Frequently Asked Questions
Will the ceremony you conduct be legally binding?
No, but these legal formalities can be conducted before or even after your special day at your local register office, where you can register your marriage or civil partnership for £46 plus £4 for copies of the marriage certificate. This ceremony requires two witnesses and it’s not necessary to include rings or personalised vows so you can save that for the day of your commitment celebration if you wish.
Which day will be my ‘real’ wedding day?
Whichever one you choose! Just as we celebrate a baby’s christening on a separate day from registering their birth, it’s possible to celebrate a couple’s relationship on a different day to the one on which they conduct the legal formalities. Most couples consider the day on which they have their commitment ceremony and reception to be more meaningful, so they choose that day as their anniversary.
Where can I get married?
Anywhere! The joy of having an independent celebrant is that the venue doesn’t have to be licensed which means you can get married wherever you choose as long as you have the venue owner’s permission. This means that woodlands, sunlit meadows, moonlit beaches, fairgrounds, festivals and boats can all form a beautiful backdrop to your big day.
What can I include in my ceremony?
Anything! Registrars are employed by local authorities, whereas you’ll be employing me, giving you a much greater say in the format and wording of your ceremony. You can, for example, include any religious elements you wish without worrying about they’re ‘allowed’. Certain registrars, for example, won’t let you play ‘Angels’ by Robbie Williams, as they consider it to contain a religious reference, and instrumental versions of hymns or religious music are also generally not permissable at a registrar-conducted ceremony.
As I’m an independent celebrant I can cater to people of all faiths ‒ or none. You can incorporate elements from Christian, Hindu, Sikh, pagan, Jewish or Islamic weddings, and my ceremonies are ideal for mixed-faith couples. If you’re an aethist or agnostic, there’s no need to incorporate religion at all: you get to choose what’s meaningful to you.
What’s the difference between using a celebrant and a registrar?
As a celebrant I can create a personalised ceremony just for you ‒ none of the wording is compulsory and the ceremony can be as long or as short as you like. We can also add in different rituals and meaningful symbolism. I know how special your day is to you and so will take the time to get to know you beforehand so that I can write you a ceremony and/or vows that accurately reflect your personalities, values and relationship. I promise you will have lots of fun working with me as we come up with unique ways to celebrate your big day.
How does payment work?
If, after our free initial chat via Skype or on the phone, you decide that you’d like me to conduct your ceremony, I’ll email you a booking form asking for a deposit of £300. Once I’ve received your deposit I’ll email you a questionnaire and suggestions for rituals and traditions (such as ring warming ceremony or jumping the broom) that you may wish to include in your ceremony. Using the information you’ve given me, I will then write you a tailor-made ceremony that will include any special readings, poems or wording you’ve chosen (I’ll help you select these if you wish) so that you can amend anything you choose. If you need help with your vows, I’ll write those too. Once you’re happy with your ceremony and vows, the remaining fee is payable.