FAQ About Celebrant Ceremonies

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FAQ about Celebrant Ceremonies: Why choose a Celebrant and not a Registrar?

  • Many modern couples want to host their wedding ceremonies completely outdoors – perhaps in their own garden, piece of woodland or festival space – so their only option is a personalised Celebrant Ceremony created and performed by either an Independent or Humanist Celebrant.
  • If the venue you’ve booked doesn’t have a Civil Marriage Licence, then the Council Registrars can’t perform a ceremony there so again, you’ll need to hire the services of an Independent Celebrant.
  • For venues which do have a Civil Licence, then using Registrars is the favourite option for many couples.  However the standard civil marriage ceremony script has many limitations including the choice of wording and vows, music and spiritual content, as well as restraints over where and how it takes place.
  • When you are on a limited budget, a venue’s hire fees plus those of the Registrars to come out and conduct a marriage may be prohibitive – in which case it’s more cost-effective to use a Celebrant.
  • Why not book a self-catering property on airbnb, kate & tom’s, Mulberry Cottages or Big Cottages?  Find somewhere that could host a large house-party to make a long weekend of it with friends and family?  Once you stop searching for traditional ‘wedding venues’ there’s so much choice and your budget will stretch much further!

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But Isn’t a Civil Ceremony the Same?

  • A Celebrant like me writes a bespoke ceremony script just for you – so no two ceremonies will be the same. Registrars simply “fill the gaps” with Name A and Name B into a very basic script – it’s just not possible for them to personalise your wedding in the same way a Celebrant can.
  • A personal Wedding Ceremony can incorporate many different elements – I like to tell your love story, and you can enhance these words with any symbolism like handfasting, ring-warming or a unity candle lighting.
  • I encourage you to write your own personal wedding vows – with my help if you need it.  You may be lucky to get a choice of a couple of basic sentences when using a Registrar.
  • A Celebrant gets to know you as they plan your ceremony, so that you feel comfortable and prepared.  You wouldn’t meet a Registrar until your wedding day.
  • I include a full in-person Rehearsal close to the wedding day in my peak Friday/Saturday/Sunday prices.  At other times we’ll do a practice via Zoom or WhatsApp.
  • Every Celebrant tailors their ceremonies to each couple, to produce a bespoke script.  Some are intimate and brief, others longer and more complex but all will be absolutely personal!
  • I meet all my couples personally, and am often booked months or years before the Wedding Day.  We work together to produce the perfect ceremony that reflects you as a couple.
  • You can hold your Wedding Ceremony anywhere and at any time.  There is nothing stopping you hosting a moonlit wedding ceremony under the stars! Most couples wish to spend the day with their guests and so generally weddings tend to start in the early afternoon.

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FAQ about Celebrant Ceremonies: How Much do you Charge?

  • My prices differ depending on the day of the week.  Peak days are Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  I’m happy to give you a tailored quote if it’s out of season, intimate or further afield than my usual area.
  • My peak fee includes unlimited contact and as many meetings and revisions to the script as we need, plus a rehearsal.  It takes 25-30 hours of work in total to produce, refine and deliver your script.  It’s a far more personal service than what you receive from a Registrar, so please don’t compare the two – it’s never like for like!
  • I always use a robust high-quality PA system outdoors. I know how frustrating it can be for a guest who cannot hear the ceremony.  Particularly your beautifully-chosen bespoke personal one!  This enables us to play music before and during the ceremony, meaning you don’t need to source a separate music player.  I offer a hand-held microphone to anyone who’s doing readings, and for you to say your vows to one another.
  • I’m happy to coordinate and liaise with all the other professionals you’ve hired, ensuring your wedding runs just as smoothly as it can.  My fee includes this element of stage management thrown in!

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FAQ about Celebrant Ceremonies: Is the Ceremony Legal?

  • A Celebrant-led Wedding Ceremony is symbolic, beautiful and personal, but not legal or binding. Another way people describe it is a Wedding Blessing.
  • UK-based couples split the legal and ceremonial elements of their wedding into two parts.  They have a basic legal marriage at a Register Office, before their Celebrant-led Wedding Ceremony.  Most major Register Offices call this a ‘Statutory Registration of Marriage’  and it’s the quickest, cheapest way to organise the legalities.
  • International couples may have already taken part in a brief legal marriage many months before their ‘English Wedding Day’.  They still think of this as their “proper” wedding though.
  • The Ceremony that I create for you will be forever remembered as your actual Wedding Day.  I often hear that my personal wedding ceremonies have touched your family and friends very deeply!
  • I adore performing weddings in the great outdoors – whether festival-style, or at home.  This is one of the most popular reasons for having a Celebrant-led wedding.
  • Under current Marriage Law (England & Wales), a Registrar civil licence is issued to venues with a permanent structure.  This is why “Wedding Gazebos” pop up in hotel grounds so they can offer an “outdoor” wedding ceremony.  Often it’s just your guests seated fully outside – you’re hidden away under the dark gloomy gazebo!

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Are you a Humanist?

No but people do often get confused about the differences!  Being completely independent, I can blend many ideas (religious, secular, modern or traditional) into my couples’ scripts, without imposing my own views.  This creates the content that reflects your personalities and background.  Often, my couples have had a religious upbringing but don’t want to marry in a formal ceremony.  We can incorporate any symbolic rituals from your heritage into your personal ceremony.  I often perform modern handfastings, and can offer ring-warming, a mead toast or jumping the broom as “pagan-style” enhancements.

What do you Allow in the Ceremony?

  • Anything goes, in fact the more creative, the better.  I positively encourage dog ring-bearers, flower-boys or couple karaoke!  Want to down shots with all your guests as a finale?  Why not?!
  • If it means something to you, let’s include it in your ceremony!  This could be spiritual content, modern contemporary writing, or best of all, live music.  For musical inspiration, check out the Spotify playlists I’ve put together for 6 different wedding ceremony scenarios.
  • The best wedding ceremonies have fun and humour running through them, as well as the serious stuff. I firmly believe that it’s your ceremony, and you own it!  Friends, family, children or pets can play a part – or if you like, we can get all your guests involved too!

I hope you found my FAQ about Celebrant Ceremonies useful.  Please get in touch using any of the methods on the Contact Me page.  I’d love to hear from you!