We speak to professional independent celebrant Sarah Chapman

We speak to professional independent celebrant Sarah Chapman Sarah Chapman is a professional and experienced independent celebrant delivering bespoke ceremonies throughout Devon and Cornwall. We ask her advice about planning smaller weddings than couples maybe originally intended, making sure that their guests feel part of the day. Sarah says, "A wedding is about two people. It's great you'll be able to have others there to celebrate with you but don't let worries over who can't be there spoil the day for either of you. Book your legal marriage first at a registry office with two witnesses present, and then hire an independent celebrant. By doing so, you can celebrate your wedding somewhere that's important to you both, like on a beach, in a woodland area, on a clifftop or in a boutique hotel - the possibilities are endless. An outdoor location is better than sharing enclosed space so take advantage of the small guest list and head somewhere that you couldn't go otherwise with a select few family members and friends."
Sarah continues, "I believe that your ceremony is at the very heart of your day and I will help you write vows and readings that are perfectly suited to you both as a couple and to your family and your friends. You can sign a certificate in the presence of your guests and, after the ceremony, I'll present your script in a beautiful folder. I encourage my couples to write personal vows, especially when it's a more intimate wedding. Embrace the opportunity to share words and promises surrounded by the people who are closest to you. Include sentimental details, like wearing your mother's necklace or having your dog walk down the aisle with you, to make the day extra personal."

She reveals that, "It's important to think of ways that you can involve your guests that should've been there on the day. Attending events remotely will be commonplace as we venture into 2021. By reducing the number of guests at your wedding to an intimate gathering means that you can plan a micro wedding. They can still feature popular traditions, just on a smaller scale. Book a professional photographer and also consider hiring a videographer to capture and then share the memorable moments with guests who couldn't be present. Invite them to watch a live stream through Zoom or Skype and remember to interact with them throughout the day. Personalised face coverings make fun wedding favours and some couples customise these with their newly married initials and wedding date. Let your guests know what's on the menu so that they can cook and eat the same meal from home. Instead of having a large wedding cake, order cupcakes for each guest and send them to arrive on your wedding morning.

Venues in Devon that welcome smaller ceremonies are Tree Top Escape, Haldon Belvedere, Harefield Barn, Middle Coombe Farm, Kitley House Hotel and Bovey Castle. The newly renovated Brickhouse Vineyard is also an ideal choice for a micro wedding."

To book Sarah, call 07870 763 304 or visit www.celebrationceremoniessouthwest.com

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