One of the first things to do when you find the venue of your dreams, is decide what type of ceremony you'd like.
You may want to get married in your local Church or a Church near to Dodmoor House, or you may want a civil ceremony to keep everything in one place.
We welcome both; we are licensed for civil ceremonies or you are welcome to have a Church ceremony and start the festivities when you arrive (we'll be waiting for you with ice cold beers and Pimms in the Summer, or steaming hot chocolates in the Winter)!
One option you may not have thought of is to have a ceremony led by a celebrant. We have worked with Judy at Cherish Ceremonies and thoroughly recommend her should you be after a ceremony with a super personal touch!
Why would I have a celebrant ceremony?
Civil ceremony times are decided by the Northamptonshire Registration Service and some dates are a lot more popular than others. That means that even though your dream date is available here at Dodmoor, you only have the option to have your ceremony at 12.30pm, and you want to have more time to get ready with your wedding party! Or only 3.30pm is available and you really want to spend more time with your guests on the day. Either way we can help you come up with a timeline which will work for your day, but we also understand that you may have a clear vision of your day and the timings just don't work for you.
A celebrant ceremony will allow you to get married at whatever time you choose, fitting in perfectly with your plans!
You may decide that you want to build a ceremony that completely represents you as a couple and gives you the freedom to say exactly what you want to say, whereas Church and Civil ceremonies are quite traditional, as they are legal procedures.
The Legal Bits
A celebrant led ceremony won't legally bind you as a married couple so there are a few things you'd need to do to officially get yourself hitched!
You will need to still give your Notice of Marriage which must be done at least 28 days before the legal wedding, and costs £35 per person.
A Registration Only service will then need to take place to legally register the marriage. This ceremony includes no music or formalities but has to be seen over by two witnesses and costs around £57. You can choose whether you'd prefer to do this before or after your wedding with us.
You must say specific words before the Registrar and two witnesses, and they comprise the full legal element of your ceremony. You then sign the Register, but you don't have to say any additional vows or exchange rings at this point if you'd rather save this for your ceremony at Dodmoor House.
What happens in a ceremony with a Celebrant?
The beauty of this type of ceremony is that you can be in control of the format of your ceremony. Typically, a ceremony script is written which will truly reflect who you are as a couple. You can keep things traditional if you want, or add lots of humour and tell anecdotes of your time together.
You can add in rituals such as handfastings, love letters read aloud, a unity candle or a sand ceremony too!
Your guests can perform readings or you can all sing a song together too. If you want to make the ceremony look quite similar to a civil ceremony, you can also pose and "sign" the wedding register (although this isn't actually a legal bit of paperwork).
They follow quite a similar order of the ceremonies you may be used to such as the arrival of the wedding party, the celebrant address, vows and rings, your first kiss and the "signing"!
We hope that this post gives you a little bit more of an insight into how a celebrant ceremony works and how it can work in with your wedding day, giving you your dream day here at Dodmoor House.
Love, Dodmoor x