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Frequently asked questions
Do we have to write our own vows?
Well it sounds much better if you say things from the heart! I encourage couples to write their own vows and make their own promises to each other as it personalises the ceremony. Don’t worry if you really can’t do it, we can have a chat about what you’d like to express and we can work on your vows together, even keeping them a secret until the day!
Are Celebrant led ceremonies legal?
Sadly, at present Celebrant led ceremonies have no legal status. As a couple, to legalise your marriage you will need to have a separate civil ceremony. This can be undertaken at a Registrar’s office for as little as £57 if you go for their basic service. Most couples have their legal marriage ceremony the week before their Wedding celebration ceremony to deal with all the paperwork. Their Wedding celebration ceremony is for them their day – the chance to dress up, exchange rings, recite personalised vows to each other and hear their love story told……and then it’s time to party!
Do you offer a Wedding Rehearsal?
Yes, if you feel you need it, however I always arrive early to check that everything is running to schedule and together we will have worked through the logistics whilst preparing your wedding script – I don’t leave anything to chance!
Can our dog play a part in the proceedings?
Do you want your fur baby there on your big day? Let’s talk about how we can involve one of the most important members of your family in both the ceremony and the photos 😊
We’d like an evening ceremony, is that okay?
Yes of course! If you want to celebrate at sunrise with a handfasting ceremony as dawn breaks or you would like to renew your vows at the witching hour, that’s fine by me. The timing of the ceremony is your choice, always 😊
Are you insured?
Yes as a member of the Association of Independent Celebrants I carry full Public Liability Insurance and Professional Indemnity Insurance.
Do you charge travel expenses?
It depends on what wedding package you have! Anything over the inclusive free mileage is charged at 45p per mile. If the ceremony is very far from my home and I require an overnight stay, that is chargeable too.
Do you mind ‘dressing up’ as we’d like a themed Ceremony?
I LOVE dressing up! I just happen to have a 1940’s Land Army girl outfit and Rocky Horror garb lurking in the back of my wardrobe as well as a Mexican ‘Day of the Dead’ outfit amongst others...
Where are you based?
On the Essex Sunshine coast inside the gates of Frinton-on-Sea!
Are you qualified?
Yes, I was accredited trained by Civil Ceremonies Ltd and have the following qualifications: NOCN Level 3 in Naming and Couples Ceremonies NOCN Level 3 in Funeral Celebrancy NOCN Level 4 in Baby & Child Funerals
What’s the difference between a celebrant and a registrar?
As a Civil Celebrant I cannot use the same wording as a Registrar as I cannot legally marry you …………however you should seize this opportunity and have a wonderful bespoke, unique, one of a kind ceremony that everyone will remember. Your love story told, your own special pledges to each other and the inclusion of beautiful symbolic acts, surprise elements and roles for guests who often get overlooked. A really uplifting and life affirming ceremony to seal your love for always. Your legal marriage can take place the week before, for as little as £57* if you go for the Registrar’s basic service *Mondays only (not bank holidays) at Essex Registry Office, Chelmsford cost £57.00.
What’s the difference between a celebrant ceremony and humanist ceremony?
As a Civil Celebrant (rather than a Humanist celebrant) I’m happy to include religious content as the ceremony is being driven by you and your beliefs not mine!
Will you write the service for me?
Yes and for me there is no ‘typical’ ceremony, each one I create with a couple is unique to them, but here’s a flavour of what you can expect: Your love story told! Your choice of music (entrance, during the signing of the certificate, exit) Your choice of vows Your choice of poetry, prose, extracts etc. Your choice of presentation certificate to sign during the service Your choice of a symbolic act (sand, unity candle, handfasting, Lovelocks, favourite beverage) Your choice of surprise elements (jumping the broom, a kiss for a rose, love letters, ring warming lol!)* *Added extras* dependent on which package you choose
Can we write our own ceremony or vows?
Yes if you'd like to and your vows, well it sounds much better if you say things from the heart! I encourage couples to write their own vows and make their own promises to each other as it personalises the ceremony. Don’t worry if you really can’t do it, we can have a chat about what you’d like to express and we can work on your vows together, even keeping them a secret until the day!
Is there anything that has to be included in a service?
No not really, however I think its nice to sign a certificate to mark the day and its a great photo opportunity as well.
Do you cater for LGBTQ+ weddings?
Yes of course! Having ‘spoken up’ for people throughout my life I thought it important to say that I love to work with anyone regardless of their sexuality, ability, race, religious belief, gender identification, marital status or disability. Previously as a union steward and Women’s officer I spoke up for many members and as one of the UK’s first Freedom to Speak Up Guardians I was at the forefront of change within the NHS. I identify as a cis-gendered white able-bodied heterosexual woman, my pronouns are she and her. I fought for equality when undertaking a 4-year MOD apprenticeship 1979-1983 (just imagine it ☹) and qualified as an Airframe and Aero-engine fitter! Previously whilst working in local Government I helped organise a week of events and activities to celebrate International Women’s Week culminating on International Women’s Day. I stand with Black Lives Matter, I stand with #MeToo, I stand with the LGBTQ+ community but I learn new things every day and through family debates, education, questioning myself and unlearning I strive to be a better, tolerant and more inclusive individual. I became a Celebrant because I believe that every person should have a choice, rather than a religious minister or humanist celebrant whose ceremonies are constrained by their beliefs or a civil registrar who is tied by legalities, I am free to create wonderful, bespoke and unique ceremonies showcasing the LIFE and LOVE of my clients!
Do you cater for multi-faith weddings?
Yes of course, your ceremony is driven by your beliefs not mine!
Do you need to meet us before the wedding day?
Yes as I need to gather the information I need to write your love story! Dependent on restrictions I can speak to your online or over the phone and we can touch base at your chosen venue as well if needed.
What do your prices start at?
My prices are comparable with either a Registrar or Religious Minister and start from £597. I have also negotiated with other wedding suppliers and can offer discounted use of light up letters, photo booth or magic mirrors to enhance your wedding guests experience. I offer a 10% discount to HM Forces, NHS and Social Care workers, always! I'm open to the idea of a 'Skills Swap' so if you are a painter & decorator, seamstress, plumber etc why not have a chat! I am happy to arrange a monthly payment plan as long as the full balance is paid up to six weeks before the happy day!
How far in advance should I book you?
Well the sooner the better! However I can take a booking with a minimum of twelve weeks notice.
How long are your ceremonies?
Usually between half an hour and 45 minutes long dependent on content.
About Jenny the Celebrant
Ceremonies for all of Life’s Milestones: Civil Celebrant creating unique & personal Wedding 👰Celebration and Couples 👭💑👬 Commitment ceremonies.
I just love telling people’s stories! Nobody lives just an ordinary life and the people, places and pursuits that make you unique are always worth celebrating! Whether you’ve met the ‘one’, welcomed someone new into your family, are so proud of an achievement you just want to tell the world, or you simply want to say goodbye to a loved one in a beautiful venue not constrained by time, well maybe I can help?
I like to say I’m a verbal portrait artist, I paint a picture with words…. So if you want to shout I Love You from the rooftops, present your newest member of the family to the world, bid a fond and final farewell or simply say ‘I do’ then why not give me a call and together we can plan #lifeafterlockdown and a true celebration of life, love or longevity; I can’t wait to meet you!