By May 28, 2013 Read More →

Mobile working – what’s in your bag? Judy Mansfield

Mobile working as an Independent Celebrant

Mobile working - what's in your bag? Judy Mansfield

Judy Mansfield is a professionally trained Independent Celebrant who conducts weddings, civil partnership ceremonies, funerals, vow renewals and other special events:

This is my mobile working bag. The contents vary slightly, depending whether I am officiating at a naming ceremony, a wedding or a vow renewal and, of course, depending on what my clients want for their ceremony as I do try to live up to my strapline of ‘Your Ceremony, Your Day, Your Way’.

Today’s bag is an example of a wedding ceremony. I only ever do one ceremony per day (unless there is more than one funeral at the same crematorium in a day, but that is the exception) so I don’t have to carry too much. But basically:

The pink holdall bag (which I actually got free a couple of years ago in a department store on a perfume promotion I think!) contains:

The Unity Candle set (I take new candles for each couple, printed with their name, and the date of their ceremony). The single candles are lit at the start of the ceremony, to represent the couple’s individual selves and their families.

After their vows, the couple light the central pillar candle from the single candles, which signifies their union, but also the coming together of the two families. The couple get to keep this, and to light it annually on their anniversary to recall the vows they made.

A storm lantern… with our unpredictable weather, I use this for Unity candles for outdoor weddings and handfasting ceremonies.

A candle lighter and snuffer – for obvious reasons! Also a little pot of ‘candle stick’ putty, which holds candles in place – can’t risk brides on fire!

A Quaich. This is a little 2 handed drinking cup, which I use in some ceremonies. Bride and groom offer one another a sip of wine; their first drink together as husband and wife. Symbolises welcome and friendship and was first used in the wedding of King James VI of Scotland, when he offered his new bride a drink from a quaich.

Handfasting ribbons. This example is in pink, lilac and silver; colours chosen to blend with the colour theme of the wedding, and the silver colour symbolises their white gold wedding bands. Handfasting is another symbolic part of a wedding ceremony and is the origin of ‘tying the knot’ and the ‘bonds of holy matrimony’.

Handfasting has its origins in the church, although it has also been used extensively in Celtic, Pagan and secular commitment ceremonies as an alternative to marriage. I will make handfasting cords to order, and I am making a 7 ribbon handfasting cord in rainbow colours for a gay couple celebrating their civil partnership with a ceremony later this year.

A decorative runner and a white tablecloth – my ‘just in case’ items – I never assume that the venue will have everything required for a beautiful ceremony.

As well as all the symbolic items in the bag, I have more prosaic things such as tissues (for tearful brides!), a carafe and glasses for water (nervous brides and grooms!), and a packet of mints.

Finally, I have the script of the ceremony I have written, and which has been agreed by the bride and groom. There is a separate copy printed on parchment for the newlyweds, along with a copy of their Ceremonial Wedding Ceremony Certificate… and of course, I have a beautiful pen, for the signing of the certificate!

Judy is available to carry out Celebrancy services internationally. Find out more about her at Cherish Ceremonies.

Enjoyed this? Check out more home workers opening their bags in the Mobile working – What’s in Your Bag? series

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