Our day – our way – a celebrant wedding for a celebrant

Sue Foxall Uncategorised

So, we got married, me and my lovely fiance David Foxall.

We had an epic weekend, full of love and laughter, and happy ever after 🙂

On the Friday, we went to Chester Register Office for our basic registration, accompanied by our children and their partners. The whole thing was done in less than 20 minutes, and was wildly underwhelming, but hey, it’s not a legal marriage otherwise, so one goes with the flow.

We enjoyed a fab family dinner that evening at The Partridge in Stretton, where the wedding ceremony and party was arranged for the next day.

Saturday morning saw me whizzing around making last minute arrangements, then some bubbles, a hairdresser and a make-up artist took me away from the busyness, for a couple of hours of pampering before the ceremony.

As for the ceremony – well of course I wrote it myself – and David and I shared its delivery. It was wonderful, surrounded by all our friends and family, in an intimate and personal setting – just as we had imagined it would be. We read our ceremony, exchanged our very meaningful and personal vows, exchanged our wedding rings, and then toasted our future with everyone gathered around us.

Food, jazz and a party followed until the wee small hours, with the music provided by the fantastic Pastry Shoes trio – they joined in the party atmosphere with us.
The next day was my birthday, and so the celebrations continued until we all drifted home around midday!

A few days later, we flew out to Lake Garda for our honeymoon – what a gorgeous place this is – beautiful scenery, amazing food, wine and people. We visited Verona, Venice, Sirmione, went on lake cruises, and listened to music, watched the local informal tango evening in one of the squares, and flew home relaxed and content.

Definitely all done our way.

Find out more about having a celebrant ceremony – contact me! 🙂

Photography by Megan Griffiths: www.megangriffithsphotography.co.uk

Helping to banish wedding nerves

Mrs B Hints and Tips, Vow Renewals, Weddings

After the blissful feelings of the proposal comes the reality of planning your wedding.
Time can run away with you, and the mix of emotions you feel, coupled with choosing the perfect venue and dealing with wedding dress dramas or family problems can cause a lot of stress. Not to mention the wedding nerves you might have over being the centre of attention or having to make a speech.

Hypnotherapy can help to banish wedding nerves and stress by clearing the mind, improving your focus, and giving you the tools to make your wedding day a happy and positive experience.

How can hypnotherapy help?
Engagements tend to be longer these days, and this means there’s a longer period of stress. This is not mentally or physically healthy for brides or grooms. Hypnotherapy can help to reduce stress and nerves from the wedding planning stage to the big day itself.

Hypnosis and wedding planning
There’s enormous pressure for everything to be perfect on a wedding day, and it’s common for couples and their families to argue and lash out at each other when the stress builds up. Hypnosis can help you keep perspective and approach your wedding day with happy anticipation instead of anger and hurt feelings. It can also help you to learn to relax, which will encourage a healthier state of mind during wedding planning. If you’re a habitual worrier, you might feel like that won’t change, but hypnotherapy can change your habits and behaviour, so you won’t sweat the small stuff so much.

Wedding planning problems and what your hypnotherapist can do
Feeling stressed about everything going to plan – This is very common, but deep down in your subconscious, you know your wedding day will be amazing. Your hypnotherapist can work with you to encourage positive thoughts and beliefs, and to stop wedding stress before it hits.

Feeling overwhelmed – Seeing family and friends you haven’t seen in a while can stir up emotions, and so can having a million things to deal with at once. Your hypnotherapist will be able to help you work on thinking about one thing at a time and being in the moment.

A note about self-care
Even when you’re busy and feeling the pressure, make sure you take time out for yourself. Whether you go for a massage, a mini spa day, or you just do something as simple as go for a walk regularly, you need to look after yourself, mentally and physically.

Hypnosis and your wedding day
Even if you planned everything down to the most minute detail, the surge of emotions you get on your wedding day can cause nerves. You’re in love, and you’re happy, but you’re also about to make a huge commitment. Being nervous is completely normal.

Hypnosis can help you think about how you feel and why you feel like that, and you’ll learn a lot about yourself in the process. After your hypnotherapy session, you’ll be equipped with the tools you need to be able to enjoy every minute of your wedding day, just as you deserve to.

Hypnosis and public speaking nerves
The Groom, Best Man, Father of the Bride or other members of the wedding party will be called upon to make a speech and speaking in public is enough to make even the most fearless person nervous. A fear of public speaking is one of the most common phobias. Hypnotherapy can really help people overcome nerves and make them feel confident and in control by using techniques like suggestion and visualisations to remove the fear of speaking in public.

How I can help?

I tailor hypnotherapy sessions to your needs, and after working with me, you’ll be able to look forward to your wedding day with confidence. It should be a day to remember, not a day to fear, and you deserve to enjoy it.

Contact me for a FREE consultation to discuss how you can make your wedding stress-free.
Consultations and sessions can be done on Skype and Facetime.

Lynne Bartle – “Mrs B”


Lynne is a fully qualified hypnotherapist, who came to her work following life-changing and debilitating experiences of her own.  She can help you overcome the fears that often accompany one of the happiest moments and days of your life.  The realisation that all the planning and excitement culminates in that moment when all eyes are on you! – take a read of her blog and get in touch to avail yourself of her skills so that instead of being beset with nerves, you can truly relax and enjoy your special day.


Bespoke luxury wedding ceremony at Carlton Towers

Stefan Pich Ceremonies, Hints and Tips, Weddings

As you are well into all the planning I’m sure you already have a ‘to-do’ list that’s a mile long – but I’m going to add something that needs to whizz right to the top of that list: – your ceremony.

The most significant words you will ever say

I know that there’s masses of ‘stuff’ on Pinterest and social media and you can all too easily get side-lined by what everyone else thinks you should have, but don’t lose sight of the most important part of your day – the treasured words you will say to your loved one on your most special day – the most significant words you will ever exchange.

Soooo many couples think that they have no choice or say over the content of their ceremony, believing that it’s a straight choice between church and registrar – wrong!! – so wrong

When you spend so much time and money making every little detail perfect, ensuring it reflects who you really are as a couple, then shouldn’t your vows get the same treatment?

Obviously, if you are a regular church goer, then it’s a done deal, and you will be saying your vows at the altar. But lots – and lots – of couples tell me that they don’t follow a faith but that they consider themselves spiritual. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they are anti-religion – but just that a church ceremony isn’t really their thing. So, they wind up getting the registrar out to the venue, and they swap 1 ‘one size fits all’ script for another, slightly different, ‘one size fits all script’.

Don’t get me wrong, Registrars have a key part to play in legalising your marriage, but they are restricted regarding many aspects of it – such as time, location, content, including anything religious, music, and so on…

So – what else is there out there?

Create a unique ceremony

That’s where I come in. As a celebrant I will spend time with you, get to know you (and you me) and carefully create a unique ceremony that really fits you and your personalities.

Your ceremony can be held wherever, whenever, whatever time. – limited only by your imagination. You can choose every single aspect of the ceremony, including whether to weave in some special and beautiful symbolic elements such as a hand-fasting or Loving Cup.

Until the law changes, we celebrants cannot do the legal bit – we are working on this I promise!

So, take a little trip down to your local register office. You will need a couple of witnesses, choose a weekday, ask for a basic registration appointment, where you will exchange the legal vows (masses of them – 47 words a piece!), sign on the dotted – job done – legally wed. I’ll help you with this, so no panicking required.

But…..save the personal vows, the rings and anything symbolic and beautiful that you would love to have on your wedding day for just that – your wedding day. Because all your guests see all this on your chosen date, as long as you don’t tell them, then no-one will know.

So, I expect you’re thinking ‘well, this is all very lovely, but I bet it costs loooaaddss’ – not true actually – even with the fees for the Register Office (around £100, with all the docs you need), using a celebrant is often less, or similar, depending on where you live.

And…..because you then have your license, you don’t need to book an expensive licensed venue if that’s not your style – you can literally be wed anywhere – your back garden, on the beach, in the woods, a favourite pub that doesn’t hold a license – go for it! It’s just about separating the 2 bits of getting married – liken it to registering a baby’s birth – the date on the birth certificate is never the date the bay was born – same principle exactly – QED – I like these little Latin thingies, they sure are useful at times when we don’t have a handy sort of phrase about.

Dare to be different….if you want your pet dog to be the ring bearer, you can. If you want Ave Maria played as you walk down the aisle, you can, if you want a sunset ceremony on the family farm, you can – getting the drift now?

What are you waiting for? – get in touch for a free first meeting to bombard me with questions and find out how you and your guests will remember your ceremony for a long time to come.

Choosing your funeral celebrant

Sue Foxall Ceremonies, Funerals

A podcast recording by Tony Piper of ‘Meet your Funeral Celebrant’
– so you can find out a bit more about me

Just click the play button to hear the audio…


Many people are still unfamiliar with the term ‘Celebrant’.

A celebrant is trained in Celebrancy and takes on the role of providing choice as to how a funeral service is written and delivered. Celebrants can provide a funeral service with or without religious or spiritual content – it’s up to the family of the loved one, and their wishes, beliefs – whether they followed a faith or not. The family, knowing the wishes of the loved one, will often know exactly how this service needs to written in order to honour those wishes.

As a celebrant, I will create a ceremony with you, centered on the life of the person, ensuring that his or her story is told, remembered and commemorated. I will ensure that the funeral acknowledges the life and marks that it happened, and talk about the achievements of the person who has passed away, their impact on the world, and the memories they leave behind.

This makes each service truly unique, personal and about the life that happened. Participation is very welcome, whether it takes the form of music played, or tributes from friends and family; recounting favourite memories or interesting stories. Where you choose to have your service is up to you. So if you choose a woodland, sea or traditional crematorium service, you have the freedom of choice.

I will visit you in your home, and discuss the type of service you want, talk about the person who has passed away, so I get a picture of who they were and what their life was like.

If you are happy for me to work with you on the day, I then draft a ceremony for you to approve and amend. I work very closely with the family to ensure that the service that they hear on the day really is about the person who has passed away. Memorial services can also be considered, if there are members of the family or friends who are unable to attend the funeral service.

Choice is available for everyone.


Why did I train to be a professional Celebrant?

Sue Foxall Ceremonies

So, why did I train to be a professional Celebrant? It might sound a bit corny but, the answer is that I wanted to make a difference!

I wanted to show couples that it isn’t a straight choice between Church and Register Office – that there are many inspiring ways to create your bespoke ceremony and truly own it, making their ceremony all about them as a couple; allowing them to say the words they have chosen themselves on this very special day, instead of being told what to say with a ‘template one size fits all script’.

It all began about 5 years ago when I read an article in a glossy mag while sitting at the hospital fracture clinic with my arm in plaster! Leafing through the magazine I came across one of those articles that’s entitled ‘don’t tell me I can’t start a new business in my 50s’ – I read about a Celebrant I now know and respect who did just that – re-trained in order to make a difference. I contacted this lady, who was very helpful and lovely, and we chatted about training organisations and the life of a Celebrant – needless to say I was hooked and went about my research straight away.

This resulted in my training with the Fellowship of Independent Celebrants (FOIC), training which is on-going and provides an invaluable source of support and knowledge to help me continue on my Celebrant journey.

Being a Celebrant is a very rewarding career – there are not many who can say they truly love their job, and along with meeting some fabulous people, I get to be a part of their significant moments, guide them through grief if they’ve lost a love one, or officiate at their wedding, naming ceremony, or vow renewal.

So… what’s involved? Let’s see how this unfolds….

Celebrants meet with their couple – often an initial meeting is free of charge (mine definitely are) so they can relax, get to know their chosen celebrant, ask all their questions, and then make an informed decision that this person is indeed the Celebrant for them.

After that, a second meeting – ‘all about the two of you’ I call it. This is where I get inside their heads, find out what makes them tick as couple and begin to ‘see’ a framework for their ceremony. Finding out what added content they might not even have considered – maybe they don’t know about Celtic hand-fasting, Unity Sand ceremony, or ring warming – to name but a few of the gorgeous symbolic elements that can be woven into the ceremony, something only a Celebrant can do.

Hours of work then follow (and I mean hours, up to 20 on the average ceremony), with unlimited contact for my couple and frequent ‘checking in’ from me. A rehearsal is always offered if they want one and it’s possible to squeeze one in with everything else that’s going on. So as you can begin to understand, we don’t just turn up on the day for half an hour and that’s it! Many hours go in into the creation of a perfect ceremony, whether it be for a wedding, a baby or child naming, or a vow renewal, where you as a couple might want to say some special words to your husband or wife, re-affirming your love for one another.

Then on the day, I arrive early, remember, it’s your day and your ceremony, so only one wedding is booked per day – it doesn’t matter if things don’t go to plan, or there are delays, so relax and live the moments as they unfold. I am there not to just read my script, but to hold space for you, to guide you through the most significant part of your wedding day, creating a memorable experience for you and for your guests – they will remember this for a long time. This is a responsibility that we, as trained Celebrants take very seriously.

Because we take our role seriously, whilst the job we do is wonderful, there are many skills needed to be an outstanding Celebrant.

These might include:

  • Excellent writing skills – being able to create a script from pages of notes
  • The ability to listen, and ‘pull out’ of a conversation what makes the couple tick
  • Being able to achieve the right balance of gravitas and humour
  • Completely comfortable with public speaking
  • Excellent organisational and timing skills
  • Being able to ‘think on your feet’ if things don’t go to plan
  • Having the ability to really engage with an audience – large or small
  • Being punctual
  • The ability to manage diverse groups and complicated family dynamics

As you can see there are many reasons not to entrust this special moment to just anyone! It takes the right person with all of these skills and more to create your dream ceremony, to make it memorable and beautiful.

So, what are you waiting for??? 🙂

Get in touch and let’s start talking about your plans

Imagine your wedding ceremony and honeymoon… combined!

Sue Foxall Uncategorised

Book your dream honeymoon destination – and take your UK celebrant with you for total peace of mind when it comes to the most significant words you will ever say – your vows.

If you want to exchange vows and rings on the beach in Florida then let Suncoast Weddings take care of all the planning, and book Simply Ceremonies to create your ceremony with you whilst in the UK – all taken care of at home, getting to know your celebrant before you fly out to sunnier skies.

I then accompany you, take care of your ceremony – and you stay on and enjoy your honeymoon.

This type of wedding ceremony is becoming ever more popular as it saves hundreds of pounds because you are not hiring a UK venue.

To find out more, take a look at photos and testimonials on this website, and to get more info about your Florida wedding on the beach, contact Sue Ashton (pictured left with Sue Williamson of Simply Ceremonies) at suncoastweddings.com


Sue Foxall Ceremonies, Weddings

So, here we are just coming towards the end of the winter months… warmer days ahead and lots of planning to be getting on with for your wedding.

There is much to consider and organise as you approach your big day, but have you given any thought to the most significant words you will ever say to one another?

Many brides get caught up in all the other aspects, such as flowers, the dress!, make up, photos and so on that they don’t give enough time to consider their options when it comes to the ceremony itself.

There is so much choice and flexibility available to you that you probably don’t even know about, so if you want everyone really interested and listening at your ceremony, and if you want special symbolic items weaving into it, then you need to get in touch with me.

Together we create something so beautiful and personal that you will treasure the memories for ever and your guests will be talking about for ages after the big day.

Get in touch to find out more – it will cost nothing and you will be amazed and delighted about what we can create together!

I look forward to hearing from you soon

Made it to the finals of The Wedding awards 2018!

Sue Foxall Ceremonies, General, News

Now all you have to do is vote for me…

The Wedding Awards is a way for brides, grooms and wedding suppliers to nominate and vote for wedding businesses that have excelled.

I am delighted to have made it to the finals thanks to your votes. Now, to win I really need your continued support,

The winner of any category is chosen by popular vote – so, naturally I’d love you to vote for me – just click on the link in this post and press “vote”.

Votes are invited from previous clients, venues and suppliers only, so please vote for me by visiting the link below:

Wedding Awards: Sue Williamson


Combined Ceremonies in Staffordshire

Sue Foxall Ceremonies, News, Weddings

I am delighted to have been selected as one of the Celebrants to participate in the ‘Combined Ceremonies’ pilot scheme set up by Staffordshire County Council. This is an innovative and refreshing approach to enable bridal couples to have the legal part of the marriage conducted at the same time as their Celebrant-led ceremony, and to promote the working together of the Registration System and independent Celebrants.

If this is of interest to you for your forthcoming wedding, then please get in touch as soon as you can – it’s going to prove very popular!


For more information on the service please see the links below

Combined Ceremonies Info Sheet

Letter of Confirmation

Exciting news – I’ve been nominated in the Wedding Awards!

Sue Foxall Ceremonies, News

I received an email from “The Wedding Awards” … it read:

“Dear Simply Ceremonies,
Congratulations you have been nominated for The Wedding Awards Best Wedding Celebrant Award!”

Very exciting!

As ‘The Wedding Awards’ has been created “… to identify and acknowledge those businesses which set the highest standards in service, quality and integrity” it’s an honour to be nominated.

The winner of any category is chosen by popular vote – so, naturally I’d love you to vote for me – just click on the link below and press “vote”. Votes are invited from previous clients, venues and suppliers only, this vote is not open to everyone.