A Ritual Ceremony Using The 4 Elements
Holding space for ritual ceremony in Bedford and the surrounding counties, working intrinsically with you, I can create a meaningful ritual ceremony to mark important events along life’s colourful journey – baby naming, name changing, handfastings – weddings, vow renewals, letting go / rebirthing, eldering / croning / saging, passing over ceremonies (before a funeral and memorials), house and land blessings, new beginnings, divorce (unbindings), Mother blessings and any other personal transitional rite of passage you can think of… using the 4 elements that make up nature all around us, the world and our bodies, air, fire, water and earth, with the celebrant at the centre holding the 5th element we work together to create something really magical and special, unique to only you.
Although I am based in Bedford, I’m also happy to travel, please get in touch for a chat.
Ceremonies Bespoke To You
Ceremony and ritual provide a way to connect, not only to others but to gain a better insight to our psyche, as well as offering deep healing and a safe, sacred space to just “be”. You do not need to be a Pagan or affiliated with any other religion to have an elemental ceremony. The only limit is your imagination!
All graduates of the Sacred Celebrants Academy pride themselves on being able to offer unscripted, personalised ceremony and ritual to all, and have worked closely with the LGBTQIA+ community, naming ceremonies in particular being really important here. I work with adults and children at all stages of life and beyond!
I bring in all my experience as a holistic therapist, trainer, mentor, healer, hedgerow herbalist, soul midwife and practitioner of green witchcraft and folk magic to create beautiful, healing ceremonies and rituals that honour you and your loved ones, the land and the seasons and cycles – if there is something you wish to create and don’t see it listed here, please message me. I will spend a lot of time in consultation with you to ensure every detail for your ceremony is as perfect as we can make it for you.
The Naming Ceremony
This ceremony can be used as part of an important transition and rite of passage to mark a new period in life. It can be as grand or small and intimate as you wish it to be, and is a way of letting go of an old life to begin the new. Prices from £300.
And the Baby Naming
A beautiful way to honour and introduce this new little person into the family, the community and to the world. Can be done instead of, before or after a traditional christening, my baby naming ceremony is much less formal, and allows the family and friends to play a more interactive and involved role, and is not just for babies! More and more these days the traditional “christening” does not resonate for people, which means children have not had the ritual of officially being named and welcomed into the community and their families, this naming ceremony can be done at any age – in fact with an older child it can be more fun and personal to them as they can be involved in the process. Prices from £300.Get Started
The Handfasting - Wedding Ceremony - Marriage Celebrant
The classic Sacred Celebrants ceremony! Working closely with you as a couple, as a marriage celebrant in Bedford, I can provide a unique unscripted wedding ceremony like no other! I can also offer packages as pre-wedding ceremonies, such as the Couples Incense or Oil Blending Ceremony, (see below), and the Bridal Hoop making ceremony.
The handfasting ceremony is a way of a couple declaring their love to one another in front of their friends and family in a less formal, more unconventional way than traditional wedding ceremonies. A handfasting is the historical term for a wedding or “betrothal”, an ancient tradition that our Ancestors would have done to show their commitment to one another in front of their families and communities. In modern Pagan traditions, often this was done for “a year and a day”. The couple would declare their love for each other and their intention to be bound together, and so fabric or ribbon would be used to bind their hands together – this is where the saying “tie the knot” came from! These ceremonies were performed to bind couples together long before religion and the church came into the picture! and as with most pagan customs, the church incorporated much of the handfasting rituals into their own, and so today you will still see the priest or vicar tie or lay the ribbon / cloth over the couples hands to bind them together!
We can be as lighthearted or as formal as you wish, this is your ceremony – at most wedding ceremonies the guests are merely onlookers, When you book your Elemental Wedding / Handfasting in Bedford with me, they can be participants – taking part in a wedding the like of which they will have never experienced before. Graduates of the Sacred Celebrants Academy are trained to work unscripted, and so there will never be another wedding like yours. It can take whatever personal slant you wish to put on it, from creating your own vows, to adding readings, songs, music – anything you want! Written on scrolls and tied with ribbon for you to keep. Together, sometimes over many months and consultations, we weave the story of your love, bringing your loved ones into the ceremony, creating a truly magical and personal experience. Many handfastings are conducted outside, in nature, but they can be held anywhere you wish!
Price from £650 (please note this is not a legally binding ceremony, and the registry office will need to legalise the marriage).
Or you may wish to Renew Your Vows, maybe you’ve been together for some time, and wish to create a meaningful ceremony in front of your family and friends as they are now – maybe you didn’t have the wedding ceremony you wanted, whatever the reason, we can create a way for you to express your love for one another now.
The Couples Incense or Oil Blending Ceremony
This can be done as part of a wedding package, or a stand-alone ceremony that you can do as a couple to create a meaningful bonding experience. Using my skills as an aromatherapist and herbalist I will guide you in a sacred ceremonial way whilst you as a couple create a personal aromatherapy scent or loose incense blend that will remind you of your love / the moment / a specific time or to prepare you for and use in your handfasting wedding ceremony. Price from £80. (this ritual can also be done for an individual, in sacred space, to create a personalised incense or aromatherapy blend for any occasion)
The Hoop & Wand Ceremony
Traditionally in handfastings, ribbon or cords are used to bind the couples hands together. This can be something the bride (or the couple) weave together themselves, or buy pre made, either option I can help with.
The hoop is the symbol of the feminine, and the wand the masculine. The bride can make her hoop as part of her pre wedding ceremony, either on her own, or in sacred ritual space with me – decorating it how she chooses, or leaving it natural. The groom can go out onto the land, to find his “wand”, or have one created for him, by a local craftsman using wood harvested from the land mindfully and with sacredness, again, he can decorate it how he chooses, in ways that are personal. In same sex ceremonies we use two hoops, two wands, or an infinity symbol woven from willow can be incorporated! I have connections with local artisans and craftspeople who make the hoops and wands for me, using locally and sustainably sourced materials.
Then during the wedding ceremony, the guests can come and decorate the combined hoop and wand while the couples hands are bound, with beautiful blessing ribbons, bestowing love and good wishes onto the happy couple – weaving powerful love magic and leaving them with a thing of beauty that will last for years to come and be and eternal momento of the special day! This can also be adapted to incorporate any kind of blessing / wishing tree/jar etc that you may wish to have. (price for this will vary depending what you choose to do, and we will discuss this as part of your consultation)
Jumping the Broom Ceremony
This was done to signify the couple taking the next step on their journey together, and to mark the fact that together, they can overcome any obstacle. I did this for my own handfasting (see pic), and it was truly a magical moment, and one we won’t forget! As with the hoop, the bride, or the couple together, can decorate the broom, to keep, or can use one that I can provide. It certainly is a wonderful sight!
I incorporate the broom jumping ceremony as part of my handfastings free of charge, and so can be omitted if you wish.
The Cake and Mead Ceremony
This is done after the wedding ceremony, and the jumping of the broom, using locally made mead and pieces of cake (or individual cupcakes) the two beloveds – one holding the chalice and the other holds the platter – offers each of the guests to drink of the mead, with the words ‘’May you never go thirsty.’’ Then each guest is offered the cake with the blessing ‘’May you never go hungry.’’ The mead is made by my own beloved husband, in sacred ceremony, timed with the moon phases, with magical intention, and infused with loving energies. The cake can be made by a baker of your choice or I can use a local artisan baker. Prices vary.
The Passing Over Ceremony / Memorial Service
This is a most beautiful, meaningful, and healing ceremony. It can be done before or after a funeral, or at any time after the death of a loved one as a memorial ceremony. Funerals are often cold, stilted affairs, that are very much regimented in their format, and especially in these times, where people are not able to gather in family and friend groups to show and share their grief, the Passing over Ceremony can provide a way to express how much that loved one truly meant, in a much more personal and intimate way. A small family or friend group can sit together in a healing nurturing space and share their memories together, with no time constraints and afterwards I will guide you on a guided visualisation as you journey with your loved one to say goodbye. It is a deeply moving and healing experience.
This ceremony can also be done to honour the passing of our animal companions.
There is no time limit on when this ceremony can be done to honour the death of a loved one, and so even many many years after losing someone deep peace and healing can be achieved from this.
This gentle ceremony can be given in small groups, of up to ten people, but also as a one to one, working alongside other healing therapies to release and heal trauma, grief and unresolved emotions.
Prices from £200 for a group, £90 for one person
Letting Go Ceremonies
These work in a similar way to the passing over ceremony. Often, when we have great change or upheaval in our lives, we are just expected to “get on with it” / “move on”. But being able to mark transitional times in our lives, whether that be moving house, changing careers, divorce, or any other area of our lives where we have experienced loss or change, can ease the flow into that new phase of life, by acknowledging the old, letting it go, and allowing the flow of new positive energy into our lives. Generally done as a one to one, but can be adapted for group work.
Price from £90
Croning / Saging / Eldering Ceremonies
In our culture, old age is seen as a burden, as something to be feared and shunned, but our ancestors, and still in other cultures, honoured and venerated the aging process, and the elders. It can be incredibly empowering to create ceremony and ritual to honour these important passings of time in our lives. Rather than looking to our old age with dread, we can celebrate and acknowledge the gifts that come to us – the wisdom, the patience! These ceremonies and rituals can be created individually or within a group, honouring the contributions you have made to your friends, families, communities, and welcoming the new role that awaits as valued wise elders. Price from £100.
The Unbinding Ceremony
This is a way of formally and with sacred ritual dissolving the vows made at the handfasting. Marriages break up, but honouring the love that was shared, together taking the time to un-bind the wedding hoop is a healthy way of a couple formally and ritually ending the relationship. It is usually a private ceremony just between the couple, and can be an incredibly healing thing to do, and can release the energy from that relationship, allowing new energy to flow in.
Price from £100.
House and Land Blessings and Clearings
All places and spaces, whether inside, outside, modern or ancient have energy patterns and forms flowing within, around and through them. A land blessing is usually performed in the area before a ceremony is due to start there, a house blessing is good to do when you move into a new property, to clear the place of any old stale energies that may be lingering from previous occupants or emotions, and call new fresh positive energies in. We are all energy, our emotions can leave imprints on a place long after we have gone, by performing a house or land blessing we are honouring the spirits and energies of that place, and creating a space where the new energies can flow smoothly and easily. Using all the skills that I have built on over the years, connecting with the spirit of the place, using sound, Reiki energy, herbs and oils, sigils and crystals. Prices from £150.
Birthdays are one rite of passage we are all familiar with – and as we mark these special events more people are choosing to honour them in uniquely different and personal ways. Take this Boho festival inspired special birthday celebration that was held in a magical woodland called Hawthorn Grove – the cermony was stylish but simple, with the emphasis on fun and family connections.
Other Rites of Passage Ceremonies
Rites of Passage mark the beginnings and endings of phases in our lives, they remind us that we are constantly evolving and that life is a transformative journey, that we are on a spiral – by working with the elements and honouring these transitions with ceremony they allow us to process and make sense of events that happen to us, and within our worlds – we gain deeper connection to ourselves, each other, our communitites and a deeper understanding and respect for the cycles of life, death and rebirth.
Ceremony does not have to be saved up for “the big things” – any excuse to gather together with friends and family can be made into a ceremonial experience, and by doing this in a sacred way, we bring intention and connection into our lives.
I can hold space and create ritual for sisterhood circles, moon circles, womens healing circles, marking any event that feels important and appropriate for you.
I love what I do, and I look forward to hearing from you, to hearing your stories and creating meaningful rites of passage, ceremonies and rituals for you.
Much love, Sam XXX
"Sam & Simone created a really magical ceremony & powerful space in which to celebrate my 50th year & the decade ahead. The personal touches & attention to detail were so appreciated. You can totally trust that you will have a bespoke ceremony created especially for you.
I will always have this beautiful memory to look back upon in the years to come & am so grateful as this was an important part of my Birthday celebration."
"When all our wedding plans changed because of Covid, we decided to have a quick and quiet formal marriage, followed by a full handfasting ceremony in front of our families and friends. What an excellent decision! Our day couldn’t have been more perfect. On a beautiful June Saturday in the gardens at Friars Court, Sam performed a traditional handfasting ceremony. All the elements of pagan ritual were included, plus some that are specific to her Glastonbury Goddess Celebrant training. We met with Sam in advance to discuss some of the details, and she asked us to write how we had met, what love meant to us and our vows. These were all included in the ceremony, which made it really personal. Solemnity and sacredness were in abundance, lightened at times with laughter and fun. We felt very special. Our guests loved it too, some even commenting it was the best wedding they’d ever been to! Sam was relaxed, professional and friendly, holding the space with confidence. For us it was the perfect way to get married and we would highly recommend Sam if you want something individually tailored and a little bit different."