When most people think about their wedding ceremony, they usually choose between 2 options: a religious ceremony in a church or a civil ceremony with a registrar. Most people don’t realise that there is a 3rd option, and that it can be more personal, relaxed and informal.
What is a Celebrant?
A celebrant is someone who performs ceremonies, namely weddings, vow renewals, baby naming ceremonies and funerals. They do not have to follow a set template for each ceremony so couples can choose exactly what is said during their ceremony and other elements such as music.
There are 2 types of celebrants, Humanist and Independent. A Humanist celebrant conducts weddings within the Humanist belief system, whereas independent celebrants conduct ceremonies independently from any belief system but can incorporate religious or spiritual elements into it if the couple so wishes.
The Benefits of a Celebrant
When you have a religious or civil ceremony with a registrar, much of the wording will be ‘on script’, with only certain parts that can be personalised. At a celebrant ceremony, the ceremony is written specifically for you, and you’ll be able to include individual touches such as hand fasting or spiritual elements if you wish. Your celebrant will take some time getting to know you and tailor your ceremony to be completely unique.
Additionally, whilst religious and civil ceremonies can only be performed in licensed buildings, celebrant ceremonies can happen anywhere: at home in your garden, on a boat, on a cliff top, or in a forest, the choice is yours. If you’re having a theme, your celebrant can get involved in that too!
Are Celebrant Weddings Legal?
Here comes the compromise! They aren’t currently legal in England, however, this is a formality that can be easily overcome. All that’s required to ensure the marriage is legal is a trip to the local registry office for a Marriage or Civil Partnership Registration, which can be done any time before or after your wedding day. It’s a quick ceremony that takes about 15 mins in the presence of 2 witnesses. Registrations cost £57 (including a copy of the certificate) in Northamptonshire and usually occur on Weekday mornings.
Most couples choose to recognise the day of their ceremony and reception as their ‘Wedding Day’ and not the date of the legal ceremony.
How to Find a Celebrant
We can help you there! We have listed a few of our favourite local celebrants below but would encourage you to also do some research on local celebrants to see whose personality most chimes with yours. You’ll know when you find the right person for you and will be able to trust that they’ll make your ceremony truly unique and memorable.
Celebrants we’ve worked with:
Providing a relaxed and personal ceremony.
Elaine Coles – UK Ceremonies
Professionally trained independent celebrant, specialising in weddings.
Vicky will work with you to create a ceremony which tells your story and keeps your guests entertained and enthralled throughout.
See also Hitched for celebrants in Northamptonshire: https://www.hitched.co.uk/wedding-celebrants/northamptonshire/