work. My wedding couples place rings on each other’s fourth finger of the left hand, for the ancients believed the Vena Amoris (Latin for the ‘vein of love’) flowed from there to the heart, and back again.

 

 

 

This tradition continues for the simple reason that we recognise the hands to be integral in how we show our care for a loved one: a tender caress, the touch of a brow, back of a bent finger to wipe away a tear, hands cupping cheeks to draw our love closer, the holding of hands to protect and nurture a child, or to share a walk with our lover.

 

 

I’ve been teaching my wee granddaughter, Sarah, to blow kisses by bringing her hand to her lips and then pushing it away with a big blow (we do this via Skype, as she lives in Wales). It has become a beautiful bonding ritual for this grandmother and granddaughter who live at a distance from each other.

 

 

My wedding couples may have their hands bound together in the sacred figure of eight ~ eternity ~ during a Handfasting ritual. When I consciously ‘tie the knot’ for a couple, I do so with the awareness on which the ritual was founded. There are three cords: Bride, Groom and God. So, regardless of the couple’s or my beliefs (and whether they’re opposite or same sex), I hold the intention in my mind that there are three distinct energies being consciously connected as they cross the threshold from two lives into a shared life path: two humans and the Universal Life Force which exists in all of us and is everywhere. For those whose hands are being tied, and those who are witnessing, we effortlessly transcend all belief systems and recognise the sanctity of a ritual based on love.

 

 

Hands connect us. In ceremonies, we may hold hands in a circle. Perhaps we’re touching the toes or cheeks of a baby during a naming ceremony. Maybe our hand touches a shroud or coffin as we say goodbye and walk away from our friend for one last time. A groom may lift his bride’s veil. The bride holds her bouquet. She may well toss it, with love, into a crowd of single friends who hope to be the ‘next one’ married. In a Blessingway ceremony, all the women sit in circle and then take part in a red-thread ritual which sees our hands all tied together in a web.

 

 

Six years ago yesterday, my father was killed in a car accident in Australia. I flew over for the funeral. When I walked down the aisle in the crematorium before the service, I could see a few of my siblings (I have seven of them) standing by the coffin. That’s when I realised it was open, and they were talking to our Dad.

 

To hold his hands ~ hands which had toiled hard in his 77 years on this Earth ~ was an honour, as well as a deeply healing and spontaneous ritual, which would prove enormously important in my walk, hand in hand, with sorrow. There, in those precious few minutes as time stood still, I was able to thank him for everything he did for us: providing a lifestyle that enabled me to have the most awesome childhood growing up in rural Australia surrounded by dozens of horses and a lot of land.

 

The idea of holding the body of a dead person might just be too much for many people, and yet, for me, it was one of the most beautiful and honest moments of my whole life. There was a depth of love, forgiveness and emotional intimacy that still gives me solace in my darker hours.

 

I held my mother-in-law’s hand as she passed over onto her adventures Spiritside. My same hands have had the pleasure of raising two daughters and sharing countless walks together. They’ve caressed my granddaughter’s beautiful face. They’ve cooked meals for friends, family and strangers. My hands have tended gardens, a place where they are always happy.

 

 

 

They have received a wedding ring and a vow renewal ring. I also wear my mother’s wedding ring.

 

My hands allow me to open the pages of a book ~ one of my favourite things to do is read. Turning the pages becomes a meditative practice. These same hands allow me to express my thoughts and feelings through writing books. For some reason, I’m able to type as quick as I think. My hands are intricately and intimately connected to my thought processes.

 

It is with my hands that I hold a pen to craft words on the weekly cards I send to my mother in Tasmania. These same hands open the cards she sends to me.

 

Self love, self care, self nurture ~ call it what you will ~ are aided by my able hands: plucking a cinnamon, cardamom and ginger teabag from the box so I can steep some spices in boiling water. Picking up my toothbrush, lathering my skin with rose and geranium soap, washing my hair with rosemary shampoo ~ they all require my hands.

 

Choosing the clothes I’ll wear, lighting a stick of Nag Champa incense, inserting a CD of favourite music, opening the window for fresh air, picking a bouquet of flowers, tying my shoelaces (double knots ~ learnt the hard way) so I can go for a run….all this care, all this tending to my needs, is done because my hands are my tools, yes, but they are my reliable friends. Always ready. Always able. I am so grateful!

 

From the youngest age, I was witness to my mother’s hands as she weaved her way consciously through each day, beginning with her morning yoga and meditation, then squeezing a fresh orange juice for her brood of kidlings. Mum fashioned a life of creativity and pleasure: nurturing a thriving garden, sewing clothes and rag dolls, building forts and castles from wood, baking cakes and cooking soup, and playing me her mouth organ or mandolin as I fell asleep at night. Her hands would nurture me by massaging my back or bringing me rosehip and hibiscus tea if I wasn’t feeling well. At night, we’d often sleep outside under the stars. My hand slipped inside hers as we drifted off to dreamland.

 

In my lifetime, these hands have played instruments: ukulele, panpipes, button accordion, piano and cello. Not well, but they’ve tried! My hands allow me to experience the world, whether it’s through driving a car, touching a tree, holding my loved one’s hand, baking a cake, gathering wood for a fire, washing my hair, bringing food to my mouth, and as much as anything, I use my hands to talk! Fun fact: I don’t think I could actually speak if my hands were tied up!

 

I once wrote a song called Grandmother’s Hands. (My mother’s mother’s hands look so similar to mine). Although we never met, I ‘see’ her whenever I look down upon my hands.

 

I have welcomed the hands of others upon my skin: reflexology, aromatherapy massage, Indian head massage, sports therapy massage, the clasp of a child’s hand, the touch of a lover, my mother’s sweet hands, standing in a circle holding hands with others in ceremony, celebration or silence, shaking hands in a business meeting, my hairdresser washing and cutting my hair, and helping another through a tough time in their life and symbolically holding hands.

 

 

Some people don’t have hands, either by birth or accident. Their way of expressing and receiving love needs to be channelled in other ways. The body adapts. It finds ways to say what would otherwise be shared through the hands.

 

Hands can hurt or hands can heal. They can’t do both at the same time. Like our words, we have a choice every day as to whether they will be a ballistic force or a beautiful balm.

Hands are not for hitting, and yet for many people hands are not the bearers of love but weapons of cruelty and torture. They bring pain, shame and humiliation, and fear. If that has been our experience, we may never expect that it could be any different for us. A hand of kindness reaching our way may cause us to flinch, to step back, to run away. Only time and trust will tell if a person can open up to new ways of being.

There’s a funny gadget on the market called a fidget spinner. It’s for people who can’t keep their hands still. The thought of such a thing actually makes me feel rather ill. For me, the hands contain vast amounts of energy. Rather than fidget, it comes naturally to me to simply bring my hands together, in prayer or clasp mode, and allow the energy I’m feeling to continue flowing through my body (to re-energise me), rather than to be frenetically dispersed into an inanimate object.

 

As a celebrant, I use my hands to greet mourners, welcome a couple or family, meet guests, hold my ceremony script, scatter rose petals, gather flowers or herbs for rituals, warm the rings and thread a twig of rosemary through them, create a sacred altar, tie a handfasting knot, lift a Quaich for the couple to drink, offer Welsh spoons or sprinkle fairy dust. There are many ways my hands are essential to my work. They are always used with love.

 

 

We make a toast to the happy couple using our hands to hold a glass and tilt it to another person. Chink! We applaud by clapping.

 

Hands. How do you use yours? Do they express themselves primarily through love or fear?

 

Think of those you love most in the world. Take a moment, if you will, and ponder this thought: if you had only this one day left on Earth to tell your lover (or other loved one) how you felt about them using only your hands, how would you do so?

 

Naked and Natural

 

Bury me deep. Wrap me in natural cloth. It’s a simple request, and I trust that any loved one who survives me will honour my choice to be laid to rest in the womb of Mother Earth’s cool, dark soil.

Naked. Natural. Simple.

 

As people start to become aware of the choices available at death, so too the conversation must turn to not only what is right for the deceased but what is right for those left behind, including the planet.

Not only am I a huge advocate of family-led and DIY funerals, I’m also keen to educate people about the choices available, including wrapping the deceased in a shroud (any natural cloth).

 

It saddened me enormously, quite recently, to hear of one family enquiring about a shroud with their funeral director only to be told “but what will people think if they see that when the hearse goes through town!” Not only was it unprofessional of the funeral director in question, it also showed ignorance, disrespect and potential discrimination. It also, to my mind, spoke volumes about the funeral director being worried that their business might be seen as catering to ‘paupers’ rather than clients who’d be spending thousands to dispose of their loved one’s body.

 

The law requires that the deceased’s body be covered when transported in public. It does not state how this should be done.

 

Thinking outside the (coffin) box means that we should be asking ourselves WHY we do certain things. Why do we spend hundreds of pounds to ‘hide’ the outline of a loved one’s body? Why do we spend money on fancy cars to take us from one side of town to the other? Why do we give the job of caring for our loved one’s body to someone else?

 

We do it, for the most part, because we don’t know we have a choice.

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YES

 

 

 

 

Sometimes the smallest words, like ‘yes’ and ‘love’, have the biggest, most life-changing meanings.

 

Yes is an open door. It says “I’m going through”, unlike no which says “Go no further. No exit. Stop. No entry. THE END.”

 

Such different energies. Such different life paths.

 

 

Every day our lives are based on yes and no. Every single day.

 

Are you aware of how many times you’ve said yes today? How about no? Do you even hear yourself saying them? Every single time we say them, we are moving in one direction or another.

 

As a wedding celebrant, I meet couples because someone has said “yes!” Someone has said “I want to walk through that door with you.”

Weddings are joyous occasions, and are such a delight to be part of. And for me, always an honour.

 

When my couples and I agree to work together, one of the things that happens is that I take the time to get to know them so that I can tell their love story. After all, I want their ceremony to be unique to them.

 

This working relationship begins by asking them a series of questions. They have plenty of time (usually) to answer these, but I ask that they send me their answers independently without sharing them with their partner (though obviously they’ll see what their beloved has written when I send the script back).

 

It is quite a process. I’m not, by any means, a marriage counsellor. I’m a celebrant. However, I do take my role seriously. Some of my clients really revel in answering the questions and truly ‘get’ the process. Others get quite stuck. Why? Because one of the first questions I ask is “Why are you getting married?”

 

You’d be amazed how difficult that question is for some people to answer.

 

The question and answer process makes couples think. And, from my perspective, I learn a huge amount by how much thought and care goes into the answers.

 

I’ve been officiating weddings since 1995. One of my first weddings was for a young couple with a baby daughter. When I asked my question/s, his reply was that he was marrying her because “she had great legs!” Maybe I’m just a bit too serious for my own good, but even then (in my mid twenties), I’d have hoped for a more solid answer. To my incredible sadness, not long after their wedding, he committed suicide. The relationship wasn’t as he had hoped. It still haunts me.

 

My job isn’t, at any level, to say whether a couple should or shouldn’t get married. My job is to celebrate their love, their love story, and wish them all the best for a wonderful future. To honour their YES.

 

 

I hope, when couples go through the process of answering my questions, that they truly understand what the journey of marriage is about (you know, other than asking each other what you want for dinner every day for years on end!).

Marriage is a dance. What happens if we have two left feet? What happens if each person hears a different tune? What if one person loves to dance, and the other is a wallflower? Could it be that you love bellydancing and he loves rock ‘n’ roll?

What if one person has a free spirit and the other needs routine? Can an introvert and extrovert co-exist? So many questions!

Marriage is a constant course in personal growth. We are invited, daily, to learn more about ourselves. It is about give and take. It is about we and us. Me and you. Indeed, it is a balancing act that no one can ever tutor you in. Looking into the mirror of relationship means we are always receiving feedback about who we are, and what we expect. What do we project onto our partner? How much do we expect them to fill certain needs?

 

Sometimes people start out on the same page (like my parents), and then as the years roll on, one of them changes. And they keep changing until eventually there is too much distance to keep them under the same roof.

 

But this is a ‘yes’, too. When we say ‘no’ to another, we are saying ‘yes’ to ourselves. The door to self awareness is the first door we should walk through.

 

Yes. It’s a beautiful word. Life affirming. Encouraging. It’s an invitation to something better. Maybe it’s someone holding your hand inviting you to somewhere you’ve never been before.

 

Perhaps, when crafting vows for couples to answer, we, as celebrants, would serve them best if we asked questions in such a way as to see if the answer is ‘yes’ rather than “I will” or “I do”.

 

Yes, for as long as love shall last.

Yes, for better or worse.

Yes, in sickness and health.

Yes, because in that moment, when we’re wrapped in the power of love, we truly believe we can step through the door into a future together.

 

Yes.

 

Yes.

 

Yes!

 

Three simple letters.

One word.

One syllable.

It says “I want to walk through the door…”

 

More importantly, it speaks of hope. And in this life, hope is something we all need.

 

One-to-One Celebrant Training in Cumbria

I am now offering the option of one-to-one celebrant training for those who either can’t make the dates of our Heart-led Ceremonies Celebrant Training courses or want the flexibility of learning at a time to suit.

 

 

 

All the details of the course that are on my website, still apply, apart from the dates, fee, meals, and venue.

One-to-one training will include 20 hours of face-to-face time with myself and Paul (for the voice-work component), and the option of shadowing me on a few ceremonies. You will, upon successful completion, be able to join our closed Facebook group for Heart-led Ceremonies graduates where you will have ongoing support. The fee also includes follow-up mentoring by Skype.

The fee is £500.

A list of local accommodation options, if you’re coming from out of the county, include:

Lavender Cottage B&B in Melmerby

http://www.lavendercottage.co.uk/

Bed & Breakfast
www.scalehousefarm.com (3 miles from Glassonby)

Caravans, tents, camping, bunk barns
(1 mile from Glassonby) www.edenvalleycaravansite.co.uk

Featherstone Arms, Kirkoswald

 

For details of the training, visit http://www.veronikarobinson.com/celebrant-training

 

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Surrendering to the Season

 

Autumn begins weaving herself, and me, towards Winter. I drag my heels determinedly against the prospect of months and months of ice cold weather. And yet, those annual mists and mellow fruitfulness lull me with their charms. Foolish me, I whisper. Deep inside, though, I know the truth. The energies of this season serve to remind me to balance the light and the dark. As ever, my deepest nurturing comes in the silence. I take myself into that delightful realm of intentional solitude.

 

 

My evening walks through fields, woodlands, up lanes, to the stone circle, and across the ancient cemetery beckon me to welcome the inner dark. Endarkenment, surely, is just as essential as enlightenment? The rich earthiness of fallow fields speaks to me of the growth which emerges from the dark.

 

 

 

The cave of Winter taunts me, and my bones ache in anticipation of the cold, but I know, if I try, that I can step, gracefully, deep into the essence of what it means to live authentically in this world of dilemma. Autumn is here to teach me, gently, about death. What do I need to let go of in my life? These are questions for all of us, of course.

It isn’t random that we have seasons. Metaphysically, they speak to us of change. As we become more attuned to the cycles, we come to understand our inner self more.

 

 

The abundance of the harvest season amplifies the gratitude I hold deep within. Golden leaves flutter before me, symbolic of just how generous an act ‘letting go’ can be. Silhouetted trees, their leaves now friskily flitting about upon the chilly breeze, are a reminder that nothing in life stays the same. Of course, we can’t hang onto the beauty of Autumn!  And perhaps, that is the whole point. The season of letting go serves to show us how beautiful it is to let ‘fade away’ anything that no longer serves us.

 

 

My walks are a gentle invitation to Mother Nature’s suggestion that we surely must die before we can be reborn. Conscious of change all around me, I take nurturing from the early sunsets which frame the sandstone church in the cemetery, and the smell of woodsmoke on the air.

Geese are on high, another reminder that times keep moving. With each rapidly passing day, I am reminded of my mortality. That I, too, shall die. My ego shouts ‘but there is so much left to live for’, and I agree (even if I’m not always certain what the point of life actually is). My inner alchemist just watches patiently, as always, knowing that no matter how much I forward plan and fill my diary, all I really have is this precious moment.

 

 

Wedding by the Waterfall

 

From the moment I opened my front door to them, I immediately warmed to Loz and Katie, and within minutes of our conversation I knew that I would absolutely love getting to know them more, and then being an intimate part of their wedding day.

 

A celebrant is often the last thing a couple will think of (if they even choose one at all) when planning their wedding, and yet isn’t the ceremony the most important part of the day?

 

Loz and Katie were clear about wanting their special, heart-felt, earth-based ceremony to be at a place they loved: a waterfall in the Swaledale Valley, Yorkshire.

 

As a celebrant who absolutely loves outdoor weddings, we were definitely a good match!

 

 

Planning their ceremony involved not only going to visit the site with them, and talking about how it would work (especially if the river was flooded like it was the first time I went!), but also getting to know their love story. This is my favourite part of being a wedding celebrant: “Where did you meet? When did you ‘know’?” I then take their stories and, as a storyteller, share this with their friends and family. It’s such a joy to hear and see people laughing, smiling, nodding, crying, and acknowledging the love they see before them. A celebrant-led wedding (with me, at least) means that each ceremony is bespoke, and there is no doubt for the guests just whose ceremony they’re attending.

 

Everything about Loz and Katie’s ceremony was simply lovely: them, as a couple, their friends and family, the music chosen, the readings, the handfasting, their vows, the special story behind Loz’s wedding ring, Katie’s AMAZING rainbow dress, that it was completely DIY from start to finish, the gorgeous location; and then, afterwards, my husband and I were invited to stay for the reception. It was a gorgeous day, and Loz’s dad and Katie’s son also provided entertainment. This is a ceremony which has embedded deeply into my heart for many, many reasons.

 

 

Thank you Loz and Katie for choosing me as your celebrant.

 

 

**A special thank you, too, to the hosts at Swaledale Yurts as the food was FANTASTIC!

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Could you be a Community Celebrant?

This year marks the 22nd anniversary of me being a celebrant. I’ve had the joy of officiating a wide variety of ceremonies across three countries.

In a few short weeks, September 16th and 17th, my husband Paul and I will be hosting our celebrant-training programme here in Cumbria. You can find more information here. www.veronikarobinson.com/celebrant-training

I am delighted to say that, due to popular demand, we will be running the course again on April 21st and 22nd 2018.

 

If you feel drawn to the vocation of heart-led celebrancy, do consider joining us. ~ Veronika & Paul

 

Winter Weddings in Cumbria

It might seem a little odd to blog about Winter Weddings just when I’m working on my Summer tan, but…

There’s a tendency to set wedding dates from Spring through to Autumn, but actually there are some really good reasons to choose a Winter wedding in Cumbria.

In no particular order:

A wedding is a time of joy, celebration and delight! Why not warm up Winter by choosing this time to say “I do”? Banish the grey gloom of Winter with one simple thing: a wedding date!

 

You can add a festive theme to your celebrations.

 

It’s beautiful and cosy indoors, and you can create a truly intimate setting for your special day with fairylights, open fires, and candlelight.

 

 

Being out of season, means you’ve got more chance of getting your first choice of venue, photographer, videographer, florist and CELEBRANT.

 

 

 

Think of all the lovely things about Winter: hot chocolate, woolly blankets, cosy lighting, comfort food. Incorporating these into your wedding day will make it a celebration like no other.

 

 

 

There are some absolutely FAB wedding venues in Cumbria, such as Askham Hall, the quirky ancient ruin Kirklinton Hall, and then there are places like any of those owned by Rowley Estates. And, best of all, if you choose a celebrant to create, write and officiate your wedding day, you can have it where you want, when you want, and how you want.

 

Celebrant Training: Creating Beautiful Ceremonies in your Community

In a few weeks from now, it will be the 22nd anniversary since I trained as a celebrant in beautiful New Zealand. I was in the early stages of pregnancy with my daughter, Beth, as I officiated my first wedding in a public garden in Auckland. I remember ceremonies from back then as clearly as I remember the wedding I officiated yesterday here in Cumbria.

 

 

Being a celebrant is a deeply rewarding vocation, and I would like to share that with others. This September shall see the first intake of students at Heart-led Ceremonies Celebrant Training.
This is a comprehensive and in-depth practical training course in creative, heart-led, authentic celebrancy. You will learn to create, write and officiate all types of ceremonies with confidence.

 

If you’d love to learn more, keep reading! Love, Veronika xx

 

16th and 17th September, 2017
Glassonby, near Penrith, Cumbria

7.30am to 8.30pm both days

Places strictly limited.

Applicants
Applications are invited from people who are committed to developing awareness of self and others, willing to train to an excellent level, are creative, independent, inspirational, authentic and courageous, and wish to consciously create beautiful ceremonies in their community.
Unlike any other training course in England, this focuses on the importance of personal development, and takes a mind, body and soul approach to celebrancy and ceremonies, as well as recognising the importance of ongoing skill building.

 

The foundation of this celebrant training is based on integrity and self-awareness.

 

 

Facilitators
Veronika Robinson is a professionally trained and experienced full-time celebrant. She trained in New Zealand in 1995, where she was registered to officiate legal wedding ceremonies, and has been officiating ceremonies ever since. Veronika has had the privilege of officiating in New Zealand, Australia and England.

 

 

 

Veronika has officiated all manner of ceremonies, including weddings, handfastings, blessingways, namings, divorce healing, miscarriage memorial, conscious conception, funerals, memorials, Wise Crone, menarche, and house warmings.

 

 

She’s also an author (fiction and non-fiction), journalist, public speaker, workshop leader, psychological astrologer, and metaphysician. Veronika is delighted to be a celebrant for Gift of a Wedding, a charity which provides weddings for couples where one of them is terminally ill.

 

She is the founder and facilitator of Penrith’s first Death Café, A Meaningful Farewell, which seeks to open up honest discussion around death and dying.

 

Veronika is also a committee member for the Association of Independent Celebrants.

 

 

 

Paul Robinson has enjoyed a rich career as an actor, broadcaster, compere, voice over, ventriloquist, voice coach, singer and celebrant. He’s deeply passionate about self-development, and utilises the Enneagram of Personality Types as a path of personal growth. http://paulrobinsonproductions.co.uk/

 

Together, they combine skills to offer a one-of-a-kind training in heart-led, authentic celebrancy.

 

Celebrant Training fee
£650 (20% [£130] non-refundable deposit required upon booking). Balance due no later than August 16th. (You will easily recoup the cost of your course after officiating two or three ceremonies.)

This fee includes:
[] Two-day intensive and practical tuition on all aspects of celebrancy: 7.30am to 8.30pm both days
[] A copy of the book Heart-led Ceremonies (the art and soulful practice of creating, writing and officiating ceremonies) by Veronika and Paul Robinson. This complete guide to celebrancy is available exclusively through this training course.
[] Nourishing wholefood plant-based meals and refreshments (breakfast through to dinner, both days)
[] Two follow-up Skype sessions (or face to face in Cumbria)
[] Certificate (upon written completion of three ceremonies and presentations, and active participation in the training course)
[] Upon satisfactory completion of the course, participants are eligible to join the Association Of Independent Celebrants, and immediately receive professional and indemnity insurance for celebrancy work worldwide.
[] Extensive list of readings for all types of ceremonies
[] Extensive list of music for all types of ceremonies

 

This comprehensive course is set over a two-day weekend, and includes:
Learning to create and define space, both indoors and outdoors
What it means to ‘hold the space’
Setting intention
Understanding symbols and rituals
Crafting personalised ceremonies
Ceremonies: Blessingways, namings, weddings, funerals, memorials, housewarmings, etc.
Word Medicine
Voice work
Presentation
Body awareness
Skills of a celebrant
Qualities of a celebrant
Emotional quotient
The metaphysics of marketing yourself as a celebrant
Sacred connections: your ideal client
Care of the celebrant
The creative celebrant
The intuitive celebrant

Please note this is an interactive weekend, and all participants will be required to take part in role play, voice development, presentation, and video work.

Training Venue
We are pleased to host Heart-led Ceremonies Celebrant Training at Glassonby Old Hall, Glassonby, near Penrith, Cumbria CA10 1DU

This five-star luxury venue is a Grade II listed traditional Cumbrian long house. It has original features including old ship-timber oak beams, oak-mullion windows, flagged stone floors, open fires and stone staircases.

Glassonby Old Hall is on one of the higher hills in the Eden Valley with amazing views towards the Pennines.

Glassonby Hall has a galleried dining room with a massive stone fireplace, a sitting room with wood-burning cast-iron stove and a large breakfasting kitchen with four-oven Aga.

 

Local accommodation options:

Bed & Breakfast
www.scalehousefarm.com (3 miles from Glassonby)

Caravans, tents, camping, bunk barns
(1 mile from Glassonby) http://www.edenvalleycaravansite.co.uk

Glassonby Old Hall (why not stay on site?)

[] a four poster Master Bedroom suite
[] a twin bedroom
[] third double bedroom with a 5′ bed.

If you’re happy to share a bedroom, or share a bed with a partner or friend to share the cost, this can be arranged. Contact Veronika directly for prices, and to book (a 20% deposit required, and balance due no later than July 20th)

 

Celebrant Training Booking Form
If you wish to receive a booking form for the Heart-led Ceremonies Celebrant Training, please email:
veronikarobinson AT Hotmail DOT com (make sure you spell veronika with a k and not a c)

What makes a beautiful wedding ceremony?

 

You’re planning your wedding day.

Dress. Check.
Venue. Check.
Florist. Check.
Caterer. Check.
Invitations. Check.
Entertainment. Check.
Photographer/Videographer. Check.
Wedding planner. Check.
Rings. Check.

So much to do, right? But have you given any thought to your actual ceremony? Are you aware of the choices you have available to you in the UK? There are alternatives to having a church wedding or a registrar-led service. You can opt, instead, to do a ‘registration only’ at your local register office (no need for rings or vows), and then have the ceremony of your dreams with a chosen celebrant anywhere and at any time. You are not restricted if you choose a celebrant to create your wedding ceremony, and most importantly of all it will be written especially for you. A registrar does not write wedding ceremonies. To perform their ‘service’, they use a government-supplied script as a one-size-fits-all for all their marriages. Where’s the romance in that?

 

 

As an independent celebrant who creates personalised ceremonies especially for each couple, my job is to create beautiful experiences that you will long cherish. This means I take the time to get to know you (which can be in person or by Skype, depending on where you live), and learn about your love story. I visit the chosen venue to go through a rehearsal with you, too. A registrar doesn’t do these things.

 

 

So, for the same amount as you’d pay for a registrar to come to a hotel or other registered venue, you can have a unique and 100% personalised ceremony that will never be repeated. YOU choose the mood and feel of your ceremony, by your song/music choices, venue, readings, symbols/rituals, and together we work to create a ceremony that is all about you as a couple.

 

 

Ask any wedding planner in a registered hotel/venue what a registrar-led service is like, and if they’re honest, they’ll tell you this: they can repeat the script word for word because they’re all the same. So, is that really what you want for your wedding day? Whether you’re on a low-budget wedding or spending thousands, surely the ceremony (the heart of your wedding day) should reflect your love, your values and your hopes.

 

To me, personally and professionally, what makes a ceremony beautiful is when the authenticity of the couple’s love is given the space, word medicine and ritual to be openly expressed in front of their gathered friends and family. They have the freedom to be wholly themselves, and there is no restriction on this whether that is due to time, venue, script, symbolism or other. A beautiful wedding ceremony allows each person present to fully feel themselves standing in the shoes (or barefoot if in a meadow or on a beach!) of the bride and groom. It’s when the bride and groom feel safe to intimately share their deepest feelings about their loved one. They are held, energetically, within the love of their nearest and dearest, as they say their vows, take their rings or have their hands bound.

When all these things come together, that is when you will hear guests say: that was so beautiful.

 

Veronika Robinson is an independent celebrant in Cumbria. She loves officiating weddings, and remembers each one she officiates. Veronika has been officiating weddings and handfastings since 1995 when she lived in New Zealand. You can contact her at Ceremonies from the Heart www.veronikarobinson.com/celebrant #Cumbria #weddings #weddingsincumbra #cumbrianweddings