Quirky valentine proposals

 

To celebrate valentines day, this weekend we will being doing an engagement photoshoot for one of our couples who have a very lovely story to tell. We were so blown away with this create fiancée’s proposal that we wanted to share it with you. So watch this space, it’ll be coming to the blog soon.

In the meantime, we thought we’d a few sweet and quirky valentine proposals:

Have a fabulous valentines day whether you are celebrating with husbands, lovers, friends, (or your kids??) celebrate love in your own little way. And remember, as the song goes “give a little love” and  it all comes back to you!

YouTube Preview Image

Yorkshire’s alternative wedding venue- Skipbridge

Yorkshire’s alternative wedding venue- Skipbridge

When we’re not writing, styling and conducting wedding, renewal of vows and naming ceremonies, we’re out on the road seeking new and interesting off the beaten track, alternative wedding venues and outdoor locations to hold our ceremonies.

Our stomping ground is Yorkshire and it’s surrounding counties so if you’re newly engaged and looking for somewhere truly unique to have your personal ceremony, we might just have come across the one that make you feel “this is us”! Whether you are looking for a blank canvas to create a festival style event, a magical woodland, an english country garden, lavender fields, a rustic barn, a country house,  private estates or a new site to have a Papkata or tepee we can help so.

Given that Lonely Planet recently placed Yorkshire third in the top ten of ‘must visit’ places in the world in 2014 I thought over the next few weeks I’d share with you some of Yorkshire’s hidden gems that I’ve discovered along my travels this year.

Next up is  Skipbridge a wonderful country outdoor location and new for 2014; it’s relaxed, quirky and it’s easy to see why it’s quickly getting booked up. A delightful green field venue suitable for a marquee,  Papkata , TotallyTipiBoutipi or Yorkshire Yurt situated on on a small holding that houses creatures great and small.

Photograph by Peter Boyd

Photograph by Peter Boyd

You can find more insider info on our new “new venue section” on our website but here’s our at a glance summary to give you a feel for what it’s about:

It’s for you if:

  • you want a more relaxed chilled affair
  • you’re looking for something a bit quirky and fun
  • quite a lot of your wedding guests are children
  • you want the flexibility of a blank canvas outdoor location but with reliable support available if you need it
  • you want on site electric and proper showers and loos and a portable bar!
  • if you want the option of on site B&B accommodation or camping
  • you love the outdoors, animals and lovely people

  483573_10151303377382980_329602436_n

What kind weddings & ceremonies can you have there?

Informal, personal outdoor ones! Our ceremonies are written, styled and conducted for and about you. You have the freedom and flexibility to say what you want to say and promise to each other, choose the music, poems, lyrics or traditions that are meaningful to you or give them a new take. We are nationally qualified Independent Celebrants which means you can include religious, spiritual content or keep it totally secular, it’s entirely up to you.

But most importantly we tell your own story and  create a ceremony that’s unique and personal to you, whatever your style or choice of location.

Why have we chosen to work with Skipbridge Country Weddings?

  • the friendly relaxed atmosphere
  • the flexibility and freedom it offers
  • their dedication to making your day a personal experience
  • the quirky features

If you’re interested in wedding ceremony at Skipbridge Country Weddings then give Jan a call on 07745 385 981 or drop Jan an email ceremonies@janshillito.co.uk and don’t forget to leave a contact number too!

Yorkshire’s alternative wedding venues: Camp Katur

Yorkshire’s alternative wedding venues: Camp Katur

When we’re not writing, styling and conducting wedding, renewal of vows and naming ceremonies, we’re out on the road seeking new and interesting off the beaten track, alternative wedding venues and outdoor locations to hold our ceremonies.

Our stomping ground is Yorkshire and it’s surrounding counties so if you’re newly engaged and looking for somewhere truly unique to have your personal ceremony, we might just have come across the one that make you feel “this is us”! Whether you are looking for a blank canvas to create a festival style event, a magical woodland, an english country garden, lavender fields, a rustic barn, a country house,  private estates or a new site to have a Papkata or tepee we can help so.

Given that Lonely Planet recently placed Yorkshire third in the top ten of ‘must visit’ places in the world in 2014 I thought over the next few weeks I’d share with you some of Yorkshire’s hidden gems that I’ve discovered along my travels this year.

First up is Camp Katur:

Photo credit: Annemarie King: Flowers by Lucy MacNicoll

Photo credit: Annemarie King: Flowers by Lucy MacNicoll

Set in the grounds of the wonderful Camp Hill Estate in Bedale, North Yorkshire,  Camp Katur is a whole new kettle of fish when it comes to alternative wedding venues. It’s a breath of fresh air, quite literally, and as a wedding venue just keeps on giving and giving!  I first met the lovely Kerry Roy , owner of Camp Katur, there in the autumn of 2012. Within five minutes I knew that we would get on like a house on fire; we had similar dreams and ambitions and our new businesses were the perfect match. Her “venue” was the yin to our yang.

Photo credit: Annemarie King,  Flowers by Lucy MacNicoll

Photo credit: Annemarie King, Flowers by Lucy MacNicoll

Here’s a quick summary to give you an idea whether it’s right for you but you can find out more insider info on Camp Katur on our ‘Venues’ page.

It’s for you if you:

  •  love the great outdoors
  • want a blank canvas to create a personal statement
  • would like flexibility on the where to have your ceremony or reception should you be worried about the weather
  • want a place that allows you to get more creative
  • love music as much as each other
  • want a more relaxed ceremony and wedding style
  • want on site accomodation and glamping facilities for you and your guests

What kind of wedding & ceremonies can you have there?

Why have we chosen to work with Camp Katur?

  • they are lovely, helpful people
  • they select only the very best in wedding suppliers in the north to work with
  • it’s unique and flexible
  • they always inventing new experiences
 For more insider information on each of our featured venues over the next few weeks check our our “new venue section” on the website.

 

 

 

 

Living North Weddings -Location, location, location

 

If you’re looking for “a bright idea” for your wedding then check out today’s Living North Weddings magazine page 11 no 3.

We’re full of bright ideas for your personal wedding ceremony but we can also help you find a place to have it that’s also unique and personal.  As Kirsty and Phil say, it is all about location, location, location. When we’re not writing, styling or conducting our ceremonies we’re searching out some of Yorkshire’s newest hidden gems.

So please do get in touch if you need a little insider info on suitable locations in Yorkshire and the surrounding areas that fit with your  own personal style. ceremonies@janshillito.co.uk.

Keep your eye on the blog and on our “new venue section” on our website, over the next few weeks we’ll be telling you about some of our favourites. If you want to find our more about the venue featured below take a look at our first featured alternative wedding location.

.

IMG_2650

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.

 

Pinterest
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 ceremonies@janshillito.co.uk 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 www.thememorybox.com/ceremonies 

31st May- love songs for weddings- last but not least, celebrating a universal love

 

Well, we hope you have enjoyed our month of love songs for weddings through out May as a celebration of Summer and wedding fever. Each day we picked a gem of a love song to take you on a musical journey above and beyond the traditional ‘Bridal March’. Whilst there are some fabulous classic love songs for weddings to choose from, it may be that you are looking for something a bit different and want to give a contemporary twist to your ceremony, so this was for you.

Our final song is a pretty little love song.

It has ‘bottled’ that feeling you get when you’ve met someone and fallen head over heals in love. Your head is in the clouds, your heart skips a beat, everything is new and exciting and every day is sunny and warm. It feels like the first day of your life.

When you take your vows and make promises to each other on your wedding day, no matter how long you have been together, it too feels like the first day of your life.

So we think this is worthy of being one of our featured love songs for weddings that you could walk down the aisle to. It’s is a pretty song celebrating that people all over the word fall in love, a love that is universal and tells a different story each time.

So, here you go- ‘First day of my life’ by Bright Eyes

YouTube Preview Image

We’d love to hear your own love stories. No two love stories are the same so we make sure that is reflected in your ceremony by making it personal and unique.

Oh, and if any of you lovely brides out there do chose one of our featured songs for your wedding we’d love to hear about it.

Happy Summer. Happy wedding fever!

 

30th May wedding songs- great wedding ceremony ideas can start with a song

 

If you’re looking for wedding ceremony ideas then welcome to our last couple of days of  May wedding songs to walk down the aisle to! Today we’re featuring an alternative song style- dark piano ballards with a love theme at the core of the lyrics- for which Nick Cave is so well known. In his song “Into My Arms” he tells a story that is ‘melancholic’ but yet uplifting, cloaked in spiritual and religious language & imagery. If you haven’t heard it before,  you may be forgiven for thinking that’s it doesn’t sound the best choice of song to walk down the aisle to, but hear it out, it does have  a beautiful quality about it! And there is a ‘happy’ ending as love does conquer all in the end!

YouTube Preview Image

There are so many  great songs to choose from spanning many decades and genres which makes finding THE song to walk down the aisle to even harder! Some great wedding ceremony ideas can start with a song so rather than leave this to the end of your wedding planning, when things start to get a bit hectic and more stressful, our advice would be to decide this at the beginning of the wedding planning process when designing the ceremony.

We like to work with our couples from the beginning, starting with a blank piece of paper. We consider each of the different elements of a ceremony, the location, the content and the overall look & feel that you want to convey together as a whole ‘concept’. That way we help you make a real personal statement that says”This is us”. If you would like us to help you come up with some wedding ceremony ideas to create a ceremony that is unique and personal then just drop us a line ceremonies@janshillito.co.uk

Anyway, we hope you were inspired by today’s featured song. We have one more song tomorrow to conclude our month of May wedding songs to celebrate the start of Summer and wedding fever so have a look back at all our featured songs and don’t forget to leave a comment and tell us your favourites.

Happy Summer! Happy Days!

28th May Wedding songs & the celebrant- finding a higher love

 

As the celebrant at a wedding helping find the right music is just one part of what we do to help make a wedding ceremony personal. Everyone is different and that it half the fun! For today’s featured song I was fortunate to have grown up with it in the 1980s and it remains in my top ten, still giving me goose pimples when I hear it. There have been other versions but the original Frankie Goes to Hollywood is my personal favourite as it contains that raw emotion you feel when you are touched by love.

It’s beautiful, powerful and dramatic, the lyrics are mysterious and intriguing and can’t help but draw you into the song.  ‘The Power of Love’ has been described as “one of those magical points in music where the sacred and the secular entwine. Where once a gospel choir might have sung of how God wields an almighty power from on high- a power that is transformational, at times terrifying, but always purifying, redemptive- secular artists attribute these same qualities to romantic love”*

Holly Johnson once said “There  is a biblical aspect to its spirituality and passion; the fact that love  is the only thing that matters in the end.”

This is so true and demonstrates that love has no boundaries. “The Power of Love’ is a song that makes you feel something whatever that higher love may be. Have a listen.

YouTube Preview Image

We too don’t set boundaries. As the celebrant we are dedicated to making your ceremony be about your love, so if you want your wedding ceremony or civil partnership to be without restrictions on the venue or location, the ceremony words, the music or the style then we can help. Our ceremonies put you in control, we can be as hands ‘on’ or ‘off ‘ as you like to help you make it your own.

Another version of ‘The Power of Love” you may have heard more recently is by singer song writer Gabrielle Aplin  it’s a beautiful interpretation and maybe the one you choose to walk down the aisle to! But if not drop by tomorrow and we’ll have another one. or check out all out other processional songs featured in May.

YouTube Preview Image

Happy Summer!

 

*Laura Barton, The guardian

 

26th & 27th May wedding ceremony songs- a double bill from1980’s Scottish folk rockers

 

As it’s a bank holiday tomorrow (yeh!) we’ve got a double whammy of wedding ceremony songs for you. We’re taking you back to the 1980’s to hear  ‘The Waterboys’ with “Whole of the Moon” a wonderful song with lyrics that keep building up as it goes along, just like poetry, then blows you away.  Their music is a mix of celtic folk with rock and roll that often contains literary references and frequently about spirituality; whilst this song is not a ‘typical’ wedding ceremony song to walk down the aisle to it does have a certain ‘something’ magical about it and is full of hope. We just love the addition of trumpets, they give it a classical element and take it to a higher level. Have a listen to the lyrics:

YouTube Preview Image
I pictured a rainbow
You held it in your hands
I had flashes
But you saw the plan
I wandered out in the world for years
While you just stayed in your room
I saw the crescent
You saw the whole of the moon
You were there in the turnstiles
With the wind at your heels
You stretched for the stars
And you know how it feels
To reach too high
Too far
Too soon
You saw the whole of the moon
I was grounded
While you filled the skies
I was dumbfounded by truth
You cut through lies
I saw the rain dirty valley
You saw Brigadoon
I saw the crescent
You saw the whole of the moon
I spoke about wings
You just flew
I wondered I guessed and I tried
You just knew
I sighed
… but you swooned!
I saw the crescent
You saw the whole of the moon
With a torch in your pocket
And the wind at your heels
You climbed on the ladder
And you know how it feels
To get too high
Too far too soon
You saw the whole of the moon
The whole of the moon!
Unicorns and cannonballs
Palaces and piers
Trumpets towers and tenements
Wide oceans full of tears
Flags rags ferryboats
Scimitars and scarves
Every precious dream and vision
Underneath the stars
You climbed on the ladder
With the wind in your sails
You came like comet
Blazing your trail
Too high too far too soon
You saw the whole of the moon
Our second song is also by  The Waterboys,  ‘How long will I love you’ but this time a cover by Kristina Train, beautifully sung and once again, beautiful lyrics.
YouTube Preview Image

How long will I love you
As long as there are stars above you
And longer if I can

How long will I need you
As long as the seasons need to
Follow their plan

How long will I be with you
AS long as the sea is bound to
wash upon the sand

How long will I want you
As long as you want me to
And longer by far

How long will I hold you
As long as your father told you
As long as you are

How long will I give to you
As long as I live through you
However long you say

How long will I love you
As long as stars are above you
And longer if I may

We’re into our final week of May and featured wedding ceremony songs to walk down the aisle to so don’t forget to pop back to hear our final selections. If you missed yesterday’s treat check it our here.

If lyrics, words and music are an important part of your life bring them out in your wedding ceremony, it’s doesn’t always have to be ‘spoken’ it can become part of your aisle or decoration. Whatever your style, whether it’s an indoor or outdoor wedding it can really make it personal to you. We don’t just write and conduct ceremonies, if you want us to help you come up with ideas for personalising and styling your ceremony just drop us a line: ceremonies@janshillito.co.uk

 

Happy summer!

 

 

 

25th May Processional wedding songs- a chemical attraction

 

It’s bank holiday weekend, the sun is shining, happy days! So for all you lovebirds looking for processional wedding songs that captures the emotion of physical and chemical attraction – “Falling Slowly”  by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova is it!  Such beautiful voices.

YouTube Preview Image

“Falling Slowly” is an Academy award winning soundtrack to 2006 oscar winning Independent Irish film ‘Once’ where the characters express their emotion through the medium of song.

The day you get married is a special moment in time when you feel that same physical and chemical attraction you had when you first met. We listen to your own stories of how you met, the places, the people and the experiences that brought you closer together and try to capture this special time in a personal wedding ceremony. We can help you find that special location or if you have been dreaming of having your ceremony in a place that’s meaningful to you then we’ll help make it a reality. All our ceremonies are totally bespoke, there are no rules or etiquette that you have to follow we just help you make it your own and put into words the things you want to say to each other.

We hope you liked today’s song but if it doesn’t make you feel ‘this is us’ then you can always have a look at our other featured processional wedding songs in May or pop back tomorrow.

Happy Summer!