Liz Thompson - Celebrant Manchester
Call: 07969 063805
Email or Skype

Quirky Weddings | Unity Civil Celebrancy Jo and I met at a networking event and realised we had a lot in common, a love of all things creative, getting to know people and having the odd pint to name but a few! We have become friends and I for one can’t wait for the opportunity to work on the same ceremony or event. We had a right good chat over a couple of drinks.

Something about you and why you became a videographer?

Ok Liz well I’m Jo and I run Jo Gendle Films, I create wedding films that are Colorful, Quirky and contemporary you won’t have seen wedding videos with my touch of originality before. I have been making films for 15 years so rest assured you’re in good creative hands when you work with me. After graduating from Staffordshire University in 2004 with an honors degree in Media Production I went on to have films and documentaries featured in many film festivals across the UK. I also won the BBC Guerilla Prize award for my camera work on a foreign documentary, which I am immensely proud of. I decided in 2013 to set up my own videography business creating wedding videos with my own unique take on it. I’d seen a lot of wedding videos that were very dated and a bit boring to be honest! I thought it’s about time someone injected some personality and modernism into them.

Couples will find that I give a really personal approach

Well Liz when you work with me you’re getting a Film Maker to capture your wedding and not a bog standard videographer who only films weddings. Celebrant Manchester | Unity Civil Celebrancy Having worked in the media industry for sometime I have a unique take on how to capture and edit stories into a film that’s very different to most Wedding films out there. Couples will find that I give a really personal approach, I take the time to get to know you and hence best represent you on film. Everything in your film is designed to be about you both from the music the styling effects and titles, these all tell the story of your day.

Every time I send a DVD off I can’t wait to hear the feedback

I love nothing more than telling a story and creating a piece of work that will bring absolute joy to its recipient. Every time I send a DVD off I can’t wait to hear the feedback, and so far it’s been amazing! I know when I watch films back and they bring a tear to my eye I have done a good job! Also I love that every week I get to meet so many different people and experience lots of different Wedding Days

All the laughter, tears and memories rolled into one film

Celebrant Manchester | Unity Civil Celebrancy Blog

You would get the most important day of your life captured in a way that reflects you best. You’d get all the laughter, tears and memories rolled into one film to cherish forever! You can never put a price on memories, however I do not charge the earth because to me my Job is a pleasure.

Every location brings a different feel and creative vision

Generally I ask a couple which video they were most drawn to on my Show Reel, Every film I create is as different as every couple I meet. I am open to any suggestions a couple may have! I love it when we can bounce creative ideas off each other.  Essentially it all depends on what they want and where their getting married? It could be the cool urban vibe of the city or an Art gallery? Perhaps a swimming pool or even a traditional church, every location brings a different feel and creative vision in my eyes. I can make a film look like it’s from the 1940’s with a very vintage theme. I can also make a film look like a Hollywood dream, with flashing lights, animated colours and explosive titles the choice is yours?

I listen to what they want and make suggestions of how it might look and what I would need from them on the day.I have recently branched out into “Marrioke” where you can create your own original music video on the day with your guests miming too your favourite track!

Who inspires you the most and why?

Baz Lurman has definitley had an influence on my film making because his films are full of Romance, Colour, Quirkiness and surprises! You only have to watch Romeo and Juliet or Moulin Rouge to see this.

If you could offer one piece of advice to a new engaged couple,

what would it be?

Have the things that matter the most to you on your day! If you don’t like something don’t have it, remember the day is all about you so have what you want, enjoy it and never forget it.

Here is a sneaky peek at one of Jo’s creations – enjoy

Liz Thompson is a Civil Celebrant based in Manchester in the UK and working across the North West of England, Liz creates unique and personal ceremonies and services for life events such as Weddings, Baby naming, Vow Renewal and many more


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In my work I am extremely fortunate to be able to work with many like minded people whose passion and creativity combine to bring you a professional, seamless service. In our lives there are many rites of passage that mark life changing events from birth to baby naming to coming of age, partnership ceremonies such as weddings, blessings and vow renewals right through to house blessings, endings, funeral services and beyond. We naturally want to celebrate and mark those occasions by  creating some sort of ceremony or service.

Tradition with a Twist

When I meet people to discuss their ideas and needs they are often pleasantly surprised and sometimes a little bit nervous about the idea and possibility that they can do things differently. Breaking away from tradition or mixing tradition with something different to create something so beautifully personal and unique can be quite scary but also quite liberating and empowering. The knowledge that you can and do have choice and control over your ceremony is exciting. Bringing inspiration and unlocking that creative energy is our job.

Mixing it up

In this part of my blog I will be introducing you to some of my favourite people to work with, not only in providing services to celebrate or say goodbye but also to the people that often work in the background providing help and support to bring you some fantastic events, creating spaces and support to us as providers or by raising awareness of social issues in the community.

Liz is the proud owner & founder of Unity Civil Celebrancy and enjoys working with all kinds of people, creating beautiful and memorable ceremonies that celebrate their important life events in their own unique style. Connect with Liz on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram


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A Family Affair

Kate and Ryan’s wedding was a beautiful celebration of young love with family and friends not only being there for them but also taking some key roles too.  Ryan nervously waited with his four best men, all of his brothers! In first came the flower girls, Ryan and Kate’s daughters and their Niece who looked beyond cute followed by Kate’s sister Emily who was Maid of Honour.  And Kate looked stunning as she entered with her Dad, wearing a beautiful flowing Grecian dress and carrying her bouquet of dusty pink roses that suited her complexion really well.

Tradition with a TwistWedding Candle|Celebrant Manchester|Unity Ceremonies

Kate and Ryan decided on a traditional style ceremony with a few an added twists, Emily opened the ceremony by reading out the poem ‘On your wedding day’ and then Kate’s brother John lit a beautiful handmade candle hand made by Jo at Love Herbal to honour and remember Kate’s Granddad . It was very emotional for Kate and her family and lovely to be honour his memory by symbolically including him in their special day.

Kate and Ryan’s Story

The part of the ceremony that always really touches people is the couple’s story of how they came to be together and the journey that brings them to their wedding day. There are usually a few tears and some laughter thrown in for good measure.

Symbolic Ceremonies | Wedding Celebrant Manchester |Unity Ceremonies

Ryan’s Brother read a poem called ‘I’ll be there’ about the more amusing side of married life and then it was time to make their vows. There are so many ways and combinations of vows and neither like public speaking so Kate and Ryan chose to have their vows mainly as questions from me for them to respond to. Their last two vows were beautiful and spoken to each other. Then it was time to exchange rings and sign the bespoke certificate which I had designed for them, it matched their copy of the ceremony which I bound in colours to match their theme.  Symbolic Ceremonies | Wedding Celebrant Manchester |Unity Ceremonies It was a lovely day and they made such a beautiful couple who loved their bespoke ceremony.

Everybody commented on how different and personal the ceremony was and it was very emotional.

It was nice to have her there on the day, rather than a registrar, because she knew us, our likes and dislikes and we knew her. I am so happy we had Liz perform our ceremony and we feel so lucky that we met her that day.


Footnote:

You only get one chance to have your ceremony and as ours is not yet a regulated profession anyone can call themselves a Celebrant. Any professionally trained Celebrant will be more than happy for you to check that they are qualified.  I trained with The Fellowship of Professional Celebrants, see my About Liz page for more information.


Liz Thompson is a Civil Celebrant based in Manchester in the UK and working across the North West of England, Liz creates unique and personal ceremonies and services for life events such as Weddings, Civil Partnerships, Baby naming, Vow Renewal and many more. Follow Liz on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram
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Real Weddings Part 4 | By Liz Thompson

Ric and Aislinn’s wedding ceremony was always going to be a stylish affair. Their amazing venue, 11 Didsbury Park was the perfect setting for their English Garden Wedding. They married under a rose arbour surrounded by their friends and family, some of whom had travelled from far and wide to be there.

Manchester to Miami by Skype

Aislinn and Ric wanted to marry surrounded by their family and friends, simple… Even when the couple live in Miami, and their families live in Grenada and The UK. When the couple contacted me with their enquiry I sent them the information that they needed and answered their questions, they decided they would like me to be their Celebrant and we arranged to meet on Skype and take it from there.  We talked through the wedding ceremony planner in the same way that I would if I were to meet with them at their home.   And so the planning began…

Distance is no object

Wedding Celebrant Manchester| Unity Civil Celebrancy | Symbolic Ceremonies|Unity Ceremonies I love creating ceremonies that are a little bit different and am always open to new ways of working to ensure every couple has the ceremony of their dreams. Talking with Aislinn and Ric was no problem at all, the distance between us seemed negligible really as we Skyped and emailed back and forth their ceremony began to take shape, we co-wrote the vows and I created a ceremony plan for the day and shared it with their vendors, The Bridgewater Quartet and Jonny Draper Photography to ensure that we all knew what was expected to happen on the day.

A typical Manchester summer!

The wedding day dawned and typically for Manchester the skies were grey and gloomy, looking ominously like it was going to rain but as the day drew on the skies cleared and they had their wonderful June wedding day. There was an air of anticipation as Ric waited nervously with his brother at his side for his bride to appear and as the music began in walked Aislinn’s Niece carrying a ‘Here comes the Bride’ sign, followed by Aislinn looking radiant in an ivory silk sheath dress, she was accompanied down the aisle by her Mother Esther who gave her away, both women looked stunning. Ric was his usual laid back self but you could tell by his huge grin that he was bowled over by his beautiful bride.

Memories old and new

Creating ceremonies that are really meaningful begins with listening to what the couple would like to convey to the world about their relationship, often their family history and the roots that bind them to their loved ones are important to them and they like to take the opportunity to weave in elements that remember lost loved ones and/or create new traditions and wonderful memories. Aislinn’s brother Damian opened the ceremony by reading an extract from a poem by Kahlil Gibran. It was important to Aislinn that her father was remembered on her special day so she and her mother lit a candle which burned throughout the ceremony, symbolic of his presence on her big day. Following that Ric’s Mother Susan read a beautiful piece that spoke of everyone’s collective wished for the couple.

Vows, promises and pouring sand…

Unity Sand Ceremony | Unity Civil Celebrancy | Liz Thompson |Unity Ceremonies They also decided that they would like to have a Unity Sand Ceremony so when they had made their vows and exchange rings with beautiful words and promises to each other they began to take turns in pouring the sand to the sound Bach’s Air on a G string. They had brought with them beautiful bottles for this purpose, Aislinn brought sand from her home island of Grenada, representing her Fathers heritage and where she and Ric met and also from the beaches of Ireland, representing her Mothers heritage. Richard joined her with sand from Miami Beach Florida where the two now reside and from the natural sandstone that forms the Peak District, his birth home.

In pouring the sand they created layers combining the sand that was symbolic of their lives and although it was combined into a single container the layers of colour showed that Ric and Aislinn have retained their unique identities and personalities. Yet, looking closer, it was virtually impossible to define the exact point where one layer ended and the next began — the grains of sand can never be separated, a strong and beautiful representation of their union and continued journey together.

Esther then read a Wedding Prayer and as they were pronounced Man and wife and Ric kissed his bride their guests stood to congratulate and applause the happy couple, showering them with fresh lavender for grace, refinement and elegance and rosemary for remembrance, the scent was beautiful and they looked so happy together. They really are made for each other….Wedding Celebrant Manchester | Unity Civil Celebrancy | Liz Thompson|Unity Ceremonies

At the end of our day, when we thought back, or day was truly superb. A lovely touch was the beautiful card that accompanied a copy of our vows and ceremony which found placed in our room that evening.

Footnote:

You only get one chance to have your ceremony and as ours is not yet a regulated profession anyone can call themselves a Celebrant. Any professionally trained Celebrant will be more than happy for you to check that they are qualified.  I trained with The Fellowship of Professional Celebrants, see my About Liz page for more information.


About the author


Liz Thompson is a Civil Celebrant based in Manchester in the UK and working across the North West of England, Liz creates unique and personal ceremonies and services for life events such as Weddings, Civil Partnerships, Baby naming, Vow Renewal and many more. Follow Liz on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram


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With this ring…

Ring Warming | Unity Civil Celebrancy | Symbolic Ceremonies | Celebrant Manchester|Unity Ceremonies

A ring warming is a beautiful part of the Wedding Ceremony and a great way for the couple to include guests in their wedding ceremony. It is one of my favourite symbolic ceremonies, it is very spiritual and it gives your guests the opportunity to impart their love and good wishes to the happy couple through warming their wedding rings in their hands and silently… making a wish, a prayer or blessing. Which is great if you have an eclectic guest list as everyone will have the opportunity to impart their good wishes in their own way so no one gets left out.

Ringing the changes

In a traditional twist it is always good to give someone the role of ring bearer in a very different way than the usual tradition of walking the rings up the aisle (if you have one) on a cushion, that way the ring bearer can take charge of your rings to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to hold them and to make sure everything runs smoothly and they don’t get lost! Ring warming is still relatively new in the UK and as Celebrant I would explain to guests, what it is and how it works so that they know something about this beautiful part of the ceremony is and what is expected of them.

Symbolic Ceremonies | Celebrant Manchester | Alternative Weddings |Unity Ceremonies There are many different ways that you can incorporate a ring warming into your ceremony. You can have the ring bearer begin to pass the rings from the back and by the time they reach you at the front they will be thoroughly drenched in the love and best wishes of your guests and ready for you to hold and impart your own wishes into them before you place them on each other’s finger. I can write some beautiful words for you to say that speak of the ring warming and the meaning and intention behind it or you could write your own words to say to each other.

A circle of love…

Have you thought about a different kind of seating arrangement? This is a great one for smaller outside ceremonies but is equally effective when used inside. Set your seats in a large spiral, so that when you walk in, you walk between your guests and end up in the middle, your guests will then surround you and will be able to see you from all angles and really lovely for the ring warming.

If you have a lot of guests you might want to have everyone warm your rings as they arrive and before they take their seat, this can be managed by having a sign up with an explanation of what it is about and giving the ring bearer the responsibility of greeting the guests and handing them the rings for the warming, attaching the rings to a cushion or placing them in an organza bag would ensure that they don’t fall and save your ring bearer the trouble of crawling on the floor to find them! Beach Wedding | Celebrant Manchester | Alternative Weddings |Unity Ceremonies

You could have an Owl swoop down with your rings to be received by a trusted member of the wedding party and the process can begin from there. You could run a string or ribbon down the rows of seats which will be secured after passing it through the rings and they can be safely passed along your rows of guests without fear of losing them. Or place tied together them in a pretty bowl, perhaps someone could make one for you with two holes to thread the ribbon through to securely tie them to it? For a beach wedding you could use a beautiful shell to hold the rings. The possibilities are endless…

A sign of the times

Alternative Weddings | Celebrant Manchester | Symbolic Ceremonies |Unity Ceremonies An example of a sign for your guests to read before they take their seats could be… “Before you take your seat, please take a moment to join together in the warming of our rings. Hold the rings in your hand for a moment and warm them with your love, make a silent wish, say a prayer or give us your blessings. Then we will always carry with us your love and good wishes throughout our married lives”.

If you like the idea of a ring warming ceremony, whichever way you decide to do it, i’m sure it will be perfect for you. If you would like any more information about this or other ceremonies, please feel free to contact ,e using the comments box below and I will be more than happy to answer any questions that you might have.


Footnote:

You only get one chance to have your ceremony and as ours is not yet a regulated profession anyone can call themselves a Celebrant. Any professionally trained Celebrant will be more than happy for you to check that they are qualified.  I trained with The Fellowship of Professional Celebrants, see my About Liz page for more information.


 About the Author


Liz is the proud owner & founder of Unity Civil Celebrancy and enjoys working with all kinds of people, creating beautiful and memorable ceremonies that celebrate their important life events in their own unique style. Connect with Liz on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram



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