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The Celebrant magazine

 

The Celebrant magazine is here!

 

This invaluable and gorgeous full-fat resource for celebrants-in-training and working celebrants is edited and published by Cumbrian-based celebrant Veronika Robinson. A whopping 88 pages, each colourful issue is brimming with lively, intelligent, interesting and inspiring articles relevant to all aspects of ceremony and celebrancy.

 

Consider it your 24/7 CPD. This handy A5 publication is easy to read in the bathtub, while waiting for a train, in bed, or any other place where you’ve got some spare time and when you wish to be re-energised in your celebrant role.

 

 

The Celebrant is a subscription-only print publication available worldwide.

 

 

 

The Celebrant: international journal of celebrants and ceremonies

 

ISSN 2632 – 9557

Subscribe here:  Celebrant Magazine

 

Publisher and editor: Veronika Robinson/Starflower Press

 

 

 

U.K. publication dates

 

September: Autumn Equinox

 

December: Winter Solstice

 

March: Spring Equinox

 

June: Summer Solstice

 

 

 

The Celebrant magazine warmly welcomes submissions from celebrants around the globe. Contact us for submission guidelines.

 

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The Bookends of Marriage

 

All marriages end. Whether by death, divorce or old-fashioned neglect, the rose-hued dreams we had for Happily Ever After become eroded in the passage of time. To love is to risk. Who here hasn’t gambled on love? And if we knew that someday it all would end, would we have taken even a single step in the direction of our dreams?

 

We’re just walking through life, minding our own business (although, increasingly, people are actively searching for love online), when slap bang onto our path walks someone who turns our head. Kapow! Gotcha! Whatever direction it was we thought we were walking in, suddenly changes. Our worlds collide, and in time we’re setting up home or having babies or travelling the world together. One thing’s for sure: when ‘the one’ comes along, most of us will tilt our world sideways to ensure longevity. Compromise after compromise after compromise. Afterall, why wouldn’t we want that wonderful feeling of love to last forever? (well, whatever ‘forever’ actually means in mortal terms)

 

The wedding industry is huge. As a wedding celebrant, my focus is purely on the ceremony and what I can bring to help a couple set the scene for their vows, promises and pledges. I bring my whole heart to this role, and in that wholeheartedness my deepest wish is that their intentions come to fruition.

 

 

But what of those at the other end of marriage? Where is the ‘industry’ (apart from greedy lawyers and divorce courts) or support systems to cushion those who find themselves walking out the other end of marriage – alone – their dreams crushed into the dust? Where are all the well wishers then? Why isn’t there a support team to help you move along with the next chapter/s of your life? Because it’s not pretty, that’s why!

 

When someone is widowed, sure, there’s the funeral, but what of the support for the person who is now living without the daily companionship of their beloved? The bottom line is that there is no one to fill that void. The loss of that vitality and life force that their loved one brought into their lives is akin to an earthquake. The landscape is forever changed. There are support groups for widows and widowers, but it seems to me that, as a culture, we simply don’t have the cushioning needed for this bookend.

And then there are people like myself who, for whatever reason, come to the end of what may well have been a long and happy marriage, and then find themselves separating. Not only does a marital separation of the couple ‘least likely to split’ terrify your friends and have them running in the opposite direction in case it somehow illuminates the fault lines in their own marriage, it also leads to people assuming the one who did the leaving is ‘ok’. The one who is ‘left behind’ is to be pitied and rallied around. It’s not surprising, really, given the litigious culture we live in. We’re virtually raised on the blame game from the get go.

I can hand on heart say, from my own experience, that grieving for a person who is still alive is even more painful that grieving for someone who is dead.

 

 

As a woman, wife, mother and celebrant, I have done enormous soul searching over the past 20 or so months since that first moment I became aware of the inner turmoil looming within me. It’s torn my heart in half over and over. If my husband had been a bad person, or had done something wrong, maybe this path I’ve walked might have been easier. I don’t know. All I know is that I’d irrevocably changed following my dearest friend’s suicide on Christmas Day 2016.

To those who ‘gossip’ that I’m okay and looking good, here’s the truth: I’m not! I just have an ability to know what my needs are and how to tend to my wounds in silence. Solitude is my healer. It always has been.

 

As a celebrant, I’ve offered divorce ceremonies right from the outset. People used to laugh and think I did it for ‘repeat’ business. That one day my wedding clients would come to me to be undone. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I am a hopeless romantic (the unpublished romance novels on my laptop are proof enough of that), and do still dream of happily ever after, if not for me, then for every other person walking this earth with that longing. I’m also realistic and know that humans are deeply complex. My own evolution is also teaching me constantly, and as a result my work has to evolve alongside my personal life. In the past, I’ve always felt strongly that a divorce ceremony should involve both parties. I now see that a Parting of the Ways ritual shouldn’t be denied to someone because their ex-spouse isn’t willing to take part or has blanked them.

 

Forgiveness doesn’t require the other person’s permission. To forgive is to free ourselves.

I am so grateful for the 23 years of stability, kindness, love, laughter and care (and the awesome daughters we raised together) that I enjoyed in my relationship. At no level of my being do I see our parting as a failure, though that doesn’t stop the pain of separation. Honouring the change of nature in our relationship is something, that to my mind, doesn’t require a piece of paper from the government.

Into the depths of the woods I shall enter, and true to my nature as a solitary practitioner of healing, I will allow the wisdom and wonder of Mother Nature to be the altar upon which I heal this bone-deep loss. I trust in her to allow my ‘ceremony for one’ to bring both of us a soothing balm that will echo through time and space and love. And maybe, just maybe, my intentions for peace, love, harmony and forgiveness will heal others, too.

“When words are inadequate, have a ritual.”

 

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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.

 

I Create Love

Love. It is essential to human happiness. But where does it come from? How do we grow it in our lives? Why do some people have an abundance of it, while others are deprived?

When I wrote my book, I Create My Day, I chose to include the twelve areas of human experience so that the reader could go about creating a full life based on intention, clarity and desire. Intimate relationships are an important area of human fulfilment. They help us to see ourselves. And they show us where we are ‘asleep’ and where and how we are ‘awake’.

The key to creating more love in your life is to see that it already exists within you. No one can give it to you if you don’t recognise it, and equally, no one can take it away. It is always there, though for many people it is shrouded beneath fear and layers of pain. We are, quite literally, a manifestation of love from the Unlimited Universe. What another human being can do, though, is show you how much love you allow to live within yourself.

To create a love-filled life, it is essential that we can feel what love is because otherwise we will sabotage every relationship we ever walk into. I am so grateful to all the men I’ve loved before because they were stepping stones to a relationship in which I would finally see my full self. What do I mean by that? Every relationship in our life is a mirror. We see our reflection in the face, arms, smile, heartbeat, habits, life views and love of another. When we ‘fall in love’, we are usually falling for an illusion. That is, we ‘hold up high’ what it is we like about the other person. Then reality sets in. Sometimes we don’t like what we see. But, blaming and shaming another is no better than throwing our hairbrush at the mirror because we’re having a bad hair day. It’s not the mirror’s fault! (It’s my dad’s fault for passing on hair with curls in the wrong places! ~ just kidding.) The mirror of relationship shows us who we are. If we don’t like what we see, we can go within and change our behaviour or inner irritant (or we can keep pointing our finger at what we don’t like in that person).

We can give thanks for this crash course in personal growth. But does someone’s annoying behaviour mean we have to lose sight of our true nature: to love? If we’re clear that what we’re seeing isn’t something huge within us, and that we’re ‘vibrating’ on an entirely different level, we might choose to walk away. I’m a firm believer in the saying: we become like the five people we hang out with the most. I’m incredibly choosy about who I spend my precious time with! I simply don’t want to spend my days with people who bitch, moan all the time, are unkind or critical.

I choose to be with people who vibrate at a level which seeks to see all that is beautiful, pleasurable and wonderful about this world. A rich and fulfilling life is one whereby we consciously choose what we want more of in our days. I choose love, beauty, abundance, fun, pleasure, creativity and kindness. How about you? What do you choose? What would you like more of?

If someone we’re intimate with has an annoying behaviour, we can let it irritate us and we may seethe, or we can speak up kindly and express how we feel by said behaviour, or we can rant, rave and shred that person to pieces. Whatever we do, it’s always a choice. The difficulty with the latter behaviour is that is quickly becomes a habit that destroys the heart and soul of an intimate relationship. To truly be close to someone, you need to feel ‘safe’. I’m not talking about ripping off your clothes and having a ‘shag’. Anyone can do that! By true intimacy, I mean baring your heart. Putting your feelings on the table with a purity and vulnerability that means you TRUST the other. That simply doesn’t happen unless you feel safe, and you’re not going to feel safe if someone is ready to shoot you down. Love allows you to feel safe.

Some people are under the false illusion that because a soulmate is someone you have an intense connection with, that can mean you might be inclined to fight all the time. But you love each other, so it’s ok! Not in my world. A soulmate would never tear their partner in half, or be spiteful, nasty, patronising or disinterested.

It’s often said that marriage is hard work. That has not been my experience in almost 22 years (next month) of living together. There are essentially two states of being: love or fear. A marriage which has two people choosing to love openheartedly and consciously, and choosing to do this every single day, is not hard work, and never will be. One which constantly brings fear-based behaviour is going to be hard labour (with no time off for good behaviour!). But you know, it doesn’t have to be like that. Egos cause more damage than a War Lord’s arsenal. Fear comes about in a relationship because we aren’t feeling the love. Where has it gone? Was it there in the first place? Or was it just lust that brought you together? Love doesn’t ‘die’. How can it? All another person can ever do is show you how much love is within you already. They can, by all means, help you to express that.

Love begins and ends with us. The quality, harmony and happiness of our intimate relationships is in direct proportion to our level of self-awareness, self-love, self-care and self-nurture. If we are unable to love and tend to our selves, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually, then we have no ‘well’ (or experience) from which to draw on in order to bring such care to another human being.

I often witness people in marriages where they are cruel and destructive (emotional and mental abuse is just as vile and unacceptable as physical abuse/violence), or allow themselves to be treated in this way. We only ever get in life what we tolerate.

Here’s the key: no one has a gun to our head. No one forces us to stay in relationships that don’t bring us to Higher Ground (in this culture, anyway). We choose it. Each day we stay with someone who doesn’t reflect the beauty, love and kindness within us, is a day of our life we’ve thrown away. It’s another day that we say: “It’s okay, I’m not loveable, treat me like shit. It’s okay not to respect me because I don’t respect and value myself.” Quite simply, we get what we put out. What’s in our heart is written on our forehead.

When we love another human being, we ALWAYS want the best for them. We instinctively and lovingly want to raise them up. It wouldn’t occur to us to be unkind or envious of their success or creativity or joy. When we make the choice to share our lives with a significant other, what we’re saying is: you are so important to me that I’m prepared to blend my life with yours, and I will do everything I can to support your dreams while honouring my own.

At the heart of a truly loving and harmonious relationship is: balance, peace, and fairness. In many ways, an intimate relationship is like a plant: it requires care. If you neglect to meet basic requirements, it will wither and die. Relationships, like humans, flourish and grow when given optimal care. It is our nature to reach for the light.

If it doesn’t come naturally to you to put the well-being of your ‘loved one’ first, then it would be worth looking deep within to see which part of you is malnourished (as well as looking at why you stay in the relationship). To create love in our lives, we must BE love. And that inner artesian basin of love with one’s self needs to be continually renewed with life-giving nutrients. Intimate relationships are wonderful learning grounds, and show us exactly how much we value ourselves (or not).

Marriage need not be a prison, but a way of life that is deeply liberating. It can be a place from which we are given a mirror that shows us our full beauty and capacity to love.

Love is a deeply creative force that brings forth life. You can’t bake a cake without ingredients. You can’t grow a relationship of joy, abundance, and kindness if you don’t use love to nourish the soil.

Veronika Robinson is an author and celebrant. She’s been officiating weddings for almost 22 years. www.veronikarobinson.com She absolutely loves being married, and is so grateful to enjoy every second of loving and being loved.

Domestic Bliss and the Feminist

It’s late at night, my feet are bare on the cool terracotta kitchen tiles, as my husband and I chat happily about various things. Debussy fills the air, lending a gentle tone to the evening. Leek and potato soup simmers on the stovetop. I’ll freeze batches of it for my daughter’s school lunches later. I wash the evening’s dishes, and pop the vegetable and fruit scraps of the day outside to the compost heap. I take a moment to enjoy the birdsong and twilight breeze before heading back to the kitchen to join my husband. He is tending to some jobs, and the scene of domestic bliss is one that makes my heart sing. It might bore the pants off some people, but I don’t care. For me, moments like this are amongst my favourite.

 

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My daughters would laugh if they could have seen me in the late 1980s, what with my killer high-heel shoes (what was I thinking?) and padded jackets. Don’t even start me on the permed hair. Ouch! Feminism was my middle name. I was all about career plans, and the rights of women. Power to the girl, and all that. Hello, I read Cosmo and Cleo magazines. But even then, I think I had a hunch that feminism was about so much more than equal pay!

I learnt about feminism at my mother’s feet, even though she was a stay-at-home mum for all her parenting years rather than a career chick. She was strong, feisty, followed her heart, and wasn’t bound by anyone’s rules. From her, I learnt that women could do anything. From my father, I learnt that it was important to believe in yourself. Pretty good grounding for life, really.

 

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Maybe, though, feminism was about learning to find my voice, too. Perhaps it was standing on my own two feet and not being treated shabbily. I didn’t have the impact of Germaine Greer, but in my own small way I created change that to this day has gone on to help others. In my early twenties, I was sacked from my job as a phlebotomist (the person who takes your blood [and gentlemen, your semen!]) in my local hospital. Why? What had I done wrong? My crime was daring to put in a formal complaint against my boss for sexually harassing me. He thought it was his God-given right to grope me and make lewd comments from 9 to 5. The general manager was sympathetic, but in the end said his hands were tied. It was easier to hire a new lab assistant than to hire a new scientist. Can you feel your inner feminist rising? Mine sure as hell did! As it turns out, at the time, for some odd reason, Queensland hospitals seemed to be exempt from any laws against their staff being sexually harassed. That is no longer the case after my time with the Ombudsman. This was never about me getting revenge, but about speaking up for women and for the underdog. It was about saying ‘wait a minute, we’re important too!’

 

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Several years later, when working as a media officer and author for the Royal New Zealand Society for the Protection of Animals, I became incensed by the many cruelties to animals in the name of ‘human food’. In particular, the fact that a battery hen spends her whole life in a space the size of a piece of A4 paper: denied her biological needs of sunshine, dust, and freedom of movement. My inner feminist began to boil. The way a culture treats animals is usually a fair indication of how it treats its women, too. My daughter Eliza thinks it’s pretty cool that I launched the Ban the Battery cage campaign. The highlight for me was when my boss, bless him, called me into his office because five ‘top’ men from the Egg Production Board were there. They wanted me to stop what I was doing. My campaign was hurting their lucrative industry. I was about 24 years old, standing in a room with men all aged 55 or older. It’s fair to say it was one of the more empowering moments of my life.

So, I stand here today, in my cosy cottage in rural Cumbria, a thousand years away from that young feisty girl, barefoot and content, but as much a feminist as ever.

 

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Feminism has meant that marriage for me is easy. I’m with a man wouldn’t dream of thinking I was anything ‘less than’. My husband is my greatest supporter. He’s the first person who’ll encourage me to sit and write an article or book before I do the vacuuming. You’re more likely to find my husband washing the dishes than me, and I am just as happy to put the rubbish and recycling on the kerb. I mow the lawn (though, in fairness, he has to start the thing for me), and he repairs clothes with his little sewing kit. My daughters find this endlessly amusing.

There are some feminists who’d see the scenes of my domestic harmony the antithesis of their rally cry, and yet…this is exactly what it’s all about. Equality is about looking into the mirror of a relationship and knowing the scales are fairly balanced. Surely the heart of feminism is harmony, whether it’s at work or home?

I enjoy cooking, and it’s fair to say that most of the meals in this house are generated by me. If, though, I was with someone who demanded a meal on the table at 6pm each night… Never mind, scrub that thought, I’d never have ended up with someone like that!

 

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Feminism, to me, is freedom. It’s not a fight. It really shouldn’t even be a cause. It’s had to be, of course, because, like battery hens, women have been treated shoddily for a good chunk of history.

Not all men are like that, of course. In my life, I’m blessed to know men who are thoughtful, kind, considerate, generous and fair. I guess it’s indicative of the journey I’ve been on in life, but every time I meet a man like this, I do a silent cheer.

What have I learnt after decades as a feminist? Feminism isn’t about what’s out there. It’s not even about changing the world. Sorry! Feminism isn’t actually about men and women, or worse: men v. women. It’s about loving yourself. To be a feminist means valuing yourself enough that you won’t tolerate any situation that doesn’t match your ideals and values, whether that’s in the way an animal is treated, or an employee, or how our planet is raped and pillaged. A true feminist is a woman who values herself enough to make lifestyle choices which honour who she really is, and what she loves to do: whether that’s having a career, or being a stay-at-home mum (or in my case, both); or being a humanitarian or anything else that makes her heart sing.

 

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So, to the young women coming along who think feminism is a fight. Stop. Put your weapons down. Instead, slip your shoes off and go for a walk on the grass. Look up the stars. Feel the rain on your skin. Recognise your place in this Universe. Love yourself unconditionally. Don’t buy into the cultural hype about what womanhood means. Be kind to yourself, and be gentle. Define your own values. Live a heart-centred life. After all, isn’t that what the feminine energy is all about? Listen to your heart. It has the answers. Inspire yourself, and you’ll inspire others, whether you’re at the kitchen sink or landing a multi-million pound deal. Being a feminist means being free to write your own script!

 

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Creating the life you were born to live

For the next couple of days I’m offering a 2-for-1 deal on my astrology readings. £75.00 (worth £150)

Simply book a one-hour session on my website, and receive a second reading free (for yourself, friend, family member). I record calls by phone Skype, and can do readings wherever you are in the world as long as you have an internet/Skype connection.

 

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https://www.veronikarobinson.com/astrologer/index.shtml

The readings need to be ordered by Monday night, UK time, but can be taken at a time to suit. Some people are choosing to have face-to-face readings with me at our family camp in August (in North Yorkshire). https://www.veronikarobinson.com/creativity-camp/index.shtml I can also do in-person sessions from my home in Cumbria (near Penrith).

 

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Spring is a wonderful time for an astrology reading. It’s when Nature reminds us that there is hope after the long dark Winter.

I’m not a doom-and-gloom astrologer. My goal is to inspire you to live to your potential, and to follow your soul’s calling. There is nothing to be fearful of when you entrust me to interpret your chart.

 

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Not sure if you think astrology is useful to you? Have a read of some testimonials on my website. Love, Veronika x

 

 

 

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Life Purpose

One of the biggest influences on my ability to find my life purpose, and walk my path with joy, has been understanding the astrological blueprint of the moment I was born.

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Astrology can help you understand yourself, your relationships, your learning style (and your child’s), as well as help identify the best type of home, love, and work/career for you. It allows healing to take place when you can name and identify core wounds, too.

Astrology is beneficial for issues around health, intimacy, sexuality, finance, studying, marriage, spirituality, and more. ~ Veronika xx

 

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Choosing a time of day to marry

There are so many decisions to make for your wedding day, but have you ever given any thought to the energies of the different times of day during which to ‘tie the knot’?

 

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Depending on your vision of where the ceremony and reception will take place, you may feel you don’t have much choice in terms of picking a suitable time of day. Maybe you need to allow time for people to travel to the venue, or for the hair and make-up artists to work on their beautification project. Or perhaps the venue makes the decision for you.

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The energies of the day mirror the seasonal energies.

Morning represents Springtime, and is ruled by Aries. It’s filled with the spirit of “let’s do this!” There’s a dynamic, powerful, and definite liveliness to morning. Think of the power and determination of all those Spring bulbs finding their way through the cold dark soil, and blessing us with their incredible beauty. They give us hope! And what of sunrise? How incredible is that energy? To marry at this time of day will infuse your marriage with a positive and energetic tone.

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How many brides do you know of who married in the early part of the day? I did!

 

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Over the years since that beautiful day in New Zealand two decades ago, I’ve often thought: “What was I thinking getting up so early to get my hair and make-up done?” In hindsight, I’m so grateful that I chose morning, and that by the time the ceremony was done we were able to celebrate with brunch.

 

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To marry in the middle of the day, when the Sun is high in the sky, represents Summer. It is infused with a mature energy. Astrologically, this is identified by the Mother archetype of Cancer. Your marriage may bring this theme into rather sharp focus. Make sure you’re not marrying your mother (just joking!).

 

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Late afternoon brings with it the energies of diplomatic Libra. We would assign the season of Autumn to this time of day. It is symbolic of a ‘gathering in’ sort of energy. A time for inner reflection. Given this energy, think about Autumn and what it means for you.

 

And what of night? To marry in the evening is symbolic of Winter: Energetically, it is Capricorn, ruled by Saturn. This is represented by storage and building our legacy. Saturn, when understood well, brings us discipline, structure and endurance. Perhaps these are energies you’d like to bring to the long-term nature of marriage.

 

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So, perhaps you’re clear on what time of day would be best for your marriage. If you’d like help deciding a great day, astrologically, for your marriage, then feel free to book an astrology reading with me. I can do readings which focus on your synastry (what each of you bring to the relationship) or to help choose a great wedding day. www.veronikarobinson.com

Veronika Robinson has been officiating ceremonies since 1995. She has a deep love of the sacred, and derives great joy from creating, writing and officiating ceremonies for people. She specialises in handfastings, but is equally at home conducting more formal weddings in five-star venues, as well as namings, home blessings, blessingways, vow renewals and funerals. Veronika officiates sacred and inspirational ceremonies throughout Cumbria, northern Lancashire and Southern Scotland, and is particularly fond of outdoor ceremonies. www.veronikarobinson.com/celebrant

WHY are you getting married?

 

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.

 

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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?

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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?

 

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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.

 

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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.

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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 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

will remember.

 

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.

 

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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

 

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