Sheila Ellis

Handfasting at Glastonbury

DSC08813Handfasting at Glastonbury in the Chalice Wells Gardens was always going to be magical.    I was first contacted by Jodie August last year to arrange a handfasting in the Chalice Wells Gardens and was thrilled.   Jodie and her husband Gary were flying over from Australia to tour the UK and wished to renew their vows with a Handfasting ceremony.  Jodie especially wished to visit the Chalice Wells Garden which was very appropriate for some one so keen on the history of King Arthur.

Jodie, Gary and I had never met or skyped in all that time, everything was done through email, which is quite a departure from my usual way of working because I do like to have face to face contact so my couples get to know me and I them.  However, it all worked well just emailing.   There were little hiccups like Jodie’s emails going astray when trying to book the gardens, no one knows why they never received her emails but I stepped in (I don’t usually get involved with booking venues) with Jodie being in Australia and such time differences and I rang the venue and verbally booked on behalf of Jodie and Gary and then sent them the paperwork for them to complete and return both to the venue and myself (in case they again did not receive Jodie’s email) which was a good precaution as they hadn’t received it again so I was able to forward the completed form for them.

Excitement grew for all of us as the day approached.  Jodie, Gary and family flew into England a few days before and travelled around sightseeing.   We hitched up our caravan and travelled over to Somerset,

On the day of the Handfasting we had rain!  In the middle of what was a heatwave covering Britain, we hadDSC08857 rain and it really poured down.  We began to wonder if it would cease before the evening and the Handfasting!   We stayed in our caravan all day and around 4pm it stopped raining so we packed all that we needed (and dogs) into the car and made our way to Glastonbury.   We had only gone a few miles and realise that the road etc where completely dry!   Once we got to the Chalice Wells Gardens and talked to the staff they told us that they had had 20 minutes of rain in the morning and then back to the sunshine……….the cloud must have just stayed over our camp site then!

The Chalice Wells Gardens are beautiful and so peaceful.  So our first meeting was just outside the gardens and I have to say what a beautiful family and Jodie looked stunning.   We had several areas to choose from, some wanted under the trees and others by the healing pool but it was finally decided to hold the ceremony in front of the drinking pool.

The Handfasting went according to script and Jodie and Gary really loved the momenDSC08917t.  The children were included with a Sand Ceremony and I am hoping that the sand stayed in some layers but knowing they would be carrying it all over the UK and then back to Australia I expect it is all as one, which is good because the family were all looking out for each other.

 

We paDSC09112rted at the end of the evening and wished them the best for the rest of their travels.   As I w

as leaving the member of staff looking after us, said his goodbyes to Jodie, Gary and family and then turned to me and said “We’ll be seeing you again Sheila”, which living in Kent was not really probable and I always thought this would be a one off.   But……………  I may be returning…………… watch this space!

Handfasting Costumes

Handfasting Costumes are often very important part if the ceremony.  Not all couples decide they wish to dress up in celtic costume plus some couples view it as their wedding ceremony which means full bridal outfits for all.  However, every couple gets to choose whether or not I and/or David dress in costume and what type of costume.

We have a few variations or costumes both celtic type or gothic (believe me I love wearing my long black leather coat just as much as a cloak!)  or, as said, we have dress normally for some ceremonies were the Bride and Groom considered that we might scar off their guests if we were dressed in costume.   It is a choice we are happy to give to our couples, although I have to say it is strange not being in costume to conduct a Handfastings.

My main costume for Handfastings (apart from my cloaks) is quite ‘dressy’ so I thought I needed something a little more down to earth.  I searched out a pattern and material and this is the end result.  I am quite please with it and when my belt with bag and horn are attached I think it looks good.    The under dress can also be worn on its own, again with the belt and accessories, which give even more options!  Two garments for one!New Costume

The first outing for the new garment will be on the 4th of July in Glastonbury, so if you see me walking around do say hello!   I shall also be taking it to The Healing Weekend for all the handfastings on the field, only FOUR WEEKS to go!   As you can probably tell I am really looking forward to showing it off!

I am now thinking of further costumes to add to the wardrobe,  Choice is good!

Not only but also….

Not only but also………. a well known phrase but this comes to mind when thinking of our time at The Healing Weekend this July in Somerset.    We will be offering handfastings on the field under our beautiful archway.   But a little know fact is that I am also a registered Healer with the Kent International Healing Association and will also be offering healing to anyone that requests it.    How we work it is that half of our space is set out as a Healing area and the other half showing what we do as Celebrants, along with a few handfasting cords and ribbons for sale.    The main ceremony area will be opposite out allocated space so not too far to go and we do offer facilities for our couple to change and store anything that they bring along.

Also on the field there are food areas, behind us in the Main field is the large café but also on the back field, where we are positioned is a lovely tea and scones van.   They do the most amazing scones and cakes and are open to offering an afternoon tea for those who wish to celebrant with friends and family after their ceremony with us.

So you can have some lovely healing before your ceremony, then your ceremony and afterwards a celebration with everyone else.   What is not to like!?

 

Do you want a Handfasting?

20160712_135Do you want a Handfasting?    We travel all over the country and abroad giving couples the true Handfastings, calling on the elements, ancestors, mother earth and father sky.  You can have full circles of family and friends or just a quiet or private ceremony.   You will be consulted over what you will require in your ceremony and these can also include jumping of the broom and the traditional hand tying (both of which can also be included in a wedding or vow renewal).

If you are in the Glastonbury or Somerset area we will be around your area and available for ceremonies between July 3rd up to our setting up on the field of The Healing Weekend on 10th July ready for Handfastings on the field from Friday 13th to Sunday 15th.

Now is the time to book your Handfasting!   Contact us for dates, times and where you wish to be Handfasted.  20160917_156

We love Wedding Fairs

We love wedding fairs! it gives us the opportunity to talk to lots of couples that have never heard of a Celebrant led ceremony.  Those that have, we confirm what they can expect and almost always we get lovely feedback.   Often couple have already booked their venue and the registrar but once they find out how flexible our ceremonies are they regret that they didn’t come and see us first.  However, I am sure that  they will still enjoy their day after all it is all about their commitment to each other, if they don’t they can always consider a Vow Renewal with us at a later date.  Sandwich feb 2018

This last weekend we had a great time talking to everyone. In particular we were talking to a Bride to be who was with her parents looking out options,  I happened to mention to the parents that they could have another party and have vow renewals to which they replied they were already thinking of that for their 25th anniversary.  I told them all their options and they then realised they could hold it in their very large garden too.  They all went away with lovely smiles.   I am hopefully going to hear from them all again!

Howfield Manor Feb 2018

Wedding Fair

Today it is Valentine’s Day, and I know there will be lots of couples choosing this day for their engagement day.  Congratulations if you have!   I will look forward to talking to you both at forthcoming fairs and in particular we will be at the Howfield Manor Wedding Fair this Sunday.  Do come along and find us and talk through all the options that open up to you when you have a Celebrant led ceremony.   I am so excited to meet you all!  Such a lovely feeling helping couples with their choices and often telling them that they do have choices!

Marine Hotel, Whitstable

jan21marine

2018 Wedding Fair

The Marine Hotel, Whitstable, on Sunday 21st January will be our first Wedding Fair of the New Year.  We are hoping to display our new arch for those field. beach and garden ceremonies.  It is especially lovely for Handfasting  ceremonies and we will, of course, be taking it with us to The Healing Weekend in July.  We will also bring along our Bisom that is used for the Jumping the Broom ceremony.  Tying the Knot and Jumping the Broom are not just for Handfasting ceremonies but can also be incorporated into a Wedding ceremony too.   So we hope to see you at the Marine Hotel.   If you can’t make it we are booked into other fairs during the year.  They are all listed on our Welcome page.

Merry 2017 Christmas

Merry Christmas

Merry 2017 Christmas and a Brilliant 2018 New Year x

We hope you have a Merry 2017 Christmas and are all looking forward to whatever 2018 brings.   There are lots of traditions for both Christmas and New Year that we continue throughout our lives, like how we receive Father Christmas and Santa Claus (which name do you use?).  I do remember my young grandson being very confuse one Christmas when my daughter and I were taking him to see Father Christmas and he asked if he would also get to see Santa Clause too!   He did get to see both and Mrs Clause, who was making real mince pies in their kitchen.

Another traditions that we always have is the ‘first footing’ for New Year.   We always had to make sure that a plate with a piece of coal (for warmth in the new year), a piece of cake or mince pie (so you are always fed in the new year) and some money (so you will always have enough throughout the new year) on and then it had to be put outside on New Year’s eve in readiness.   Just before midnight, if you were not expecting visitors with greetings, then a person (the nearest to a tall, dark haired person) must go outside and wait for midnight to strike before knocking on the door and being allowed in bearing the plate of goodies for the New Year!

There are also great traditions within ceremonies.  In weddings it is the exchanging of rings, the first kiss and of course the exchanging of vows.  Vow Renewals are often a replica of your wedding ceremony,  Baby namings have the promises of the parents and those chosen to help their children through their growing years.  And Handfastings have a more tradition than any other ceremony.  It includes the exchanging of vows, but also the tying of hands or the tying of the knot, plus the jumping of the broom.  It also brings in the traditions of the land, air, fire and water.  They believe much more in nature and included within their ceremonies much more that we do today.  However we do try to bring it back into our modern day type of a Handfasting ceremony.

We hope that you all have a Brilliant Christmas and New Year and do look forward to talking to you about the traditions that you would like to include in your ceremonies.

Christmas is coming!

Well Christmas is coming.  Hope you are all ready for the festivities and excitement?   We are just about ready, one or two last minute things to do then relax hopefully for a few days.

After the Festive holidays we will be looking forward to greeting and meeting all those lovely couples who were lucky enough to get engaged over the period.   Such fun to start off the New Year with the planning of the rest of your lives together. Starting with the all important day of your wedding.  If you want something entirely different to all your counterparts look no further because we can offer different, unique and beautiful or bizarre what ever you wish.   We always have a face to face meeting with you both either by meeting up or skyping if you are abroad or the other end of the UK  We then go through exactly what you would like to have within your ceremony and then go away and script exactly that.  But that is not the end of it, we send you your script for your approval so you know that it is what you want.   You can be assured that the ceremony will go without a hitch (hopefully) because we write everything down and arrive an hour before your ceremony time and double check that everything that you asked for is in place and all you have to do is turn up!

We will be attending a few chosen wedding fairs in the new year so watch out for the venue and date either here or on our facebook page.  Come along and check us out and have a chat.  This year we will be taking along our archway that we take to the Healing Weekend and use for the Handfastings so you will not be able to miss us!

On The Healing Weekend field

On The Healing Weekend field

 

Yes, we will bring the bisom along too!

Royal Wedding has been announced

A Royal Wedding has been announced and we are to expect it in the Spring of next year!   Huge Congratulations to Prince Harry and Meghan Merkle on their engagement, it is just the kind of news we need for the forthcoming year.  What a year it is going to be for the Royal Family, with a Wedding and a new Baby due around July!

I wonder what we can expect for the wedding, will it be a low key affair?  Or Westminster Abbey?   Will there be time for everyone to be invited and accept?  Afterall lots of Royals around the world have full diaries before the year begins, will there be cancelations?  I know I would be loath to cancel a Wedding I would be conducting if it clashed,  but I might be persuaded to actually mention that wedding too, but only if my Bride and Groom were up for it.   It is sometime taken as an honour to be married on the same date as a Royal, it has even been known for couples to move their date to the same day.  However others try to avoid it at all costs because they will be aware that their guest would wish to be viewing the Royal wedding on television.  However they could arrange to have it screened, wonder how many will?  I am sure there will be lots of speculation of Meghan’s dress, will it follow the type that Kate wore or will she go for the low cut effect?

It would be lovely if Prince Harry and Meghan decided to include a  hand tying within their ceremony,  how spiritual would that be?   I know that they could not have a full handfasting officially but I am always available if they wanted one afterwards on the lawns of Buckingham Palace!   Jumping the broom into their next stage of their lives together would be wonderful.  Come on Buck Palace give me that call!   Start a new tradition for the Royals to have two ceremonies, one formal and the really spiritual one to connect to the earth and all nature around us!

 

 

Remembrance Day

by Sheila Ellis 0 Comments

DSC01033For Remembrance Day we were so proud that David was asked by some of our villages if he would conduct a non-religious ceremony.   That happened today and although not a big turnout there were a nice number of people.  We had the two minute silence at 11am. David announced the names of all those village men that had lost their lives in both WWW and we planted a little cross for each under a Willow tree on the green.   DSC01034David then asked each and everyone to offer their own personal memories of the effects that wars had had on their families and friends.   Each was very moving and a few tears were shed.

Once the ceremony had finished we were all invited back to a local farm for refreshments and a chat.   I was talking to a gentlemen whose family has always lived in the village and he now lives in his Grandfather’s house and each and every male of the family had been in the war and fortunately all returned but yet some have been traumatised but they we expected to get on with their lives as usual and they did.   He told me about his mother with him in a pram was used as a target by a german plane while she was walking from her house to her in-laws house and ended up jumping into the hedgerow to get out of the way, once the plane has passed she just continued on her way as though nothing had happened.    It was really good to hear of each persons memories or those memories passed down about how people coped during those war years.

Added to today David is also saying a piece during the Church Remembrance day tomorrow.

Being a Celebrant certainly is fun and you never know what you will be asked to do which is why it is a brilliant job.