Simply Ceremonies UK - Company Information

Simply Ceremonies Uk create bespoke ceremonies, so whether this is a Wedding, Vow renewal, Handfasting or Baby naming ceremony, we can help. Karina O'Donnell is a multi award winning celebrant.  With over 25 years of experience in the wedding industry Karina brings knowledge, creativity and enthusiasm to help create a ceremony for you that is personal, unique and incredibly special.

For more information, feel free to contact us using the number at the top of the page or send us an email.

All about Simply Ceremonies UK

Karina O'Donnell is a fully trained Independent Celebrant based in Kent.  She set up Simply Ceremonies Uk in 2014 and has been privileged to have created and been a part of more than 50 Wedding celebrations plus Vow renewals, Baby naming ceremonies and numerous Funerals in these last three years. 

Karina has created Wedding ceremonies which have been held at various locations in Kent. These include Westenhanger and Lympne castle, The Old Kent barn, High Rocks in Tunbridge Wells, The Thatched barn at Farthingloe, The Red barn at Capel, The RAF club in Mayfair and also Craig y nos castle in Wales. Karina has also worked with couples who have wanted to hold their ceremony at home, in woodland and on the beach at Dymchurch. (this wedding was filmed for television in 2015) 

Karina originally owned Pumpkins and Dragonflies, a beautiful wedding dress boutique in the centre of Folkestone. After 10 years of bridal retail, Karina decided it was time to close the shop and this gave her the opportunity to retrain as an Independent celebrant. Her enthusiasm and passion for weddings continues in her new career and because she has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the wedding industry, she is the perfect person to offer you inspiration, ideas and the chance to work with some incredibly talented and professional wedding  suppliers.
 
Karina has worked with some of the most stunning and professional venues and suppliers in Kent, so you know that if you entrust her to create your ceremony, you are entrusting a true professional. She is a member of the Fellowship of Independent Celebrants and My Wedding Professionals. Karina has been a Finalist in the Kent Wedding awards ( 2017) Kent Independent traders awards ( 2016 and 2017), Kent women in Business ( 2015 and 2016) and was runner up in the Guides for Brides awards for Customer Service (2017) 
 
Karina was awarded the Winner for Kent Women in Business "Professional Achievement award" for 2017. 
 
With over 25 years of experience in the wedding industry Karina brings knowledge, creativity and enthusiasm to help create a ceremony for you that is personal, unique and incredibly special.

Karina married her childhood sweetheart, Peter in 1989 and they have 3 grown-up children. In October 2004, Karina and her husband Peter renewed their marriage vows at Knowle House in Higham. This was a gorgeous outdoor ceremony with family and friends. Their 25th wedding anniversary was a black tie, murder mystery for 70 guests at Lympne castle.  

Please take a look at this brief video to see Karina in action. This was a part-religious wedding ceremony in Westenhanger castle from 2015. 

https://vimeo.com/120245026

Please contact Karina today. She's friendly, passionate and would be very happy to discuss your ceremony ideas with you. 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can we meet you before making our decision?  
Absolutely! I usually recommend a meeting although this tends to be a fairly informal chat over coffee. The meeting lasts about an hour and offers the opportunity  for me to learn more about you both so that I can really personalise your ceremony. It also gives you the perfect opportunity to ensure that you like me and my style and that you believe I am definitely the celebrant you wish to create your perfect ceremony.

 

What do you charge?

Every couple and ceremony is unique and therefore my fee is different for each. My quoted fee is fully inclusive of the following:

  • A Consultation Meeting to discuss your ceremony.
  • Unlimited conversations with you by email or telephone.
  • A bespoke wedding ceremony that will be created just for you.This includes creating, writing and revising the script as much as necessary to get it absolutely perfect for you.
  • Help finding the perfect readings or poems if you need it.
  • Options to include a Hand-fasting, Unity Candle, Rose, Loving Cup or Sand ceremony - at no extra charge
  • A Commemorative wedding certificate to sign.
  • Travel to your wedding location within the UK.( I am happy to travel abroad for a ceremony too and will calculate the cost to include travel, accommodation and expenses).
  • A Rehearsal with the bridal party if required.

 

If there are any additional requirements such as the purchase of the Unity and taper candles, or the roses and petals then you will be notified of this at the time of discussion. You are, however, free to purchase these yourself should you wish.

 

 

Is the ceremony legal?

Unfortunately the Law in England and Wales only allows for Registrars or authorised clergy to perform a legal marriage registration.

You are required to give notice of your intent to marry, in person, at your local Register office and you are required to pay a fee for this of £35.00 each. This must be booked in advance and should be held no less than 28 days before you wish to have your marriage registered.

 Most couples choose to then hold  thelegal marriageat a Register office a couple of days or even weeks before their actual ceremonial wedding.This currently costs £46 in Kent and requires two witnesses but you can dress as casually as you wish for this. It lasts for between 10-15 minutes and requires you to repeat a legal declaration. There is no need  to exchange vows or rings and these are saved for the weddingcelebration ceremony later.

You are then required, along with your witnesses, to sign the Register of marriage and can purchase a marriage certificate for £4. These need to be ordered in advance. Once this has been done, you are free to enjoy your Wedding celebration ceremony without any rules or restrictions.

 

Where can we hold the ceremony?

You can hold your ceremony anywhere you wish as long as you have the land owners permission. This can be in a stately home, hotel or castle, in a woodland, by a lake or field, on a sandy beach, on board a boat, at your favourite club, pub or park, your house, a barn, or your grandparents back garden. Wherever you wish to celebrate your ceremony. You are only limited by your imagination.

 

What time can we hold the ceremony?

There are no restrictions and you can hold your ceremony at anytime day or night.

 

Can we include elements of our religion or faith?

Yes. You can include any readings, poems or music  which reflects you and your beliefs. If you wish the ceremony to be completely free of religion, then this is fine too.

 

Can we include our pets in the ceremony?

If you wish to ride in on horseback, have your puppy carry in your wedding rings or include any of your pets in your ceremony, then who am I to deny you this.

 

Can we pick our own readings or write our own vows?

Of course you can! This is your wedding ceremony after all. I am there to help you create the perfect ceremony.

 

 

How do I book and pay?

After the initial enquiry your date will be pencilled into the diary for 7 days. Once you have decided that you definitely wish to book me,  you will be sent a booking form by email.  A deposit of £100 will be required at this stage and can be paid by BACS with the remainder due one month before the ceremony date.

I only book one ceremony per day so to avoid disappointment you need to ensure you book quickly.  If you do not return this form with the payment, your date will no longer be held and will be made available to anyone else who wishes to book.

 

How far in advance should I book?

As soon as you are sure you wish to book – I am already taking bookings for dates two years away. We can also book in short notice ceremonies as long as the date is available.

 

Why should we choose you to perform our ceremony?

I am dedicated and enthusiastic with one thing in mind: to create and perform a beautiful ceremony that will be enjoyed and remembered by you for many years to come. I have years of experience in the wedding industry and  know lots of superb wedding professionals who I am happy to recommend. I have  a wealth of knowledge about wedding ceremonies  so you don’t need to trawl through the internet to get ideas or find wedding suppliers. I will give you this for free!

My fees are fair, fully inclusive and made clear before you commit.  See my testimonials page to read what my customers think about me.

 

What is the next step?

If you wish to know more, or you wish to book me, please call Simply Ceremonies Uk using the number at the top of the page. Alternatively you may complete the enquiry form.

 

I look forward to creating and joining in on your special day.

Thank you

Karina

Terms and Conditions

ENQUIRY STAGE - When you make your enquiry, if the date is confirmed, I will hold this date for you for 7 days pending receipt of your deposit.

DEPOSIT - A non-refundable £150 booking fee is required to secure the date and time for your ceremony.

PAYMENT OF BALANCE - Payment of the outstanding balance is due 8 weeks prior to the ceremony, unless the booking is made with less than 8 weeks to go. Then payment is required in full at this time. 

USE OF IMAGERY/TESTIMONIALS: This contract serves as release for any photographic likeness taken by Simply Ceremonies Uk to be used in print or electronically for promotional purposes only and guarantees they will not be intentionally exploited in any way. We may ask that you grant us permission to use photos taken at your event, and/or for you to provide us with a testimonial, to be used for promotional purposes. You are under no obligation to grant us such permission.

LEGAL - WEDDINGS: You are aware this ceremony will not be legally recognised in England and Wales. To formalise the legal requirements you must attend a Register office (if you desire legal recognition).

CONFIDENTIALITY - All correspondence and documentation in respect of our services, including any ceremony examples provided by us, must be kept confidential both before and after your event. Such information can only be shared with our express written consent.

CANCELLATION POLICY

If you choose to cancel after the statutory 14 days, for whatever reason your fee will be invoiced as follows:

Fees forfeited for cancellation are as follows:

  1. within 3 months of ceremony date - 60% of Celebrancy Fee; 
  2. within 2 months - 80% of Celebrancy Fee;
  3. within 1 month - 100% of Celebrancy Fee.
  4. Add to the above any special expenses paid by Celebrant, such as additional travel and accomodation expenses
  5. Delay to ceremony start and finish:
  6. For every hour or part thereof past the agreed starting  time £75 will invoiced.

UNAVAILIBILITY - If on the day of the event we are not able, for whatever reason, to provide the service you have paid for we will use our best endeavors to find a substitute celebrant to provide the service in our place.Only if no substitute celebrant can be found will you be entitled to a refund.

In the event that Simply Ceremonies UK cancels you will be entitled to 100% refund.

Fees

Celebrant - led Weddings

My fees will be different for everyone as they are based on your individual requirements.

I will gather lots of information from you about the type of ceremony you want, what time of year you are holding the ceremony, the venue you are planning to hold it in and if you are considering a mini ceremony such as a Hand-tying or Candle ceremony.  All of this information will be used to tailor the quote for you.

My fee is fully inclusive of a pre-wedding meeting ( either face to face or via Skype), unlimited contact with you by phone or email, creating, writing and presenting the ceremony, any revisions to the script, readings and vows presented on decorative card, a rehearsal and my travel expenses on the day. I also include a Keepsake folder and copy of the ceremony wording for you along with a commemorative certificate. 

Additional costs are only invoiced if you instruct me to purchase an item on your behalf eg Unity Candle set or you want something completely different included, eg a Baby naming ceremony included within the wedding.

 

Weddings in a box

Sometimes you may have somebody who is perfectly willing and able to present your ceremony for you, however, you still require someone to create this for you. 

I offer a service whereby everything is created as above for you, however, your ceremony script, certificate, readings and vows are posted to you in a beautifully created keepsake box which allows someone else to present your ceremony wherever you are in the world. 

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