The C Word

Things we have been pondering on your behalf.

We realise many of you may have questions about your upcoming ceremonies whether they be Wedding ceremony’s, Naming Ceremonies or Vow Renewals. Even more so now that venues are being told to close their doors.  For some, you will find the decisions are being made for you and for others you’ll feel confused with inconsistent advice and choices.

Please try not to worry. It’s important to stay calm so that preparations and decisions can be made that are right, and safe, for you and your family and friends.

A lot of what is going on is out-with our control and this feeling of lack of control can exacerbate anxiety.

Take a breath, pause and plan.

Love My Dress

Try use an acronym like BRAIN to help get things into perspective:

Benefits

Risks

Alternatives

Instinct

Nothing


Get together with your partner, discuss with wider family members and even close friends and guests. Do some serious WedMin and write these headings down and brainstorm, list, get everything out there.


What are the Benefits of carrying on as planned? For you and for others.


What are the Risks? Think of your family and guests, ages, travel, number of guests, finances etc


The Alternatives – what are they? Talk to each other about all the available options. Have you spoken to your service providers about potential alternatives, if not, do.

What is your Instinct, your gut feeling? Tune in and trust.

What if you decide to do Nothing different right now?

If you go through all of the above and decide to change nothing at the moment, that’s fine. Sit with it for a bit and return to the discussion.
You can wait to see what else unfolds and revisit your list, notes and conversations at anytime. Maybe start again adding and subtracting aspects previously considered, newly discovered and advised by Government.
Reflect and reschedule if necessary. If you’re ceremony is with one of us at Agnostic Scotland and you want to discuss options for a Plan B date. Get in touch.


You have each other and that is the main thing especially right now. Remember why you are planning all of this in the first place – because of love and trust.


What if you decide to, or have to, postpone your ceremony?
There will be no charge to reschedule the date of your ceremony. If your celebrant is not available then one of our Agnostic Scotland Life Celebrants may be. Pencil in a Plan B date as soon as possible.


Would you have to pay anything extra to change your date?
There is no extra charge to hold another date. Your deposit/fee would be transferred to the new date.


What if your Celebrant becomes ill or has to cocoon at home at the time of your ceremony?
At Agnostic Scotland we have discussed how to cover ceremonies in case of illness. Your back up Celebrant would have access to your final ceremony script and they would make contact with you to say hello and talk through anything with you prior to the ceremony.
We know that currently, with the support of the Registrars, we can obtain emergency discretion for a change of Celebrant, as long as that Celebrant is a member of a recognised belief body, if required due to illness.
We have also reached out to the National Records of Scotland for further advice in this ever changing situation.


Current Guidelines
The National Records of Scotland are currently drawing up guidelines for registrars. You can check here. You will probably know that in England (where Celebrants cannot legally conduct marriage ceremonies) Church wedding ceremonies are currently limited to the minimal people required which is 5.
The National Records of Scotland are currently drawing up guidelines for their own registrars. Keep an eye here for updates. You will know that in England (where celebrants cannot legally conduct marriage ceremonies) Church wedding ceremonies are currently limited to the minimal number of people required which is 5. Civil ceremonies, which are carried out by a registrar, are to be judged on a case by case basis.
The Church of Scotland have issued guidance saying only close family should attend weddings, but they did not state a number. In regard to civil ceremonies in Scotland it seems to depend on the registrars, and of course, the venue. After many venues being ‘told’ to close yesterday you may need to talk to your venue.
At the moment the government cannot instruct ‘organisers’ to cancel events but hopes organisers will follow advice to support our public services in responding to Covid – 19. Legislation may change this so keep up to date.
For WHO advice re: social distancing and more click here and from NHS Scotland here


What if important guests can’t make it to your ceremony due to number restrictions, travel restrictions or illness?


Have a cry then get creative.
Film the ceremony
Live stream the ceremony
WhatsApp video call
Tribute/blessing from the guests who can’t make it
They could pre record an audio or film piece to add to the ceremony or during speeches
Represent the person using symbolism – wearing something of theirs or something that you feel represents/includes them

Soulful Celebrant


Other wedding suppliers
Talk to them. Ask about a back up plan and discuss options. Communication is key.
This can get things in perspective, help feelings of helplessness and anxiety. It also allows you to feel and connect with the support that is out there.


What you can do to keep yourself safe and support your community.
Eat well, get plenty sleep, access your usual exercise regime, get fresh air, minimise Social Media – wash your hands – and ask for support and help. Talk things through with your nearest and dearest. Use BRAIN. Keep yourself informed with all the latest Government guidance and advice, health, and otherwise. Reach out to others. Support your suppliers who are likely small businesses by postponing not cancelling.

Sara Shakeel


Are the Agnostic Scotland Celebrants keeping themselves safe?
Yes, we are! We love hugs, kisses and shaking hands but are saving that for a later date. We’re washing our hands, eating well, getting plenty of sleep and leaning into our Celebrant community for support. We are keeping ourselves up to date with all the latest advice from the Government and the Ceremony Sector. It must be acknowledge that keeping ourselves safe may also mean our advice to you would be to postpone your ceremony or go ahead but with only immediate family members, maintaining suitable distance. This is something we will discuss with each couple.
We are also acutely aware of the need to support other Celebrants and small businesses at this time as well as our families, friends, neighbours and local community.

The Wedding Collective


Reflect and reschedule if need be – don’t cancel L O V E


If you do decide to postpone take time to consider how you will spend the day that you were going to get married. Make an event of it, a ritual, for just the two of you, make it positive and make it part of your story, part of your ceremony and part of your wedding day when it comes.

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