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What Is a Wedding Celebrant? And Why You Should Consider One!

  • Posted 5 months ago

Celebrate With Verity on Go Book It

What Is a Celebrant?

Weddings are beautiful and meaningful occasions that celebrate love and partnership and while traditional options like church weddings and civil ceremonies with a registrar have been popular for years, there is a growing trend towards celebrant-led weddings. But what is the hype? In this post, we will explore what a wedding celebrant is and why they are becoming increasingly popular.

A wedding celebrant specialises in creating and performing ceremonies for life’s milestones. While weddings are a significant part of their work, celebrants also conduct vow renewals, baby naming ceremonies, and funerals. What sets celebrants apart is their ability to craft unique, non-religious ceremonies that reflect the desires and beliefs of the couple. They offer a level of creative freedom that may not be available in traditional religious or civil ceremonies.

Types of Celebrants: Humanist vs. Independent Celebrants:

There are different types of celebrants, with Humanist celebrants and independent celebrants (also known as civil celebrants) being two common categories. Humanist celebrants focus on ceremonies within the Humanist belief system, providing a secular and non-religious alternative. On the other hand, independent celebrants incorporate a broader range of beliefs and can cater to couples with diverse spiritual or non-spiritual backgrounds.

We had a little chat to one of our featured Humanist Celebrants Helen (your best life celebrant) to ask her how she explains what a Humanist Celebrant is;

“Humanist ceremonies are by their very nature non-religious as Humanists believe that this is our one and only life (and therefore we should live it to the fullest and as best we can!). Humanist ceremonies won’t therefore contain any acts of worship such as prayers, however, you can incorporate symbolic acts, rituals or readings that may have a religious or cultural origin or association. Your celebrant is there to guide you and help plan your ceremony so that it best reflects who you are as individuals and a couple, putting you and your unique love story right at its heart.”

Humanist Celebrant, helen (your best life celebrant) during wedding ceremony
Your Best Life Celebrant on Go Book It

Benefits of Choosing a Celebrant Over a Civil Ceremony:

Compared to registrar-led civil ceremonies, celebrant-led weddings offer several advantages. While civil ceremonies may come with certain limitations and regulations, celebrant-led weddings provide a greater sense of freedom and individuality. Celebrants work closely with couples to create a highly personalized ceremony that truly reflects their love story and values.

Where Can Celebrants Marry You?

One of the significant benefits of choosing a celebrant is the ability to have your ceremony anywhere meaningful to you. Celebrant-led ceremonies are not bound by restrictions and can take place in a variety of locations such as a beautiful outdoor setting, a rustic barn, or even your backyard. The flexibility of location adds an additional layer of sentimentality to the wedding experience.

We asked Jackie Warburton from I Do Your Ceremony about some of the amazing ceremony locations she has had the pleasure of working, and this is what she sent us these photos from Little seed Field Glamping near Ripon

I Do Your Ceremony on Go Book It (Little Seed Field Glamping)
I Do Your Ceremony on Go Book It (Little Seed Field Glamping)

The legal status of celebrant-led weddings varies depending on the region. In some parts of the UK, Humanist celebrants accredited by Humanists UK can perform legally binding weddings. However, it is essential to familiarise yourself with the legal requirements and consult with a professional to ensure your ceremony is legally recognised.

How to Choose The Right Celebrant:

Selecting the right celebrant for your wedding is crucial to ensure your ceremony aligns with your vision and values. Seek recommendations from trusted suppliers, friends, and family who have had positive experiences with celebrants. Additionally, online searches and reviews can provide valuable insights into the celebrant’s style and approach.

We asked Verity Turner from Celebrate with Verity what tips she had for choosing the right celebrant and here is what she said;

“It’s so important that you search for a celebrant that celebrates you! There are so many celebrants out there, each with their own specialities and styles. So do a bit of window shopping and create a shortlist of celebrants who you think might match your style and personality. There really is a celebrant for everyone! I always think it’s good to arrange some discovery calls with a couple of celebrants too. We are all so different and it’s so important you find someone you click with. The more relaxed and happy you feel around your celebrant, the more likely you are to open up to them. This always results in a much more personal and exciting script and who doesn’t want that? Another piece of advice is to read testimonials. If other couples are raving about that celebrant then that’s always a brilliant sign!”

Celebrate with verity. Wedding Celebrant
Celebrate With Verity on Go Book It

What Can We Expect Once We’ve Chosen a Celebrant?

Once you have chosen a celebrant, the process of creating your ceremony begins. The celebrant will work closely with you to discover your unique love story, write the first draft of the ceremony, and make any necessary revisions to ensure it is perfect for you. They will also assist you in preparing for the ceremony and provide guidance on the day itself, making sure everything runs smoothly.

We asked Rebecca Hall Celebrant what the general process is once you book her as your celebrant!

“Initially, an introductory meeting is scheduled, this is usually done over zoom or if the couple are local I like to meet them in person. This is just a chat to find out about the wedding and understand the couple’s love story. As the wedding date draws nearer, I send my couples a questionnaire to fill out, this has questions like, what is your favorite memory together and what does marriage mean to you etc. I then arrange another meeting to discuss logistics for the ceremony, for example how they want their entrance to be, and if they have any family or friends who would like to do a reading. These discussions give me everything I need to then write a draft ceremony script. In this script I include a love story part that celebrates their life together so far.

I then send the draft to my couples, excluding the love story. By keeping the love story section a surprise, the couple experiences the raw emotions of hearing their journey and the lovely things their partner has said for the first time on their wedding day. The couple can then read through the draft and tweak the script as many times as they want to make it perfect for them.”

Harrogate Wedding Celebrant officiating a wedding
Rebecca Hall Celebrant on Go Book It

What Happens During a Celebrant-Led Wedding?

Each celebrant-led ceremony is unique, tailored to the couple’s preferences and beliefs. However, there are common elements that are often present, such as the arrival of the couple, an introduction setting the tone for the ceremony, readings chosen by the couple or their loved ones, the exchange of vows, and symbolic acts that hold significance to the couple.

How Unique Can Our Wedding Ceremony Be?

Celebrant-led weddings are known for their ability to embrace the uniqueness and passions of the couple. From incorporating personalised vows to including unconventional rituals and themes, the possibilities are endless. See this image below from one of our featured suppliers Olde Era Events who offer celebrancy, medieval style!

What is wedding celebrant? Olde Era Events Medieval Wedding Celebrant
Olde Era Events on Go Book It

How Much Does a Celebrant Cost?

The cost of hiring a celebrant can vary depending on factors such as their experience, location, and the specific services included. It is essential to discuss the celebrant’s fees upfront and have a clear understanding of what is included in the package. Remember, investing in a skilled celebrant can greatly contribute to the overall quality and personalisation of your ceremony.

How Long Before the Wedding Should We Book Our Celebrant?

Booking a celebrant should be done in advance to secure their availability for your desired date. As celebrants can have limited availability, it is best to reach out to them as soon as you have made the decision to have a celebrant-led wedding. Planning ahead ensures that you have ample time to collaborate with your chosen celebrant and create an unforgettable ceremony.

We asked one of our Yorkshire based celebrants Michelle Park what time frame she generally recommends

“Traditionally, brides and grooms normally have between 6-12 months to plan their wedding however, I have weddings already booked for 2025 and have had some enquiries for 2026. 

So, I’d say, run don’t walk. Ensure your celebrant is secured first; celebrants like myself can officiate in any venue you choose so don’t wait to get everything else booked and let someone else snag your celebrant.” 

Yorkshire Wedding Celebrant, Michelle Park Celebrant posing officiating a ceremony
Michelle Park Celebrant on Go Book It

In conclusion, wedding celebrants are becoming an increasingly popular option for couples seeking a personalised and non-religious ceremony. With the ability to create bespoke ceremonies that truly reflect the couple’s values and love story, celebrant-led weddings offer a unique and unforgettable experience. Finding the right celebrant who aligns with your vision and values is key to ensuring your ceremony is everything you imagined it to be.

Find Wedding Celebrants on Go Book It!

Go Book It proudly feature wedding celebrants from all over the UK. So if you are planning a celebrant led wedding, make sure to check them out HERE

Remember, when you find and book your wedding supplier through Go Book It you won’t pay any agency fee and the supplier will not have to lose out on paying commission (like they do when you book with a booking agency!)