Firstly, congratulations! I am delighted that you are looking at the possibility of a Celebrant for your Wedding and I hope this information will be helpful to you.

With a Celebrant-led ceremony, the only thing that will limit you is your imagination and the wonderful thing is that even if you lack inspiration or don’t know where to start, your Celebrant will be there to work with you and create your beautiful, bespoke ceremony that will be completely unique to you, there won’t be another ceremony like yours!

Where can my ceremony be held?

Your ceremony can be held at any location of your choice, as long as you have the land owner’s permission. Hotels, Golf Clubs, a family home, local pub, a marquee or a tepee in a field, a boat, or natural locations such as woodland or a beach, the choice is yours and the wonderful thing about Celebrants is we aren’t governed by time or weather, we are very flexible!   A Celebrant-led ceremony can also be carried out in venues licensed for civil marriages, although with a Celebrant ceremony you are not restricted to the licensed room, your ceremony could take place in the gardens if the weather is favourable!  Celebrant ceremonies are also a perfect choice should couples wish to get married in a quiet ceremony abroad and then have a big celebration with family and friends upon their return.

Why is a Celebrant Ceremony so special?

Your Celebrant will take time to get to know you and work closely with you to carefully craft a beautiful, bespoke ceremony that reflects your ideas, values and personalities and can include a family tradition,  acknowledgement of your culture or heritage or pretty much anything that encapsulates you as a couple perfectly.  An Independent Celebrant will be happy to include religious elements into your service should you so wish; such as a prayer or a religious blessing, however, Humanist Celebrants only conduct completely non-religious ceremonies.  You may wish to write your own vows/pledges and your Celebrant will be at hand to guide you; making your heartfelt pledges is such a beautiful moment in the ceremony. 

You may already have ideas of how you would like your ceremony to be, or your Celebrant can discuss options with you and make suggestions, resulting in a tailor-made service which shares your story and involves your family and friends; it would be lovely for your guests to not just be spectators but to also be part of the celebration should you so wish. It  can be wonderful when children are involved, or you may wish for your parents to have a role in the ceremony, or perhaps the family pet? Whatever your ideas, your celebrant will work with you and weave them into your special day.  

Your Celebrant will also offer ways to enhance your ceremony with a unity ritual such as a sand ceremony, or the lighting of a unity candle. Or perhaps you would like a hand-fasting ritual; this is an ancient Celtic tradition representing the bond of love and where the saying “tying the knot” comes from.  There are so many beautiful ways to enhance your ceremony which your Celebrant can discuss with you.

The Legalities

In England a Celebrant-led ceremony is not a legal marriage, in fact, many couples, these days, choose to separate the legal registration of marriage from their wedding ceremony, this allows them to have a beautiful ceremony that is unique to them, most guests naturally assume that their Celebrant-led ceremony is a legal marriage.  Also, most couples choose the Celebrant ceremony as the date of their Wedding Anniversary as this is the day when they make their vows and exchange their rings.

The legal marriage involves a short, standard, civil ceremony at a Registry Office where you will make your declarations in front of two witnesses and receive a marriage contract; most couples do this during the week before their wedding celebration as part of the wedding preparations or “admin”. This usually costs approximately £60 for a standard “no frills” ceremony where you can wear casual clothes and there is no requirement for exchanging vows and rings. It is worth booking your “no frills” ceremony as soon as you can as many couples are now choosing to do this and appointments get quickly booked up.  

If you are choosing to get married in a venue licensed for Civil Marriages, you may wish the Registrar to complete the legal part first, followed by your Celebrant-led ceremony.  (see my other blog).

Will we have a rehearsal?

Yes, typically, your Celebrant will meet you for a full rehearsal prior to your wedding, so that everyone in the wedding party knows what they will be doing and when, to ensure that your ceremony runs smoothly.  Your Celebrant will keep close contact with you to such a degree that when your special day finally arrives, you will be totally ready and prepared, the atmosphere will be calm and relaxed so it feels like the most natural and memorable experience of your lives and you’ll have an incredible day!

Nikki would love to be your Celebrant

With a fun, friendly nature and a relaxed but professional approach, I am the perfect person to work with you and it would be an honour and privilege to create your unique ceremony for you, that reflects your beliefs, values and personality, a day that you will always hold in your hearts.

Whatever your decision, take your time, it’s the most important day of your lives.

It’s your day, do it your way…Perfect Words, make perfect memories!

Nikki Wood xx