Julia MacDonald
Teacher, Coach, Celebrant

Ceremony

Ceremony is a wonderful, time-honoured means of helping us negotiate major life transitions, whether celebrating the arrival of a new family member, marking the beginning or ending of a partnership, or commemorating the end of life.

I’m delighted to work with you to create a ceremony that meets your particular needs. Each ceremony involves meeting with you either face to face or online or by phone, and the ceremony emerges out of our joint process.

As an ordained Interfaith Minister and Celebrant I’m part of a vibrant community of ministers who work to support people through ceremony, ritual and spiritual counselling.

Bespoke ceremonies can include:

Baby Blessings

The birth or adoption of a baby is a significant and joyous event in the life of a family. A blessing and/or naming ceremony is an opportunity for family and friends to gather together to give thanks for and welcome the child and the new family, into their hearts and lives. Older children might like to be part of the ceremony too, as they welcome younger siblings into their family. Music, games, gifts, blessings and special mentors to accompany the child on their life journey might be part of your ceremony.

Fees: £150 this includes up to 2 meetings either face-to-face or via Skype/phone etc of up to an hour, and the creation and delivery of the baby blessing or naming ceremony.

Weddings

I create bespoke wedding and blessing ceremonies, working with couples to create a ceremony which is an expression of what is most important to them, based on their values, personalities and culture.

Each ceremony is unique. I work closely with you to listen to what is most important to you both, and to create and carry out a beautiful ceremony that reflects and honours your relationship. We can light candles, beat drums, release doves, play music, read poetry, make vows, as well as use traditional religious formats…and it is all held with sensitivity and skill.

Ceremonies can take place on a beach, in a field, in a house, beside gypsy caravans, in a hotel….wherever is special to you.

I can plan, create, and lead your ceremony. And my therapeutic background makes me sensitive to any complexities that might be present.

I have three different options for wedding ceremonies available. Often ceremonies benefit from going through iterations as you think through what you want for your day. More meetings allow for greater flexibility, customisation and change which many couples I work with appreciate.

Option A:

includes up to two meetings, creating and delivering a ceremony of up to 30 minutes: £350

Option B:

includes up to 4 meetings, creating and delivering a ceremony of up to 45 minutes, and a rehearsal: £500

Option C:

includes up to 4 meetings, creating and delivering a ceremony of up to 60 minutes, regular e-mail/text check-ins, wedding rehearsal, up to two post-wedding coaching sessions for either or both partners: £750

Extras:

  • Meetings and counselling are charged at £55 per hour.
  • Ceremony rehearsal: £75 plus travel expenses.

We can work face-to-face, Skype or FaceTime, phone or e-mail.

Funerals and Memorials

Ceremonies, such as funerals and memorials, are a time to stop and reflect on what has been lost. They are also a time for looking back, often with joy, at the full measure of a person.

I will work closely with you, your family, friends and funeral director, to create and carry out a beautiful and unique funeral ceremony which honours and reflects the character, personality and beliefs of the person who has passed, and celebrates their life and legacy.

I specialise in working with partners and families where there may be more than one religion or a non-traditional relationship with faith. My therapeutic background means I’m also skilled at working with complexity within families.

Ceremonies can include religious and non-religious readings, songs, poems, reflections and music. I can write a eulogy for you, help you to write one, and/or read the eulogy.

Fees: £180. This includes up to two face-to-face meetings (either in person or by Skype), creating and delivering the ceremony.

Other ceremonies

Ceremonies can be an important way of marking moments in people’s lives, or in the life of a community or group of people. They can enable us to respond at a more conscious level than we operate in our usual busy lives. So if there is a transition or situation that would benefit from a significant shift, ceremony can be a way to help us release and move forward.

Do contact me if you have a sense that a ceremony or ritual might help you, or a group to which you belong, negotiate a situation. I am always happy to discuss and create new ceremonies that meet your particular needs.

Stuff you need to know about booking a ceremony!

In booking a ceremony with me we enter into a contractual agreement, and we both take care to ensure that this will work for us both. I will send you a formal agreement to sign when we have decided that we want to work together.

All ceremonies become firm bookings when half of the agreed fee is paid as deposit. You have seven days to cancel and receive a full refund. After this time the deposit cannot be refunded. The balance of fees is due the week prior to the ceremony.

Cancellations

If a ceremony has to be cancelled up to a week before, the remaining fee will be waived. After that time, you will still be expected to pay the full fee.

Please note: I charge for travel and, if applicable subsistence, expenses for any ceremony that is further than 20 miles from Truro, UK.