Behind the scenes - how we made the ceremony planner

July 26, 2022

Behind the Scenes - How we made the ceremony planner

You might already have seen or used our ceremony planner. We’ve had so much interest in it that we thought we’d tell you how it came about. 

When we reviewed our ceremonies provision, we had a few areas for improvement that we wanted to address, and they fell into 3 main categories: 

  • Customer service - Our customers want to  interact with us online. They want to pay online and receive an instant confirmation and they want to make their ceremony choices online too. They also want to do these things at a time that suits them, not necessarily during our office hours.

  • Staff activity – Our team was sending out paper forms and taking card payments over the phone and these activities were not making the best use of their skills.

  • Climate change – The amount of paper being used for each ceremony was problematic. Apart from the legal notices, schedule, and certificate(s), we were using multi-page forms for ceremony choices and additional information as well as our own internal record sheets. 


When we looked at how to address all these issues, the online ceremony planner seemed like a great solution. We were already using Zipporah for our diary management so adding the planner was a natural extension of a system that we trusted.

Following a demonstration, we set about establishing exactly how we wanted the planner to work. The first thing for us to ensure was that it integrated with our standalone ceremonies’ website. This meant that we had everything in one place for our couples; from information about our ceremonies to information about our fantastic venues to listings for local suppliers - the ceremony planner would be the final step of the couple’s journey towards their big day. Zipporah worked with the website developers to ensure that the planner was part of the website and retained the same look and feel!


While important, we all know that looks are not everything and the planner had to live up to the standard that we have come to see from previous Zipporah solutions. Once Zipporah had set up the framework, we were able to adjust and tweak the ceremony choices until they were exactly what we wanted. We added custom questions that help us to accommodate all the little things that make each ceremony so personal to the couple themselves. The couple can preview the ceremony, make changes, and preview it again so when the big day comes, they can be sure that they have designed the ceremony that’s perfect for them. And when the registrar arrives and calls up the ceremony on their tablet, the couple knows that it will be exactly what they asked for.


We sent out the first user names and passwords to allow couples to use the planner earlier this year and it has made a huge difference this summer. After two years of postponements and cancellations, we’ve had a full diary and the planner has helped us to manage all of those ceremonies without impacting our usual high level of customer service. 


So, where are we now with the areas for improvement that we started with?

  • Customer service – almost all our couples now make the ceremony choices and pay online. They can still email and phone us of course but we can see that most of the online activity is happening outside of office hours so we have definitely achieved what we wanted to hear. 

  • Staff activity - The amount of time that it takes to set up an account and email the couple with all of the information that they need is a fraction of what was needed to send out the paper forms and process them when they were returned. This means that our team is now better able to spend time in other areas and use their specialist registration skills more effectively. 

  • Climate change – the volume of paper and printing has dramatically decreased since the launch of the planner. This is not only helping us to contribute towards our organisational targets but will benefit all of us as we work towards a greener future.  



March 10, 2023

Pre-ceremony Consultations

Pre-ceremony Consultation Meetings

July 27, 2022

Behind the scenes - how we made the ceremony planner

Interested in how our ceremony planner came about? Read the story here.