Blog: A Vow Renewal Reflection

K. Barratt

Karem wedding altar daniel and amanda 2



Ah, marriage: the stuff of dreams, songs and poems. Marriage can be many splendid, wonderful, awe-inspiring things – or it can be a living hell. In any case, marriage is never easy. Not only is it full of bumps, boulders, valleys and hills to conquer, but after the initial bliss, there is the very real danger of falling into a mediocre routine, where feelings are hardly ever spoken, little or nothing remotely romantic is done, and the flame of love starts to dwindle to mere embers. Love, my friends, is a verb, that is best expressed in actions, big or small, expected or surprising. Love is a continuous endeavour, a career that needs attention, passion, devotion, engagement, negotiation and input, if it is to flourish and be successful. All this is well understood by our happy couple, Pamela and Simon, for today we are blessing and celebrating a ten-year-old marriage between people of different cultures, languages and nationalities, who somehow have made it work. This fact reveals many things. It shows there is love, yes, but also patience; support, but also the will to resolve differences; tenderness, but also the strength to be honest and true. Pamela and Simon’s story also speaks of trust: in themselves, in one another, in life, in the power of their feelings, in the fortitude of their characters and the resoluteness of their souls. It also states humility and acceptance; the disposition to encourage, accept and cherish each other as they are, with all their greatness and pettiness, their moments of shadows and their times of light.

Marriage also involves the acknowledgement of the changes that come with age, experience and circumstance. It is an invitation to fall in love, repeatedly, with a multifaceted, evolving human being. An invitation to appreciate the new traits in your loved one, as one treasures a new type of flower in the garden. All these transformations are streaming from the core of the one you care for, the one you have chosen as life partner, lover and family. As part of your beloved’s life, you have a degree of influence in these changes, so in a way, you, as a couple, become more united as you grow together; more part of each other with the passing of time, for your shared history contributes to the self-realisation of your spouse. And vice versa.

Hence, the task ahead is to value and love the person that is and the person that is becoming; be there for him or her as they will be there for you. Develop a bit of patience, a bit of grit, a very open mind, always remembering that you are also going through your own metamorphosis, and at the end, your wings may be of different colours than that of your husband or wife, but you both are butterflies, ready to fly high and savour life together. For, when all has been said and done, marriage is about togetherness: living together, enjoying together, crying together and creating together. And you do so because you love each other, and love is in every action, every word, every silence of a good marriage. This ceremony itself is a declaration of love; of a love that has been tested, calibrated and reinforced; a love so confident in itself that it is ready to commit again, to sign up again for a new phase, where a new life may be included, in the mad, delicious, surprising, and thrilling adventure tour we call marriage. Now, let’s listen to the second reading


Wedding & Civil Partnership Blessings

Jesmy y mark w 4

We wanted a ceremony that was both personal and moving and we were very pleased as that’s exactly what we got. Karem was friendly, approachable and helpful at every stage and listened closely to what we wanted. The ceremony had been specially tailored to us and we were delighted with the result. I highly recommend Karem as an officiant.”    Daniel & Amanda Jupp

A wedding or civil partnership ceremony is a magical moment in time, when two people come together and affirm their love and their commitment to each other, held in the support of their loved ones. A bespoke, non-denominational wedding/civil partnership ceremony can be one of the most personal and meaningful events you can experience and share with your friends and family. I offer wedding and civil partnership blessings, handfastings, commitment ceremonies and vow renewals.

I will listen to your requirements; I will honour your values and deep-held beliefs; and then I will craft a ceremony that reflects all that you, as a couple, truly are. Your wedding/civil partnership ceremony can be as creative, inclusive, original and personalised as you wish. It can be as secular, spiritual or multi-faith as you want. It can include other members of the family, such as children – and even pets! And it can be worked around your wedding theme.

 Currently, I can conduct legally-binding weddings in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Eire. In England and Wales, and elsewhere, you need to complete the legal formalities through the Register Office. If desired, this element can often be integrated into the wedding ceremony itself. I can officiate wedding blessings, commitment ceremonies, vow renewals, civil partnership blessings and handfastings almost anywhere. I also offers weddings in Spanish or a combination of English and Spanish.

I offer a free initial consultation of up to 30 minutes. My core service includes follow-up consultations, crafting and delivery of the ceremony to your requirements, and commemorative certificate and documentation.

jesmy y mark w


Amanda and Daniel w1

We thank you for conducting our handfasting to perfection. We will always be grateful.”

Jesmy and Mark.

A handfasting is an old Pagan custom, dating back to the time of the ancient Celts. A handfasting was originally more like a trial marriage, where two people would declare a binding union between themselves for a year and a day. The couple could then either split as if they had never been married or could decide to enter permanently into marriage (through a further handfasting ceremony).

Today, many followers of the various Pagan paths have embraced handfasting as a part of their wedding ceremony. A handfasting in itself is not (yet) regarded as a legal marriage in UK, it can still be performed either as a ceremony alongside the legal formalities or as a commitment for “as long as love shall last.”

A handfasting ceremony can be tailor made to suit the couple. There are many variations of the traditional handfasting. After the bride and groom both declare their intent to enter into this union, the hands of the couple are clasped and fastened together with a cord or cords just before, just after, or during their vows are made to one another. The wrapping of the cord forms an infinity symbol. The handfasting knot that is tied is a symbolic representation of oneness between the couple. In a show of unity, they become bound to each other.

Many non-Pagan couples are adopting this old custom, much like when couples borrow from other traditions to craft their own ceremony to match their distinctive personalities.

 I offer a free initial consultation of up to 30 minutes. Myr core service includes follow-up consultations, crafting and delivery of the handfasting ceremony to your requirements, and commemorative certificate and documentation.  



Vow Renewal

K at Pamela y Simon blessing

“Thanks Karem for such a beautiful ceremony. It really reflected our values and everyone commented on its originality. We never imagined a vow renewal ceremony could be so touching and special. Thank you for making the second time around as good – if not better – than the first.”  Barbara and John Breadman

A Vow Renewal ceremony is a beautiful way to express a love that has stood the test of time. The occasion may mark a special anniversary, be a spontaneous expression of feeling given as a gift to a partner, or it my mark the return to each other after a time apart. Or sometimes there may come a time when for one reason or another one or both partners may feel they have lost touch – a painful time when the future may seem unclear. Then realisation dawns that love and commitment still exist between you, and you enter a new phase in your relationship. This could be the ideal time to renew your wedding vows in a special ceremony built around your own wishes.

Vow Renewal ceremonies can be conducted along similar lines to a wedding ceremony, or they can take the form of a more intimate, private event.

I offer a free initial consultation of up to 30 minutes. My core service includes follow-up consultations, crafting and delivery of the ceremony to your requirements, and commemorative certificate and documentation.  

Baby Naming

Karem baby blessing 1

Our baby naming ceremony was lovely and all our individual requests were taken into account. Karem was very creative in constructing our baby naming ceremony and we couldn’t have asked for better. There is nothing I would change about the service we received”. Alanna Anderson-Cheshire

In spite of the name, this ceremony can be for older children too. It celebrates the arrival of a new member of the family, be they biological or adopted. It also serves as support to the parents, siblings, sponsors/godparents, as it creates a beautiful sense of community. At a bespoke baby naming there is no limitation to the choice of words or number of people involved; nor do you have to share your special moment with other families that you may not know. It can take place anywhere, any time and different kinds of rituals can be included, from the blessing of the water by all the guests to signing and releasing of an eco-friendly lantern

 I offer a free initial consultation of up to 30 minutes. My core service includes follow-up consultations, crafting and delivery of the ceremony to your requirements, and commemorative certificate and documentation.“Our baby naming ceremony was lovely and all our individual requests were taken into account. Karem was very creative in constructing our baby naming ceremony and we couldn’t have asked for better. There is nothing I would change about the service we received”. Alanna Anderson-Cheshire

Rites of Passage

ordination ceremonony 1a

 I believe that marking those important stages in life is important for spiritual and emotional well-being. For this reason, I take pride in creating ceremonies that may not be mainstream, but which certainly are significant for people. A rite of passage bespoke ceremony is crafted to please and fulfil you; to be an outer expression of your very unique and beautiful self and to help you achieve inner balance and peace.

As for all other ceremonies, Rites of Passage can be as spiritual, multi-faith or secular as you wish. We also embrace inclusivity and adaptation. Hence, people of different faiths – or none – can be part of the ceremony and aspects of different traditions can be incorporated. Mark these important stages of life by honouring your true self, true ideals, true vision and true beliefs.


Puberty.  Traditionally, people celebrate the arrival of adolescence in a way that is meaningful and empowering for the young person. Ceremonies that acknowledge this new stage can be created to reflect life-views; connect the young person to his or her inner strength; pass on family wisdom and traditions; open a new era in the communication between parents and children; bestow privileges and responsibilities that acknowledge that the person is no longer a child, and so forth.

Graduation. Graduation is an achievement that should be recognised at many different levels. A graduation blessing brings together all the well-wishes, hopes and aspirations of the new graduate, his/her family and friends in a joyful, heart-felt and special way.

Adulthood/coming of age/home leaving. Following the idea of the puberty ceremonies, these rites of passage mark the beginning of a new, more responsible cycle, when parents must let their children fly the nest and relate to them as peers.



Amanda and Daniel w4

Originally intended for newlyweds with children from previous relationships, this ceremony can also be for all types of family. It opens a space for each member to express the ways in which they are prepared to support the family relationship and commit to its success. It can also provide an opportunity for people to express their appreciation for each other and their hopes for the future as a family. A family commitment ceremony is also a lovely way to start a co-parent relationship with a former partner or spouse, showing the children that, independently of circumstances, their parents are there for them and are willing to work together to offer them a loving, supporting network as they grow.


Inspirational Talks

K Affirmation Workshop4

We all need a little inspiration occasionally: hear words that remind us of the beauty, courage, joy, creativity, empowerment, fellowship and more that is there in the world, but sometimes we fail to see. I craft inspirational talks, thematic or custom-made, to open a space of optimism and reflection for people and, hopefully, leave them up-beat and/or ready to reflect more about their lives and the world around them. I incorporate stories, anecdotes and sometimes even songs to the talks.

Depending on the audience I can also make them interactive, creating a mini workshop feel. Although I take these talks seriously, my delivery style is friendly, unassuming, and even a bit laid back. I create and deliver this chats from the heart and my greatest satisfaction is that through them I contributed a little to make someone’s day more cheerful, gentle, positive and inspiring. These talks can be prepared for groups, companies and families and friends looking to make an important occasion even more meaningful and memorable, such a new home,  clubs or businesses anniversaries, reaching a mile stone o creating a new group or starting a new phase.

Personalized, purpose-driven meditations, visualisations and affirmations.

inspirational poster seven affirmation


After a deep conversation about your present goal(s) or life issues, I  will craft bespoke, personalized guided meditations, visualisations and affirmations that help you clarify your vision, find inspiration and fortitude to do the work and sustain you during the challenging phases of your journey. This service can be part of a self-realization coaching session or a stand alone experience. Once I have created the tools, I will guide you on how to implement them in your every day life, either personally, via Skype/phone or MP3. Changes can be incorporated as you move on closer to your goal. I can also be of aid in the creation of vision boards and power centres (what some would call shrine or altars) to help you in your meditation or to keep your focus on your desire.

These mind tools can be use for personal, business or spiritual development. They can be crafted following a particular spiritual tradition, be of a more eclectic nature or be completely secular in form. If you have no previous experience in the use of guided meditation s, visualisations, affirmations, vision boards and power centres, I will include an additional session (s) to teach you the best way to use and incorporate this practices in your life.