Found an amazing venue but they don’t hold a civil marriage licence?
Does your venue hold a civil marriage licence but the licensed location isn’t working for you?
Like the idea of having a more personalised ceremony that’s not controlled by marriage laws?
Celebrants are the answer!
Whether you want a really traditional ceremony or something much more bespoke, celebrants cover it all. Couples use celebrants to create a meaningful ceremony that’s not governed by the legalities of marriage.
Your specially tailored ceremony can be held absolutely anywhere, just as long as you have the land owners permission. We asked The Guild of Cornish Celebrants where their most memorable ceremonies had been held, and they included a stunning river quayside, a grotto, windswept cliff tops, countless beaches and a tipi nestled within the grounds of a beautiful country estate.
So what is a celebrant? In a nutshell, a Celebrant is someone who conducts a ceremony. They offer you flexibility so you can choose to marry somewhere that means something to you, with a ceremony that’s personal to you.
In England and Wales, if you don’t use a celebrant, law dictates your wedding ceremony. Local Registration Service Registrars are limited by law as to what content the ceremony can deliver, where and when the ceremony can be performed and what music and readings are allowed. Many couples dislike that they won’t know until 30 minutes before the ceremony who will actually be marrying them.
Unlike a registrar, a Celebrant will spend time with you and get to know you and your vision for your ceremony and wedding day. They will advise and help you choose your vows, readings, music and style of ceremony. They’ll discuss whether you want to include cultural traditions or belief rituals in your ceremony. Their aim to craft a personal bespoke ceremony to suit you both.
So how do you make the marriage legal? There are two options. If your chosen venue holds a civil wedding licence, you can pay for Registrars to attend and conduct a short legal ceremony in the licensed area before the celebrant ceremony. Or you can book a statutory ceremony at the local Registration Office for a few days prior to the wedding day. The statutory ceremony is short, your cheapest option and based purely on the legal declarations and contracting words to each other in the presence of the Registration staff and 2 witnesses. You can save the vows and ring exchange for the wedding ceremony with your celebrant.
If you feel celebrants are the way to go, how do you go about choosing one? We asked Nicola and Denise at The Guild of Cornish Celebrants, for their advice.
“Finding the right celebrant is vitally important – we would suggest that you contact a few and see which ones you have a connection with, ask to speak to them and ask questions about the aspects of the ceremony you would like, and what is included in their package. Once you have made your choice most celebrants will require a non-refundable deposit to secure their services. You will then usually have a meeting with them to begin the process.”
Nicola and Denise also advise not to get too hung up on qualifications. Celebrants don’t need formal qualifications to perform ceremonies, although many have trained and achieved qualifications. As former Registrars themselves with thousands of weddings under their belt, Nicola and Denise are two of the most qualified celebrants in the business. However, they believe some of the best celebrants are unqualified, instead having vast experience of dealing with people at key stages of their life. They have the emotional intelligence and experience to craft beautiful ceremonies for their couples. All you need worry about when making your choice is whether the celebrant is someone you can work with. Do you have confidence in them to write and conduct this most important element of the wedding?
So our advice to you when it comes to your ceremony is don’t feel restricted by the formalities and legalities of marriage. Don’t let civil wedding licences restrict you. Explore all your options, consider celebrants, and create the day that’s perfect for you.
Find a local celebrant in your area through the Space & Rock Supplier pages.
Information Provided by The Guild of Cornish Celebrants