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Your day, your way
Q. We want to book a really good independent celebrant for our Devon-based wedding. Can you advise us on the types of ceremony we could consider, and some great locations for it?
A. Sarah Chapman says: Meet the expert: Sarah Chapman is a professional independent celebrant based in the South West. She helps couples create their individual ceremony by guiding them with their vows, readings and word choices. They can include symbolic and traditional rituals and spiritual or faith-based beliefs.
Sarah says: Choosing a celebrant to deliver your wedding ceremony gives you a range of options that a registrar can't. Firstly, you can hold your ceremony anywhere, not just in a licensed venue. I have performed them in couples' favourite places, for example on the beach, in the woods, on a boat and cliff top, and even in their own garden.
I do also work with wedding venues. For great flexibility and a good choice of areas to hold a ceremony I often recommend Middle Coombe Farm in Tiverton, The Barn in South Milton, Putsborough Beach in North Devon and Bovey Castle in Dartmoor.
Secondly, your ceremony can be bespoke to you both, from the giving and blessing of the rings, exchanging of vows, lighting candles, a personal choice of poetry, and religious or spiritual words. Symbolic Rituals to unite you both can include a Rose Ceremony, Sand Ceremony, Hand-Fasting Ceremony and Jumping the Broom - often couples choose all of these! I have even written Cocktail Rituals and Chocolate Ceremonies to make the wedding personal. Part of the fun is choosing which ideas suit you both best.
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