Are you looking for something that’s more than a job? Perhaps in your heart you know you’re looking for a vocation.
Training to be a heart-led celebrant may be the course that will change your life.
As a celebrant, I always look forward to going to work whether it’s to officiate a joyous wedding ceremony, holding the space for a family and their friends while they grieve a loved one, celebrating the giving of a name (to a child or adult), or officiating other rites of passage such as a blessingway, menarche, and so on.
My ‘office’ is varied. One day I may officiate in a chapel, and another day it’s in a wildflower meadow. Some ceremonies are conducted in ancient stone circles, while others are held in barns. No two ceremonies are the same in location, wording or style.
Long gone are the days when you ‘had’ to get married before you had a baby. Shot gun weddings were designed to cover up ‘mistakes’. Such silly rules humans make for themselves.
Yesterday a friend shared his wonderful engagement news. It made my husband and I so happy. That he has two sons from this loving relationship already, simply added to our joy. It also reminded me of my own wedding two decades ago. I was a breastfeeding bride, with a bonny 10-month-old baby girl. She accompanied her father and I as we walked up the aisle together of that wee chapel the day after my 29th birthday.
Although we have it in our cultural mind that the wedding day is about the bride and groom, for many couples tied in with their plans for married life is the hope, the promise, the dream of having a family. Could it be that their unborn children are already there, with them, energetically moving them forward to the time when they’ll arrive Earthside?
For those couples who arrive at their wedding day already with a child or children, these living, moving, breathing beings are a testament to the power of love, creation and joy. There’s such a beautiful power and depth that already having a family brings to a wedding day.
Having a child or children at a wedding expands the sense of love that is present. And this is true whether the child is our own or will become our ‘step’ child. Love is love is love.
Just as children are both witnesses and participants to our love as a couple, so too can they be both of these things at our wedding ceremony. There are countless beautiful ways to have children actively involved that go beyond carrying the rings or flowers.
It was your love that brought your child into this beautiful world, and it is love that brings you to your wedding day. The simple truth is: you can’t have too much love!
Veronika Robinson is an independent celebrant living in rural Cumbria. She’s been officiating ceremonies since 1995 (when she felt the first fluttery kicks of her baby daughter growing steadily inside her). Veronika creates, writes and officiates blessingways, naming, weddings, handfastings, funerals and memorials. www.veronikarobinson.com/celebrant
https://veronikarobinson.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/pro1036-1.jpg20163040Veronika Sophia Robinsonhttps://veronikarobinson.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/logo-1.pngVeronika Sophia Robinson2017-03-14 17:59:042017-09-07 18:02:36First came baby, then came the wedding
I wonder how often a bride and groom ask themselves: why am I getting married?
Yes, the obvious answer is because you love each other and want to make a formal commitment to your relationship. So, why then, do so few couples give much thought to the actual ceremony and its content when getting married? Thousands of pounds (or dollars) are typically spent on weddings: the dress, hair & make-up, tuxedos, bridesmaids’ dresses and shoes, flowers, cake, venue, catering, music & entertainment, invitations, rings, photographer or videographer… Actually, the list can be endless.
Last Sunday I was at a wedding fayre to promote my business as an independent celebrant in Cumbria: Ceremonies from the Heart.
During the afternoon, the local marriage registrar came up to me and said “I just wanted to come and meet the competition.” If she’d said it jokingly or with humour, I probably wouldn’t be writing this blog today. I was quick to point out that I was not competition of any description. But, even if I was, surely the world is big enough for everyone’s dreams and talents?
I did wonder: is that really how the majority of registrars in England see independent celebrants? I’m baffled as to why. We’re not competition on any level. If someone is planning to become married they either need to have a church wedding or go to the registrar for it to be considered ‘legal’. A celebrant is not a ‘necessity’ to getting married. Some may even think it’s a waste of time and money.
Here is why I feel an independent celebrant is the most important investment you can make in your wedding day. It comes back to the question I asked earlier: why are you getting married?
Last year my husband and I renewed our vows in honour of our twenty years together. Although I wrote the ceremony myself, when choosing the celebrant I was clear about three things: I wanted someone with a lovely speaking voice; someone who was comfortable speaking in front of people; and most importantly of all (for me), I wanted someone who believed in love and was a living example of a positive and happy marriage. Talk about narrow down the choices! However, on an energetic level, this felt vital to the celebration.
As we planned our day, the heart of the celebration at all times rested on the actual ceremony: the words and their meaning, the readings our friends would share, the songs which would be sung, the rituals to be included, and the witnessing of our vows by friends and family. There’s no question that the celebration afterwards was wonderful, but what we took away was that small window of time when we shared our love with those people who are closest to us.
On our wedding day, we were blessed to have our ceremony officiated by the lady who trained me to be a celebrant a year earlier.
Long Meg Druids’ Circle
Having an independent celebrant allows you to create the ceremony of your dreams: one which represents your relationship, your love and your hopes. A church wedding, while it can be beautiful, is based on a script focussed on religion rather than the couple’s love. Why can’t it include both? Celebrant-led ceremonies can be infused with your love for the divine and your love for a human.
A blustery day: Green Bay, Auckland, New Zealand.
A registrar’s service is not religious, but at the same time it allows no room for those who would like to include what is meaningful to them, whether that is religious, spiritual, holistic, humorous or other.
When I work with clients, I listen to their stories and create a ceremony based on what is important to them individually and as a couple. There is complete freedom in terms of the length of the ceremony, the location, the readings, the music, the vows, the rituals and symbols, and of course, the script I write forms the foundation of their ceremony.
THIS is what
friends and family
who witness your ceremony
In their hearts, what they’ll take away from a wedding day is how they felt when they were included in what can be a truly beautiful, personal and intimate ceremony. I believe a wedding day is, first and foremost, about the couple, but it’s also an opportunity for everyone involved to have their heart opened a little more. Hearts are opened when we can resonate with the beauty and meaning we feel within the carefully chosen words.
On a personal level, one of my core values in life is: beauty. When I look around this world, I choose to see beauty.
On a professional level, as a celebrant, my goal is to infuse beauty into each ceremony I write. This is my gift. This is my passion. That I have loved a man so deeply and profoundly for more than twenty years means that I understand what it is to enter into a lifelong commitment, and what it takes to walk that path. And I hope, as your wedding dress goes back onto the coat hanger after your wedding day, and those gorgeous flowers eventually wither away, that the ceremony of love that was created from my heart, to honour the two hearts of the couple I’ve married, lives on and on and on.
Veronika Robinson has been a marriage celebrant since 1995. She was trained through Unity Church, Auckland, New Zealand, and was registered to perform legal ceremonies in New Zealand with New Thought Ministries. She is available throughout Cumbria to create, write and officiate weddings, handfastings, same-sex unions, vow renewals, funerals & memorials, blessingways, namings and other rites of passage. She is a registered member of the Association of Independent Celebrants, and a preferred supplier on Easy Weddings. www.veronikarobinson.com/celebrant