Hampstead Heath. Photo credits (c) Rosalie Kuyvenhoven, Rituals Today

Beautiful poems and readings for an autumn funeral

Every season has its own special beauty. Autumn has many attributes that relate to the cycle of life and death. Watching nature transform its colours from green to a palette of golden yellow, bright red and warm brown is a delight. Yet, there is also a sadness in all this beauty as it is also[…]

Non-religious coming-of-age ceremony

From child to t(w)een: a non-religious coming-of-age ceremony

The transition from childhood to adulthood, the ‘coming of age’ of children to become young men and women, is a significant stepping stone in everyone’s life. Many traditions around the world have rituals and ceremonies to mark and remember this pivotal moment in someone’s life. They are often linked to religion, such as Bar and[…]

Free download: a Guide to Dementia Friendly Funerals

Including people with dementia, where possible, in funeral arrangements and on the day of the funeral helps them express their emotions and say their farewells in a way that works for them. This Guide helps to create awareness and gives practice tips on how to have a dementia-friendly funeral. The Guide is free to download.[…]

Wedding at Radic Pavillion, Somerset. Photo credits @instaweddinguk

James and Libby’s unplugged wedding ceremony at an art gallery

One of the perks of being a wedding celebrant is that I get to know so many amazing venues. A celebrant-led wedding can take place anywhere, at licensed and non-licensed venues and locations (more inspiration here). I have conducted ceremonies at a boat, in a rose garden, at a fashion school, in private gardens, in[…]

Making funerals dementia-friendly: why, what, how

It started with awareness … When I first met a family where the wife of the person who had died was living with dementia, I realised I did not know much about the disease. Her children were not sure if she should come to the funeral as they thought she would not remember and may[…]

Celebrant-led wedding ceremony
Sand ceremony, London wedding. Photo credits (c) Daniel Morrell.

Real wedding: Aika and DongYoung’s small and intimate wedding ceremony

Weddings come in all shapes and sizes. Big, tiny, lavish, luxury, simple, creative, serious, hilarious, traditional, unconventional, loud and still. In the ‘real weddings’ blog posts I describe how I work with couples to create and conduct bespoke wedding ceremonies to celebrate this special moment in their lives. The below is an impression of the[…]

Holding hands

How to have a dementia-friendly funeral

Quite a few funerals I conduct are related to dementia. Either the person who has died or a living family member has been diagnosed with the disease. This raises specific questions and thoughts around funeral arrangements, such as: “Should we take mum to the funeral? She will not remember anything of it” “We don’t need[…]

Unique tribute ceremony for an iconic community building

Cheers for Hornsey Town Hall, an iconic community building in the heart of Crouch End that is closing its doors for redevelopment. Screenshot from video by Sugarsweet Productions The vast majority of the ceremonies I lead are for people: babies who are given a warm welcome into the world; couples who commit their love to[…]

Forget-me-nots and other subtle ways to honour a loved one at your wedding ceremony

Meghan Markle’s wedding bouquet included forget-me-nots, Diana, Princess of Wales’, favourite flowers. Prince Harry had handpicked them. I was quite moved by this detail. A subtle, gentle, heartfelt and truly personal way for Harry and Meghan to honour Harry’s mother.   Honouring a continuous bond When you are getting married you would like to be[…]

Celebrate life

How planning your funeral (and talking about it) benefits you and your loved ones

Sculpture on grave at Zorgvlied Cemetery, Amsterdam   Discussing your own funeral is not something you typically do at the dinner table, at a friend’s birthday party or during a coffee break at work. For many people, death is something they rather not think or talk about. It might evoke fear, sad feelings or images[…]

The Goodbye-box: a playful way to help children grieve

  Children grieve too but they do this differently than adults. Unlike adults, children have a limited ability to express their feelings, thoughts and memories verbally. Alternatively, play can be an effective and safe way for them to give messages on how they feel. Bonnie Jansen, who teaches at a primary school in the Netherlands and[…]

How to include young children in funerals

“I am not sure if I should take my children to the funeral. What do you think?” It’s a question parents often ask me as a funeral celebrant. If prepared well, attending a funeral can be a healthy, healing and positive experience for children. The following feedback from a parent explains how attending a funeral has helped[…]

Spotlight interview with award-winning blog Engaged and Ready

  A precious moment at S&R’s wedding. Photo by Paul Wilkinson Photography It has been a great honour (and lots of fun!) to be interviewed by award-winning wedding blog ‘Engaged and Ready.’ If you don’t know this blog yet, check it out. It’s filled with advice and inspiration for wedding ceremony guiding and planning, life-living,[…]

Why we need to rethink funeral spaces

Funeral at Willow Row Barrow, Cambridgeshire   On a chilly but bright autumn morning, the family and friends of David Sinclair gathered to both celebrate his life and acknowledge his death at the place he had chosen as his final resting place, Willow Row Barrow, in the Cambridgeshire countryside. It was the first time that a[…]