Monday, 27 March 2017

Independen Celebrant: Making a connection

I am very lucky in that being an independent celebrant, I have a chance to get to know the families I work with.
Whilst this might be expected with marriage and naming ceremonies, it can be less so with some mainstream funerals.

I am able and willing to spend enough time to make sure that the wishes of the deceased and their families are carried out.
Anybody can choose to have an independent celebrant, even if there is a pre-paid funeral plan. Tell your funeral director your choice and they will be happy to follow your wishes.

I feel it vital that families can have the ceremony that suits them. This might be Atheist, Agnostic, Humanist, Spiritual, or a more traditional Religious ceremony. It is their feelings that matter and it is their choices that will result in the form the ceremony takes. I am happy and comfortable in following their wishes.

When a death occurs, the family and close friends are in shock. Their grief is strong and yet they have so much to do, so much to organise. A good funeral director can make all the difference and I work together with them to help things run smoothly.

The key is communication and yet more communication. I give my families my phone number and they know they can phone or text me at any time. If you are grieving, can't sleep and suddenly want to change an aspect of the ceremony, or have suddenly remembered the name of a poem, it is a comfort to be able to send a message immediately, even if it is the middle of the night.


When the funeral director first contacts me with the details, I will ring the family and arrange a meeting. This can be at my home or theirs and we try to get as many people gathered together as possible. This is a comfort and support and it is  also helpful to hear a variety of anecdotes and loving memories.

Mungo making me feel welcome at a family visit

We may sit together and talk and plan for two or three hours if necessary. I am honoured by the trust people have in me. They let me into their hearts and together we build up the story of a life, so that when the ceremony is completed, everyone will say " That was just right, that truly captured their personality and who they were"

I chose poems I feel will suit and read some out, we listen to music, we look at old photographs. There are tears, of course but you might be surprised how often there is laughter.

Happy memories

After the first meeting we are in constant contact by phone and email and I am always happy to meet again, especially if there is a family member who has had to travel and not been present at the first gathering.
I will help them plan the Order of Service, so the ceremony runs smoothly and naturally. Then I will write the Eulogy or work with the person who wishes to deliver it. If needs be, I am happy to coach someone who wants to read a poem but is nervous with public speaking. We are a team.
And the end of all this?
We will have created a ceremony that if uplifting and befits the person whose life we are celebrating. They were a wonderful, unique human being and they deserve to have their story told and their life celebrated.
Sometimes we are able to add an unexpected element to the funeral. There have been 70 purple helium balloons released at one, a motorcycle cortege, a Boxer dog as guard of honour at others. These wonderful gestures can lift the spirits of everyone present.

One of the motorcycle cortege
When people are loving and trusting and work together it is amazing what we can create.
Together we can celebrate the life of a lost loved one in a beautiful, unique ceremony that is a true thanksgiving for their life.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Independent celebrant: Where would you have your dream Wedding Ceremony?


One of the reasons that many people chose to have a Celebrant is that this gives them the chance to have their ceremony whenever and wherever they wish.

Most couples visit their Registry office mid-week and get the legal part of their Wedding done and then they are free to celebrate in beautiful places that hold a special meaning for them.
There is no need for a special licence, as long as you are not trespassing, you may have your ceremony just about anywhere you can imagine! 
A flowery meadow?

An empty beach?

The wild moors?

There are so many romantic places the adventurous can choose.
Perhaps you love Steam Trains,

Or Paris?

The choice is yours... the only limit is your imagination...

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Wedding Planning Workshop, near Salisbury, April 5th 2016

Have you just got engaged? Are the two of you beginning to think about getting married? Are you already planning your ceremony but still have so many questions to ask?
Well, the Wedding Planning Workshop is just the place for you!
Kismet Photography organise these highly popular events regularly and their April one is nearly upon us.

I'm proud to have been invited to be part of this exciting event.
 Tuesday 5th April is the date of the next workshop.
If you are thinking of or planning your Wedding, this is a perfect chance to talk to some of the top professionals in the field.

The evening is held relaxed and beautiful surroundings at Longford Barn. There will be delicious food and cocktails, a talk full of planning tips by Bellissimo Weddings and a host of friendly people to answer your queries and questions.
An evening not to be missed.
For more information or if I can help in any way, please message me here, phone 07706 617 838 or contact the organisers.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Independent Celebrant | Styling your Wedding | Vintage

If  you choose to have an Independent Celebrant, you have the chance to create a wedding ceremony as individual as your choice of dress!
I love being involved in ceremonies with a vintage theme and I am very happy to dress accordingly.

At the Vintage Nostalgia Show

I know many local traders and experts and I can also direct you to forthcoming Vintage Fairs and events. These are fabulous places to find unique and beautiful treasures for your wedding day.
Here are some tempting examples.
It's such fun hunting for stylish and unusual table decorations:

French Champagne bucket and posy vase

Linen napkins with handmade rings
Perfect for posies

Charming cherubs!
You can find books to give advice on every situation...


And the clothes! You can be sure you will be elegant and stylish, there are so many beautiful and unique choices. Here are a couple of my favourites.

Original Wedding Dress 1920s/30s


Pretty floral silk

There are a multitude of elegant accessories too:


And lace veils and silk slips to suit the most romantic of buyers


Recently I found a Victorian wax garland in perfect condition, delicate blue flower head-dresses and ribbons galore!


There seems no end to the beautiful things you can find:

Eiderdowns for the marriage bed..

Little porcelain flower brooch

An heirloom quilt

So if you are planning your vintage style wedding, why not give me a call and I will direct you to your nearest treasure trove!
After all, where else can you find a moustache cup and a pair of doves under one roof?

Jane Arnold

Independent Celebrant

Mobile: 07706 617 838

All these wonderful things were found at :

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Independent Celebrant | Just the two of you - the ultimate Pop Up Wedding

The is no doubt about it, Spring is on its way!
Does your romantic heart long for a wedding with just the two of you, having a picnic on a sunny day and celebrating your love simply and spontaneously?

It may seem an impossible dream...
There are so many obstacles in your way, not in the least the English weather.
But it can be done!
I mastermind the ultimate in spontaneous 'Pop Up' weddings.
Phone me or email me and I will tell you all about this wonderfully romantic option.

Jane Arnold   
Mobile  07706 617 838

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Independent Celebrant | St Valentine's day | Choosing your favourite love poem

It is easy to be cynical about the commercialisation of this day but I love the old English belief that today is the day that the birds choose their partners and if you listen closely to the dawn chorus, you can hear them singing with especial passion.
I have a great love of books and of poetry, so I have chosen three very different love poems to mark this romantic day. Maybe one will inspire you for your Wedding readings?

I believe there is a love poem to suit every love and every couple. I've also learnt that every couple has a very different idea as to what makes their wedding romantic. When two people decide to celebrate their love with family and friends, as an Independent Celebrant, I feel it is vital that I create a ceremony that is as individual as they are.

 W.B. Yeats
He Wishes for Cloths of Heaven
Had I the heaven's embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams
Rock doves by Pippa Unwin
Edwin Muir
The Confirmation
Yes, yours, my love, is the right human face.
I in my mind had waited for this long,
Seeing the false and searching for the true,
 Then found you as a traveller finds a place
 of welcome suddenly amidst the wrong
Valleys and rocks and twisting roads. But you,
What shall I call you? A fountain in a waste,
A well of water in a country dry,
Or anything that's honest and good, an eye
That makes the whole world bright. Your open heart,
Simple with giving, gives the primal deed,
The first good world, the blossom and the blowing seed,
The hearth, the steadfast land, the wandering sea.
Not beautiful, or rare in every part.
but like yourself, as they were meant to be.
Adrian Mitchell 
Celia, Celia
When I am sad and weary,
When I think all hope is gone,
When I walk along High Holborn
I think of you with nothing on
If you are thinking of having a ceremony and simply can't remember the title of a poem you once loved, please don't hesitate to contact me. I love tracking down poems and readings!
For beautiful carvings and sculptures do have a look at this talented sculptor Pippa Unwin.