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

Tying the Knot: Handfastings in Cumbria

Have you ever wondered where the expression “to tie the knot” comes from? It has its origins in the ancient Celtic ritual of handfasting.

“Marian and Dave’s handfasting in Cumbria”

 

 

As an independent celebrant, more and more of my clients wish to include handfasting as part of their ceremony rituals. It’s a beautiful yet simple symbolism and is as old as the first couple who ever ‘tied the knot’, and as recent as the one I’m officiating. It symbolises marriage vows, and can be done instead of, or as well as, the exchange of wedding rings.

 

 

“My celebrant basket with handfasting cord, candles, bells, Celtic love knot, feathers, moss, water, ceremony script”

 

 

Handfasting represents the commitment of an intimate partnership.
From Old Norse: hand-festa, which means to strike a bargain by joining hands. The notion of a handshake comes from the old tradition of hand fasting; and even today, let’s shake on it, can represent a vow of sorts.

When I bind a couple’s hands together, I remind them their lives and spirits are held by the symbol of a knot.

 

 

They may choose to make the cord themselves, or with the help of family and friends, or if they prefer, I can make it for them from their favourite colours or in colours to match the theme of the wedding. Because the cord is as unique as the couple it can be made from pretty much anything. It can be from the most luxurious of ribbons or from farmer’s baling twine. Whatever it’s made from, it is the intent that’s important. Regardless of what it’s made from, it contains all the hopes and wishes of the friends and family who have gathered to witness the marriage.

 

“Sara and Michael tying the knot”

 

Some couples choose to have the knot in place just for the ceremony, while others like to keep the knot in the cord permanently and simply slip their hands out of it near the end of the ceremony.

 

“Officiating Dave and Marian’s beautiful wedding ceremony in a meadow by a babbling brook” #Cumbrianweddings

 

Either way, I finish with the words: “May this knot remain tied for as long as love shall last.”
Some couples like to have this traditional handfasting prayer included in their ceremony. It’s called The Hands of the Couple.

“Above you are stars, and below you is earth. Like stars, your love should be a constant source of light, and like the earth, a firm foundation from which to grow.

May these hands be blessed this day.
May this cord draw your hands together in love, never to be used in anger.

May the vows you have spoken never grow bitter in your mouths.

May they build a relationship founded in love, and rich in caring. May these hands be healer, protector, shelter, and guide for each other”.

Veronika Robinson is an independent celebrant who is available to officiate wedding ceremonies throughout Cumbria. She adores watching couples come together before friends and family to declare their love, and has been officiating ceremonies since 1995. www.veronikarobinson.com/celebrant 

 

“Michael and Sara flew from Australia to Cumbria for their destination wedding which I had the honour of officiating.”