WEDDINGS & PARTNERSHIP CEREMONIES

WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT JULIA

“Julia was recently the Celebrant for our Wedding and she was outstanding. She held the space beautifully on the day and was 100% committed to ensuring the room itself and all the details of the ceremony were in place.

We spent months in the lead up to the Wedding writing the ceremony together and her feedback and support made for a wonderfully unique and special moment.
As the most important part of the Wedding day for us we felt we managed to convey everything we had hoped for and more with Julia. Many of guests also commented on how much they had been moved by and enjoyed our ceremony.
 
Thank you so much!! 
 
Alexandra & Will
 
Ellenbourough Park Hotel exterior in the sunshine

 
“ Hi Julia , Where to begin? Firstly, Thank you so much,  from the very beginning phone call where we spoke about potentially booking yourself through to the end of the ceremony everything you did was perfect.

I have to say , we initially searched around for celebrants and nothing fitted or sat right with us, however the moment we spoke with you it was meant to be, you have gone above and beyond every step of the way. Extremely thoughtful, all the gifts and goodies you bought our child to keep them occupied, the help with the vows , the way you wrote such an outstanding ceremony, honestly I couldn’t recommend you more. And just a personal note for yourself , you are an incredibly kind human being, you are warm welcoming and amazing at what you do! Keep being you. You will always remain a very important part of our wedding day & you’ll always be a part of lives now!

Thank you once again from the bottom of our hearts!”  

 
K & P
 
 
“Julia, thank you so much for the beautiful ceremony.  After some searching and misses on finding the right celebrant for our ceremony we were able to find you.
 
Being a couple from the United States, searching for a celebrant abroad was difficult and a little nerve wracking, but our concerns were put to rest from our initial Skype conversation.
 
You were very easy to work with and accommodating especially working from a distance.  You crafted a beautiful ceremony for us and enlightened us to a fun Sword and Chalice ceremony that fitted perfectly with our Castle wedding venue!
Thanks again”
 
Montana and Stephanie
 
Julia Hawkes celebrant - sword and chalice ceremony Cotswolds
 
 
Bride Gazing lovingly at groom during celebrant led Barn Wedding Ceremony
 
 

“We really can’t thank you enough for making our day so special. As the person who was indispensable, you made such a crucial difference to the day – we couldn’t have been more pleased with how it all went.

It was also such a pleasure to work with you to create the ceremony content beforehand. You only ever encouraged our ideas and helped create something out of them.

We received so many compliments about the ceremony and your delivery of it. We will highly recommend you to anyone we know who is getting married.”

Georgie and Matt

 

“We first met Julia at a wedding fair and as soon as we met her we knew she was the perfect celebrant for us. She has a wonderful calm and caring air which made us both feel instantly relaxed. From then on she was perfectly organised and helped us to create the ceremony we wanted with the minimum of stress.

On the day the ceremony couldn’t have gone better Julia was again very calming for us both and had helpful answers to all our last minute questions. We would thoroughly recommend Julia as a professional caring person to create the perfect ceremony whatever that means to you”

Jonathan and Kate

 

Happy couple just wed at Ellenborough Park Hotel

“We couldn’t recommend Julia more!  We were looking for a celebrant to officiate our wedding, as we wanted something that was personalised and special to us. Julia not only provided this for us, she couldn’t have shown more care and interest in making our ceremony the perfect fit for us, providing us with ideas and guidance.

So many guests commented on how wonderful she was on the day and we really felt we were able to connect with her and that was really special.Thank you again for helping to create such lasting and magical memories for us”

Dominic and Flower

 

   
 
“On behalf of Jack and myself we would like to say a massive thank you for your lovely service on Saturday. It was perfect and really special. Everyone loved it – we had loads of people say this afterwards. It was definitely all we wanted it to be, we loved it.
 
We also really enjoyed meeting you.
Best wishes”
 
Catharine and Jack
 
 
 
 

“We would just like to say a very big thank you for the lovely ceremony you performed for Catharine and Jack on Saturday. It was very special and personal to them and I’m sure they will remember it always.

What a perfect day they had! We have got some beautiful photos to remind us of the day which was magical from start to finish.

Thank you again for the part you played on the day and also for the bound copy of the ceremony for them to keep.  They have had a couple of days relaxing but are now home and coming down to earth!   With all good wishes”

Sharon and Paul

 
“Julia was brilliant from the moment we made contact with her. She explained all the processes to do with the ceremony wonderfully. Julia is a warm and lovely character who has tons of patience and clarity. She guided us through writing our own vows and prepared these beautifully for us on the day.
Julia made our wedding day incredibly special and most importantly without any hitches – we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her”
 
Martha & George
 
 
 
 
“The wedding ceremony you presented for us was so beautiful and all the guests were truly moved by the words and way this was done.  I will write a comment on your website over the next week to reflect our gratitude for the bespoke service that you have offered us”
 
Kam & Ajay
 
 
“It was wonderful meeting you last week, we are both incredibly impressed with you and all the effort and love you clearly put into your work to help create a wonderful day.
 
We would be honoured if you would be our celebrant for our wedding 💜”
 
Tori & Ian
 
 
 
“Well I’m sat at my kitchen table having a cry so the first draft is definitely brilliant. Thank you so much”
 
Martha
 
Thankyou so much for this beautiful ceremony you’ve written for us. Sax and I were in tears and felt so much emotion when reading it. Its just what we dreamed of.
 
De & Sax
   
Julia Hawkes Outdoor wedding
 
 
“Julia was absolutely lovely, she helped us create the perfect ceremony for us. We went through all the details together, tweaking as needed until we were happy with it. It truly was perfect and magical. Thank you!”
 
Katherine and Andrew
 
“Hi Julia, I have been meaning to contact you to say thank you so much for the wonderful wedding ceremony that you conducted for Katherine and Andrew. It was a really magical day and so many people said how lovely the ceremony was, in fact some have said that it was the best that they have ever attended!”
 
Elaine (Mother of Katherine) x
 
 
WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT JULIA
 
“Hi Julia , Where to begin? Firstly, Thank you so much,  from the very beginning phone call where we spoke about potentially booking yourself through to the end of the ceremony everything you did was perfect.

I have to say , we initially searched around for celebrants and nothing fitted or sat right with us, however the moment we spoke with you it was meant to be, you have gone above and beyond every step of the way. Extremely thoughtful, all the gifts and goodies you bought our child to keep them occupied, the help with the vows , the way you wrote such an outstanding ceremony, honestly I couldn’t recommend you more. And just a personal note for yourself , you are an incredibly kind human being, you are warm welcoming and amazing at what you do! Keep being you. You will always remain a very important part of our wedding day & you’ll always be a part of lives now!

Thank you once again from the bottom of our hearts!”

 
K & P
 
~~~~~~~~~~~
Front of Ellenborough Park Hotel in sunshine
 
 
 
“Julia was absolutely lovely, she helped us create the perfect ceremony for us. We went through all the details together, tweaking as needed until we were happy with it. It truly was perfect and magical. Thank you!”
Katherine and Andrew
 
Happy couple getting married outdoors with Julia Hawkes Celebrant
 
 
“Hi Julia, I have been meaning to contact you to say thank you so much for the wonderful wedding ceremony that you conducted for Katherine and Andrew. It was a really magical day and so many people said how lovely the ceremony was, in fact some have said that it was the best that they have ever attended!”
Elaine (Mother of Katherine) x
~~~~~~~~~~~
 

“Julia was recently the Celebrant for our Wedding and she was outstanding. She held the space beautifully on the day and was 100% committed to ensuring the room itself and all the details of the ceremony were in place.

We spent months in the lead up to the Wedding writing the ceremony together and her feedback and support made for a wonderfully unique and special moment.
As the most important part of the Wedding day for us we felt we managed to convey everything we had hoped for and more with Julia. Many of guests also commented on how much they had been moved by and enjoyed our ceremony.
 
Thank you so much!! 
 
Alexandra & Will
 
~~~~~~~~~~~
 
 
“Julia, thank you so much for the beautiful ceremony.  After some searching and misses on finding the right celebrant for our ceremony we were able to find you.
 
Being a couple from the United States, searching for a celebrant abroad was difficult and a little nerve wracking, but our concerns were put to rest from our initial Skype conversation.
 
You were very easy to work with and accommodating especially working from a distance.  You crafted a beautiful ceremony for us and enlightened us to a fun Sword and Chalice ceremony that fitted perfectly with our Castle wedding venue!
Thanks again”
 
Montana and Stephanie
 
~~~~~~~~~~~
 
Bride Gazing lovingly at groom during celebrant led Barn Wedding Ceremony
 

 

We really can’t thank you enough for making our day so special. As the person who was indispensable, you made such a crucial difference to the day – we couldn’t have been more pleased with how it all went.

It was also such a pleasure to work with you to create the ceremony content beforehand. You only ever encouraged our ideas and helped create something out of them.

We received so many compliments about the ceremony and your delivery of it. We will highly recommend you to anyone we know who is getting married.”

Georgie and Matt

~~~~~~~~~~~

Happy couple just wed at Ellenborough Park Hotel

“We couldn’t recommend Julia more!  We were looking for a celebrant to officiate our wedding, as we wanted something that was personalised and special to us. Julia not only provided this for us, she couldn’t have shown more care and interest in making our ceremony the perfect fit for us, providing us with ideas and guidance.

So many guests commented on how wonderful she was on the day and we really felt we were able to connect with her and that was really special.Thank you again for helping to create such lasting and magical memories for us”

Dominic and Flower

~~~~~~~~~~~

“On behalf of Jack and myself we would like to say a massive thank you for your lovely service on Saturday. It was perfect and really special. Everyone loved it – we had loads of people say this afterwards. It was definitely all we wanted it to be, we loved it.
 
We also really enjoyed meeting you.
Best wishes”
 
Catharine and Jack

~~~~~~~~~~~

We would just like to say a very big thank you for the lovely ceremony you performed for Catharine and Jack on Saturday. It was very special and personal to them and I’m sure they will remember it always.

What a perfect day they had! We have got some beautiful photos to remind us of the day which was magical from start to finish.

Thank you again for the part you played on the day and also for the bound copy of the ceremony for them to keep.  They have had a couple of days relaxing but are now home and coming down to earth!   With all good wishes”

Sharon and Paul

~~~~~~~~~~~

“Julia was brilliant from the moment we made contact with her. She explained all the processes to do with the ceremony wonderfully. Julia is a warm and lovely character who has tons of patience and clarity. She guided us through writing our own vows and prepared these beautifully for us on the day.
Julia made our wedding day incredibly special and most importantly without any hitches – we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her”
 
Martha & George
 
~~~~~~~~~~~
 
 
 
 
 
“The wedding ceremony you presented for us was so beautiful and all the guests were truly moved by the words and way this was done.  I will write a comment on your website over the next week to reflect our gratitude for the bespoke service that you have offered us”
 
Kam & Ajay

~~~~~~~~~~~

It was wonderful meeting you last week, we are both incredibly impressed with you and all the effort and love you clearly put into your work to help create a wonderful day.
 
We would be honoured if you would be our celebrant for our wedding 💜”
 
Tori & Ian
 
~~~~~~~~~~~
 
 
“Well I’m sat at my kitchen table having a cry so the first draft is definitely brilliant. Thank you so much”
 
Martha
 
~~~~~~~~~~~
 
Thankyou so much for this beautiful ceremony you’ve written for us. Sax and I were in tears and felt so much emotion when reading it. Its just what we dreamed of.
 
De & Sax

 

Thank you for visiting my website and considering me as your celebrant for your special day

  • You are a discerning couple looking to create a Cotswolds wedding of distinction or a special partnership ceremony
  • You are seeking something more memorable than the typical registrar led ceremony
  • You want your ceremony to reflect the unique qualities you both have

and:

  • You want to be able to choose the person who conducts your ceremony

There is a way to have the perfect ceremony…

In recent years many couples have chosen to separate the legal registration of marriage or civil partnership from their wedding or partnership ceremony in order to allow them the freedom to create a ceremony that is unique and personal to them.

The simplest way to legally marry in England involves a very short civil ceremony at a Registry Office, where you make a declaration and contract, in front of two witnesses.

There is no requirement to dress up, say any personal vows or exchange rings. It is similar in essence to the process of registering a birth where you register the birth and then the baby-naming follows later.

Although the ceremony that follows is symbolic rather than legal most couples find that by opting to have a separate personal and heartfelt celebration they are able to create something deeply moving and significant.

Happy couple just wed
Happy couple just wed

The options for how to create your own ceremony are limitless and you can include as many traditional elements as you wish, including exchanges of rings and vows, readings, blessings and music.

Whatever it is you have in mind for your big day and wherever you want your ceremony to take place – it is possible

Creating such a special ceremony can be a daunting prospect for some, but by choosing to work with a qualified and skilled celebrant you will be able to receive as much support, guidance and inspiration as you require.

I can design a service and readings for you, or you can write your own.

Special Unity Moments

You may want to include a special, symbolic unity ‘moment’ within the ceremony such as a unity candle, a sand ceremony or something completely original.

 These unity ceremonies celebrate a couples closeness and connection.

They symbolise the joining together of two people, becoming one family unit and often involve wishing you good luck for your future life.

Adding in these creative elements adds to the personalisation of your ceremony and all can be adapted in any way that suits you. At our first meeting we can discuss these.

Outdoor Asian Cotswold Wedding - Ring ceremony
Lesbian wedding couple posing happily with their dog

My role is simply to enable you to create your day, your way. I want to make sure that you have a perfect wedding ceremony with all the personal elements you want included.

Together we can create a ceremony that is truly memorable. 

I will offer you, and two witnesses, the opportunity to sign a commemorative record on the day and this will be given to you along with a presentation copy of the ceremony.

I am happy to meet with you for an initial no cost, no commitment meeting to discuss your day. This meeting will allow you to get to know me and I can gain an understanding of what is important to you.

Below are some of the questions most commonly asked about Celebrant led wedding ceremonies. If you cannot find an answer to a question you have please do not hesitate to contact me by phone or email.

WEDDINGS FAQs

What happens if we need to postpone or cancel our wedding ?

POSTPONEMENT : Any postponement of the event will be honoured providing there is availability to do so. If you have decided to postpone you should discuss dates with Julia in order to ensure she can honour your request, otherwise cancellation fees may apply. Postponement beyond a 12 month period may incur a small additional charge to reflect price increases.

CANCELLATION – Unless there are extenuating circumstances should you wish to cancel your ceremony after the initial 14 day period and prior to 28 days before the event all, or part of*, the 50% initial payment will be charged.  If the ceremony is cancelled with less than 28 days to the event, the full fee will apply.

*PLEASE NOTE  – When a ceremony is cancelled Julia will usually retain a pro-rata payment for work  already undertaken (including correspondence, administration and for holding your date (i.e. turning down other bookings)

Why choose a celebrant instead of a registrar?

Choice! By separating the legal registration from your wedding ceremony, you have the freedom to create a ceremony that includes anything you want, in any location you choose. A celebrant will spend time getting to know you and making sure that your personalities, your ideas, values and any beliefs are reflected in your ceremony. Your ceremony will be unique to you. A registrar will only be able to offer a limited choice of what can be included in your ceremony. You can ask for certain words, poems, and readings to be included, but often time is short and this limits what can be included.

Why should we choose you?

I am an imaginative, creative celebrant who will be open to all your ideas and wishes. I have undertaken a professional qualification and work to a recognised code of ethics. I believe that only the best is good enough for ceremonies marking such significant events. I am a member of the Fellowship of Independent Celebrants.

Can we meet you before making a decision?

Of course! I offer a free face to face consultation meeting within Gloucestershire and neighbouring counties. If you live further afield we can schedule a skype conversation or I am happy to travel throughout the UK and abroad if travel costs are met. At cost price if flight tickets or an overnight stay in hotel required.

Will we be legally married if we have a celebrant led ceremony?

The law in this country currently requires that the legal requirements are carried out either by a religious minister in a church or by a registrar in an approved marriage venue or registration office. However, you can arrange to complete the legal requirements in your local register office before or after you have your celebrant led wedding ceremony. Many couples do this in casual clothes, jeans and t-shirts are fine, dressing up is saved for the wedding ceremony. By choosing to separate the legal requirements from your ceremony you have the freedom to create a ceremony that is truly magical.

What do we need to do to complete the legal requirements in a register office?

For most marriages or civil partnerships you must give at least 28 full days’ notice at your local register office. You each need to pay a small fee when you attend the register office to give notice. Your notice will be publicly displayed in the register office for 28 days. When you attend the Register office to register the marriage or civil partnership you will pay another small fee. You will be asked to repeat two sets of vows repeated after the registrar in the presence of two witnesses.

Do I need to register my marriage on the same day / at the same venue as my Celebrant Wedding Ceremony?

No. You can do this any day before or after your wedding day at any register office in the UK. You do not need to have a registrar attend your Celebrant Ceremony or be present at your venue. Often it is cheaper to register your marriage at your local register office on a weekday, rather than at your venue.

What will we have to say at the register office?

You will be required to choose one from each of the following legal statements: Declaratory Words  “I do solemnly declare that I know not of any lawful impediment why I, AB, may not be joined in matrimony to CD.” or “I declare that I know of no legal reason why I, AB, may not be joined in marriage to CD.” Or By replying “I am” to the question “Are you AB free lawfully to marry CD?” … Contractual Vows  “I call upon these persons here present to witness that I, AB, do take thee, CD, to be my lawful wedded wife (or husband).” or “I AB take you CD to be my wedded wife (or husband)” or “I AB take thee CD to be my wedded wife (or husband)” …

Do we have to say our own personal vows at the register office?

No. When you attend your legal registration, you can save your personal vows and your ring exchanges, along with all other personal details for your Celebrant-led ceremony.  It is not a legal requirement to do this when you sign your papers. Just inform the register office that this is what you will be doing.

Will our Celebrant Wedding Ceremony seem less ‘real’ if we have already signed the register in a register office?

No. Signing the register is simply process of signing the legal paperwork behind the marriage. The most meaningful part of your wedding will be when you stand up in front of your family and friends and say your vows together and declare why you have chosen to commit to each other as partners for life.

Our local register office is offering an enhanced service and they say we don’t need a celebrant ceremony – we are confused, what should we do?

An enhanced service may offer more choice, but it will never offer as much personalisation as a bespoke Celebrant led ceremony. Working with a Celebrant over many months will result in a ceremony that is as unique as you are and that includes all the elements you want. You may want a certain song, a unique ritual to enable your children to join in or a special woodland location that is your special place. Remember, anything is possible with a Celebrant led ceremony. Ultimately the choice is yours.

What if we want to have our ceremony abroad?

If you wish to complete a legal marriage registration abroad, you will usually have to complete documentation and visit several government offices and associations to satisfy their requirements.  Alternatively, if you separate the legal signing and complete this in the uk you can avoid all the red tape at your wedding destination and have the ceremony you desire.

We are marrying overseas but would like a ceremony on our return for our family and friends who could not join us. is this possible? 

Yes, I will plan a very special ceremony where you can renew the vows you made overseas whether that was one week or one year ago.

We are coming over to the UK on honeymoon after our wedding in Japan can we have a ceremony in the UK?

Yes, I will plan a very special ceremony where you can renew the vows you made in your home country whether that was one week or one year ago.

I have been married before and have children is that ok?

Yes, it would be lovely to include your children in the ceremony too.

We are not sure where to start, can you help?

There are many different ideas for what to include in your wedding ceremony and I understand that it can be difficult to decide when you have so much choice. My role is to offer just as much support as you need. We can explore options together to ensure that we create a ceremony that is just right for you.

We want to write our own vows is this ok?

Choosing to have a celebrant led ceremony gives you the choice to contribute to the words spoken as much or as little as you like. Writing your own vows means that they will be truly personal and meaningful to you both. I will encourage you to personalise your ceremony as much as possible.  

Can we hold our ceremony outdoors?

Yes! You can hold your ceremony wherever you like; in a wood, on a hill, in your garden or by a river bank. It is likely you will need to organise seating for your guests so this may influence your choice. Also consider the weather and how rain will impact on your day.  

Does the venue have to be licensed for weddings?

No  – you can get married in any venue that hires out rooms for social events or gives you permission to do so – hotels, museums, galleries, somewhere that has special meaning to you.

Is there a restriction on the time of day we can have our ceremony?

I can perform wedding ceremonies at anytime of the day or night.

How long will the ceremony be, we don’t want to feel rushed?

As long as you want it to be, it is your day and there are no time constraints.

Are you happy for other people to participate in the ceremony?

Yes, it is entirely up to you who contributes. I would recommend that this is planned before the day but sometimes people do choose to add spontaneous comments!

Are there any restrictions on music, readings, photography?

There are no restrictions of any kind.

Can we have some religious/spiritual content in our ceremony?

Yes, the choice of content is up to you. I will offer as much support and guidance as you need to ensure the religious/spiritual elements that are important to you are included. I will ensure that the ceremony that reflects your religious/spiritual beliefs.

Can you incorporate elements from another culture or religion, or two religions into the ceremony?

Yes of course. There are many wedding customs and traditions from other cultures and religions and I would be happy to incorporate appropriate elements into your wedding ceremony.

We have heard about handfasting – is that something you do?

Yes. There are a number of ‘mini’ ceremonies that we could include in your ceremony – take a look at my wedding page where they are outlined in more detail. I would be happy to incorporate these in your day at no additional cost.

If we decide to have a ‘mini’ ceremony such as handfasting do you provide the necessary materials?

You are responsible for providing any “props,” such as handfasting cords, that your ceremony requires. Making your own choices makes the ceremony personal to you. Most of the items used are readily available from local wedding shops or crafts stores and you can also purchase them online. I can suggest some suppliers if required.

Do you perform marriages and/or civil partnerships/ceremonies for couples who identify as LGBTQ+?

Of course, I pride myself on my inclusive approach. I would be delighted to work with you to create your perfect day.

Will we always be able to contact you if we have additional questions or need more information?

Absolutely! Once you have made a booking with me my fee includes unlimited phone and e-mail support. I am available to speak with you both at any reasonable time of the day or evening.

What time will you arrive on the day?

I usually arrive 1 hour before the start of the ceremony. I will introduce myself to the key people participating in your ceremony including the photographer.

Will we meet with you on the day before the ceremony?

I would like to meet with you individually before the ceremony just to reassure you and offer any words of encouragement needed. You do not need to worry about what to say when, I will guide you throughout the ceremony. I would recommend that you are both ready 30 minutes before the wedding is due to begin.

What will you wear at our wedding?

Something that does not distract attention away from you! I aim to look formal and elegant but am also happy to be more creative if you have a wedding theme that you want me to get involved in. I am happy to share my outfit with you before the day if you would like to approve it.  

How far in advance do we need to book you?

I suggest that as soon as you have decided on the date you contact me to check my availability. If I have availability I will hold the date for you for a limited period. This will enable us to meet each other and for you to make a final decision.  

Do you ever accept bookings at short notice?

Occasionally! Dependent on my availability however to be sure you can have the date you want I highly recommend booking in advance.

Are your fees negotiable?

I believe that the quality and standard of my service and the ceremonies I provide warrants the fees I charge, so it is unlikely I would negotiate. However, I can offer lots of suggestions that will help you create a day that is magical without breaking the bank!

COMMITMENT CEREMONIES

You may not want the formality of a registered marriage or civil partnership but do want an opportunity to make a public commitment to one another and celebrate your love with your family and friends.

Commitment ceremonies provide the ritual feeling of a wedding without the legal red tape.

The options for how to create your own ceremony are limitless and you can include as many traditional elements as you wish, including exchanges of rings and vows, readings, blessings and music.

Whatever it is you have in mind for your big day – it is possible.

Creating such a special ceremony can be a daunting prospect for some, but by choosing to work with a qualified and skilled celebrant you will be able to receive as much support, guidance and inspiration as you require.

 

Young couple walking and smiling at each other after commitment ceremony
Cripps Barn interior dressed for a wedding

 I can design a service and readings for you, or you can write your own.

My role is simply to enable you to create your day, your way. I want to make sure that you have a perfect commitment ceremony with all the personal elements you want included.

Together we can create a ceremony that is truly memorable. 

I will offer you, and two witnesses, the opportunity to sign a commemorative record on the day and this will be given to you along with a presentation copy of the ceremony.

I am happy to meet with you for an initial no cost, no commitment meeting to discuss your day.

This meeting will allow you to get to know me and I can gain an understanding of what is important to you.