That’s a really good question! A Family and Wedding Celebrant is someone who is trained in providing you with a custom made ceremony for a whole range of occasions, such as a Wedding, Vow Renewal, Baby Naming/Adoption or other special milestone, all carried out to reflect your own style and ideas.
Choosing a Wedding Celebrant gives you the freedom to be creative and include additional rituals and customs. Popular customs are the Unity Candle Ceremony, Hand Fasting, Ring Warming and Sand Ceremony, but new ceremonies can be created using your own ideas, customs, traditions, and heritage, and also to have your ceremony in more than one language!
As a Bilingual Celebrant myself, I am able to offer ceremonies in both English/Englisch and German/Deutsch, which is a lovely way of ensuring all of your guests are able to really enjoy this wonderful occasion with you. My bilingual ceremonies are proving to be really popular this year, so get in touch if you are thinking of holding one, as I have lots of ideas and suggestions in how to bring language and heritage and culture into your ceremony!
I will help you to develop your ideas, create, manage and co-ordinate all the aspects of your ceremony and be there to support you on the day itself, and will conduct your ceremony with warmth and sincerity in front of your guests. If you wish to include religious content or hymns, just ask – as an independent Celebrant I just want to help you enjoy your day and can take all your ideas and wishes on board.
This is a video of me at the “office” where I created a ceremony for Kate and Peppy, at Ham Yard Hotel, London, on their breathtaking Rooftop Garden and Lounge! A beautiful personal ceremony full of love and laughter!
Getting Married in England – the legal bit!
The current Marriage Act in England is under review, with a promise to offer more choice to couples, but as it currently stands, it doesn’t allow Independent Celebrants to Register the Marriage.
However to do this, it is really simply a question of booking an appointment with the Register Office, where during a short civil ceremony that costs around £50 to £60 (although please check as many offices vary their fees) you will make a 32 word Declaration and Marriage Contract, in front of two witnesses. Every Register Office must offer an office based service at their premises, but please check well in advance as naturally these may be booked up very quickly. You can give notice of your marriage up to 12 months beforehand.
If you decide to register your marriage at a licenced venue, two Registrars from the Register Office will attend and go through exactly the same process – but their fees will of course reflect that they are out of office, and this will cost you considerably more. It is important for you to decide which service and style is best for you – the Register Office or the Celebrant Ceremony.
Both the Registration of Marriage and the Celebrant led Wedding Ceremony can be completed on the same day if you wish. I am more than happy to discuss how this might work, and give you advice and the benefit of my own experience working with Registrars in the past.
During the Register Office Standard Service, you don’t have to dress up if you don’t want to, and you also don’t need to say any personal vows or exchange rings, as this is not a mandatory part of the Marriage Service. You can save that for your privately conducted celebratory ceremony, led by your chosen Celebrant, who will have worked closely with you over many months, to get to know you both, and create a totally tailored ceremony for you, with no restrictions in terms of format, content, time or location.
As couples are now choosing to have ceremonies without compromising their values and beliefs, blending faith, creating new customs and wedding rituals, or bringing into their ceremony customs from their own heritage, it really does make sense to hire an independent Wedding Celebrant, who can incorporate all your ideas and requests. The Register Office service is basically you entering into a contract which is bound in contract law. Therefore no religious or spiritual content is included, and that is why your vows, your music and your readings will be vetted carefully by them beforehand, which does restrict your ability to choose exactly what you want to express.
From personal experience over the past 8 years, it has been wonderful to be able to respect the couple’s wishes, values, lifestyle and beliefs. I have included hymns, prayers and worked alongside family priests and clergy too, who’ve taken part in my ceremonies at certain points like Blessing the Rings, or giving a religious reading.
Your Celebrant- led Wedding Celebration
By separating the “legal” from the “celebratory” you are free to hold a truly personalised Wedding Ceremony that allows you to relax, and be fully involved in your ceremony. Together we create a ceremony which can be traditional or modern and as there are no restrictions, we can include your guests too! We can include custom, ritual, religion, spirituality, and so much more! A ceremony that represents you both in a wonderful personal and authentic way.
For example, we can invited guests to take part in a “Ring Warming ceremony” before you complete your vows and exchange your wedding rings. Your vows can be traditional or created just by you, for you. There is no need to follow any “standard” text and I am here to guide and advise you on writing your vows if you wish.
Perhaps you’d like to say your vows in a favourite place? No problem! A Celebrant can work in any location and in licenced or unlicenced venues. You could make your promises to each other on the beach, on a boat , in a forest, at home in your garden or almost any where you wish. Where necessary you will of course need to ask permission, but the options that are available to you mean that you can let your imagination soar!
We can involve children or other family members in the ceremony, making it a truly special occasion, and because it’s written totally for and about you, it will be unique and unlike anyone else’s wedding ceremony!
Working together using email, text, phone or Skype or when possible meeting face to face – we create the ceremony you’ve dreamed about! With unlimited drafts you’re always in full editorial control. We can have a few surprises though – perhaps you’d like to keep your personal vows as a surprise on the day? No problem – I just omit them from the draft script until your wedding day!
I was trained by the UK College of Celebrancy in 2011 and am a Member of the Fellowship of Professional Celebrants, and am fully insured for Public and Professional liability. Please ask if you wish to see my certificates and insurance documents. When booking you will receive my Terms and Conditions along with a comprehensive booking form and questionnaire. We will then work on making the magic happen! As a Bilingual Celebrant I am able to offer Ceremonies in English and German as required.
To get in touch to find out more about the process and tell me about your plans, just contact me directly by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call/text my mobile +4407800 543 426. I would love to create a wonderful authentic, inspiring ceremony for you that celebrates your unique story and style!