www.arrancelebrant.co.uk Independent Marriage, Family and Funeral Celebrant
© Debbie Merritt 2015 - 2021
Debbie Merritt

Marriages

Marriages

I am an Approved Celebrant with the Pagan Federation (Scotland), so I can legally marry people in Scotland. You can come here from another country to be married (exceptions do apply). I can also marry you anywhere on Arran as long as we have the landowners permission, so woodland, beaches, hotels, Brodick Castle limited only by accessibility. You do not have to call yourself Pagan for me to marry you. Paganism is a broad umbrella for many earth or nature based spiritualities, and many people connect with that. So what would be perfect for you? All of my ceremonies are personally written for you. I do, obviously have a number of basic scripts, but I will work with you so that you can choose what you want included and excluded. My aim is that whatever the occasion, as many of your friends and family can join in as you wish. I create roles so that those who wish to take an active part can do so. I know from feedback from my clients that this is what makes the ceremony so special, and that those who have had a special part to play remember it especially fondly. There are the inevitable fluffs of words etc. that bring joy and laughter to the occasion. Children are especially welcome, and I can create roles for them too. My wedding blessings have been described as Celtic Spiritual weddings, make of that what you will, but I am delighted! I draw upon my own spiritual journey to create the magic and mystery that makes true ceremony so special. I do not believe in ‘going through the motions’ of a ceremony any more than you do, and know that my clients are looking for something deep and meaningful.

The Legal Bits

Please read the following very carefully. It sums up all of the legal bits involved in a marriage ceremony held on Arran. Age Restrictions In Scotland, the minimum age at which you can enter a legal contract of marriage is 16; you do not need your parents' or guardians' permission. Notice Period A minimum of 29 days' notice is required unless there are exceptional circumstances. A statutory fee is also payable (not included in my charges). What Must Happen In The Ceremony National Records of Scotland states: The detail of the ceremony is decided by the celebrant. But the form of ceremony if it is an opposite    sex marriage must include, and must be in no way inconsistent with, a declaration by the parties, in the presence of each other, the celebrant and two witnesses, that they either accept each other as husband and wife or accept each other in marriage or make both declarations; and a declaration by the celebrant, after the foregoing declaration, that the parties are then husband and wife or are then married, or make both declarations. The form of ceremony if it is a same sex   marriage must include, and must in no way be inconsistent with, a declaration by the parties, in the presence of each other, the celebrant and two witnesses, that they accept each other in marriage; and a declaration by the celebrant, after the foregoing declaration, that the parties are then married. https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/regist ration/getting-married-in- scotland/marriage-ceremonies-in- scotland
Debbie Merritt Independent Wedding and Funeral Celebrant
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Special Days in Special Ways

Marriages

Marriages

I am an Approved Celebrant with the Pagan Federation (Scotland), so I can legally marry people in Scotland. You can come here from another country to be married (exceptions do apply). I can also marry you anywhere on Arran as long as we have the landowners permission, so woodland, beaches, hotels, Brodick Castle limited only by accessibility. You do not have to call yourself Pagan for me to marry you. Paganism is a broad umbrella for many earth or nature based spiritualities, and many people connect with that. So what would be perfect for you? All of my ceremonies are personally written for you. I do, obviously have a number of basic scripts, but I will work with you so that you can choose what you want included and excluded. My aim is that whatever the occasion, as many of your friends and family can join in as you wish. I create roles so that those who wish to take an active part can do so. I know from feedback from my clients that this is what makes the ceremony so special, and that those who have had a special part to play remember it especially fondly. There are the inevitable fluffs of words etc. that bring joy and laughter to the occasion. Children are especially welcome, and I can create roles for them too. My wedding blessings have been described as Celtic Spiritual weddings, make of that what you will, but I am delighted! I draw upon my own spiritual journey to create the magic and mystery that makes true ceremony so special. I do not believe in ‘going through the motions’ of a ceremony any more than you do, and know that my clients are looking for something deep and meaningful.

The Legal Bits

Please read the following very carefully. It sums up all of the legal bits involved in a marriage ceremony held on Arran. Age Restrictions In Scotland, the minimum age at which you can enter a legal contract of marriage is 16; you do not need your parents' or guardians' permission. Notice Period A minimum of 29 days' notice is required unless there are exceptional circumstances. A statutory fee is also payable (not included in my charges). What Must Happen In The Ceremony National Records of Scotland states: The detail of the ceremony is decided by the celebrant. But the form of ceremony if it is an opposite   sex   marriage must include, and must be in no way inconsistent with, a declaration by the parties, in the presence of each other, the celebrant and two witnesses, that they either accept each other as husband and wife or accept each other in marriage or make both declarations; and a declaration by the celebrant, after the foregoing declaration, that the parties are then husband and wife or are then married, or make both declarations. The form of ceremony if it is a same   sex   marriage must include, and must in no way be inconsistent with, a declaration by the parties, in the presence of each other, the celebrant and two witnesses, that they accept each other in marriage; and a declaration by the celebrant, after the foregoing declaration, that the parties are then married. https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/registration/getting- married-in-scotland/marriage-ceremonies-in-scotland

Handfasting

Considered Pagan by some, and traditional by others. Traditionally a handfasting lasts for a year and a day. At that point the couple can choose to stay together or not, and part with no hard feelings. Obviously things often aren’t as cut and dried as that. For a Pagan this ceremony is their marriage, and a couple may renew their handfasting yearly. What a lovely way to celebrate your anniversary! Again we would bias the ceremony to whichever Pagan path is required.

Funerals/End of Life Celebrations

For these ceremonies the requests and beliefs of the family, and of the deceased are paramount, I am sensitive to the needs of the family and will create a celebration of the life of the loved one. One thing to remember is that a crematorium service is time limited to less than half an hour (this does vary), but you can, for an extra payment, book extra time should you wish to. However we find that mostly a choice of a short(ish) crematorium service followed by a later Ash Scattering ceremony works very well, as the latter ceremony is much more relaxed, and many people can share their memories together. Ideally I will meet with people as they prepare for their death. This may seem morbid to some, but the one thing sure in life is that at some point we will die. By preparing our wishes in advance we can take much stress away from our loved ones at a difficult and emotional time. It is important to consider such things as how, if we are able, to depart from this life, what type of funeral you would want, who you would like to take the service, where you would want to be buried or your ashes scattered, and much more. By meeting with you, and your family if you wish, I can help you to look at these decisions in a calm and practical way. If you prefer I can email you a document that will give you some ideas and suggestions. You can also visit the Dying Matters website for more information www.dyingmatters.org . I am a member of the Dying Matters Coalition, and of the Natural Death Society, supporting the Natural Death Centre www.naturaldeath.org.uk Your funeral directors are also a good source of local information, and can help with such things as offering payment plans and advising about local facilities for burials and cremations. It is not essential to use a funeral director, although if you do they will take away a lot of the small details that it is easy to forget. Many people arrange their own funerals and we are happy to discuss this with you, or you can find more information on various websites on the internet.

Other Rites of Passage

Renewal of vows - for a special wedding anniversary or handfasting. Partings - for divorces/ end of relationships. Sometimes this is symbolically incorporated into a wedding blessing or handfasting ceremony. Croning - becoming the wise woman. For women who have passed through the menopause. Eldering - for retirement, or achieving a life change. Home blessings - for your new home!