Are Virtual Ceremonies and Celebrations for You?

Lockdown has certainly made us more aware of connecting with our friends and family virtually – sharing dinner, quiz nights, and fun online – and this is something that we may well see playing a much larger role in celebrations and ceremonies going forward.

People have been taking part in virtual wedding ceremonies and live streaming funeral services to those who would ordinarily be there in person. No-one wants to miss these important life events, and we still need to celebrate the special moments in our lives, maybe now more than ever.

Virtual wedding ceremonies or funeral ceremonies are not for everyone but there are alternatives that mean you could still be part of these special moments with offerings like that from The Video Message Company. I love the idea that with their help you can create video messages for people anywhere. You just need to send your videos and messages that you’ve shot on your mobile, other photos you may have, a few details about the person or couple you are celebrating, and their favourite music and they pull it all together into a professional video!

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It’s such a great way to surprise a wedding couple, maybe to cheer them up as their big day gets shelved, or to send a personal message to a member of your family or close friend you haven’t seen for 8 weeks and counting. And once we’re through with social distancing, it’s a perfect way to still be part of a wedding or naming ceremony if you can’t be there in person. 

Later this year we’ll be seeing lots of memorial services taking place to truly celebrate those who have died in recent months and a video message could be a lovely addition to memorial services, with messages to the family and anecdotes about the person being celebrated. I’m looking forward to embracing such fun and heartwarming technology into my ceremonies!

But if you’d rather wait until everyone can be together in person, that’s fine too, I’ll be here to help you celebrate when the time comes.  

Find out more about The Video Message Company here: https://thevideomessagecompany.com/

Should you choose a Naming Ceremony or Christening for your child?

If you are wondering what a naming ceremony is, don’t worry you’re not alone! Although they are rising in popularity lots of people haven’t heard the term and most have yet to experience one.

I could quite simply say it’s like a non-religious christening, when the parents formally name their child and ask close friends or family members to take a special role in their child’s life as guide parents. But is it so much more than that.

Firstly a naming ceremony involves just those people that you invite to the service. It’s just for you and your family and friends whether that’s a small gathering of 10 people or over 100, whereas a religious service normally takes place as part of a Sunday service with the congregation and there will often be other families having their child christened too.

The service can also take place anywhere you choose whether that’s at home, at the top of Box Hill, your local community hall or your favourite hotel. And you can have your naming ceremony and the after ‘party’ all in the same place.

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Claire and Matt with their gorgeous Edward!

The most important difference for me is that a naming ceremony is personal to your family and your child. Each service is written just for your little one and draws on details about their personality and your family values to create a unique script. Poems and songs are a great addition to a ceremony too and enable you to involve close family and friends in the proceedings.

You can appoint guide parents, instead of god parents, and I love to talk about why you’ve chosen each guide parent and what influences and learning they will bring to your child – whether that is to ensure they learn the value of giving to others, to develop an adventurous streak, or to become a life long Chelsea fan! The guide parents you choose make promises to your child that are meaningful to you all, rather than the standard promises you make at a christening.

And if you’d like a keepsake from the day, we can ask your guests to add their contribution to a finger print tree or wishes box as part of the ceremony, in addition to the guide parents and child receiving a signed certificate.

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Finger Print Tree for Maisie

So, if you are worried about what your family may say I suggest you give a naming ceremony a go and I guarantee they will enjoy the experience! You can always arrange for one of your great aunts to read a prayer as part of the service if that will help smooth the waters.

If you’re still not convinced, here’s what one of my families told me: “Stephanie was able to provide us with such a special day for our beautiful baby boy at his naming ceremony. Her kind nature and loving personality made Hudson’s day very special and we will never forget it. After having two christenings for our two older children we found Hudson’s naming ceremony so much more laid back and a lot more personal and memorable. Everyone commenting on what a lovely service Stephanie provided us.” Kate and Martin, July 2019

Find out more about these fab occasions on my Naming Ceremonies page.