What does having a Celebrant mean to a couple?
Congratulations on your engagement! This is an exciting time and no doubt planning is already underway! We recognise that, amidst your planning, one of the most important things to decide on is who is going to perform your ceremony. But first you need to know what your options are, and there are probably more than you realise.
You’ve already heard of Priests, Vicars and Registrars, but what about Celebrants? There are several different types of celebrant to choose from, including Independent, Civil or Humanist Celebrants.
What does a Celebrant do?
Simply put, a Celebrant writes and officiates formal ceremonies. As well as weddings, these ceremonies can include vow renewals, baby namings and funerals.
What's the difference between a Wedding Celebrant and a Priest?
For your ceremony the most important difference is that, whereas a priest or vicar is bound by the religious conventions and rites of their faith, a Celebrant can tailor the wedding to your own specifications. So if you and your partner have different beliefs or different family traditions, a Celebrant can ensure they are all represented in your ceremony.
What's the difference between a Wedding Celebrant and a Registrar?
Registrars are allowed by law to officiate a wedding via civil ceremony. Meaning that the ceremony is purely secular, with no religious tones whatsoever. The Registrar is then in charge of processing and approving the couple’s marriage license, with the wedding ceremony following a standard format and script.
A wedding Celebrant can assist and guide the couple in completing the necessary requirements for the marriage license, although they do not have the authority to approve it. Celebrants can however, officiate a far more bespoke ceremony.
What's the difference between a Wedding Celebrant and a Humanist?
Although very similar in their roles, the biggest difference between the two lies in their beliefs. Humanists don’t believe in wedding traditions or religions, while Celebrants simply don’t like favoring one wedding path over the other – they usually embrace different religions, wedding practices and traditions, as long as it’s what the couple wants.
So what does having a Celebrant mean to a couple?
It means having a very special, unique ceremony that is written about you, for you.
It means a ceremony that can incorporate any amount of religion, more than one religion, or none at all.
It means being able to include absolutely any symbolic gesture that you choose, whether it be ring exchange, candle lighting, hand fasting or one of the many other options.
It means being able to write your own vows if you choose to.
It means you can choose the person who writes and delivers your ceremony! We recommend speaking to 2 or 3 different celebrants (FaceTime is perfect for this right now!) so that you can choose someone you feel is right for you.
It means that the person delivering your ceremony will have met you in person at least once, spoken to you several times, gotten to know you, and on the day will have no other commitments to rush off to.
And finally, it means that you can have your ceremony in the location of your dreams - licensed or unlicensed, from a beautiful woodland setting to the top of a mountain - your choice!
If you would like to discuss any of these points further you are very welcome to contact us for a chat on 07557 099383 or pop your questions over to firstname.lastname@example.org.