HOW OFTEN WILL I BE IN TOUCH?
I’m here to make your ceremony just what you need it to be, and I’ll be available to take your calls, emails and texts between now and the day of your ceremony. As a guide, however, you can expect this as a minimum:
- An initial call or email chat to get in touch and find out more.
A signed agreement that we’re going to work together
A ‘big picture’ meeting to learn all about you, and your hopes and vision for the big day. This can be face-to-face or via a video call, for example.
A questionnaire for you to complete and send back to me. The questionnaire deals with your individual ‘love story’ and gives me the detail I need to write a major section of the script.
A second meeting where I read you the the first draft of your ceremony and we drill down on the details. This usually takes place around 3 months before your ceremony.
Agreement on the final format of your ceremony, and provision of the final details for you to incorporate into your Order of Service, if you are having one.
You will need to write your own vows. I’m more than happy to help with them, but it’s important that your individual vows to each other are directly from the heart. I will supply some written guidance to help you along.
A rehearsal/walk through at the venue, if we can arrange one. Even if we cannot physically meet at any other time, the rehearsal is definitely recommended!
If you decide that the ceremony should include cakes and wine, for example, or other disposable/consumable props, it is your responsibility to ensure that they are available on the day. I will provide permanent physical props such as the wedding chalice, candles, quaiche and handfasting cords or ribbons if we agree that the ceremony requires them.
Leading your ceremony on the day
A certificate and a presentation copy of your script is included in the ceremony.
WHAT IF WE NEED TO CHANGE THE DATE OR CANCEL?
The booking fee is non-refundable. If the cancellation is made more than 28 days before the ceremony is to take place, no further payment will be due. If you cancel within 28 days of the ceremony, the final instalment will be payable. If the ceremony is postponed (as opposed to cancelled altogether), the booking fee is non-refundable.
Final payment will be due 6 weeks before the new date. In the event that Steve Morris Ceremonies is unable to accept the new proposed date, I will endeavour to provide another trusted celebrant.
The fees for the re-arranged ceremony would be a matter for
you to negotiate with the other celebrant. The booking fee would not form any
part of the other celebrant’s recompense.
WHAT IF OUR CELEBRANT IS UNAVAILABLE ON THE DAY?
I will never cancel or seek to rearrange any ceremony once it is booked. However, there is a remote possibility that serious illness or force majeure may make it impossible for me to fulfil my obligations. In the unlikely event that this happens, I will attempt to secure another trusted celebrant to conduct the ceremony as we have written it. I will make payment to that celebrant. In the event that I am unable to secure another celebrant, I will refund the entire fee including the booking fee to you, and you will be able to ask another celebrant or friend to conduct the ceremony. I will make available the ceremony that we have written, if you wish to use it, free of charge.
WHAT TIME WILL YOU ARRIVE?
I will usually expect to be present at your venue at least one hour before the start of your ceremony.
IS IT CUSTOMARY TO PROVIDE YOU WITH FOOD ON THE DAY?
No. I can usually use a coffee before the ceremony. I do not usually attend receptions or parties, though I do make myself available for comments and conversation immediately after the ceremony.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE CEREMONY?
I will provide the words and basic props. The specific props used vary according to the form of celebration chosen, but could include:
- Handfasting ribbons or cords (a set of ribbons is included in the base price and is yours to keep)
- Certificate of Ceremony
More beautiful or custom props are available to buy
(separately) or commission; for example the wedding chalices are made by Eleri
Owen Glass, and can be made to order with your own colour preferences. I will
be happy to facilitate a meeting. Chalices take at least a few months to make.
Handfasting cords can be hand woven from silk (or another material of your
choice) and bound in silver.
WHAT DO I WEAR?
The short answer is that it can be up to you. I aim to wear something that fits your ceremony. Most modern ceremonies require a certain ‘gravitas’ – I like vintage clothes and I prefer cravats to ties. I have modern suits as well. If your vibe is more casual, I will respect that and dress accordingly. I know that you will have a vision of your day and that will include what your celebrant looks like. Let me know.
I have a speciality in costumed ceremonies. I have a massive range of historical and fantasy costume, and the ability to make almost anything I haven’t got yet.
HOW DO I WRITE CEREMONIES?
There are rules! I’m not going to tell you all of them, but here’s a few pointers.
There are definite stages. First stage is to set the stage; we call this ‘composition of place’.
All ceremonies include public speaking. Basically, there are three stages.
- Tell people what you are going to say
- Say it
- Tell people what you’ve just said.
The final stage is ‘permission to leave’ – in some traditions they call this ‘gathering in’ or ‘closing’.
All scripts are different, but most cultures believe that words have power. Some early religions including Egyptian, Jewish and Mesopotamian believed that the whole universe was spoken into being. Great speeches have moved mountains and inspired revolutions. The words used at your ceremony should live forever in your memory. They should be beautiful and poetic.
Sometimes it is good to incorporate someone else’s words, for example through a reading or poem.
In some cases, the entire ceremony can be constructed out of pre-existing words, for example Shakespeare, Tolkein or even the script of your favourite television series! Again, it’s whatever you want. By the time it’s been adapted it’s a whole new work of art.
It’s not just about the words, though. Like any good script, it will need great delivery. Tone, timing and confidence are just as important. Some great actors can read the phone book and it sounds wonderful; others could read the greatest script ever written and people would be bored stiff.
You need both a great script and great delivery.
WILL I/WE SEE THE SCRIPT IN ADVANCE?
Yes. We will agree the script as far as possible in advance, depending of course on how much time you give me to finish it! In the normal course of events this will be not less than four weeks before the ceremony.
The fee range for most ceremonies is on the website. Typically, fees are negotiable within that range, but the fee that I quote will be based on how much work your ceremony will involve. Weddings are typically quite a bit more expensive than other ceremonies, for example, because there is usually a rehearsal involved and writing the script takes about twice as long.
I do not aim to be the cheapest celebrant on the block, just the best.
Fees are not currently liable to VAT.
Once we agree on a fee it is fixed and guaranteed unless you decide that additional services are required. The specific services and ritual elements which we agree on will be specified in the booking form/contract.
WHAT IF I AM DISSATISFIED?
Hopefully this will never happen. By the time we sign up to these Terms and Conditions we should have agreed that we are right for each other and that we share the same vision. If you ever feel, in the build-up, that what you are getting from me is departing from your vision for your perfect day, please don’t hesitate to say so.
I am a member of the Fellowship of Professional Celebrants. This organisation has a Code of Practice that I am signed up to. I also have my own personal code of practice.The FPC has a professional standards review mechanism which can be used to resolve any disputes.
I offer a no-quibble money back guarantee. If you feel that the ceremony has not met your full and complete satisfaction, I will refund the final fee.