Wedding planning. Where to start?


As we’re heading towards the season of Christmas engagements, we’ve pulled together a few tips and advice on where to start with your wedding planning before you dive head first into the big world of weddings!

It’s so important that you consider all the options and get the day that you both want. Whether you have always dreamt about a garden wedding at home in marquee or tepee, a ceremony in lavender fields or woodlands, a unique country house or private estate our wedding ceremonies can help you make it happen.

Photography Opal Desires


Tip 1- Remember it’s YOUR day

When the reality has sunk in, you realise that you are actually getting married, you’ve stopped jumping up and down, you’ve rung your mum and best friend and changed your facebook status STOP right there. It’s time to think and get off on the right foot with some simple wedding planning tips that could make all the difference to the kind of wedding and experience you have.

  • Grab a wine, beer, coffee or tea, sit down together and think about how you want your day to feel, what you want it to say about you as a couple and what you want your guests to say about your day.
  • Then have a look on Pinterest and each set up a board of how you envisage your wedding, no peeping at each others until you’ve both finished!!
  • Then compare! Whether they are the similar of different it gives you a starting point and opens up the discussion on the when, where, how and who and how many.


Join us on Pinterest CelebrationW


Tip 2- Agree on a few date options

Most weddings are booked a year in advance due to venue availability. But it doesn’t have to be. As you are not restricted to licensed venues with our ceremonies, you have more flexibility and choice, so you don’t have to settle for sharing your  special day with another 3 brides!

  • Think about season- if you’re looking for an outdoor wedding in the UK they are usually between April and September (however if you were having a Papkata or tepee you wouldn’t know what the weather was doing outside and make lovely cosy winter venues).
  • Think about the day- Saturdays & Bank holidays in peak season are obviously the most popular but a lot of our couples make more of a weekend of it and have it on a Friday or Sunday.
  • Most couples have a set budget, how you allocate it it up to you, think about what is important to you and what will it your celebration unique and meaningful to you. If budget’s tight avoid high season and Saturdays and try to be selective on guest numbers.
  • Check availability with us Celebration Ceremonies & Weddings who can help guide you though the process and answer any questions you may have.

Photography By John Steel


Tip 3- Start thinking about “where”

Firstly you need to decide what you want from a venue within the boundaries of budget; but remember outdoor weddings do not necessarily mean cheap! At this stage in your wedding planning allow yourself to dream a little, write down what you both see in your head when you walk down the aisle it will help filter your options:

  • Keep, break or give a new take on tradition?
  • large or intimate affair?
  • street food, relaxed or formal dining?
  • does the venue fit with your style and “look and feel”
  • at home, indoor or outdoor?
  • gardens, open spaces, or boutique eco sites?
  • rural or urban?
  • local venue or wider search area?
  • blank canvas or support facilities?
  • bricks and mortar or marquee, tepee or Papkata?
  • guest accommodation or glamping village?

Then let you fingers and feet do the searching or ask us about our venue search.


Tip 4 Consider the following for an outdoor wedding or wedding at home:

Planning a blank canvas outdoor wedding or wedding at home is a bit more of a challenge and requires more planning and organisation. Think about how hands on or off you want to be or you want your friends and family to be, especially on the day.

  • think about having someone who knows the pitfalls and can help you find reliable and trustworthy suppliers who have the skills and experience to achieve your vision
  • on-the-day co-ordination is worth every penny to remove the stress from you and make sure everything runs tickety boo.
  • before booking an outdoor location make sure your marquee, tepee or Papkata company has visited the site
  • think about some of the practicalities of access, parking, health and safety, lighting and toilet facilities and electricity supplies
  • If you’re an outdoorsy kind of couple then a bit of rain won’t bother you in the slightest but you should always have a plan B, just in case.
  • make wedding wellies and umbrellas a design feature of your day should you need them
  • check availability of your photographer but remember to choose someone that that fits your style and embraces the weather come rain or shower to get the best memories of your day.

 Ash tree 2

Tip 5 Book the important bits:

1. Secure your ceremony writer & designer & conductor

2.Your Legal “ceremony” at your local register office it can be first thing on the day, the day before or any point before you wedding day- whether you choose to tell family & guests is entirely up to you

3.Your venue or site (and catering)

4. Your Marquee, Tepee or Papkata

5. Your on the day co-ordinator

6. Your Photographer


Step 6- Find THE dress!!!!

We’ll leave this up to you. Try lots on and have fun!


If you’re interested in our wedding ceremonies and would like a few more tips, drop Jan a line she’d love to hear about your plans and will send you our full guide.

Here at Celebration Ceremonies & Weddings specialise in writing, conducting and styling personal wedding ceremonies in gardens at home, at private in Estates, off the beaten track venues and outdoor locations across the UK. We are qualified and approved by Government training body Ofqual, Jan was one of the first five in the UK to qualify. For a full list of the services we offer and additional design services check out 

A cause for celebration- as featured in House Beautiful



HB FC 2  We were thrilled to be asked by House Beautiful to feature in their popular August 2013 issue. They loved our style and our dedication to creating, recording, sharing and celebrating memories.

Our own personal style is very much an eclectic mix of old and new, mixing contemporary modern pieces with other statement pieces that have special meaning to us whether that be family items, things collected on our travels, things designed by ourselves or my brother Matthew Lyndon Harrison an international ceramic designer or just beautiful objects.

Our first celebration and memory at the house, now also our HQ, was when my husband and I married there nine years ago.  Getting married at home, and outdoors was pretty unheard of  back then but we were adamant that we didn’t want a production line registrar led ceremony. I remember quite distinctly when we went to the Register office to complete the legal paperwork before our ceremony, dressed in jeans, the Registrar saying to us ” this is a solemn occasion”, I couldn’t help but think we had gone into the wrong room by mistake!

We wanted personal and unique. And it was. I wrote and styled our ceremony and marquee and added lots of little personal touches. We had a fabulous meal by Berties, a free bar and duke boxes. We didn’t even go for a first dance together, it wasn’t us, so instead I did a Greek dance while everyone clapped in circle- we would have smashed a few plates but European health & safety regulations have put an end to that! A few years later following the pitter patter of tiny feet we also held naming ceremonies for both our children again at home with family and friends to mark and celebrate their arrival.

This was my inspiration for helping others to have a personal ceremony and experience.

Our ceremonies & wedding business is soon to be complemented by our new social media platform go and have a peep of what’s to come very soon, it is our newest passion(and labour of love!).

Behind the scenes on the day of the photoshoot was such fun, I was joined by my friend and ex-colleague, make up artist  Shelly Dawson who kept me and the team entertained most of the day! Anyway, I hope you enjoy this little insight into where and how Celebration Ceremonies & Weddings and came about.

If you’d like us to make your day extra special, drop me a line. Would love to help.






Celebration Ceremonies & Weddings gets all Tipi at Green Directions



Pop in to our "pop up" event. Book your table today to experience the wow factor THIS WEEKEND ONLY. Make's a unique venue to Pop the question! We'll be there on Sunday for the wedding showcase.

Pop in to our “pop up” event. Book your table today to experience the wow factor THIS WEEKEND ONLY. Make’s a unique venue to Pop the question!
We’ll be there on Sunday for the wedding showcase.


This Sunday 30th June we are heading over to the fabulous Green Directions in Sheffield, an inspiring “green” boutique venue that we think is just perfect for a memorable wedding whatever the  season. It’s a ten acre farm with spectacular views of the peak district with top facilities powered by green technologies. They have teamed up with Totally Tipi and their wow factor teepees to creates a contemporary “pop up” wedding venue that is sure to make an impact on your guests. By nature this kind of wedding is for those couples who are looking for a stylish but less formal, more comfortable feel to it which makes it a perfect fit with our personal ceremonies.

For us it’s about each couple feeling that “this is us”, we start with a blank sheet and create the words, feelings and music that reflect who you are, what you’re about and what matters to you. We then turn this into your personal style and tone that can then be applied to the rest of your day. We know no two couples are the same so none of our ceremonies are either.

We were delighted to be invited to join in the fun and create a wedding ceremony style for you to see on the day. Our Summertime Memories inspiration above will give you a feel for what we have in store for you on Sunday. So excitied!


BarbecueCome and have a very civilised day,  enjoy the barbecue and meet our other fabulous wedding partners to discuss your plans. Sounds like a perfect Sunday outing!

If you want to experience what it feels like to dine in one these amazing Teepees or even “pop the question” in a unique place then you can book a table at the “Pop up” Restaurant on Friday 28th June evening, Saturday lunchtime, Saturday evening, Sunday lunch or Sunday evening barbecue. Menu’s and  food created by Barretts one of the top ten restaurants in Sheffield. Call 07456 555 240 or email

Look forward to meeting you.





Summertime images credit & thanks to :

Choose Cake

Wedding dresses on pinterest

Little Dreamer on Etsy

Beach huts on pinterest

Umbrella on Etsy