Weddings, Civil Partnership, Renewal of Vows & Commitments
Will we be legally married if we have an independent civil celebrant-led wedding?
In short, no (although watch this space!).  Currently, a wedding or civil partnership ceremony conducted by an independent celebrant has no legal standing in England and Wales. However, what many couples who want the freedom to choose to decide to do is to attend a short, formal service at a local registry office to take care of this legal aspect.  This can be done either before, or after, the wedding ceremony itself.  This process is not costly, approximately £50, requires two witnesses, and can be arranged with your local council.  No dressing-up required!  This then leaves you entirely free for the most important part – what and how you want your friends and family to witness when you ‘tie the knot’.  You can find more details here:  https://www.gov.uk/marriages-civil-partnerships

Will our guests know that the ceremony isn’t legal?
Not unless it is your wish to tell them!  If we get the content right then it’ll feel like it’s your ‘proper’ wedding both to you and to your guests too.

What’s the difference between a civil wedding ceremony conducted by a registrar and one conducted by an independent civil celebrant?
Unlike a registrar (who has to be ‘all things to all people’ and follow a legal script), or a Humanist (who won’t include anything spiritual or religious), an independent civil celebrant has no such limitations.  The wording of your vows (the most important bit!), all content, format, duration, style, participation of others, music, religious aspects (if required) etc. are all yours to control.  In short, anything you want can be facilitated (within reason and if it’s legal!).

Where can we have our wedding, civil partnership, renewal of vows or commitment ceremony?
With the permission of the owner of the land or venue – practically anywhere!

Can we meet you before deciding to book you?
Absolutely!  I want you to feel that I am the right celebrant to officiate on your big day so I would positively encourage you to contact me via the Email ‘envelope’ link on the home page or call me on 01244 649000 to arrange.  There is no charge for the initial meeting within fifty miles of Chester or if it is conducted via the internet.

If we want to book you how much notice do you need?
It’s your big day and I know you’ll have a date in mind pretty early on and the more notice I can have the better!  That being said, please contact me regardless of the time frame and if I’m available I’ll work very hard to facilitate your dream day.

What will it cost us for a wedding, civil partnership or commitment ceremony?
It’s always hard to talk about money but there is no fee charged for an initial consultation meeting held within a fifty-mile radius of Chester or via the internet or phone.  Fees for wedding, civil partnership and commitment ceremonies start from £695. 

What will it cost us for a renewal of vows ceremony?
There is no fee charged for an initial consultation meeting held within a fifty-mile radius of Chester or via the internet.  Renewal of vows ceremonies start from £500.

What’s included in the fee for your services?
All ceremonies are inclusive of unlimited communication with me via email or phone, access to inspirational resources, formulation of the ceremony, rehearsal (if required), exclusive attendance on the day of the ceremony itself (I will dedicate the day to you alone, so I’ll be with you for as long as required to ensure that everything goes smoothly), a presentation script, commemorative certificate and keepsake as standard. 

What about any extra costs?
The inclusion of numerous rituals within the ceremony may attract an additional small charge (dependent on the extent and nature of them).  In addition, although I am happy to travel, mileage at 45p per mile over fifty miles from Chester will normally be charged.  Accommodation, if required, will also be charged.

Are your fees negotiable?
I believe that I charge a reasonable fee for my professional skills, and it is therefore not possible to lessen this worth and devalue the services that I offer.


Celebration of Life, Funerals and Memorials

Where can we have our celebration of life, funeral or memorial ceremony?
Most celebration of life and funeral ceremonies (and burials) are organised through a funeral director and are conventionally conducted in a council-owned crematorium chapel and grounds.  Other alternatives are possible (such as at a family home, ‘green’ burial sites, at sea) and I am happy to discuss these with you. 
Memorial services (that can offer different emphases on the life of the deceased) can be held at a venue of your choice.

What does it cost for a celebration of life, funeral or memorial ceremony?
If I am engaged by a funeral director, they will include the celebrant’s fee in their invoice to you.  There is no fee charged for the home visit held within a twenty-mile radius of Chester or via the phone or internet.  Fees for celebration of life, funerals and memorial ceremonies start at £190.  I do not charge a fee for baby or child funerals. 

What is included in the fee?
All ceremony fees are inclusive of unlimited communication with me via email or phone, access to inspirational resources, formulation and conducting of the ceremony, and a presentation script as standard. 

Can we place sentimental items in the coffin?
This is certainly possible and is a special way to personalise the proceedings and bring comfort.

How long will the ceremony take?
Crematoria have allocated time slots for each ceremony and are usually thirty minutes.  All my ceremonies are scripted to ensure that they are conducted with dignity and respect within prescribed time frames.  ‘Double time slots’ can be booked in order to allow for more time.  The funeral director will be able to advise you on the availability of these.

I want to plan my own ceremony.  Can I do this?
Of course.  Doing so can actually help to alleviate the pressure and stress that is sometimes felt by your loved ones at the time of your passing.  I can work with you to put together a ceremony that reflects your wishes at any time.

We have already had a cremation service but want to scatter/inter the ashes. Is it possible for you to conduct a scattering of ashes/interment ceremony?
I can arrange to conduct a scattering or interment of ashes ceremony in any location (subject to the approvals of the owner of the land or venue).  Fees for this start from £50.


Namings & Milestone Events

How much does it cost for a naming or milestone event ceremony?
There is no fee charged for an initial consultation meeting held within fifty miles of Chester or via the internet or phone.  Fees for naming and milestone ceremonies start from £245. 

What’s included in the fee?
All ceremonies are inclusive of unlimited communication with me via email or phone, access to inspirational resources, formulation and conducting of the ceremony, a presentation script, commemorative certificate and keepsake as standard.  The inclusion of numerous rituals within the ceremony may attract an additional small charge (dependent on the extent and nature of them).


Pet Funerals

How much does it cost for a pet funeral ceremony?
There is no fee charged for an initial consultation meeting held within fifty miles of Chester or via the internet or phone.  Fees for pet funeral ceremonies start from £150. 

What’s included in the fee?
All ceremonies are inclusive of unlimited communication with me via email or phone, access to inspirational resources, formulation and conducting of the ceremony, a presentation script, commemorative certificate and keepsake as standard.  The inclusion of numerous rituals within the ceremony may attract an additional small charge (dependent on the extent and nature of them).


Additional Information, Terms & Conditions

Do I need to pay anything up front for a wedding, civil partnership, renewal of vows or commitment ceremony?
If you decide to retain my services, I will ask for a non-refundable deposit of 25% of the agreed fee on completion of the booking form with the balance paid thirty days prior to the ceremony.

What happens if we have to cancel our wedding, civil partnership, renewal of vows or commitment ceremony plans?
I sincerely hope that this won’t happen, but should you need to cancel my services this must be communicated in writing (with acknowledgement of receipt by me) and any deposit paid will be retained.  In addition, if cancellation is within 60 days of the ceremony a charge of 50% of the agreed final fee will be charged; within 30 days this rises to 75% of the final agreed fee.  In addition, any expense incurred in pre-booking accommodation and travel will also be added.  Let’s hope that this doesn’t happen!

What happens if you can’t conduct any ceremony for some reason?
In the unlikely event that I need to cancel due to circumstances beyond my control, I will contact you immediately.  As a member of the Fellowship of Independent Celebrants (FOIC) I have a network of fellow celebrants who can support most eventualities and cover on the day.  In addition, membership of the FOIC means I have professional indemnity insurance and public and products liability insurance cover.


Privacy Policy

How will you protect our information?
General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) compliance is taken very seriously by me.  I will only ask you for information pertinent to the planning and conducting of your ceremony.  It will not be shared with any third party without your prior written consent.  Any information held by me will be password-protected and encrypted.  Such information will be retained in this way for a period of one month after the ceremony has been completed and, provided all monies have been paid, will be removed from the system.
Included in my fee is a presentation script and commemorative certificate.  These documents will also be removed from the system so please ensure that you have what you need prior to one month of completion of the ceremony as they will not be able to be reproduced.

What about publicity?
It’s always great to receive feedback.  It’s also fabulous to receive or take photographs of the ceremony and day itself.  I’d love to be able to share both of these elements on either my website or social media for others to enjoy.  As I respect your privacy, I shall not do so without your written consent (as indicated on the booking form).  Professional photographers, if used, will be approached separately for consent should their images be requested. 

Updated 23/09/2021
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