Should we choose a Wedding Celebrant?

These days weddings allow you endless ways to personalise and create a day completely bespoke to you as a couple.

But what often gets overlooked is the actual ceremony itself.

Today on the blog I want to talk a little bit about Celebrants and your options for wedding ceremonies.

Did you know that you are not just restricted to using a registrar from your local district registry office?

Over the last few years I have seen a rise in the popularity of Celebrant services … and I have to admit … that some of the most memorable ceremonies I have photographed have been those delivered by a celebrant rather than an official registrar.

I completely appreciate that this option is not for everyone but let me explain a bit to you about how they work and what they involve …

I guess the first key question people will ask – is a Celebrant marriage legal?

The simple answer is that in England & Wales – no it isn’t, meaning you would still have to legally register the marriage at a registry office either before or after your big day (something which can cost as little as £50 and take no more than 10 minutes of your time) But as a starting point don’t let that worry you … if you can get over this legality – you are still performing the symbolic elements of declaring your commitment to each other in front of your family and friends …

To all intents and purposes – guests may never have to find out that this wasn’t the legal registration.

Celebrant services are completely bespoke and personalised to you as a couple … they can be a wonderful way to share stories of how you met, got engaged & what you love to do with family & friends and often incorporate humour & laughter as well as sincerity.

Humanist celebrants don’t believe in religion and so their ceremonies would be secular – but if faith is important to you, a civil celebrant is an option to still have a bespoke and personal ceremony with religion incorporated if you choose.

You can incorporate your own vows, with choices of symbolic acts including the giving and receiving of rings, guests and family can be involved with readings – basically there are no rules – with no constraints like civil or religious ceremonies.

Here is an example of a humanist wedding ceremony outline from

  • Arrival of the couple (individually or together)
  • Introductions and welcomes
  • Words about love and commitment from a non-religious perspective
  • Reading or poem
  • The couple’s story – how they met, their shared values, hopes for the future
  • What marriage means to the couple
  • Reading, poem or song
  • The couple’s promises/vows
  • Meaningful symbolic act (e.g. handfasting)
  • Exchange of rings
  • Pronouncement as married
  • Words of well-wishing
  • Closing and departure

I can’t stress enough how beautifully personal, humorous and memorable some of the humanist ceremonies I have had the pleasure to capture.

I hope this has provided a little insight into the alternatives out there …

Here are a few recommended celebrants if you wish to investigate further …