Frequently Asked Questions

What is Celebrancy?

An independent celebrant is someone who is trained to provide a custom made ceremony which is unique and special to you. You have complete freedom to create something which is appropriate to you and your way of life that truly expresses your personality. Allie trained with The Fellowship of Professional Celebrants, the largest organisation of independent celebrants in the UK and Europe whose celebrants are professionally trained to write and deliver personalised ceremonies full of meaning and heart. www.professionalcelebrants.org.uk

If you are considering using LIFE STORIES, you are choosing a wonderful and very creative way to celebrate. You will no doubt still have some questions to ask so a few, most commonly asked questions, are covered here. Please scroll down to find the type of ceremony you are looking for and do please get in touch with Allie if you would like to know more.

Where are you based?

Allie is based in rural Northumberland and travels throughout North East England and the Scottish Borders. She is available nationally and internationally but this has considerable impact on costs. Occasionally, for ceremonies such as weddings, pre-planning can be undertaken on Skype or FaceTime if travel / accommodation costs are prohibitive.


Weddings & civil partnerships:


What are the differences between a registry office, a humanist celebrant and an Independent celebrant ceremony?

Unlike a registrar, there is no legal limitation or restriction as to what you can include in your LIFE STORIES ceremony.  Allie will support you throughout the whole process, firing your imagination, encouraging your creativity and reducing your stress!  She can help you write your own vows if you choose to, or help you plan something original and do without vows altogether!

With an independent celebrant, like Allie, you can hold your ceremony anywhere you wish and at any time of day. You can incorporate symbolic gestures (see below) theme your event, include readings, poetry, live or recorded music, dance; the options really are endless!
You can also include religious elements if that is right for you; humanist ceremonies cannot include any religious elements at all.

 

When you include a symbolic ceremony, it gives your wedding an extra special touch by offering a visual symbol of your union and a personal reflection of who you are as a couple. There are many different traditions, rituals and customs to choose from and we can find one
that fits you and captures the spirit of what is important to you as a couple, so your family and friends can share in your love in a more meaningful way. Handfasting, Lighting the Unity Candle, The Loving Cup, Jumping the Broom, The Rose Ceremony and Sand Ceremony are just a few examples. Living near to the Scottish Border, Allie also offers a range of traditional Scottish, Celtic and Pagan ceremonies.
If you would like to design your own symbolic ceremony or blessing, she will liaise with you.

Do you offer same-sex weddings?

Yes, of course! LIFE STORIES is proud to offer bespoke wedding and civil partnership ceremonies for any couple of any sexual preference or gender orientation. LOVE is LOVE!

Is a celebrant ceremony legally binding?

Regardless of whether it is a civil or religious ceremony, marriages in the UK are only legally binding if they are conducted by a licensed member of the Church or someone registered by the local authority (a Registrar). So, the answer is no, not currently. But of course it does give you so much more choice and flexibility with your content and over where, when and how your ceremony is conducted! You will need to register your marriage in a registry office before or after your celebrant wedding ceremony in order to make your marriage legally binding. 

Most couples prefer to register their marriage before the celebrant wedding ceremony but it can be done any day before or after your wedding day at any registry office in the UK. You may of course, prefer to celebrate your love and commitment without any legal ties - your ceremony, your choice.


What happens when I book a Consultation?

Once she has the basic information, Allie will arrange to meet with you for your initial planning session. This will usually be face to face but Skype or FaceTime meetings can be arranged for international couples. Everyone will then get together for a ceremony planning meeting (combined with a venue or site visit). 

Allie will liaise with you regarding readings, vows and content and begin to create your unique, personal LIFE STORIES ceremony script. Every ceremony is totally different and is written specifically for the couple, with no 'typical' ceremony, or set format. Some couples will want a ceremony that feels quite traditional in its content and set up. Others are determined to throw tradition out of the window and do something really offbeat. Every LIFE STORIES wedding or civil partnership ceremony tells the couple's story through a combination of words, readings, music and (sometimes) symbolic gestures.


Allie will maintain contact with you right up until the day of your ceremony with unlimited edits, emails, calls and Skypes / FaceTime meetings. She will liaise with your planner / events organiser if you have one and with key staff at your chosen venue. If logistically possible, we will carry out a rehearsal and full logistical walk-through at your venue.


Do you allow religious content in your ceremonies?

Yes, if it is appropriate for you. As an independent celebrant, rather than a humanist, Allie is able to include religious content. She is committed to truly reflecting the culture, spirit, beliefs and any faith her clients have. LIFE STORIES ceremonies are unique and tailor-made without boundaries and restrictions.

What happens on the day?


Allie will arrive in very good time. She will supervise set up as required and can provide a portable PA system for music and voice amplification if necessary.  If it has not been possible beforehand, we will carry out a rehearsal and full logistical walk-through at the venue before guests arrive.


Your beautiful LIFE STORIES ceremony will be professionally presented by Allie and she will manage any other contributions (such as readings) and performances (such as live music). 
 

A typical ceremony will usually last anywhere between 20 – 45 minutes, depending on how many readings and songs / live music you choose to include; LIFE STORIES ceremonies are very flexible!  After your celebration, Allie will present you with your printed certificates and copies of readings and vows.

How much does it cost?

Weddings, civil partnerships (and vow renewals) vary so much in terms of planning, venue visits, rehearsals and celebrant responsibilities on 'the big day'. LIFE STORIES is a bespoke service; Allie will always gather as much information as she can about the type of ceremony you would like and where you’re planning it, to give you an accurate quotation.

Allie lives in West Woodburn, Northumberland. If you live over 40 miles away (or are holding your ceremony over 40 miles away) there will be a further charge of £10 per hour.

Are you insured?

Allie has £5 million Public Liability Insurance cover with YUTREE INSURANCE LTD through The Fellowship of Professional Celebrants.

Are you a member of any professional bodies?

Allie is a member of The Fellowship of Professional Celebrants. She is also an Associate Member of The National Association of Funeral Directors and of SAIF, the National Society of Allied Independent Funeral Directors.

What happens to my personal information?

The General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union and the European Economic Area. It was implemented in UK law in May 2018 and also addresses the export of personal data outside the EU and EEA areas.

As a celebrant, obviously Allie will have to collect personal information from you. She uses that information to communicate with you and to create your ceremony. She will store your information securely and will never share anything with other organisations, businesses or individuals. Once your ceremony is delivered and you have a copy of the service, your personal information will be destroyed. Rest assured any ceremonies stored in LIFESTORIESUK records are anonymised.

Funerals:

What are the differences between a humanist celebrant and an independent celebrant ceremony?


Funerals led by both humanists and independent celebrants have become very popular. The key difference between the two is the level of religious content in the service; a humanist service is regarded as a non-religious ceremony. An independent celebrant however will completely tailor the service to the client’s wishes allowing as much or as little religious content as the client requires. An example of this would be if a client wished to have a hymn, a psalm or a prayer included in the service. LIFE STORIES is committed to honouring the wishes of the deceased and their family and Allie's independent celebrant funerals are completely flexible.

What happens when I book a  funeral service or memorial?

If you have been matched with LIFE STORIES through a funeral director, Allie will have been given your contact details and a little background information. If you make contact with her directly, by phone or email, she will ask you for some basic information including the name of the deceased, the date, time and venue for the service and your address for a planning meeting.

Allie will arrange a date and time for a planning meeting with you. At that meeting, she meets with your family members and friends to talk about the deceased. These meetings usually take between one and two hours and Allie will listen to your plans, encourage you to share stories and discuss any contributions anyone may wish to make to the funeral service. 

After the planning meeting, Allie will stay in touch. She will write the eulogy and send a draft to you for comment and any edits will be made. She will also gather any tributes and readings and edit as required. These are added to the order of service and sent to you for your amendments. Allie will liaise with your funeral director about your order of service, choice of music and length of service, as necessary.

The complete funeral service can now be written.


Do you allow religious content in your ceremonies?

Yes, if it is appropriate for you. As an independent celebrant, rather than a humanist, Allie is able to include religious content. She is committed to truly reflecting the culture, spirit, beliefs and any faith her clients have. LIFE STORIES ceremonies are unique and tailor-made without boundaries and restrictions.

What happens on the day?

Allie will arrive at your venue in very good time and liaise with everyone involved.  She will deliver the funeral service and oversee any additional elements . A few days after the service,  Allie will send a copy of the final script to you to keep.

How much does it cost?

Fees for funerals are usually set by funeral directors who use  Church of England rates as a guide. In North East England fees are most usually around £180 - £200 and there may be a small charge for additional travel (extra meetings, for example). Funeral services for stillborn babies and under 18's are free of charge.

LIFE STORIES ceremonies of up to one hour are included in the standard fee. An extended service, or additional service at the graveside, involving internment or scattering of ashes or attendance at an additional venue would incur extra (pre-agreed) charges. Allie 
can supervise set up as required and can also provide a portable PA system for music and voice amplification if necessary. 

Allie lives in West Woodburn, Northumberland. If you live over 40 miles away (or are holding your ceremony over 40 miles away) there will be a further charge of £10 per hour.

Are you insured?

Allie has £5 million Public Liability Insurance cover with YUTREE INSURANCE LTD through The Fellowship of Professional Celebrants.

Are you a member of any professional bodies?

Allie is a member of The Fellowship of Professional Celebrants. She is also an Associate Member of The National Association of Funeral Directors and of SAIF, the National Society of Allied Independent Funeral Directors.

What happens to my personal information?

The General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union and the European Economic Area. It was implemented in UK law in May 2018 and also addresses the export of personal data outside the EU and EEA areas.

As a celebrant, obviously Allie will have to collect personal information from you. She uses that information to communicate with you and to create your ceremony. She will store your information securely and will never share anything with other organisations, businesses or individuals. Once your ceremony is delivered and you have a copy of the service, your personal information will be destroyed. Rest assured any ceremonies stored in LIFESTORIESUK records are anonymised.

Namings, vow renewals, memorials (including living memorials) family ceremonies and
divorce healings:


What are the differences between a humanist celebrant and an independent celebrant ceremony?

As with other ceremonies, the main difference between humanist and independent ceremonies is the degree of flexibility. Services under these headings are completely flexible in terms of venue, time of day and content. LIFE STORIES ceremonies aim to reflect the individuality of clients, their personality, their culture, faith and beliefs. Unlike a humanist ceremony, an independent LIFE STORIES celebration can include religious content if that is right for you.

What happens when I book a  Service?

Allie will gather some basic information then arrange a meeting to gather information, find out exactly how you would like your LIFE STORIES ceremony to be designed and start planning with you. Some ceremonies can be arranged quite simply, others require a longer planning process and perhaps a number of meetings. The more complex ceremonies will have a planning schedule much like that of a wedding or civil partnership and you may wish to read through what might be involved in the description higher up this page. Allie is flexible and will work with you to help you express exactly what you want to convey in just the right way for you, at a realistic price.

Do you allow religious content in your ceremonies?

Yes, if it is appropriate for you. As an independent celebrant, rather than a humanist, Allie is able to include religious content. She is committed to truly reflecting the culture, spirit, beliefs and any faith her clients have. LIFE STORIES ceremonies are unique and tailor-made without boundaries and restrictions.

What happens on the day?

Allie will arrive in very good time. She will supervise set up as required and can provide a portable PA system for music and voice amplification if necessary.  If it has not been possible beforehand, we will carry out a rehearsal and full logistical walk-through at the venue before guests arrive.


Your beautiful LIFE STORIES ceremony will be professionally presented by Allie and she will manage any other contributions (such as readings) and performances (such as live music). 
 

A typical ceremony will usually last anywhere between 20 – 45 minutes, depending on how many readings and songs / live music you choose to include.  After your celebration, Allie will present you with your printed certificates and copies of readings.

How much does it cost?

LIFE STORIES is a bespoke service, Allie will always gather as much information as she can about the type of ceremony you would like and where you’re planning it, to give you an accurate quotation.

Allie lives in West Woodburn, Northumberland. If you live over 40 miles away (or are holding your ceremony over 40 miles away) there will be a further charge of £10 per hour.


Are you insured?

Allie has £5 million Public Liability Insurance cover with YUTREE INSURANCE LTD through The Fellowship of Professional Celebrants.

Are you a member of any professional bodies?

Allie is a member of The Fellowship of Professional Celebrants. She is also an Associate Member of The National Association of Funeral Directors and of SAIF, the National Society of Allied Independent Funeral Directors.

What happens to my personal information?

The General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union and the European Economic Area. It was implemented in UK law in May 2018 and also addresses the export of personal data outside the EU and EEA areas.

As a celebrant, obviously Allie will have to collect personal information from you. She uses that information to communicate with you and to create your ceremony. She will store your information securely and will never share anything with other organisations, businesses or individuals. Once your ceremony is delivered and you have a copy of the service, your personal information will be destroyed. Rest assured any ceremonies stored in LIFESTORIESUK records are anonymised.

If you have further questions, give Allie a call or use the contact button below.

High Brandy Bank
West Woodburn
Hexham
Northumberland
NE48 2RA

Tel: 01434  270 369

Mob: 07979  488 276

allie@lifestoriesuk.com

© 2019
by LIFESTORIESUK
Creative Celebrant Services

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