An interview with… Bluebell Naming Ceremonies
We’ve been busy working behind the scenes here at Fusion HQ and I’m pleased to be able to announce that we’re working with the lovely Anne at Bluebell Naming Ceremonies, offering beautiful family celebrations in Oxfordshire and beyond. Venue, styling, planning and delivery, all rolled into one. ⠀
Even though life’s a little on hold right now, we’re working hard to planning events to celebrate life’s important moments. Moments that are going to feel pretty special when things return to normal.⠀
Have you had to postpone your wedding and want to consider a celebrant led ceremony instead? Or maybe you want to bring the whole family together for a naming ceremony, marking the arrival of your a new child into your family?
We had a chat with Anne to find out more about her and life as a naming celebrant.
Tell us a bit about you
I live in a small village in North Oxfordshire and am married with two daughters. I love high, windy places and days on the beach at Southbourne with my kids. My Mum hosts bonfire night at her house every year and somehow we manage to get 15 people round the table for breakfast!. We have a large, lazy cat named Morton and one of my favourite films is Sense and Sensibility.
What made you want to become a celebrant?
We had naming ceremonies for both our girls and I found myself thinking what a wonderful job it would be to create such a special and meaningful moment for another family. Families are formed in all sorts of ways and often friends become just as important. I feel very lucky to be part of celebrating these amazing bonds in whatever form they take.
What is a typical day for you?
When we’re not in lockdown, I drop off my youngest daughter to school and scoot back home to get started on writing scripts, marketing or planning events. When I’m out and about, I’m visiting venues, catching up with suppliers, sharing experiences with other celebrants or meeting with families to chat about naming and unity ceremonies.
What should a couple consider when searching for their celebrant?
Someone that’s qualified, ideally to Diploma level and someone that you connect with. Being local to your venue is also a plus, as they’re likely to know your suppliers and will have lots of ideas about what works well. Experience is a great thing, but it’s not essential. It’s more important to find someone that loves what they do and can translate that joy into creating an amazing ceremony that tells your story.
Are you flexible with the structure of your ceremonies?
Yes of course. This is the joy of a celebrant led ceremony. There are no rules and within reason, you can incorporate pretty much any content that you like. This is great for couples that want a mixture of cultural traditions. I love the use of oathing stones (a Scottish tradition to ‘set the oath in stone’) and sand ceremonies, where each individual pours a different coloured sand into a container, signifying family unity.
Are there any particular trends for ceremonies this year?
Well, this year will definitely be remembered for the virtual ceremony and I’ve also written scripts for families during lockdown that have conducted their own ceremonies at home, which has been really special. But going forward I’d look out for more unity ceremonies. These are wonderful events to celebrate family ties and work really well for those with older children and blended families.
What is the most unusual request to date?
It wasn’t really an unusual request, but more of an unexpected start to a naming ceremony. The little boy’s Dad was travelling separately to the venue and got delayed. Everyone was so relaxed and happy that when he finally arrived, rushing to put his tie as he walked through the door, the ceremony went off without a hitch, but it was the first time I’ve had to wait for one of the parents!.
What advice would you offer for couples planning a celebration now?
Use this time to think about what this celebration really means for you. This will guide everything else, from venue choice to readings and promises. Big or small, flashy or pared back, it will be wonderful!.
What do you enjoy most about being a celebrant?
Reminding people that they are loved.
What are the first steps you go through with your families? And how can they be best prepared before meeting you?
The first stage is a planning meeting, ideally in person, but at the moment I’m doing them via WhatsApp. This is when I ask a mass of questions about your family’s story and scribble lots of notes!. This is the starting point for the script. Good things to think about beforehand are what kind of feel you want for the ceremony (fun, laid back, quiet, colourful …) and who the main players will be (grandparents, guide parents, siblings and so on).
What is the best gift you’ve ever received?
My husband isn’t a great one for showing his feelings, but he says a lot with things that he does and one of my most treasured gifts is from him. It’s a painting of an old photo of me, my Dad and my three brothers on top of a windy hill, probably somewhere in the Peak District near home.