An Independent Celebrant is someone who has been trained and is experienced in performing ceremonies. They are not able to perform legal weddings or civil partnership ceremonies (the Registrar still needs to do that bit!) but will work with the couple to deliver a ceremony that is as unique as they are, that reflects their story and incorporates whatever readings or music they wish. Independent Celebrants are not bound by the restrictions that Registrars have to follow and are able to hold ceremonies anywhere the couple like and include any content which the couple wish – Celebrants are also not bound to particular times of day and can perform a ceremony at a time to suit the couple and their guests.
A Celebrant gives couples the freedom to have their ceremony where, when and how they want it. A Celebrant will work closely with the couple leading up to their special day to make sure that the ceremony is tailored exactly to their needs. Registrars are unable to offer this as they are bound by the legal restrictions which denote where and how a ceremony can be held and what a ceremony must contain and what it cannot contain. Religious ceremonies likewise must have certain content and exclude other content.
Choosing a religious or registrar led ceremony inevitably involves compromise. There are fixed elements that cannot be changed and the scope for the couple to make the ceremony theirs is limited to music and readings provided they meet the requirements of the organisation holding the ceremony.
Couples are able to have a statutory ceremony within the Registrar’s office – this costs around £60 and involves the couple and 2 witnesses attending the Registrar’s office for the legal part of the wedding. The Celebrant can then hold a wedding or civil partnership celebration ceremony - either later the same day or on another day of the couple’s choosing – at which all the components of a wedding ceremony are possible depending only on what the couple wish to include (e.g. exchange of vows and rings, signing a register etc.).
Registrars can only perform marriages/civil partnership ceremonies within authorised venues, at prescribed times of day and with clearly defined content. They are not allowed to include any religious aspects in their ceremonies and have to include particular wording within the ceremony to fulfil legal requirements. They are also not allowed to conduct a ceremony where alcohol is present.
Celebrants can hold a wedding or civil partnership ceremony anywhere the couple choose – inside or out; they can include whatever content the couple wish – religious or otherwise and can hold the ceremony at any time of day or night.
Celebrants are able to include religious references, readings and music if the couple wish it. This can be particularly relevant where 2 people of different faiths are getting married and wish to incorporate elements of both their faiths into the ceremony.
Celebrants can incorporate the drinking of alcohol within the ceremony if the couple wish; for example, the couple may choose to share a symbolic glass of mead as the signal for the start of their honeymoon. Guests could also toast the couple with champagne as part of the ceremony if that was desired.
Celebrants can incorporate aspects into the ceremony such as tea blending, lighting of candles, ringing of bells and other symbolic rituals which registrars and religious leaders are unable to offer.
Celebrants have free rein to work with the couple to design and deliver a truly unique and bespoke ceremony.
For a registrar to deliver a ceremony in an approved venue it will cost upwards of £380 just for the ceremony and varies according to the day of the week. If the couple decide to choose a Celebrant to perform their ceremony it will cost between £400-£500 (depending on any extras the couple may choose to include in their ceremony) to have a completely unique and special ceremony just for them.
Celebrants are trained to hold a whole range of different ceremonies; wedding and civil partnerships celebrations are probably the most common but Celebrants are also able to perform baby naming ceremonies, vow renewals and adoption ceremonies.
Celebrants can also work with couples, families or individuals to create bespoke ceremonies to mark significant milestones in their lives – these may include retirement or significant birthdays, commitment ceremonies or something particularly unique.
Just Perfect Ceremonies have the experience and the flexibility to come up with something that is just perfect for our customers!
We are William and Megan a husband and wife team of Independent Celebrants based in Shropshire (but happy to travel further afield!). We are trained to deliver wedding and civil partnership celebration ceremonies as well as baby naming, adoption ceremonies and vow renewals. We are always happy to answer any questions or to talk to couples with no obligation.
There is more information on our website www.justperfectceremonies.co.uk and you can follow us on Instagram @just_perfect_ceremonies
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