Top Note Ceremonies blog

with Steve Pritchard-Jones

Funeral Photography

Although funerals and celebration of life services unquestionably carry a weight of sadness, they can also be emotional rewarding and uplifting with many heart-warming moments. A specialist funeral photographer will capture these moments, discreetly and from a distance, ensuring the genuine emotions of the day remain unbroken. The photographs will show the love, shared memories and compassion of the mourners present who have assembled to bid a fond and heartfelt farewell to a family member, friend or colleague.

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Baby Naming

The birth of a child is a time of happiness and celebration for the parents, and the majority of parents want to share that joy with their family and friends.

In modern times, many parents do not necessarily want a traditional religious

christening, either because they do not hold any religious beliefs or because they may want their child to be able to choose their own beliefs later in life.

A celebrant led baby naming ceremony offers a meaningful and beautiful alternative, giving parents the chance to welcome their child and confirm their commitments and love to their child surrounded by their family and friends.

As a celebrant I’m asked to conduct ceremonies for married couples, unmarried parents, single parents, adoptive parents, parents who are of different religions and cultures, and same sex parents.

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Funeral Poems

Many families like to include one or two poems or readings at a funeral service or celebration of life because it helps to provide a beautiful and emotional addition to the service.

You may already know which poem you would like; perhaps the person had a favourite poet or author. But if you need a little inspiration, I have put together a selection of poems that may inspire you.

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Scattering or Interment of Ashes

The great thing about the scattering of the ashes ceremony is that it is entirely up to you, a special occasion to remember the life of a loved one. The short ceremony to scatter their ashes, will be memorable, heartfelt, meaningful, and dignified. It is a most fitting and brilliant opportunity to give your loved one the final send-off they would have wished for.

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Adoption Welcoming

Have you received the delightful news your adoption is finalised and you’d like to celebrate to officially welcome your child to your loving home and to their new life?

The adoption welcoming ceremony could be a quiet and intimate occasion for just you and the children or maybe, you want to celebrate and involve family and friends.

Your ceremony can be held at an indoor or outdoor venue of your choice and on a day of your choice. Venues can include at home, hotel, hall or at a favourite venue of your choosing. It’s your day and you have total freedom when and where to hold this special celebration.

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Special Ritual Options

There are many things associated with traditional weddings that everyone knows about and include without even having to think about it. For example, wedding flowers, wedding dress and veil, top hat and tails, bridesmaid dresses, exchange of vows, kiss the bride etc. Some of these wedding traditions date back centuries but many other elements can be included in a wedding officiated by a celebrant.

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Masonic Funerals & The Graveside Address

The Masonic Funeral Service and the Graveside Address are beautiful pieces of literature. It’s simple and straight forward and will touch the hearts of everyone present, Masons and non-Masons.

A Masonic funeral is an option for Freemasons at any of the three levels in a Masonic Lodge –  Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason.

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Embracing Love: An Inclusive LGBTQIA+ Wedding or Commitment Ceremony

In a world marked by diversity and constant change, love remains the universal bond that connects us all. Every manifestation of love deserves celebration, free from prejudice or bias. Your wedding or commitment ceremony is a testament to the love you share, transcending labels or categories—it’s simply about the union of two souls becoming one family.

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Nurturing Hearts: Supporting Children and Young People Through Grief

Grief is a natural response to loss, but for children and young people, navigating this emotional terrain can be particularly challenging. Whether they’re experiencing the loss of a loved one, a pet, or a significant change in their lives, understanding and supporting them through grief is crucial for their emotional well-being. In this blog post, we’ll explore effective ways to support children and young people as they cope with grief, helping them navigate their feelings and find comfort in difficult times.

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Wedding Music Advice

Choosing wedding music is an important part of creating the atmosphere for your special day. Here are Steve’s suggestions for various parts of the ceremony and wedding reception.

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Funeral Music

Choosing funeral music can be a deeply personal and meaningful decision, as it can evoke emotions and memories associated with the departed loved one. Here are some common choices for funeral music across different genres:

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I know from personal experience it can be difficult sometimes to get to your loved one’s grave. You may have moved away, been too busy, you find visiting too emotional or simply can’t get there anymore. For whatever reason, I now offer a new service to help you. ‘Flowers to the Grave’ will launch under the umbrella of Top Note Ceremonies and it aims to make life easier for busy people who struggle to find the time to attend the grave of their loved one. I will purchase and then place flowers or wreaths by the grave. As part of the service, I will clean the headstone at no additional cost. As soon as the job is complete, I will follow this up with a photograph. I offer this service as a one-off, regularly or at seasonal times i.e. Mother’s Day, Birthdays, Anniversaries or Christmas in the knowledge that the work will be conducted with both care and dignity.

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Wedding & Cocktail Pianist Blog

What is a wedding or cocktail pianist?

A wedding pianist is a musician who specialises in playing wedding or cocktail lounge music and is able to create the perfect ambience.

You can book a wedding pianist for the ceremony, drinks reception, wedding breakfast, during the photographs or any combination of these.

A wedding pianist will play music with a romantic theme and they will play a range of music that appeals to guests of a variety of ages.

A wedding pianist has experience in playing music that your guests will recognise and will include modern and older pop tunes, music from stage and screen, romantic ballads, jazz music, and light classical music.

Most wedding musicians will be more than happy to learn requests for your wedding because they understand the importance of adding a personal touch to the music.

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Traditional Wedding Ceremony Elements

Processional: The “wedding procession” is simply an elaborate way of referring to the beginning of the ceremony when the bride or bride and groom walks down the aisle and is typically accompanied by either recorded or live music.

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