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Why you should choose a Celebrant-led wedding ceremony

When planning your wedding day, how high does your wedding ceremony rank in terms of importance? You could argue it’s the most important aspect of the day, yet 8/10 couples personalise every element of their wedding and apart from the actual “I do” part.

Here’s where Independent and Humanist Celebrants can help. Celebrants are able to provide a personalised wedding ceremony that’s out of this world, something everyone wants, right? Although not a “legal” choice for England and Wales (just yet), this is simple to do separately.

What is a Celebrant?

In simple terms a Celebrant is someone who leads a marriage ceremony. A Celebrant will know and plan your wedding ceremony with you from the moment you instruct them, writing and officiating your bespoke wedding ceremony.

Celebrants are able to incorporate rituals into their ceremonies such as traditional handfasting, handtying, write personalised vows for you both and essentially write your love story.

How do I choose a Celebrant?

The difference between independent and Humanist Celebrants comes down to belief. Humanist Celebrants must surrender any faith and offer non-religious ceremonies. Independent Celebrants are able to officiate ceremonies that are both non-religious but those that include religious content such as prayers or readings.

Choosing a Celebrant is difficult but the Celebrant Community operates on community over competition. Most will offer a consultation so you can get to know them, and them you, as an informal interview. You can then find out about ceremonies they’ve done and their favourite readings, rituals and more!

What questions should I ask my Celebrant?

A great place to start will be to ask if your Celebrant has ever officiated a ceremony at your chosen venue. For Celebrants, there is no legal requirement to stand on concrete or have something above your head, like registrars have to, so your Celebrant will have flexibility to perform your wedding ceremony wherever you would like at the venue. If they have visited before they might have some creative ideas!

If you and your significant other share similar interests, your Celebrant might be able to come up with a bespoke ritual for you. Ask them what rituals they like performing and how they might be able to create something for you. If you’re a tea drinker, your Celebrant might be able to design a tea drinking ceremony or if you both have a connection with the coast, a sand ceremony would be a great one to feature.

They will most likely share with you their favourite ceremony, so don’t be afraid to ask ALL of the questions. They will have great recommendations for other amazing suppliers that they’ve worked with at weddings and will love to hear every detail of your special day.

How to I do the legal part?

In many counties, the legal part is known as a 2+2 ceremony – this means the couple plus two witnesses. There are selected days of the week you can do this on, but it’s incredibly simple and essentially the paperwork part. You can hold back your vows and rings and do this on your wedding day with your Celebrant. You can choose to do the legal part before or after your Celebrant-led ceremony. The only thing your Celebrant cannot do is “pronounce you husband and wife” which is a legal term, but instead use the terminology “introducing as you husband and wife”. Other than that, if you didn’t want your guests to know differently, they won’t.

Your Celebrant will be by your side on one of the most important days of your life and will support you in all of your emotions. Be proud that you’re choosing an amazing alternative for your wedding ceremony! You have freedom of choice to get married wherever you choose and with a Celebrant you can make that dream a reality.

Photo credits: Danielle Watkins Photography, Sadie Osborne Photography.

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