Wednesday, 27 April 2011

One Life Ceremonies

Three years ago yesterday Mrs Lil'Guys and I tied the knot.  It was second time around for both of us and so we decided to have a civil ceremony rather than  a church wedding.  We investigated the options: expensive hotel do; register office for our area (horrific impersonal concrete office building); nearby market town register office in the old town hall on the edge of the medieval part of town; in the garden at home. In the garden at home was our first choice but sadly not to be since you can only get married at home if one half of the couple is incapacitated so as not to be able to travel.  Whilst I'm sure Mrs LG contemplated the practicalities of that (!) we settled on the register office in Horsham which at the time was in the old town hall and had a pretty garden outside for photos and a view down a Medieval road towards the church.  We were limited to 24 people in the room, which sounds a lot but really isn't when you start making a list of the people you really want to witness your vows!  After the very short ceremony (which we kind of blinked and almost missed!)  and a few photos we headed home for a reception in a marquee in the garden. We had the most memorable and fabulous day and I don't think now that we would have changed anything about it, however we did feel very restricted by numbers.  Today we welcome One Life Ceremonies to the blog with an alternative .....

One Life Ceremonies are Laurra and Maria Nalty, a mother and daughter team based in Yorkshire who like to do things a little bit differently... they write and conduct wedding ceremonies that can be held in any location, including outdoors and their aim is to create exactly the wedding ceremony that you want with no restrictions.

One Life Ceremonies - Outdoor Weddings
Your wedding day is one of the most important days in your life and the wedding ceremony is your opportunity to make commitments to one another and express your undying love in front of you family and friends - so why shouldn’t it be exactly as you want it and held exactly where you want it to be too?

Can we hold our wedding outside?

This is one of the first questions many newly engaged couples want to know. As our summers become hotter and holding an outdoor wedding becomes much more plausible the idea is high on many dream wedding lists. With America and Australia leading the way with outdoor weddings, we see countless images of beautiful ceremonies on beaches, in forests and gardens with a happy glowing couple, their hair lightly blowing in the gentle breeze... ahhhh... then we find out that England is still living in the dark ages.

Now this may come as a shock to some of you but in the UK it still remains impossible to get legally married outside. In fact you are limited solely to venues licensed for marriage, the Register Office or within a church.

So the dreams of a beautiful outdoor ceremony in the bright sunshine with butterflies fluttering by as your guests fan themselves down become relegated to a ‘oh well... it would have been nice but ..’ and the next thing you find yourself booking the local hotel wishing things could be different.  

Now they can be! Yes there is another option that allows you to hold your wedding outside and it is becoming extremely popular with many UK couples who don’t want to be restricted to a licensed indoor venue.

But how can we have an outdoor wedding?

In the UK a legal marriage can only be conducted by a Registrar or a designated religious representative and it must be performed indoors within a church or in a venue licensed for marriage. The marriage itself is a formal procedure in which a set of standard statements must be made and a Register signed, these are the only rules and there is nothing to stop you going along with your two witnesses in your jeans before your wedding to complete the legal documents.

So onto the exciting part... with the legalities out of the way this leaves you free to have exactly the wedding that you want and hold your wedding ceremony wherever and whenever you choose!

Your outdoor wedding can be traditional or completely unconventional and it can include everything a wedding should include; the giving away, personal wedding vows, poems and readings, an exchange of rings, your first kiss! 

So ok, you won’t be signing the register, but you can do everything else and it means you are totally unrestricted!

Some outdoor wedding ideas:

  • Beach wedding  
  • Wedding in a marquee
  • Wedding in an unlicensed venue
  • Wedding at home or in a garden
  • Wedding in an unusual venue or location
  • Wedding the grounds of a hotel or the hotel itself
  • Wedding in a castle
  • Wedding in a tipi tent

One Life Ceremonies are highly regarded for their personal service and attention to detail and will work with you to create the outdoor wedding ceremony you’ve always dreamed of. They also place no time restrictions on the ceremony, meaning they won’t be watching the clock if the bride is a bit late! They can also help you to find the perfect location to hold your outdoor wedding if you’re stuck and need some ideas.

You can contact Maria or Laurra by phone ((0113) 868 0072), via their website, by email, follow them on Twitter, and Facebook

Photography by Olivia Brabbs 

If you think it should be legal to get married wherever and whenever you chose why not sign The Any Campaign petition and help to get the law changed!

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