One of the most common questions we get asked is, “How does a service with a celebrant differ from one with a registrar?”
The major difference is that with a service conducted by a registrar, the marriage register will be signed on that day, and the signing of the register part of the service. In general, these kind of ceremonies can be a more formal affair – and if you don’t do ‘formal’, there is another way…
With a celebrant-led service, the ceremony can take place before or after the register is signed (you will need to sign the marriage documents at a registry office – this is a formality that needs no ceremony and can take a few minutes). The service can be exactly the way you want it to be, and I will work with you to reflect your story and create a more personal ceremony, with your own, unique – awesome! – vows and meaningful words. Yes, your wedding can be as rock n roll as you imagined – and the best thing is, you can involve your loved ones or children in the ceremony, too – they don’t just have to sit and watch – you can even have a bit of cheeky fun and ask your loved ones to make a vow or promise to you, the couple! You can bring props (things that remind you of one another, or are someway symbolic to the way you met), you can have whatever music you choose without raising any eyebrows and you can even make a big entrance and dance down the aisle if you like!
We love weddings at unconventional times and in alternative places – sunset on the beach? An Autumn candlelit affair? Or how about at a gig or festival? Creating a ceremony with a unique ritual or tradition that reflects who you truly are is my passion.
Celebrants perform all kinds of ceremonies of love:
- Weddings, inc same sex marriages
- Ceremonies of commitment (a marriage without the legal bit – an intention to love and cherish your partner, but you are not ‘legally’ married)
- Renewal of vows
- Hand fasting
- A celebration after a civil partnership
Some ideas for rituals and traditions
- Lighting a unity candle ceremony
- A sand ceremony
- Symbolic ‘first drink’
- ‘Breaking the chain’ ceremony
- Warming the rings – rings are passed around your congregation and held/ blessed
- Jumping the broom
- Incorporating ‘special objects’ into the service
- Making a special cocktail during the service (which you can make on every anniversary – hic!)
I’ve won awards for my Queen Victoria, among other figures, and have a handful of characters from Viking to Victorian, including Mary Tudor, a pirate, a 1700s court judge and more – perfect for steampunk marriages, weddings in period properties, historical hand fastings and those who fancy something a little different. After all, it is your ceremony, so if you want a rather amused Queen Vic tying your knot, get in touch!
Is a celebrant ceremony legal?
In a nutshell, the celebrant conducts the ‘symbolic’ part of the ceremony, and not the ‘legal’ part. As with all weddings, you will need to give notice of intention to marry at a registry office. Then you must return to the registry office to complete the legal declaration and admin of ‘registering the marriage’ before or after your celebrant-led ceremony. Although technically, once you have signed the register with an official registrar at the registry office, you will be officially married, the service with your celebrant will be considered your actual wedding and you can save the vows, celebration and awesome outfits for this!
Do I have to be married in a registered place?
No, as you will be signing the legal papers at a registered place, you don’t need to be in a licensed wedding venue, which can free up inspiring locations – and dates, where limited venues might be booked already. With a celebrant-led service, you can have the service in a beautiful setting such as the woods, beach – or even your own garden.
Can we drink alcohol during the service?
Venue-permitting, as the ‘legal’ signing of the register takes place before or after, you are free to celebrate your union with alcohol during a celebrant-led service.
I want to make an entrance!
Yes! Yes, you can! And actually, working in the theatre and performance industry for many years, I have a few inspired ideas as to how you can make an entrance. For example, you, the bride, accompanied by your bridal party can waltz your way in, you can symbolically have your family or your friends ‘hand you over’ to your husband to be – or the other way around! Or you can get everyone involved and the whole congregation can enter doing the conga to music if you like! It is entirely up to you!
What can we expect from you?
To arrange your marriage or union, we will have an initial chat, during which we will discuss a few ideas and, more importantly, you can decide if you like what I offer (it is really important to get the right celebrant for your ceremony, and I won’t be offended if I am not the one for you!). Then we will set a date to get down to the nitty gritty of your service, with the kid of vows you’ve chosen, the sort of service you’d like, and the fun stuff of creating your very own ritual or tradition. After this, our last meeting before the wedding (or rehearsal if you would like a rehearsal before the big day) is to make sure the story of your love, your vows, the running order of the service and any other additions such as tributes from friends and family, music and entrances and exits are exactly right. If you would like a rehearsal, this can be done a day or two before in the actual venue (permitting) or different location. And then it’s your big day!