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Gwen Downs, Wedding Celebrant

Gwen Downs, Wedding Celebrant Gwen Downs, Wedding Celebrant specializes in creating fun, lighthearted weddings in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and the surrounding areas. Gwen specializes in creating fun, lighthearted weddings that have couples and guests saying, "it was the best ceremony they've ever been a part of!" With just the right balance between cheer and tradition, not only will your ceremony include all the elements you want, but it will also feature the story of how you and your fiancée "ended up here today."

That means rather than a formality, your nuptials will actually be one of the most fun and entertaining parts of your day! Contact her today to design the wedding of your dreams. Visit her website at raleighofficiant.com for more info and pricing. Gwen is a Certified Life-Cycle Celebrant. She uses her specialized skills in ceremony creation and rituals to design a unique and memorable wedding cere

That means rather than a formality, your nuptials will actually be one of the most fun and entertaining parts of your day! Contact her today to design the wedding of your dreams. Visit her website at raleighofficiant.com for more info and pricing. Gwen is a Certified Life-Cycle Celebrant. She uses her specialized skills in ceremony creation and rituals to design a unique and memorable wedding cere

Married these guys on a freezing cold day in February. Notice their clothing; the one on the right said he runs hot 😜 — ...
02/10/2022

Married these guys on a freezing cold day in February. Notice their clothing; the one on the right said he runs hot 😜 — in Holly Springs, North Carolina.

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Love this photo with Emily and Kyle at Pinehill Pavilion in Youngsville, NC.
01/02/2022

Love this photo with Emily and Kyle at Pinehill Pavilion in Youngsville, NC.

The reviews are in!!!⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Rachel said, "Perfect ceremony! Gwen did a fantastic job! She told our story in such a be...
12/19/2021

The reviews are in!!!
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Rachel said, "Perfect ceremony! Gwen did a fantastic job! She told our story in such a beautiful, romantic, and funny. We didn't think we'd want a recording of our wedding so we didn't hire a videographer, but that's our main regret now, given how much we loved our ceremony. Not only did Gwen create a super special ceremony for us, she was also very professional in every step along the way--meeting us, getting all of the details about how we met, running the rehearsal--everything was just perfect. If you're looking for someone you can trust to give you the ceremony of your dreams, you need to hire Gwen (and a videographer!)."

Venue The Royal Banquet & Conference Center
Celebrant Gwen Downs, Wedding Celebrant
Planner Enchanting Events & Designs
Photo Timmester Photography
Music DJ MASS

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12/16/2021

HOW TO PERSONALIZE YOUR WEDDING CEREMONY

It’s your wedding day! You’re standing in some hallway waiting for your cue to make your entrance into the ceremony space. You’ve been making wedding decisions for weeks, awake since 5 a.m., and you just want to get out there because you’ve been looking forward to the ceremony ever since you made the brilliant choice to hire a trained and certified Life-Cycle Celebrant ™ to officiate. You know your wedding will be special and personal, thanks to these tips on personalizing your ceremony.

Hire a Trained Celebrant
Celebrants specialize in personalizing wedding ceremonies. They are non-denominational ceremony writers and performers who are adept at juggling the many competing priorities of couples who are getting married. Want to incorporate singers into the ceremony? Get a celebrant. Want to think up an elaborate ritual to honor your guests? Get a celebrant. Blended family? Hire a celebrant. Jewish bride, Catholic groom? No problem. Atheist bride, Hindu groom? Your celebrant has got your back. Non-practicing Catholic bride and groom whose parents are paying for the wedding and have strongly hinted that they are not thrilled you are getting married in a brewery instead of a church? You definitely need a celebrant.

Your celebrant can personalize every aspect of a wedding ceremony, crafting, directing, and choreographing it to reflect the couple’s true personality. Let’s look at the major ceremonial elements and explore the possibilities for personalization therein.

The Space
Many event venues carve out the ceremony space in a way that resembles a traditional church set-up of two groups of seats separated by an aisle. All the seats face the altar space, the area where the couple will stand with their celebrant. But in a country club ballroom or an estate’s backyard, there is no altar. People say altar as a shorthand to refer back to church weddings. I like to refer to it as the “Ceremonial Matrimonial Sweet Spot,” but that’s just me. The point is that since there is no physical altar, the ceremonial sweet spot can be anywhere in the space, and the guests can be arranged anywhere around it. The traditional, common set-up is not very personal. Consider the following fun, personal alternatives instead.

Elevate the ceremonial space onto a raised stage to improve sightlines for everyone and amplify the theatricality of the whole event. The chairs can all be together with no aisle, as in a theater. And if you need an explanation for that, I’ve got metaphors galore right here in my metaphor satchel. For instance, the lack of an aisle represents the fact that these two families and sets of friends are already joined together, and today we are just making it official.

Prefer a more avant-garde theater? Set up the chairs in a circle and have a ceremony in the round.

Do you enjoy the symbolism of labyrinths? Set the chairs in concentric circles so that the bride and groom take a journey in and around all the guests to arrive at the very center of the labyrinth, where their lives will change forever. Very Instagrammable.

Or forget the chairs completely. In fact, forget the ceremonial space! Hold your ceremony on a dance floor, standing, dancing, and underscored by good music. Hold it on a baseball diamond, a basketball court, a putting green, in a pool, on a boat, or in a room full of yoga mats.

Music and Bridal Party Entrances
We’ve all attended weddings where the bridesmaids and groomsmen make lifeless entrances into the ceremony space while some romantic dirge, like Pachelbel’s Canon, crawls through the air. No, I say! Have your bridal party make an entrance! The easiest way to encourage a good entrance is with good music. Choose something lively and upbeat, something from this century, and something that reflects your real personality.

If you really prefer hypnotically beautiful music, meet with your DJ to discuss appropriate instrumental music. DJs are unmatched in their musical knowledge! Find something that suits your auditory mood. One of the most gorgeous processionals I’ve ever seen took place to music from Appalachian Waltz, a collection of music from cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

My point is that the entrance music doesn’t have to be Pachelbel’s Canon or the Bridal Chorus. It doesn’t have to be Christina Perry’s A Thousand Years. While these pieces are gorgeous, they are painfully cliché, which is the opposite of personal. Your music can be anything you want it to be.

The Ceremony Itself
You’ve already hired a trained celebrant, and they will have been working with you to personalize every aspect of the ceremony. They’ll welcome everyone in as inclusive a way as possible, citing every state and country from which your guests have traveled. They may even say a few words in a foreign language if some guests don’t speak English fluently. They’ll honor every family member you wish in exactly the way you wish. They’ll remember your dearly departed in as dignified and brief a way as possible. They’ll get everyone excited to be at a wedding. Then, when they talk about you, the guests are in for a real treat.

The Love Story
Celebrants are, essentially, professional storytellers. They write great love stories. The centerpiece of each celebrant ceremony is a love story that is specific to the couple getting married. Even if everybody present already knows the couple’s story, they’ve never heard it told by a professional storyteller before. Love stories cover how the couple met, how they got together, how they fell in love, and how they got engaged. The celebrant expresses everything that is most important to the couple, making sure everyone understands why they’ve gathered and why they need to celebrate the couple with extreme enthusiasm. The top celebrants weave love stories that are equally hilarious and heartfelt, holding guests’ attention with true, accurate humor, then surprising them with the power of sentiment. They evoke laughter and tears. They express important thoughts because weddings are important. They connect facts about couples in ways nobody has ever thought of before. Love stories illuminate.

The Vows
Write your own vows. Nothing is more personal than what you promise your partner. If you need help, there are experts out there who work with couples on personal vows all the time (for example, Tanya Pushkine, aka The Vow Whisperer, and yours truly).

If you don’t write your own vows, your celebrant can ask you a series of questions to which you answer “I do.” You can work with your celebrant to craft the exact questions you want to be asked.

This post was originally published at EverydayBride.com and was written by Christopher Shelley of (www.illuminatingceremonies.com).

Gwen Downs, Wedding Celebrant on Google
12/04/2021
Gwen Downs, Wedding Celebrant on Google

Gwen Downs, Wedding Celebrant on Google

WHAT IS A WEDDING CELEBRANT? By Alice Prendergast Wedding celebrants take what you’d call a “full-service” approach to weddings, ideal for couples who are in the market for a truly one-of-a-kind wedding ceremony experience. They go through months of training, learning everything from the funda...

Another 5-star review!⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Jasmine said, "I can't say enough great things about Gwen and her celebrant services!✨ M...
11/02/2021

Another 5-star review!
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Jasmine said, "I can't say enough great things about Gwen and her celebrant services!✨ My fiancé and I wanted something "short and sweet." A large wedding was the last thing either of us cared for, so a nice intimate elopement was right up our alley. We happened to find Gwen on a whim and thank goodness we did! 💍💐 Gwen made the process of getting married so simple and the experience one to remember. She was even able to provide us with witnesses—something we couldn't do since we are new to the area. Gwen took care of all our needs (right down to the signing and mailing of our certificate), and was quick to respond to any questions/comments/concerns we had. 🧾🖋️ Her venue is cozy and quaint and we even had a few photos taken, with some complimentary props Gwen provided! Booking her was easy as 1-2-3, thanks to her website and we got to be wed on Halloween 🎃 (a shared dream of ours). We couldn't have asked for more and highly recommend Gwen to anyone looking for a professional, caring, and attentive officiant for their wedding or elopement! 👰🏾‍♀️💕🤵🏻‍♂️ P.S. She also had the cutest dog, that she let us both snuggle after our wedding; we love animals so that moment was just icing on the cake for us! 🐶🐾"

A chill is in the air! Christie and Bradley, I can’t wait to officiate your wedding and tell your story on this beautifu...
10/30/2021

A chill is in the air! Christie and Bradley, I can’t wait to officiate your wedding and tell your story on this beautiful Autumn day under the 18’ pergola @highgrovenc

Venue @highgrovenc
Officiant @celebrantgwendowns
Photo @egrayphotog
Music @alleventsdjsnc
Video @dogwood_media

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Olivia and Bryan, a little rain isn’t going to stop you two from getting hitched. I can’t wait to tell the story of how ...
10/17/2021

Olivia and Bryan, a little rain isn’t going to stop you two from getting hitched. I can’t wait to tell the story of how a 7th grade crush led to a waterfall proposal 8 years later. Congrats, you two! Let’s get this started!

Venue @themeadowsraleigh
Officiant @celebrantgwendowns
Planner @thegathering.co
Photos @jentalesman
Music @allaroundraleighdj

What a perfect day for a wedding! Nicole and Patrick, it’s been such a pleasure working with two people so extraordinary...
10/03/2021

What a perfect day for a wedding! Nicole and Patrick, it’s been such a pleasure working with two people so extraordinary. I can’t wait to tell your story of how a skydiving student fell for his instructor! Let’s get you two hitched!

Venue @barnatvalhalla
Officiant @celebrantgwendowns
Photo @annietimmonsphotography
Music @coolreceptions

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Here we go! Nicole and Jeremy, I can’t wait to officiate your wedding and tell your story on this beautiful day at @morr...
09/04/2021

Here we go! Nicole and Jeremy, I can’t wait to officiate your wedding and tell your story on this beautiful day at @morrispeacelandfarm. Wedding 3 of 5 this weekend is a gorgeous one - let’s get you hitched!

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The reviews are in!!!⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Julie said: “Gwen did a fabulous job with our wedding ceremony! She is a true professiona...
07/13/2021

The reviews are in!!!
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Julie said: “Gwen did a fabulous job with our wedding ceremony! She is a true professional. The love story she wrote for us was awesome. It was unique, heartwarming, and funny. The guests really enjoyed it and we will cherish it. She understood our desire to have no religion in our ceremony and sent us a draft for the ceremony script which was well put together, I barely had any edits to it. I highly recommend Gwen.”

Venue @MerrimonWynne
Celebrant @celebrantgwendowns
Planner @kasteventsandco
Photo @libbymcgowanphotography
Music @alleventsdjsnc
Video @newstandardvideophoto

#celebrantgwendowns
#raleighwedding
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#lovestoryweddingofficiant
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#elopenc

Address

Holly Springs, NC
27540

Telephone

(919) 446-3388

Products

Quickie Elopement Package, Romantic Elopement Package, Microwedding Package, Deluxe Full Ceremony Package

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Celebrant Gwen Downs, Raleigh Wedding Officiant

Hey there! I’m Gwen and it would be my privilege to create a ceremony that will thrill you and have your guests raving about it.

I specialize in creating fun, lighthearted spiritual or nonreligious weddings that feature your love story. Whether a custom wedding or an elopement ceremony, it's guaranteed to be the Best. Ceremony. Ever.

If you’re looking for a wedding ceremony that celebrates your love story, a small meaningful ceremony or an intimate elopement ceremony, I invite you to visit my website.

www.raleighofficiant.com

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Let me take a picture before the happy tears set in 💗 Celebrate YOUR Life!📷 Officiant: Gwen Downs, Wedding Celebrant
Kim & Andy's wedding is up on the blog!! https://kivusandcamera.com/the-meadows-raleigh-pi-day/ Great big thanks to their wedding team: The Meadows Raleigh, Timeless Events, Head Turners Salon, The Wedding Woman - Jane Utley, Durham NC, Celebrant Gwen Downs, All Around Raleigh DJ, Fords Fluent N' Food Catering, Maggi Bridal, Lis Simon Bridal, bernard's formalwear, AZAZIE
The Finalists of the Wedding DJ of the Year are 🎊😀 Carolina Wedding DJ Bunn DJ Company All Around Raleigh DJ Bunn DJ Company of Charlotte BreakOut DJ Services- Fuquay-Varina Stylus S.E. LLC Sound Extreme Entertainment LoSo Sound DJs- Charlotte OT Mills Music The Finalists of Wedding Band of the Year are 🎊😀 NC Wedding Music- Clayton Irresistible Groove Melonbelly Music Souljam Rubberband- Greensboro The ShakeDown Melonbelly Acoustic- Raleigh EastCoast Entertainment The Throw Back Experience- Charlotte Duke Ladd - Pianist / Musician The Finalists Of Outstanding Supplier of the Year are 🎊😀 Hayes Jewelers of Lexington The English Garden Florist of Raleigh Together As One Bridal Bridal & Formal Center- Fayetteville Nieto Photography Urban Bloom Photography The Joyner Company - Photography & Videography Corey Cagle Photography- Hendersonville Perfectly Pretty Sweets- Asheville Just Bloom Together The Finalists of the Wedding Officiant of the Year are 🎊😀 Celebrant Gwen Downs Destination Elopements WNC Ann McKenzie, Joy-Filled Ceremonies Reverend Kayelily Middleton Heart 2 Heart Ceremonies Asheville Marriages Randy Taylor Weddings Your Wedding Minister Last Minute Wedding Officiant BeLoved Ceremony Congratulations to all Finalist who have been shortlisted under the above categories 🥂🎊 If you have not received a call from our team yet , please PM this page with your email address & full business name so we can send the details ASAP 🙂 #WeddingAwards Email [email protected] for further info.