When it comes to your big day, your ceremony is a pretty essential part of proceedings. It is after all the moment your marriage becomes official. Yet contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to stick with wedding traditions to conduct a legally binding ceremony.
These days no two wedding ceremonies are the same. Whether civil or religious, the wedding ceremonies of today can be personalised with the officiant, ring exchanges, recessional and vows able to be tailored to the couple.
The use of a celebrant has become particularly popular as couples look for ways to make their wedding days more meaningful.
Here we take a closer look at the role of a celebrant and how you can employ their services for a truly personalised wedding ceremony that ticks all the legal boxes.
What’s the role of a celebrant?
A celebrant is an individual who performs wedding ceremonies. Unlike other officiants, they aren’t bound by traditional or religious constraints. Instead, they have the freedom to deliver a ceremony that’s completely personal to the couple.
Here the United Kingdom Society of Celebrants (UKSOC) explains more about how ceremonies performed by independent celebrants differ from those overseen by other officiants:
“Ceremonies carried out by the clergy, most often contain religious wording, prayers and religious hymns, leaving little room for the people they are meant to be working for.
Ceremonies carried out by registrars must adhere to required statutory words and any music played or any wording said must not contain any religious or spiritual connotations.
Ceremonies carried out by a humanist contain humanist beliefs and anything said or any music played can have spiritual connotations.”
It’s not just weddings that celebrants officiate, they perform vow renewals, baby naming ceremonies and funerals.
What about the legal bit?
Despite their increased popularity throughout the wedding scene, ceremonies performed by independent celebrants are not legally binding here in the UK. But don’t let that deter you!
There are many reasons why having your wedding ceremony conducted by a celebrant is a great option, and all you have to do is register your marriage with a registrar to tick all the legal boxes.
Simply attend your local registry office before or after your wedding ceremony to register your marriage. It takes no time at all and costs very little to do.
You will need two witnesses – although you don’t need any witnesses if you’re registering a civil partnership to legally register the marriage.
Why should you have a celebrant?
One of the main reasons why people opt for an independent celebrant over another wedding officiant is the creative freedom.
It’s a great route to achieving a heartfelt, meaningful ceremony that’s true to your relationship and your marriage goals.
You can include anything you’d like in your ceremony with the help of a celebrant, meaning you can pick and choose the ideas and features that are unique to you both.
Enlisting a celebrant makes perfect sense for couples with mixed faiths, as you don’t have to favour one religion over the other in order to tie the knot.
You can also use your celebrant-led wedding to celebrate your different religions, culture, or traditions, as well as celebrate your love and union without any religious or spiritual intent.
Whatever your preferences, we recommend working with your celebrant and your wedding venue to make all your ‘big day’ dreams a reality.