FAQ about Celebrants & Ceremonies

Why choose a Celebrant and not a Local Authority Registrar?

  • Your preferred venue may not have a Civil Licence, therefore the Registrars would not be able to perform a ceremony there.
  • If there is a Licence in place, then using the local Registrars is a perfectly viable option for most couples.  Be aware however, of the limitations in your choice of wording, music and content for the ceremony and the restraints over where and how that ceremony takes place (must happen within a “permanent structure”, not in the open air … etc)
  • Some of the larger corporate Licenced venues may also insist that you choose from their list of recommended or in-house suppliers for items such as flowers, catering or styling, and may also take another wedding booking for your big day!  You want to share your wedding day?
  • The venue’s hire fees plus those of the Registrars to come out and conduct the marriage may be prohibitive.  And perhaps you could do so much more with your money elsewhere?

Isn’t the Ceremony the Same?

  • No.  A Local Authority Registrar will simply “fill in the gaps” of a standard ceremony script.  You might get a choice between Option A, B or C, but there will be little contact before the ceremony and Registrars must keep to the script with no embellishments or personalisation allowed.
  • Ceremonies at Register Offices are booked in short time-slots, which often over-run on busy weekends and you may feel very rushed.
  • Unfortunately you won’t meet the rostered Registrar who will conduct your ceremony until the big day itself unless you request and pay extra for a rehearsal beforehand.  A Rehearsal is always included in my service as standard (how else would we practice it?!)
  • An Independent Celebrant offers you a completely bespoke service, and tailors each ceremony to each individual couple, helping to make you feel comfortable and confident about the day, as well as delivering a very meaningful and personal script.
  • I meet all my couples personally, starting the process months or even years before a Wedding Day.  We communicate constantly via phone, email and face-to-face, working together to produce the ceremony that they are happy with.  
  • And of course, the beauty is that you can hold your Wedding wherever you like and whatever time you like (midnight on a moonlit beach?)

How Much do you Charge?

  • My fees will differ depending on your exact requirements.  As it is a bespoke service, I always gather as much information as I can about the type of ceremony and where you’re planning it, to give you a tailored quote.
  • My fee includes unlimited contact with you, personally as well as email or phone, and as many meetings and revisions to the script as we need, plus a rehearsal.  It takes hours of work to get to know you and produce and refine your script, and it’s such a different service to what you’d get from a Registrar.
  • I always use a robust high quality PA system whether we are indoors or outdoors, as I know how frustrating it can be for a guest who cannot hear the ceremony (particularly your bespoke personal one!).
  • This enables us to play music before and during the ceremony and means you don’t need to source a separate music player.  You may use a hand held microphone for your vows too.
  • There is always an element of stage management required on the big day, and I’m happy to coordinate all the elements of the wedding and other professionals as well as delivering your ceremony, again all as part of my service.

Is the Ceremony Legal?

  • Until the law changes, the ceremony itself is not legal and binding – another way to describe it is your Wedding Celebration.  To all intents and purposes your guests do not know any different.
  • Couples make their declaratory and contracting words at their Register Office a day or two before the big day and receive a marriage certificate – this is a Registration only not a ceremony, and 2 witnesses are allowed.  (Dress casually if you prefer!)
  • The Wedding Ceremony that I conduct is your big celebration before family and friends that will be your Wedding Day.

Is it a Humanist Ceremony?

  • No.  I am completely independent and thus able to blend a number of different ideas (religious, secular, modern or traditional) into my scripts, without imposing my own views, creating the content and wording that reflects you.

What do you Allow in the Ceremony?

  • Anything goes really (within reason and public decency!)  If you’d like to do the can-can down the aisle that’s fine by me. In fact the more creative the better in my opinion!
  • There are no restrictions on the time of day or where you can hold your ceremony.  I just love performing outdoor weddings.
  • We can include religious or spiritual prose alongside modern day readings, hymns and popular songs, or live music.
  • Friends, relations, your children, or even your pets may also take part in your ceremony.

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