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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

The tree of life: a baby naming ceremony inspired by nature

Baby naming ceremonies are always wonderful to do. They are usually informal occasions full of happiness and love. Very often, other children attend the ceremony, sharing their bubbling energy and sometimes causing a bit of chaos when they decide to do their own thing. These children keep reminding me of the fact that good preparation[…]