FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is a Celebrant?
A Celebrant is someone who officiates a ceremony. They usually, but sadly not always, have undergone formal training on how to write and conduct ceremonies.
There are many styles of Celebrant, to suit various personal requirements. Some are happy to include religious or spiritual content, others aren’t.
It is really important to get an informed opinion, when looking for a Celebrant, as you only get one chance to get it right. We strongly recommend speaking with them to get a better ‘feel’ for them, so that you can decide whether they are a good ‘fit’ for you as a couple.
Why should we use a Celebrant?
There can be a number of reasons for choosing a Celebrant.
Perhaps you wish to personalise your ceremony to truly represent your values as a couple, by going away from the standard ‘one size fits all’ wedding that are often given.
Perhaps you had a ceremony abroad, and want to have all of your friends and family to experience a ceremony upon your return
Perhaps there is a reason why you can’t marry legally, but still would like some way of showing your love to your other half. For example, if your divorce hasn’t quite been finalised, or you want to commit emotionally to your partner, but don’t think that marriage isn’t for you right now.
We really take time to get to know you- often the first time a Registrar meets you is about 20 minutes before the ceremony! This really isn’t how I work! Once you book my services, we catch up from time to time, giving you regular updates on the planning process on the run up to your ceremony date.
We can be a cheaper option than paying for two Registrars to come out to a venue, whilst still giving you a much more inclusive ceremony.
Are your weddings legal?
In England & Wales currently it is only possible to legally marry in a place sanctioned in a religious place (ie a church or temple) or in a place licensed to conduct Civil Ceremonies, such as a Register Office or venue such as a hotel.
Both have positive and negative aspects. Church weddings obviously have to contain religious elements within the ceremony. As a result, the ceremony is quite uniform- appart from having a choice of music and perhaps a reading, they will be largely the same for each couple.
Church weddings are perfect for couples with a particular faith, or are looking for a traditional wedding.
It is a fact however, that the majority of people in the UK no longer consider themselves to have religious views. We have therefore become a secular nation.
More and more people feel that the church is no longer relevant in their lives. This is bourne out by significantly fewer people actively worshipping in church on a regular basis.
This has seen the popularity of Civil marriages using Registrars. This type of wedding involves no reference to religion or spirtuality at all. In fact, Civil marriage ceremonies are not allowed to include religion.
Civil marriages also follow a largely preset template, with a choice of perhaps 2-3 vows, and music options.
As mentioned earlier, they can only take place in a licensed location. Other restrictions also apply, but a Civil marriage would be appropriate for couples wanting a standard ceremony.
Celebrant-led ceremonies originated over 40 years ago in Australia, and have become increasingly popular for couples wanting more control and choice in their ceremony.
While we have been lobbying to have our ceremonies regognised by law, (it will come one day!) we are not bound by the restrictions that the Church or the Register Service are.
What makes Celebrant-led We can conduct Ceremonies in any location, as long as we aren’t tresspassing, which means that we aren’t tied to a particular venue. You can therefore have your ceremony outside- in a woodland; on a beach; in a tipi; within a stone circle- even in your own garden if it is big enough to accommodate your guests!!
Of course, you can still choose to use a venue with a wedding license too.
The best of both worlds!
Celebrant-led weddings are just that- wedding ceremonies, not marriage ceremonies.
It is a fact that the only words that make a marriage ‘legal’ only make up a fraction of a ceremony. All the rest is, well ceremonial! We can include any of your wishes, ideas, styles and themes in your ceremony. You can write your own vows, or have traditional ones. We put you firmly at the heart of your ceremony- we get to know you both to find out exactly what is important to you. Your family and friends can be included in the ceremony- nothing is off-limits, as long as we keep within the law!
So, to put it simply, a marriage is the legally binding part, but a wedding is a ceremonial blessing- in our view the best part!
We recommend having the formalities attended to at your local Register Office in a simple service, then have your beautiful ceremony, with me officiating, in a venue of your choosing.
I’d be happy to discuss exactly how this is done- just get in touch for to arrange a free discovery call/ meeting!
So if your ceremonies aren't legally binding, does that mean that it isn't a real wedding?
All or our ceremonies are 100% real! We pride ourselves in delivering truly meaningful ceremonies.
Think or it a being like registering the birth of a baby. Getting a birth certificate proves a babies existence in the eyes of the law. Does that piece of paper make a baby any more ‘real’ than before it was registered? Of course not!
While the legalities of a marriage do offer a certain amount of security, our ceremonies acknowledge and positively celebrate your love for each other- definitely not fake at all!
What will my family & friends think if we had a Celebrant wedding?
We would hope they would be delighted! Using me as your celebrant means that you have total control on your ceremony. If you dream of a traditional ‘walking down the aisle’ wedding, that’s fantastic, but you can also have something completely different from the norm too, if that is what you have set your heart on!
How your wedding ceremony ‘looks’ for your nearest and dearest is your decision. Most of your guests won’t be able to distinguish yours and anyone else’s, unless of course, you want it to!
Why should we use you?
Having been a celebrant for nearly four years, it remains a huge honour to play a small part in making your big day amazing!
I don’t take this responsibility lightly, which is why I took further training to obtain the highest qualification available to Celebrants in the UK: the level 3 Diploma in Celebrancy: Naming & couples, as well as in Funeral Celebrancy.
This qualification, awarded by NOCN, is the only celebrant qualification that is recognised by the UK government.
Reputation is so important in the wedding industry, so there is a clear vested interest in me doing my very best in providing a truly beautiful ceremony for you!
You can rest easy to know that I have full public liability and professional indemnity insurance- insurance for your and my protection.
Don’t just take my word for it, see for yourself what people are saying about me!