This week is Celebrants week, and we want to take the opportunity to fill you in on what a celebrant does – and how they can help bring your dream wedding to life.
In short, a celebrant is basically a wedding officiant, who leads your ceremony and see you become Mr & Mrs (or variation of course) in spirit.
We say in spirit, because a celebrant ceremony is not legally binding – unless you’re in Scotland or Northern Ireland.
Those who choose to have a celebrant ceremony on the day of their wedding would need to do the legal signing at their local registry office, either just before or after the wedding itself. But the benefits for couples looking to “make their ceremony great again” and make it truly personal to them, far outweigh the negatives.
The best thing is it looks like a “normal” ceremony to the naked eye – a lot of your guests may not know any better!
Intrigued? Let’s go in deeper.
We’ve had quite a few celebrants come officiate ceremonies with us over the years, and they’ve all said one thing in common – in a celebrant ceremony, anything goes.
The main highlight of a celebrant ceremony is that they do not have to follow the strict restrictions and limitations the official ceremonies have. You can tailor it to exactly how you like – a good celebrant will be flexible to how you and your partner want it.
You can write your own vows to your spouse. You can have any songs or readings you want, whereas registrar-led ceremonies for example will not allow any religious references in your material. You can get your pet involved. You can have a flash mob. You can have any touches you want that will create special memories.
Your celebrant will work more flexibly with you in terms of times. A registrar for example may only have certain slots available on your wedding day, and so if they are unable to come at the time you want, a celebrant is a natural option. We also advise double checking with your venue if that the ceremony time you want works for them as well.
As well as breaking all the “official” ceremony rules, we are oddly enough seeing a return to traditional practises in couples’ ceremonies – and interestingly enough, only celebrants can perform these: Hand-Fasting, and Jump the Broom.
Hand-Fasting is an ancient ritual that some say goes all the way back to pagan times. The ceremony involves the couple holding each other’s wrists, and their hands are tied together by either a thick ribbon, or some kind of cord. Sometimes, couples make vows as each loop is made; and they often get to keep the knotted ribbon as symbol.
Jump the Broom is literally what it says on the tin. A broom (as err… traditional-looking as you can get) is laid on the ground, and the couple jump over it. Simple right. It is said to symbolising married life being a new beginning, “sweeping” shall we say, the past away.
Neither of these rituals are legally binding in the UK, and thus can only be performed by a celebrant.
We feel in a way this is only scratching the surface in terms of what celebrants can do to make your ceremony happen your way. As they themselves said anything goes.
No matter the colour scheme, the theme, the… well any vision you had for your wedding.
We’d like to end by say cheers to all the wonderful celebrants who’ve used our venue! Thank you for helping us make our weddings, past present and future, so special.