Ever heard of a celebrant?
Not sure what it is? Well we’re here to help and give you an insight into what a celebrant is, what they do and how they can make your wedding day truly amazing.
What exactly is the role of a celebrant?
A celebrant is an individual who works with you as a couple to help you celebrate important life stages, such as your wedding ceremony. The service will be bespoke created with you and your partner in mind.
As well as weddings, celebrants can officiate a whole host of occasions, such as vow renewals, funerals, graduations and gender transitions.
Whilst it is not a legal requirements for Celebrants to be professionally trained, many of them are and properly insured, so bear this in mind if you are considering having one.
What can I have in my ceremony?
Celebrants can incorporate all kinds of personal touches into the ceremony, including bespoke readings by family members, hand tying and more.
It’s your chance to have the exact kind of ceremony you’ve always wanted, to celebrate with the one you love and surrounded by your friends and family.
A few examples of rituals are the aforementioned hand tying, which stems from the phrase ‘ tying the knot’ and involves ribbons or cords tying the couple’s hands together to signify coming together as one.
Another ritual which is great for blended families, is a sand ceremony. This involves each couple pouring sand from a separate vessel into a central vase, so the colours mix together. This represents two families coming together in marriage.
This particular ritual is also great for couples with children from other relationships; the children can come forward and pour the sand into the vase, signifying that both families are now fully blended. The vase can then double up as a beautiful focal point in the home.
There’s a whole host of rituals which can be incorporated including ring warming, a tea ceremony, jumping the broom and more.
A Celebrant will talk with you about your love story, how you met, how you fell in love, important event along the way, your engagement and your families. All to create a unique ceremony script for your all important day.
What about the legal bit?
A celebrant ceremony isn’t legally binding, which means you do need to have a statutory ceremony at a register office to get the marriage certificate if you want your marriage to be legally binding.
Having said that, it doesn’t matter when you have the statutory ceremony or legal declaration; it can be the same day as your wedding celebration, or it could be months before.
Every couple is different. Some will just have the basic declaration with no ring exchange in order to obtain the marriage certificate from the registry office and others will make a day of it by going for a meal afterwards. Some couples even do the legal bit first, then have a celebrant led ceremony and wedding celebration in the same day.
Can our own vows be used?
Yes they can; it’s important to note that this isn’t an option with a registrar ceremony, so it gives couples the chance to write their own bespoke vows. Celebrants encourage you to get creative with your vows to make it something special to you. And if you’re struggling with how to word your vows, the celebrant can usually step in to help along the way.
What’s the difference between a humanist celebrant and a civil independent celebrant?
A humanist celebrant does not include any religious content in their services. The law in Scotland is slightly different however, in that humanists can legally marry couples over there.
A civil independent celebrant can include religious content in their services. This works particularly well for mixed faith couples, as each can incorporate a religious ritual from their faith within the same ceremony. Couples also like to add religious elements into a ceremony if their parents are religious.
The great thing about a celebrant ceremony is that no two are the same. Every ceremony is unique to the couple getting married.
A celebrant can also perform the ceremony anywhere and is not bound by licensed premises.
It’s a celebrant’s job to tell the couple’s love story, in such a way that it makes for an entertaining, funny but also romantic ceremony. One that both the couple and their wedding guests will remember forever.
Most celebrants offer an initial no obligation chat and it is worth doing this before you decide as choosing the right Celebrant for you is an important decision. Check them out before you say ‘Yes!’.
This article was researched with the help of Paula McDonnell of Celebrating You. Find her on page 46 of the current issue of I Do Magazine.