We often get asked questions about the celebrant work we do – after all there’s alot to consider when arranging a ceremony!
Here are some of the more frequently asked questions that we get asked – if you have a question not answered here please do get in touch with us – click here to see our contact details.
Q: Can I have a celebratory ceremony anywhere?
A: Yes you can have your celebratory ceremony anywhere provided it is safe and accessible to yourselves and your guests. You can have your ceremony:
- on a beach
- on the moors
- up a mountain
- in a garden
- in a licensed venue
- in your home
- in a marquee
- in a village hall
- in a field
- in a woodland
- on a headland
- on a steam train or other moving vehicle
- on a boat
- on an island
- on a farm
- in the sea or in a river (weather permitting)
- at a sacred site
- in a cave
For some locations you do need to make sure that you have the permission necessary to have a ceremony there, and there may also be implications with weather, tide times, hire of spaces. The location must obviously be safe for all taking part. For more ideas go to Locations.
Q: Can I have a celebratory ceremony at anytime?
A: Yes you can have your celebratory ceremony at any time although timings such as midnight would incur additional cost.
Q: Can we write our own vows?
A: Yes you can write your own vows and Danu will help you with ideas and suggestions.
Q: Can we exchange rings?
A: Yes you can exchange rings or you may exchange different gifts instead of rings if you wish.
Q: Can our pet/pets be included?
A: Yes you can include your pet/pets. You may want to have your pet dog as a ring bearer! This is not uncommon.
Q: Can we wear fancy dress or have a themed ceremony?
A: Yes you can have a fancy dress or a themed celebratory ceremony.
Q: How much does it cost to have a ceremony?
A: Please see our Costs page for current fees.
Q: Can we have an alternative celebratory ceremony including for example Pagan, Celtic, Buddhist, Hindu, Native American elements?
A: Yes you can. Danu has studied ceremony many cultures and has experience of delivering ceremony with diverse elements.
Q: Can you write all my ceremony?
Q: Can you suggest some readings?
Yes – you will be sent suggestions once your booking has been received and there is a comprehensive selection on the internet.
Q: Can I include religious readings?
A: Yes you can.
Q: Can I include songs, hymns and/or prayers?
A: Yes you can.
Q: Can we have music playing?
A: Yes, definitely. Live or recorded music really adds to the ceremony. Please see the Music page.
Q: Can you recommend some musicians?
A: Yes, please see the Music page for ideas.
Q: Can the ceremony be filmed?
A: Yes we are happy for the ceremony to be filmed.
Q: Can the ceremony be streamed over Skype?
A: Yes we are happy for the ceremony to be streamed over Skype or an alternative video call.
Q: Can we have a rehearsal?
A: Yes – although a rehearsal is not always necessary.
Q: Can we throw confetti?
A: Yes – but please check with the venue/ location as some will require biodegradable etc
Q: Does the location need to be licensed?
A: Your ceremony does not need to take place in a licensed venue, however, you do need to make sure that you have the permission necessary to have a ceremony there.
Q: Are we allowed to have alcohol at the ceremony?
A: Yes you are, but obviously we would like you to be able to enjoy the ceremony with all your guests without being inebriated.
Q: Do we have a personal meeting to discuss the ceremony?
A: Yes you can have a personal meeting with Danu either in person or by Skype.
Q: What happens if I cry?
A: Don’t worry, the words that mean the most are the most difficult to say – tears are normal, and we will be there to prompt and support you.
Q: Can I have photos of people who are no longer with us?
A: Yes you can have photos of people who are no longer with us at your ceremony.
Q: Can we have a Cornish ceremony?
A: Yes you can have a Cornish ceremony and Danu can engage a Cornish speaker at an additional cost.
Q: Does the celebrant speak other languages?
A: Yes, Danu speaks fluent German and can conduct bi-lingual or purely German ceremonies. Danu also speaks a little Spanish and French so these languages can also be included.
Q: Can you help plan our ceremony?
A: Yes, although full event planning is not available. Danu prefers to concentrate on the ceremony itself and the music during and after a ceremony.
Q: Can we have our ceremony outside of Cornwall?
A: Yes you can, but additional charges would apply.
Naming Ceremony FAQ’s
Q: Is a Naming Ceremony a legal ceremony?
A: No a Naming ceremony has no legal status.
Q: Can we include more than one child in the Naming Ceremony?
A: Yes you can and they can be natural, adopted or step children.
Q: Do we need designated people to act as God/guardian parents?
A: It is your choice who you want to include in your Naming ceremony and whether you wish to include other people as God/Guardian parents.
Q: Can we give gifts?
A: Yes you can give gifts.
Q: Is there anything we have to say in a Naming ceremony?
A: No, the ceremony script will be designed and decided on by yourselves and Danu.
Q: Are Naming Ceremonies just for a babies/young children or can it be for anyone of any age?
A: A Naming Ceremony can be for anyone of any age.
Renewing of Vows FAQ’s
Q: What promises do we need to say to each other?
A: You can make whatever promises you like to each other. Danu will help you with your script.
Q: Do we need to be legally married?
A: No you do not need to be legally married to make your vows again.
Q: Is a renewal of vows a legal ceremony?
A: No the renewal of vows ceremony has no legal status.
Q: Do we have to have a funeral at a church or crematorium?
A: No, you can choose to hold your ceremony anywhere provided you have permission to do so. If it is to be a burial then the ceremony can either take place at the graveside or in another venue beforehand then going onto to the graveside after wards. Possible venues could include a village hall, a hotel function room, at home, a yurt or marquee, the meeting room of a residential care home, somewhere outside, on a boat, or in a garden.
Q: Can we have a cremation first with no mourners present, called a ‘direct cremation’ and then a tribute/celebration of life afterwards somewhere else?
A: Yes, there is a growing trend to do this and it gives you greater flexibility, fewer time constraints and may save you money. You can choose to have a funeral ceremony afterwards, in a place of your choice, with the ashes present or not.
Q: Do we have to have a church service even if the person no longer went to church and/or has not shown recent evidence of belief?
A: No, you can discuss this with Danu but our priority is that you feel comfortable with the choice you make and that you feel the type of service and the venue chosen are in keeping with the person being remembered.
Q: Is there a set format for a funeral?
A: Yes and no. There is a standard format that we have become familiar with which has been adopted from the church service and is amended to suit each person but essentially you can have a completely personalized ceremony with none of those elements present. You might include some aspects that you are familiar with, for example the words ‘earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust’. OR this might feel totally inappropriate. Danu will work with you to get the ceremony format and the wording exactly right.
Q: What readings can we use at a funeral/celebration of life?
A: You may use any readings you wish and Danu can suggest or look for appropriate readings/poems.
Q: Does a member of the family have to write and deliver the eulogy?
A: You do not have to have a ‘eulogy’ – the more formal telling of a person’s life – but should you choose to do so Danu can write this after talking with you or another family member or friend can write and deliver it, or Danu can deliver one written by the family/friend.
Q: Do we have to have hymns/songs at a funeral?
A: No, although music, live or recorded, can help provide comfort and an opportunity for private thoughts and memories during a funeral. Music preference is a very individual thing and it is often felt to be the most fitting aspect of a funeral when the person’s favourite music is played. Live music can also add a special touch. Normally you would choose music for entry or at the start and music for the exit at the end of the funeral, plus possibly a piece of music in the middle. But time constraints and your wishes will dictate how much music is possible.
Q: The person who has died has left instructions or made their desires known for how they would like the funeral to be. Do we have to follow these?
A: Please discuss this with Danu. Normally it is usual to follow the wishes of the person. One outcome of the funeral is that you would want to feel you have done your best by that person and followed their wishes. However, this is not always possible. For example, if some-one has asked for a particular venue and it is not available or no longer practically possible.
Q: Do we have to sing at the funeral?
A: No. However Danu has a strong professional singing voice and will lead you should you wish to do so.
Q: What happens if I can’t do a reading because I am crying?
A: Danu will have a copy of all the readings to be given and can take over if necessary.
Q: Can we have the funeral ceremony filmed or live streamed?
A: Yes, depending on the venue and equipment available.
Q: Do we have to have funeral ceremony sheets?
A: No, this is entirely your choice and you can discuss this with Danu and your funeral director.
Q: Do we have to use a funeral director?
A: Funeral directors are often the first people in addition to a doctor to be contacted on the death of a loved one. You can use all or just some of the services they offer. They will explain what they offer and can guide you through the process but do say if you wish to do some aspects of the funeral yourselves or if finances dictate another approach.
Q: The funeral director has suggested another celebrant but we would like to use Danu. What should we do?
A: You are not obliged to use the funeral director’s choice of celebrant and should inform them immediately of your preference to use Danu. They will not mind provide you tell them as soon as you can and they have not already engaged another celebrant. Even in that circumstance you should ask as all celebrants want you to have the funeral you wish for and are generally happy to oblige.
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