From hand tying to new traditions: Four 2024/25 ceremony details that your guests will never forget

2024-07-10T14:10:29+00:00

Over 40 percent of proposals take place between the 1st December and the 14th February in the UK* and that means wedding planning season is well and truly upon us. While couples prepare to arrange the perfect venue, discuss the guest list or find THE dress, are these really the details that your guests remember from your big day? Jo Stott, award-winning bridal expert and celebrant behind Love Jo Ceremonies has revealed the ceremony details that couples and guests really remember long-after the day itself. Jo said, “Your ceremony is a celebration of your unique love story and no two will be exactly alike. I have had the pleasure of being part of hundreds of incredibly special weddings and it is always the small, authentic acts of love and commitment that your family and friends remember and talk about for years to come. By finding the perfect celebrant for you, we can work together to create an experience that is magical and truly personal to the couple and their story, and by getting to know each other we can make sure the whole process is incredibly fun and exciting as you prepare to spend your lives together.” Gestures of love Gestures of love are a modern twist on ancient traditions and a beautiful way to celebrate your connection and bring your families together. Recently my couples have shown their commitment to each other through hand-tying ceremonies, a tradition which dates back to Celtic times and symbolises the binding together of two lives, through to lighting a unity candle with a flame from each family and even a stone ceremony where your guests inscribe their wishes for you and cast them into a body of water – which is also where the phrase ‘set in stone’ comes from! Traditionally you would hold the stone and think of your wishes for the couple before throwing them into the water, but in 2023 writing your wishes in water-proof marker and placing them in a gorgeous bowl does the job just as well and means the couple can take away the wishes afterwards as a keepsake. Plus, my feet stay dry! One particular gorgeous couple had a tree planting ceremony...  Taking soil from both parent’s gardens, up-cycled a treasured antique trowel and planted a beautiful rose bush in a personalised planter. The soil signified the nourishment offered from each family and the roses were a wish for their marriage to be sweet. This was a wonderful way to involve loved ones and each time our couple look at their roses they can see their love thriving. A mid-ceremony toast Alcohol is allowed during celebrant weddings and it can be a really special way to join everyone together to toast the future of the happy couple. I tend to offer my couples the option of a ‘Sip and Save’, where friends and family are offered the favourite tipple of the bride and groom on entry to the ceremony and encouraged to take a sip [...]

From hand tying to new traditions: Four 2024/25 ceremony details that your guests will never forget2024-07-10T14:10:29+00:00

Over 80 percent of people wish their wedding ceremony had been more personal says new study

2023-04-03T08:08:41+00:00

A new study by leading bridal expert Jo Stott has revealed that 82 percent of people wish their wedding ceremony had been more personal. The study, which spoke to married people from across the UK discovered that an incredible 70 percent of women and 30 percent of men surveyed wished that their big day had been more personal and included more about their relationship. Jo Stott in the international bridal consultant and celebrant behind Love Jo Ceremonies. Today her expertise has taken her around the world, working with some of the biggest names in the industry, and with laws likely to change to grant celebrants legal rights to perform weddings in England and Wales, even more couples will have the opportunity to make their big day all about them. She’s even had Sam Fender ask ‘when he gets married can she do it’. Post-pandemic Jo has seen a 100 percent increase in bookings for her services as a celebrant and is already booked well into 2023 and 2024, with couples looking to really personalise their big day and put their love story at the heart of the celebrations, and she is now planning to expand to meet the rising demand. Speaking about the possibility of law reform for celebrants, Jo said, “I believe that the industry needs a bit of a shake-up when it comes to the laws afforded to celebrants;  leaving couples unsure of when the changes are coming in as they plan their big day adds additional stress and pressure. If celebrants are afforded legal powers to perform weddings, this will also open up new markets for venues who don’t currently hold a licence – giving a much needed boost to the hospitality sector in the North East after a turbulent few years.” “After over 10 years working with couples planning their ceremonies, I know what is important to them and what they will look back on after the day itself is over. The pandemic made us all reflect on what is important to us and there has been a real shift in couples looking to put their own personalities, at the heart of their wedding day and relive their love story with their loved ones. “Google searches for ‘wedding celebrant’ have overtaken ‘wedding registrar’ in the UK recently and with the laws in the cusp of changing, it is so important for couples to have options while they are planning where and how they celebrate their relationship. As the business grows I’m looking to partner with more venues to open up access to their spaces and I am currently working with a North East meditation specialist on a package which couples can access ahead of their wedding day, keeping them calm and relaxed so they can really enjoy it. “The rise in popularity comes from couples wanting ancient love traditions with in-jokes and personal stories to create a ceremony that puts love right at the centre. If you would like a ceremony that is unique, not typically [...]

Over 80 percent of people wish their wedding ceremony had been more personal says new study2023-04-03T08:08:41+00:00

Best North East wedding location hidden gems revealed

2023-04-03T08:48:26+00:00

THE NORTH EAST isn’t short of incredible places to say ‘I do’ but as wedding season gets underway, new research has revealed the best hidden gems for couples who want to do things a little differently. The research, carried out by international bridal expert and wedding celebrant Jo Stott of Love Jo Ceremonies looked at the venues with the highest reviews, but the lowest amount of tags and check-ins on social media, and couples are spoilt for choice when it comes to picking a perfectly personal place to tie the knot. Jo said, “As a celebrant I work with couples to make their day completely about them, this includes everything from the vows right though to creating the right atmosphere in their chosen location. I’m lucky enough to have been part of ceremonies at some truly stunning places in the North East, and the beauty of working with a celebrant is the freedom to choose somewhere that fits perfectly with who you are as a couple. “We recently carried out research that showed over 80% of couples in the UK wished that their wedding ceremony had been more personal and the venue is a huge part of that. 2023 couples want a venue that fits with their love story and we are so lucky that there are plenty of options here in the region. A celebrant led ceremony means that you can tie the knot in any location that means something to you as a couple – that could be a traditional venue, but it could be a garden, an art gallery or even a boat on a lake. With the laws looking to change in the next year or so to allow celebrants to legally perform ceremonies, that opens up a whole world of opportunities for couples to explore when planning their big day.”Here are Jo’s top hidden, unique gems to tie the knot in 2023 High Force Hotel and Waterfall (Co. Durham) If fresh air, adventure and dark skies are part of your love story, then the High Force Hotel and Waterfall offers a dramatic backdrop to celebrate your story. The hotel is set in within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, surrounded by some of the most unspoilt scenery in the country. The falls offer a dramatic backdrop to your photos and the hotel offer beautiful, thoughtful attention to details for those couples looking for a more laid back approach to the big day – a space where you can truly do it your way. https://www.raby.co.uk/high-force/hotel/   The Barn at the Bay (Northumberland) This gorgeous venue is perfect for those couples who are torn between a rustic, barn wedding and a little bit of extravagance. Choose to get married under the twinkly lights in the stunning barn (which can fit up to 150 guests) or say your vows overlooking the sea, a short walk away in the paddock. Dolphins have even been known to make an appearance! https://www.barnonthebay.com/   Full Circle Brewery (Newcastle) One of the newest [...]

Best North East wedding location hidden gems revealed2023-04-03T08:48:26+00:00

From Low Fell to Los Angeles: The North East Wedding Expert

2023-04-03T13:51:52+00:00

JO STOTT sold her award-winning, North East bridal salon, in 2019 and since then has embarked on a new career as an international bridal consultant and celebrant. Today her expertise has taken her around the world, working with some of the biggest names in the industry, and with laws likely to change to grant celebrants legal rights to perform weddings in England and Wales within the next year or so, business is booming. She’s even had Sam Fender ask ‘when he gets married can she do it’. After a career in HR, Jo founded her incredible bridal store in 2010 in homage to her late precious parents (the name means You Are Precious, a nod to her Dad’s affectionate sign off in cards and letters for 60 years) The store went on to be one of the largest and acclaimed boutiques in the UK and when Jo sold the business in 2019 she wanted to continue to help couples celebrate in the most unique ways. Now expert bridal consultant, Jo has worked with bridal boutiques in London, Los Angeles and Melbourne as well as her native North East, to elevate their brand experience, mentor staff and provide personalised stylist development for world-class design houses including Maggie Sottero, but it is with her work as a celebrant with Love Jo Ceremonies that Jo really wants to lead change in the sector. Post-pandemic Jo has seen a 100 percent increase in bookings for her services as a celebrant and is already booked well into 2023 and 2024, with couples looking to really personalise their big day and put their love story at the heart of the celebrations, and she is now planning to expand to meet the rising demand. Speaking about the possibility of law reform for celebrants, Jo said, “I believe that the industry needs a bit of a shake-up when it comes to the laws afforded to celebrants; leaving couples unsure of when the changes are coming in as they plan their big day adds additional stress and pressure. If celebrants are afforded legal powers to perform weddings, this will also open up new markets for venues who don’t currently hold a licence – giving a much needed boost to the hospitality sector in the North East after a turbulent few years.” “After over 10 years working with couples planning their ceremonies, I know what is important to them and what they will look back on after the day itself is over. The pandemic made us all reflect on what is important to us and there has been a real shift in couples looking to put their own personalities, at the heart of their wedding day and relive their love story with their loved ones. “Google searches for ‘wedding celebrant’ have overtaken ‘wedding registrar’ in the UK recently and with the laws in the cusp of changing, it is so important for couples to have options while they are planning where and how they celebrate their relationship. As the business [...]

From Low Fell to Los Angeles: The North East Wedding Expert2023-04-03T13:51:52+00:00
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