9th May Summer wedding songs, 1950s music and Vintage


Well, we were supposed to be celebrating the start of Summer, sunshine, vintage weddings and 1950s music; however, the weather today seems to have taken a turn for the worse but just like a wedding the ‘show’ must go on so we’ll carry on regardless!

Today’s 1950s song is for all you gorgeous vintage brides-to-be who love the styles of the mid 20th century.  It’s an era where ‘women looked like women’ celebrating their curves and hourglass shape. Vintage is a broad term that can be defined as representing high quality products, style and music of 1920s, 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. Whether your vintage wedding incorporates true vintage items and props or  just takes inspiration from that period, the vintage style his here to stay.  People will always be interested in and inspired by music and beautiful, old things.

Our chosen wedding song to walk down the aisle to is a beautiful 1950s song “A little bird told me” written by Harvey Oliver Brookes and American pianist and composer and sung by Evelyn Knight in 1947. Enjoy!

YouTube Preview Image

But if this particular wedding song doesn’t make your heart sing, come back tomorrow to hear a different one! If you missed yesterday’s wedding song  day 8 Woodland wedding songs from film themes have a listen, you never know it might be the one for you!

To get you in the mood for your vintage wedding check out this great 1920’s style wedding video it really captures the era well, you may even want to create something similar- the children in it are so sweet!

YouTube Preview Image

Our  wedding, civil partnerships and renewal of vows ceremonies are personal and meaningful. We want to bring out your personalities, what’s important to you and your stories and experiences. Music is a very personal thing that we link to people, events and feeling in our lives but if you need a little inspiration we’re here to help. We don’t just write and conduct ceremonies we can source all things beautiful and vintage and style your ceremony on the day. We can even create your stationary collection.

Oh by-the-way if you’re out and about in the area next weekend or visiting Bronte country don’t miss Howarth 1940’s weekend  18th-19th May-we’ll certainly be heading over -it just get’s bigger every year! And Shhh! Don’t tell as it’s all a bit hush, hush but… ‘The Secret Vintage Tea Party’ comes to the Haworth 1940s Weekend for the first time, on Saturday the 18th May at 7.30pm. The tea party is held in a secret location in the village, tickets are in advance with the top secret location being revealed via Facebook, Twitter and email just a few days before. How very modern!

There are so many small businesses to who make unique, handmade and vintage items so why not support these independent local traders and designers when you’re looking for something a little bit different? Now And Then Events showcase the very best in small business at their ‘Britain Does Vintage’ fairs  that ring true to the vintage values of quality of product and service. We were delighted to be invited to and attend their Ripon Does Vintage, earlier this year. Check out their calendar of events over the summer, you won’t be disappointed.


We  love these vintage napkin cuffs designed and made by The Original Cuff Company


And the vintage wedding dresses designed by The Little Bridal Company definitely worth a look. If you missed our blog 10 ceremony traditions to embrace, break or give a new take’- the dress they were featured in this blog.

If you would like to discuss how we could help you and your requirements for your big day then just drop Jan a line: ceremonies@janshillito.co.uk

Happy shopping, wedding planning and Summer everyone! The show goes on!

10 ceremony traditions to embrace, break or give a new take (No.2)


Over the next few weeks we’ll be blogging about different Ceremony traditions that you might want to embrace, break or give a fresh take. We’re onto our second tradition but if you’re a trend-setting bride you might want to catch up with our first one the white wedding dress – you may find that you have more in common with Queen Victoria than you ever thought! Anyway, here we go, tradition number 2:

Walking down the aisle- the procession

We have been unusually fortunate to have experienced three very different ceremonies all in one year; The Olympics opening ceremony, conceived and created by the amazingly creative Danny Boyle and led by the Greeks; the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee ceremonial procession; the Royal marriage of the Duke and Dutchess of Cambridge; all steeped in tradition, etiquette and british heritage.

The opening ceremony of the Olympics

        Soon it will be your turn!

But what traditional elements of the procession will you embrace, break or give a new take on?

Marriage in the legal or religious sense was not initially designed to be an expression of love as it is today, it was about the exchange of property from one man to another. A bride’s head of the family ‘gave’ their daughter away to another man and his family in exchange for a dowry ‘ a brides ‘bottom drawer’. Whilst it still exists in some cultures today generally the tradition is more about the sentiment, marrying for love’s sake rather than passing on ‘ownership’ or social politics.

Some brides find satisfaction and take comfort in following traditions and etiquette viewing the walking down the aisle to be ‘a rites of passage’. Others are not so comfortable incorporating a symbol of a patriarchal system.

Whatever your views, the procession indicates the start of the ceremony. Time stops for a moment as the audience awaits your entrance.

Your big day is here after so much planning and preparation, so take moment to imagine this moment.

You arrive at your venue a small private affair at your family home, a breathtaking private country estate, a spring flower garden or woodland, or a hidden gem of a venue; it’s the special place you have chosen to say your wedding vows to each other. This is the point where two individuals and two separate lives become one.

All your family, friends and guests await your entrance with baited breath. It’s one of the top moments in your life that you will look back on and remember for the rest of your life.

 This is big! (deep breath!)

But  how will YOU choose do it?

Will you walk down the aisle?

Who will walk you down the aisle?

 What will the aisle look like?

 How do you want this moment to feel?

Just imagine yourself stood there about to enter, will you embrace tradition, break tradition or give a new take on it?



The procession varies by religion and culture but generally speaking it follows a similar format:

The procession traditionally starts from the the brides home- but as this could be quite a walk, it has been shortened somewhat to an aisle walk.

Families and guests of the bride or groom are usually seated on the respective sides of the bride and groom at either side of the aisle.

The groom stands to the right of the alter so that he can ‘protect’ his betrothed bride from harm with his sword. He is ‘supported’ by his ‘best’ man for the job of making sure her family doesn’t try and take her back! They and the rest of the groomsmen all enter from the side or they can escort the bridesmaids down the aisle.

Bridesmaids enter alone or are escorted by the groomsmen- bridesmaids on the left.

Then we see the entrance of the maid of honour alone or she can be escorted by the best man.

Next comes the ring bearer followed by the flower girl(s) just before the bride.

Then it’s what everyone has been waiting for, the bride, who traditionally walks on her father’s left arm. Some however, prefer to walk on the right so that when she reaches the alter there is nothing between her and the groom.

Sound like your cup of tea? Or perhaps you want a more modern wedding ceremony entrance…..


If the idea of being handed from one man to another doesn’t sit too comfortably with you you might like to follow in the footsteps of Swedish or Romanian couples and walk down the aisle together as a more equal partnership.Your mother and father could announce the bride & groom’s arrival? Or make it more of a family affair where both sets of parents enter down aisle first and greet guests.

Or you could both walk down the aisle individually, the groom and then the bride?

The bond between mother and child is one of the strongest of relationships and one of the biggest influences in a daughter and son’s life. Mother’s traditionally were the ‘wedding planners and co-ordinators’  but as brides have become more independent they have taken on this role themselves or want more ‘objective‘ hired help.  Consequently mothers seem to have been given a more ‘silent role’. So why not give them a more active and public role  have you mother or both your parents walk you down the aisle?


Perhaps you would rather do it alone and not be ‘given away’ by anyone- this would have great impact?

What if you didn’t want an aisle, perhaps you don’t like the attention or want to do something more creative? You could both walk in from the side, or around the outside of where your guests are seated , arrange your seating differently or choreograph your entrance?

You may want to go the whole hog and have a walking wedding procession at your favourite beauty spot, special place or outdoor wedding location. You both lead your guests to where your ceremony will take place.

If you’re looking to break the tradition of a formal aisle and want some alternative inspiration check our page on pinterest

Sound more like you? Or maybe you’d rather  find a happy medium and …..

Give a fresh take?

Like most things in marriage it’s about give and take and compromise, so If you want have a more contemporary twist on tradition you could always meet half way?

Perhaps there isn’t a defined aisle if you are having an outdoor ceremony in a country estate but if there are two tiers of steps that meet in the middle, you could walk down from different sides then meet on the level and walk together the last steps holding hands?

We all know times have changed and relationships and families have changed; children don’t always come second, in fact cohabiting couples now amount to 5.9 million – increasing two-fold between 1996 and 2012. They are the fastest growing family type in the UK, with 39% of those cohabiting couples having children.  http://bit.ly/ZRpYnK

So if you’ve already got children, are getting married second time around or having a renewal of vows ceremony you may want to give a different twist where your boy(s) could walk down the aisle with their dad and the girl(s) could walk with their mum? Or your son could ‘give you away’?

The choice is yours!

A wedding is one of the biggest celebrations in life so whatever you decide your vision is, make sure  you make it your own. Do it your way!

With our Celebration Ceremonies there are no rules or etiquette, unless you want to of course! When planning your ceremony your qualified celebrant will start with a blank sheet of paper and help guide you through the options or incorporate new ideas so that you find what feels right for you.

We hope we have opened your eyes to just a few of the possibilities. If you would like us to help you do it ‘your way’ then drop Jan a line: ceremonies@janshillito.co.uk we love to be part of your special day.



Church Service or Civil Ceremony?



Church Service or Civil Ceremony?
Civil ceremonies accounted for 68 per cent of all marriages that took place in 2010, an increase from 64 per cent in 2000.
The number of civil ceremonies in 2010 was over 164,000, accounting for over two-thirds of all marriages.ONS

For the sixth consecutive year, there were fewer religious ceremonies than civil ceremonies in approved premises.
The Citizenship Survey (Department for Communities and Local Government (2009/10) found the number of people who declared themselves as Christians had fallen from 77 per cent in 2005 to 70 per cent in 2009-10. Over the same period, the numbers that say they have no religion rose from 15 per cent to 21 per cent.
Because of this the trend for a more contemporary and personal alternative is on the increase. Which is not surprising. After all, everyone is different, so it’s of no surprise that everyone thinks differently when it comes to his or her wedding. But what are the options available?
Nowadays you can get married in a lot of different places, and in a lot of different ways. This is where Celebration Weddings comes in – to help you get married your way.
Whether you are planning a wedding, a civil partnership or renewing your vows, we put your personality and style into your ceremony, we listen to you stories and put what you want to say to each other into words to make it the centre piece of your day – an experience that is unique and special for you, your family and guests.
Imagine holding your renewal of vows celebration in an English country garden – or even your own garden? Or how about saying “I do” in a romantic woodland or at a Secret Millionaire’s Carr Hall Castle in celebrity style? It’s your day, we’ll help you find the perfect place wherever it may be, so celebrate it your way!
More and more people are looking for a ceremony and experience that is unique and reflects who they are as a couple, something that really makes a lasting impression.
Not everyone wants to get married in a church. Likewise, you might not fancy being part of a production line at the Register Office or licensed venues. The wonderful thing about Celebration Weddings is that we can make sure you have the day you really want.
Recent trends have indicated that there are huge shifts in the way people think when it comes to their wedding day and civil partnership. More and more couples want a contemporary ceremony that is flexible in it’s content, actions and style and can be held anytime, any place.
Nowadays, church and Registrar led ceremonies are just two options available to you. – but not just the only ones! Contact us to find out how Celebration Weddings can help you celebrate your special day your way.