Embracing Life Ceremonies Logo Banner

Questions and Answers

Download the Frequently Asked Questions here.

What kind of ceremonies do you offer?

I perform marriage / wedding / vow renewals / partnership / civil / naming ceremonies you want in length, style and content ranging from secular / non-religious, inter-faith ceremonies, large or small, formal or casual (including vow renewals). It can be Romantic with a hint of tradition it is your choice.

Do you perform Same Sex Marriage Ceremonies?


Where can I get married?

I will work with you to create a "uniquely you and personal" ceremony in the location you desire. I officiate ceremonies on the beach or in gardens, in a park or by a pool, in your home or on a houseboat, in barns and on bridges, in churches and chapels, mansions and museums, hotels and halls, coffee shops and castles, at a B&B or a football field, in a tent or in a tree house! In fact, any place that has special meaning for you. You are only restricted by your imagination. You may enjoy your Ceremony at any time of the day or night. Only one ceremony is booked per day therefore no time restraints apply.

Will we get a chance to read our ceremony before the event?

After I written your personalised ceremony, I will go over it with you - together. You may add, delete or change any part and I will fine-tune it until you love it. You have final approval. There will be no surprises!

Can we write our own wedding vows?

Of course you can. I will work with you to craft your own vows if you wish. Many choose from my samples. You can choose one, or "tweak" it to make it your own. You have full control!

Can I specify ceremony details such as music, readings, and vows?

Absolutely! My goal is to create a ceremony that is a reflection of the two of you, your little one for family. I have lots of options to choose from, and would love to hear your own ideas! I like to personalise your ceremony in any way you like.

I am divorced, and my partner and I have been living together. Do you perform second marriages?

Yes, of course! The ceremonies I perform are not legal binding so you can have the wedding day of your dreams.

Do you provide speakers so our guests can hear our Wedding Ceremony?

Yes I do. For outdoor ceremonies, please contact me and we can discuss this further.

We are on a budget. Do you have different prices for ceremony's?

Yes I have. Click here for more information. I can cover your music and ceremony room decor too if you wished.

We would like something different instead of the Unity Candle. What do you suggest?

Check out the Ritual Ceremony section. Any further suggestions are greatly welcomed.

We are a Spiritual couple. Can you perform a civil/ spiritual ceremony?

Of course I can. I completed Reiki II many years ago. This allows me to bless and cleanse any area or objects. I welcome any ritual ideas you may have. I may also have a few ideas of my own to suggest to you!

I would like to invite a member of the clergy/ other religious/ traditional background to participate/ bless or say a prayer in our ceremony. Will you allow this?

Of course! This is YOUR WEDDING CEREMONY! I encourage participation from your wider community.

We would love to have our Ceremony abroad. Will you travel?

If availability allows me, yes I will. I need to advise, it may not be possible to bring my PA equipment. This or some of the heavier equipment may be supplied at the location.

Do we need our Marriage Certificate before you perform our Ceremony? 

No you do not. If you wish to obtain a marriage licence, this is entirely a personal choice between you and your spouse to be / partner.

We'd like to include our children in our wedding ceremony. Is that okay?

Yes, I am happy to find ways to include children or other family members whatever their age. Also includes four, three or two legged family members too!

I'm shy - do I have to talk?

If you prefer, you can just say "I do." Or even just nod your head! I want you to be very happy and comfortable. Even those who aren't shy usually prefer to read their vows or to repeat them after me.

What do you wear as a Celebrant?

I will dress in appropriate attire for your particular occasion. It depends on your ceremony style and the degree of formality. We want to blend in with your guests, not stand out. It's your ceremony and the focus is on

YOU. I have a choice of wedding attire or I can dress more casually in a dark or light dress or trousers. Whatever you prefer, as Independent Celebrant I am very flexible. If you are choosing to follow a theme, we can talk about costume attire/ clothing.

What are your rules regarding photography?

I am very flexible and cooperate with wedding coordinators. Flash photography is fine and if you wish, I let photographers position themselves where they can get the best possible photos or video. (However, keep in mind, cameras on the altar area can be a distraction and will also wreck the appearance of the wedding photos for everyone else, so this is your call.)

When will you arrive?

I will arrive at least 60 minutes before the start of the ceremony and remain as long as required.

How do we get the marriage license?

The Wedding Certificate signed at your wedding ceremony is not a marriage license. This is because our Irish civil marriage laws are restrictive around the wording and content of the ceremony. To obtain a marriage license, you attend your local register office with two witnesses. You are welcome to request a Registrar to be there on the day. I suggest you do not exchange rings before the registrar but leave that for your ceremony with us.

How soon do we need to book you?

My busiest season for weddings in the Ireland is between May and September - November & December. Saturdays, especially, book up quickly. For any type of ceremony if you have the slightest interest in having me perform your ceremony, you are encouraged to check availability. I am usually booked five to six months in advance, with a few open dates in between. Weekday ceremonies are generally easier to schedule on shorter notice. Please remember, I can not hold your date and time until I receive a booking and deposit from you!

We are ready to get married! / We want to renew our wedding vows! / How do we book our ceremony date?

First email or call me to see if your date and time is available on my schedule. I can meet in person or get acquainted by phone, email or Skype. If you decide you would like to have me officiate at your wedding, I will send you a booking form and you simply pay a deposit to hold my services.

The booking form is valid for one month from date of issue. If not returned within the month neither the date nor the quoted fees will continue to be held. The balance is due four weeks before the day of your ceremony. As soon as you have reserved the date, I will begin to work with you on your unique and special ceremony. It's fun and simple! Know that I will be there for you on your wedding day and that I will always be available for you by phone or email.

“What happens next”, you ask?

After you have booked my services: You will have unlimited email & telephone support. I will work with you to customise your ceremony until it is exactly the way you want it. You will have your choice of vows, readings, type of service and many options. You are encouraged to provide me with your own ideas! You can have complete access to our extensive resources of ceremony ideas. I will send you your finished personalised wedding ceremony script to review. It's not the final draft until you say

"It's perfect... We love it!"


On Your Ceremony Day,  I travel to your ceremony location. I will officiate at your wedding ceremony. Everyone will love your heart-felt, unique ceremony, reflecting how special you both are or your little one is. Following your ceremony, you will receive a beautiful keepsake packet including a commemorative copy of your entire wedding ceremony.

Please note: You are not officially booked, and your date is not reserved until I have received your signed booking form and fee.

Thank you for considering my services!

I look forward to working with you for and on your special day and Thank You.

Vanessa Cooney

Irish Wedding Celebrant