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Celebrant Services

I have a lifelong love affair with words (don’t knock it, they couldn’t care less whether you’ve shaved your legs or if you’ve left crumbs in the bed from the chocolate Hobnob you scoffed last night while binge-watching the latest Scandi-Noir).

It’s an all-encompassing love that is as inclusive as I am – from naughty words when only a bawdy expletive that would make your Nan blush will satisfy, to prose so beautiful that it’s virtually a work of art (I’m thinking of you Mr Shakespeare!) to the witticisms of Oscar Wilde, I truly believe that the English language in all its glorious forms is one of life’s greatest blessings.

For this reason and my background in performance, I decided to expand my skillset and am now a fully trained celebrant. A perfect complement to the wedding planning.

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What is a celebrant?

A celebrant is someone who conducts a ceremony of any kind – weddings, funerals, commitment, vow renewal, naming, really anything that someone wishes to commemorate with some form of ceremony – in a completely unique and personal way. As an independent celebrant I will work with you to create something that is as individual as you are. I am not a humanist, nor am I affiliated to any religion; I simply believe in diversity and equality for all. I do respect that some people would like to incorporate religious elements into their ceremony, and I am happy to work with you to do just that.

In England and Wales, a legally binding wedding must take place under a fixed structure that has a marriage licence and will need to be conducted by a registrar or religious leader.

The beauty of having your wedding with a celebrant is that there are no such restraints! Want to get married underwater, jumping out of a plane, on the beach or even up a tree – we can do it, although my tree-climbing skills are a little rusty these days……!

If you do choose to have your wedding conducted by a celebrant, you will have to register your marriage either before or after as this is the legal aspect of the ceremony (of course, this only applies if you wish to be married in the eyes of the law).

As a wedding planner, I have found that a surprisingly high number of couples choose to have the legal ceremony as an intimate occasion prior to their actual “wedding” day.

It will take about 7 minutes – not including the signing of the register – if you don’t have any readings, which is why more and more couples are looking to celebrant led ceremonies. I mean what can you do 7 minutes?! (It’s killing me to not write something smutty here!)

Many couples – especially those who are a little shy and don’t enjoy being the centre of attention – feel that it takes the pressure off the official big day. I can talk you through this and point you in the right direction – one of the many advantages of having a wedding celebrant and planner all rolled into one!

Vows often get a little overlooked when couples get caught up in the excitement of venues, menus, bands etc. and yet, it is what the day is really all about. Together we can create a completely bespoke ceremony that captures the very essence of you as a couple and the life you’re building together.

Dracula & Mina (my personal favourite – just watch the divine Gary Oldman in Bram Stoker’s Dracula and you’ll see what I mean), Captain Holt & Kevin (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) and Brittany & Santana (Glee) all had amazing love stories but none of them is as amazing as yours so let’s celebrate that as simply or as elaborately as you like.

I remember many years ago, the first funeral that I ever attended was that of my beloved Nan – Annalise. She was an extraordinary woman – like a beautiful, bright butterfly. The funeral took place in a crematorium and the religious leader who conducted the service not only stumbled over her name and continually had to shuffle through his notes to remember it (with the accompanying long pauses) but also got her children’s names wrong.

This vibrant, remarkable woman was reduced to nothing but bullet points and dates. There was nothing of her in that ceremony. My already broken heart hurt a little more after that.

Since then – as many of us sadly do as the years roll by – I have attended many other funerals and they are always in a similar vein. Now, I’m not knocking the clergy at all and have of course been to funerals that were conducted beautifully and did a real credit to the guest of honour, but I usually see that in a village parish where they had a relationship with them.

Nobody’s life should be reduced to amendments on a script that has been learned by rote. Simply everybody has a story that deserves to be told and that is what I can do. No goodbye should ever be compromised due to lack of funds so I will always be as flexible on this as I can be, and I will never charge for a child’s funeral.

The death of a loved one will be the greatest trauma any of us will go through and the financial burden can compound that. There are no legal requirements for funerals which gifts us greater autonomy to say goodbye in the way you want to.

Writing a speech is a nerve-wracking prospect at the best of times but that is multiplied when you are doing it for a high-pressure situation that carries huge emotional investment. So why not take the stress out of the situation by working with a professional (that would be me!)

With my passion for writing and performance, I am perfectly placed to help you write and deliver the speech that you really want to give.

Have you ever thought how different your wedding day would be if you could do it all again?

Weddings have evolved so much in recent years and I am sure you both have too, so let’s acknowledge and celebrate that.

This works the same for commitment ceremonies and blessings. Maybe you want to commemorate a particular phase in your life together or acknowledge a milestone anniversary or maybe you just want to say how much you still love each other (despite the weekly squabble over who’s taking the bins out!)

Whether it’s an intimate ceremony or a huge celebration we can create a day that weaves together all the strands of your life to create a real celebration of your love.

As with funerals, vow renewals and commitment ceremonies, there are no legal requirements for any other kind of ceremony so here’s where we can have a lot of fun! Whatever you would like to acknowledge, I can help.

I think that the word ceremony can often conjure up the image of an event that can be rather sombre, but this is absolutely not the case!

Maybe you are welcoming a child into the family through birth, adoption, fostering or as a stepparent but don’t want a religious ceremony. A naming or family unification ceremony can be a wonderful and inclusive alternative.

It offers parents, family, and friends the opportunity to make the personal commitments to the child that they wish to.

I also offer ceremonies for individuals who are changing their names – for example, transgender naming ceremonies. I would be delighted to work with you to create a ceremony that honours all the parts of your identity and will unite your friends and family in celebration of this.

So, whether it’s a graduation ceremony, moving away or retirement party or a Wiccan/Pagan magical naming ceremony, I am happy to help and look forward to hearing your stories and bringing them to life.

“Dead people receive more flowers than the living ones because regret is stronger than gratitude.” – Just sit with that thought for a moment.

How often do we tell our loved ones all the wonderful things that we love, admire and respect about them? As an experiment, ask your nearest and dearest what one word they would use to describe you and the one story about you that they cherish the most. I promise that you will be amazed at their response.

It’s why those “sum me up in one word” posts are always doing the rounds on Facebook. I’ve always been a “regret the things that you have done rather than the things that you haven’t kinda girl” and whilst that has on occasion got me into a LOT of trouble, it also means that everyone I love knows and feels it. So how about we all start trying to honour the living a little bit more?

I can promise you that a living eulogy will be the greatest gift you could ever give someone. If the title is a little scary, think of it as a kind of “This Is Your Life”.

How does it work?

Quite simply, I will interview friends and family (as many or as few as you’d like) then I will write the story of their life so far. It will be a little emotional – but only because it will show that person how much they are truly loved – it will also be uplifting, joyous, funny and you will definitely find out a few things about that person that you never knew before – the skeletons will definitely get an airing!

It’s the perfect gift for a retirement, big birthday or just because. And couldn’t we all do with a few more just because moments in our life!

What do you get?

As per my wedding planning services, there is no one size fits all, however each client will have:

  • An initial meeting so that you can try me on for size.
  • Unlimited telephone and email correspondence.
  • A completely unique ceremony – each one will be written from scratch.
  • Amendments until it’s “just right”.
  • As little or as much help as you require including choosing music and readings.
  • 100% engagement and emotional investment. I can’t promise that I won’t get tearful, but I can promise that I will care.
  • A keepsake copy of the ceremony/speech
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Working with Eva for our wedding was an absolute joy. Her sense of humour, attention to detail and communication are second to none and she ensured everything went totally smoothly on our big day. Eva went above and beyond to work with us to find options that worked well for our desires and our budget (which was far from the biggest). On the day itself we both felt really supported and looked after and though we had our best people set up to troubleshoot any issues, Eva already had everything in hand, so they were free to enjoy the day as much as we did. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Eva to anyone looking to plan a very special event. Thanks again Eva!

Amy and Hannah
Wedding services

Weddings seem built to make couples nervous. What do I wear? What shoes to buy? What cake should we have? How many bottles of wine should we order? How long until some drunk uncle collapses in a heap on the floor? It is no surprise that some couples end up having a meltdown or worse before the actual wedding. But if you have Eva as your wedding planner, not only will you have a great day, you’ll wonder why other couples appear so stressed.

Eva is a magician. Not only will she deliver exactly what you want and how you want it, she’ll throw in suggestions to make your day even better. A chameleon that’s both there and not there on the day. She melds seamlessly into the background, then magically appears when needed. My wife and I would have been a lot more stressed if it weren’t for Eva. She makes even the most complex logistics appear simple, fun, and joyous probably because she’s a natural people person and can get on with any team of professionals. Planning was a doddle thanks to her, and the execution was unbelievably brilliant. Eva has a great sense of humour and breathes a calm atmosphere on proceedings. You’ll never feel lost or stressed if you hire her to plan your wedding.

John and Jess

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