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Essex wedding celebrant Shelley Bell gives us her top tips for what to include in a celebrant-led ceremony...
It's great you've chosen a celebrant to lead your wedding, as it opens up your choices and enables you to be creative with the structure of your ceremony. However, this can be overwhelming when it comes to making decisions. A trained professional will be able to guide you through some ideas of what to include, and you can still incorporate traditional aspects such as exchanging vows and rings, the announcement of marriage and sealing the deal with a kiss, which always makes a great photo!
You might choose to include talented family members or friends. Someone could sing you into the ceremony, you may want fire jugglers to lead you out or a friend could read a poem. You could even ask a loved one to pay tribute to what they admire about your relationship. Celebrant ceremonies can involve the whole congregation. How about a ring-warming? This is where the wedding bands are passed around your guests for them to imbue them with good wishes. You could also have a giant handfasting – a demonstration of unity and community.
My advice would be to start with your celebrant. Research the training and experiences of professionals in your area, then meet or Skype them for an informal chat to discuss ideas. If you feel your personalities suit and they understand what you're trying to achieve, then you can get to work on building the ceremony of your dreams.
Shelley Bell | Shelley Bell Independent Celebrant | www.shelleybell.co.uk