Ring Warming

Ring Warming

Example Wording for Ring Warming

The tradition of ring warming has it’s roots in Ireland and is a custom of old.

The idea of “warming” your rings during the wedding ceremony, before you place them on each other’s fingers for life.

The power of all the good wishes flowing through the wedding rings on your wedding day is enough to see any couple through any hard times and all the good tiems, their whole lives through

In a moment, we will pass around the wedding rings, we call this a ring warming.   As there are so many people here, we will pass the rings only to those in the front two rows.

For those in the front two rows, Aoife & Peter are asking that as you pause and hold the wedding rings for a moment, that you will send your positive vibes, blessings and prayers for their marriage into the rings before passing them to the person next to you.  

We ask that those of you in the remaining rows send your good wishes for Aoife & Peter into their wedding rings as the music plays.

Once the weddings rings have made their way back to me,   Aoife & Peter will exchange the rings and carry your love and good wishes with them, as they embark on their new journey through life together.

[ Rings are passed along the first two rows while music plays]

Wedding rings are returned to the celebrant, who passes the wedding rings to the couple.

5 Essential Tips for Your Ceremony Table Centre-piece

5 Essential Tips for Your Ceremony Table Centre-piece

Believe it or not, this essential detail is sometimes forgotten!  But not any more, not with me anyway.  Not since I arrived at three separate weddings within a few weeks of each other, to find the ceremony table completely empty each time.  Each time I improvised and cut some fresh ivy and flowers from the gardens outside (with permission) to make a lovely fresh arrangement, which was certainly beautiful.

But I have now made it my responsibility to ensure this never happens again to any of the couples I work with.  The last thing you want to see is an empty ceremony table.  You have gone to so much trouble to make everything else on the day look so beautiful, and a bare ceremony table is not a good look at all.  So many times I have also borrowed a vase filled with fresh flowers from elsewhere within the wedding venue, as a ceremony table centre-piece.  Usually from a hall table somewhere within the building, always with permission from the venue’s wedding co-ordinator of course.

Even if you don’t like flowers, I have some great ideas for you to help you ensure that your ceremony table is decorated perfectly, and here are some of them.   Even the most basic solution really adds a little something special to your ceremony space.

My No.1 suggestion for your ceremony table centrepiece – if you will have a floral or greenery centre-piece for your “Top table”, (Bride & Groom table at the reception) this can serve a dual purpose as the centre-piece on your ceremony table as well – and the look is absolutley stunning!

Where do you find the floral centre-piece for your top table you might ask?  Here are my 5 essential tips:

 1. Provided by the Venue

Firstly – it’s always best to first have a chat with your wedding venue’s event co-ordinator, to find out what options they might already provide you for your top table centre-piece, as standard in your wedding package.  Some wedding venues take great pride in providing a floral arrangment for the top table made from fresh greenery and florals picked on-site from their own garden, included as part of your wedding package.  Or they may even have a standing order with a local florist. 

If your top-table centre-piece will be provided by your venue as part of your wedding package, it will definitely be most suitable for dual use as your ceremony table centre-piece so please don’t hesitate to ask your wedding venue if it’s already included.

2. Skilfully Handmade with Love

If you have a beloved family member or friend who enjoys handcrafts, don’t be shy to ask if they would like to make you a centrepiece arrangement with flowers and greenery fresh from their garden (or silk flowers) which can double as both the centrepiece for your ceremony table, and your reception top table.  You will find the florist oasis foam block for the base is readily available from your nearest craft shop, which can of course be purchased well in advance.   A beloved family member who enjoys handcrafts would be so honoured with this role, so please don’t be shy to ask.

3. Made with Silk Flowers

If you enjoy handcrafts yourself, you may wish to make your own table centre-piece from silk flowers and greenery which can be used for your ceremony table, and your reception top table.  All are available from your nearest craft shop, and you can also order online.  The advantage of working with silk flowers, is that the arrangement can be made well in advance,   It’s always good to have something you have prepared earlier!   These days the quality of silk flowers and greenery available is SO realistic – it can be very difficult to tell the difference from the real thing!

You will find plenty of tutorials on Youtube, and ideas for inspiration on Pinterest on how to make your own centre-piece arrangment.  You may also be so inspired to make your own bridal bouquet from silk flowers also, as well as other florals required on the day.

4. Florist supplied

Fresh Flowers – if you really have your heart set on fresh flowers – you can ask your florist to provide a table centrepiece for you.  This can be used for both your ceremony table, and your reception top table.  Please don’t hesitate to chat to me before speaking to your florist and I can give you some useful questions to ask.

5. Keep it Simple – the Basic Form

The basic ceremony table centre-piece which looks amazing is fresh ivy from your own garden, the garden of a beloved family member, or even garden of your wedding venue (with permission of course)

A great idea if your wedding venue has extensive landscaped gardens abundant with ivy.  I can prepare this for you on the day very quickly and easily and it looks fabulous.   One glorious summers day I was conducting a marriage ceremony a lovely 5 star mansion house, where I discovered there was no floral centrepiece for the ceremony table.   

The kind butler offered to pick the ivy for me.  He was very proud to give me an extra special tip!  For the best ivy, always pick the ivy growing up the side of a tree trunk.  The leaves will be much closer together as the ivy defies the forces of gravity to grow upwards.   This option is especially good if you are concerned that someone present may have allergies to certain fresh flowers.

Above: Silk arrangement I’ve made from silk vines of willow leaves, and eucalyptus leaves, with sprays of silk Gypsophilia inserted at various points.  Very simple but so elegant.

If you don’t have any other options, I would be delighted to bring the silk centre-piece above for use on your ceremony table (no extra cost). 

Your Special Day

If you believe your ceremony should be an important part of your special day, no matter how big or small your ceremony wishes may be, you have found the right place.

If you would like a ceremony as unique as you are, created to suit your own style, please don't hesitate to get in touch so I can answer any questions you might have - and to find out if I am available on your big day.  I would be honoured to work with you!

Rev. Sharon Q.

from Australia (in Ireland since 2013)
Non-denominational Holistic Minister
Celebrant & Registered Solemniser

Ideas Gallery

Unity Candle Ceremony

Unity Candle Ceremony

There is something very special about lighting candles at the commencement of your wedding ceremony.  Whether you are religious or not, you can’t deny that candles do create that kind of relaxing vibe that really sets the tone for the quality of the cermony.

Candle Unity Ceremony Wording Example

Simple version written by Rev Sharon Q.

——

Partner1 & Partner2 have chosen to commence their marriage ceremony with the lighting of candles in honour of their special day.

In a moment, Partner1 & Partner2 will each light an individual candle, to represent the light that shines within each of them.

As Partner1 & Partner2 light their individual candles, they will also honor the unique and special qualities which make each of them who they are. 

Once their individual candles are alight, Partner1 & Partner2 will use their individual candles to light their third, larger Unity candle together.

As Partner1 & Partner2 blend their individual flames to light their Unity candle, they will each honour and celebrate the power of their separate lights to ignite a common flame of friendship, love, commitment and lifelong happiness together.

They will also celebrate not only the joining together of their lives in marriage, but also the joining together of two families.

Partner1 & Partner2 would you like to come forward to light your candles?

Music:  As selected

I have included some photographs of wedding candles in various settings, so you can see the effect of the various styles.  With me as your Minister/Celebrant, quality dripless candles in ivory are included at no extra cost.  White candles can be provided by special request.  Your candles can include either natural raffia grass, or organza ribbon bow in your choice of color.  Or, if you prefer – you may order your own printed wedding candles from your choice of supplier.  Grey “rustic” candles pictured above left, are available for sale as an optional extra.

Wedding Ceremony Design – When is the Right Time for that Kiss?

Wedding Ceremony Design – When is the Right Time for that Kiss?

Photo by Jonathan Borba from Pexels

Designing your personalised and unique marriage ceremony with the help of a creative celebrant sure can be lots of fun!   Adding your own special touches and ceremony ideas.  But one question that sometimes asked is where in the ceremony do you have your first kiss as a married couple?

Some may advise you to have your kiss right after your marriage vows. The reason for this is because that’s when you are technically married.

But I don’t recommend this myself.  I believe that for maximum meaning to your ceremony and for maximum effect, it’s much better to have your first kiss as a married couple at the very END of your ceremony.  Right after you are pronounced married. 

If you can imagine the moment, your ceremony has been so beautiful and it’s about to come to a close, and I say to you “I now pronounce you husband & wife, (or married), you may seal your marriage with a kiss!”.

As you are kissing and your guests stand and cheer, your final music starts playing, your photographer is snapping away, that’s the magic moment in your ceremony that you just don’t want to miss!  That, to me – is the essence of a true 5-star ceremony.

But remember, there is no right or wrong way, Where you kiss in your marriage ceremony is completely up to you, It’s your ceremony and you are the design director all the way.

If you would like to kiss after your marriage vows, there is no reason why you can’t kiss again at the very end of your ceremony if you really want to kiss right after your marriage vows.   But – it doesn’t ever have the same effect.

Your Special Day

If you believe your ceremony should be an important part of your special day, no matter how big or small your ceremony wishes may be, you have found the right place.

If you would like a ceremony as unique as you are, created to suit your own style, please don't hesitate to get in touch so I can answer any questions you might have - and to find out if I am available on your big day.  I would be honoured to work with you!

Rev. Sharon Q.

from Australia (in Ireland since 2013)
Non-denominational Holistic Minister
Celebrant & Registered Solemniser

Essential Advice for Your Enchanted Beach Wedding in Ireland

Essential Advice for Your Enchanted Beach Wedding in Ireland

My homeland Australia is renowned for its beach weddings. Here in Ireland it is possible to be legally married on a beach, but only if your chosen wedding venue has direct access to the beach from within their grounds. There are a number of glorious wedding venues in Ireland which satisfy this criteria.

In Ireland a legal marriage ceremony must be conducted at a location recognised by the Marriage Act, which is open to the public without hindrance, also with a building and a postal address.. The location does not need HSE inspection & approval, unless the marriage ceremony will be a Registry Office marriage ceremony (Civil Ceremony) conducted by a Civil Registrar.

For many couples getting married in Ireland who dream of a beach wedding, its not always that simple. Especially if they already have their favourite beach in mind which does not have an adjoining wedding venue! But there is a dignified solution, and here it is:

Option No.1

Here in Ireland it is possible to be legally married on a beach if your chosen wedding venue has direct access to the beach from within their grounds. There are a number of glorious wedding venues in Ireland which satisfy this criteria. 

Another very popular oceanside venue where you can be legally married is Hags Head, or Tighe Na Grá at the Cliffs of Moher and there are many more including those with direct access to a beach ceremony location.

Option No.2

Have 2 ceremonies on the day, and enchanted commitment ceremony on the beach, followed by a legal marriage ceremony at a. nearby location. I have conducted beach weddings many times using this method, and I can say from experience that it is a wonderful experience for your guests!

  • Your first ceremony is a commitment ceremony at the beach. This is complete with your choice of ceremony traditions which may include reading your own personal vows written to for each other and kept as a surprise, exchange of friendship rings if you wish, and of course the beautiful celtic handfasting.
    What could be more enchanting for a beach wedding here in Ireland to include the celtic handfasting? At this non-legal handfasting ceremony you are declared hand-fasted, you are not declared or pronounced married..
  • Next, have your legal marriage ceremony at a nearby location, approximately 1 hour later. Your handfasting chord can remain tied around your two wrists for this ceremony if you wish, as a symbol of your handfasting ceremony and removed when signing documents. Or your handfasting chord can be laid onto the altar as a decoration.

It’s not an offence to have a non-legal ceremony before a legal marriage ceremony – what is an offence is to include any ceremony parts from the Marriage Act in a non-legal ceremony (including do you take each other to be husband/wife/spouse) if the couple aren’t already married, and to pronounced a couple as being married when they are not really married at all.

Anyone can have a commitment ceremony without being legally married, in ancient times this was traditionally done as part of an engagement celebration, as long as they are not pronounced married in the non-legal ceremony.

.By including the handfasting in their non-legal beach commitment ceremony and declaring the couple handfasted, rather than married, is a very easy way to ensure that the handfasting ceremony complies with the Marriage Act.

Option No.3

Have 2 ceremonies with your legal marriage ceremony first, but on a different day and later on another day, have your non-legal beach wedding with all your guests.  Your legal marriage ceremony attended only by your two witnesses.  Honestly I can’t see the point of doing this – why would you ever want to have a fake beach wedding, when you are already married?

I am from Australia where every wedding ceremony is a legal marriage ceremony, because you can be legally married anywhere. But divorce rates are also much higher in Australia. So having some restrictions on the location of your marriage isn’t really such a bad thing. Being married the day before your big wedding ceremony day is a very European thing and something which as an Aussie, I just find very strange indeed!.

But if this makes perfect sense to you and you feel it is the best option, then just go for it! At the end of the day its your wedding, and what matters is that you have the wedding you have always wanted.

Conclusion

My Option 1 format for beach ceremonies where the beach ceremony is not a legal marriage, is what makes sense to me, but may not make sense to everyone. Which doesn’t mean that its either right or wrong.
Some couples may prefer to have legal marriage ceremony first, followed by beach ceremony eg. at sunset.
It’s all about what the couple really wants. I hope that makes sense!

Your Special Day

If you believe your ceremony should be an important part of your special day, no matter how big or small your ceremony wishes may be, you have found the right place.

If you would like a ceremony as unique as you are, created to suit your own style, please don't hesitate to get in touch so I can answer any questions you might have - and to find out if I am available on your big day.  I would be honoured to work with you!

Rev. Sharon Q.

from Australia (in Ireland since 2013)
Non-denominational Holistic Minister
Celebrant & Registered Solemniser

The Celtic Handfasting Tradition

The Celtic Handfasting Tradition

Above: Aoife & Jimmy’s wedding
at Ballyvolane House
Photo by whitecatstudio.ie

Braided handfasting chord fully handmade by me
to the bride’s choice of colours

The wedding tradition of celtic handfasting has seen a resurgence since Prince Wiliam and Kate tied the knot as part of their lavish wedding ceremony in London in 2011.

Handfasting is a rural folkloric and neopagan ceremonial spiritual custom, gaining in popularity as modern couples seek to incorporate ancient traditions in their ceremony.  Iinitially found in Ireland, Scotland and western European countries, the handfasting is a ceremony in which a couple hold a commitment ceremony by tying the hands with woven or braided chord.

Above:  Aoife & Jimmy’s wedding
at Ballyvolane House
Photo by whitecatstudio.ie

The handfasting ceremony was believed by many to be firstly conducted as an engagement ceremony,  a temporary binding of one year and a day.   If after this time the couple wished to stay together, the handfasting was repeated a second time as a marriage ceremony, and the couple were married for seven years.

If the couple wished to stay together after this time, the handfasting was repeated for another seven years or as a permanent marriage, depending on the couple’s wishes.  Hence the term “seven year itch”.

In ancient times, the handfasting ceremony was conducted according to the local traditions.  In modern times, a handfasting ceremony is part of a traditional wedding ceremony, and is written to suit the requirements of the couple.

There are unlimited variations in the ceremony wording, from the short, modern format lasting about 3-4 minutes, to the longer traditation format lasting anything from 10 minutes or longer.

If I am conducting your ceremony and you would like to make your own handfasting chord, I can give you creative ideas and explain some simple methods of making various styles.

Pictured are two of the many braided handfasting chords I have personally handmade.  If you are unable to make or purchase your own handfasting chord I am happy to make you a handfasting chord in your choice of colors.

In the first example, each of the 5 strands of the braided chord are individually twisted to make the separate chords before being tied and braided together in a 5-part braided chord.  Each end of the chord is then wrapped to form a tassle at each end.  Each custom-made braided chord takes approx. 4 hours to make by hand.

Retail price of the 5-part braided handfasting chord as pictured above (top) is €69.50 (or approx. €20 materials only price if I am conducting your ceremony) which includes your very own choice of 5 colors, the symbolic meanings of your chosen colors for reciting in your ceremony, organza bag and postage anywhere within Ireland (if I am not conducting your ceremony).

In the second example, twisted chords of varying thickness are wrapped together and stitched in place, tassles made for the ends and sewn in for a very effective look.  This type of chord takes about 3 hours to make and costs around €15 in materials.