Have you considered collaborating with a 'Celebrant' and designing an exclusive ceremony?
Firstly, many congratulations on your engagement! It is such an exciting time, when you begin planning the most amazing day for you both.
There are so many wonderful choices and options when commencing your planning, including:
Wedding party - bridesmaids/bridesmen, matron/man of honour, flower girls/boys, page boys, best men/woman/friend, ushers etc
Favours on tables
If you booked a Celebrant, then the range of options and choices you will have will increase dramatically. A Celebrant will open up so many more additional ways in which you can design your ceremony, to be as unique to you, as the rest of the day will be.
“Where can you have your Celebrant led wedding ceremony?”
A Celebrant led wedding ceremony can take place anywhere (not the moon, just yet!) You may wish to have an outdoor wedding ceremony, on a beach, in a garden, in a forest, by a lake, in the grounds of a castle or stately home, on a golf course, in a sports stadium, in a vineyard, under a stretch tipi or in a marquee. Your preferred venue may be a ‘ special place’ to you where you would prefer to your ceremony, but it happens to be restricted by not being a licensed venue. A Celebrant-led ceremony will enable this ‘restriction’ to be lifted.
“When can you have your Celebrant led wedding ceremony?”
A Celebrant will meet with you before the ceremony, be in contact throughout the process and be able to run a rehearsal, should you so wish, to calm any nerves or to answer any questions. A Celebrant can afford you to take your time and not be rushed as you will be their only client on the day, so you will have their full attention. You may have a specific time slot you wish to have your ceremony. So, for example, a recent client was unable to ‘book’ a Registrar for their preferred time of ‘noon’, instead offering 3:00 pm. This meant they would have lost three hours of their planned wedding day. A Celebrant can offer any time of the day, including a sunrise, sunset or beneath the stars ceremony.
“What can you 'say' during your Celebrant led wedding ceremony?”
A Celebrant-led ceremony is totally handwritten and tailored just for you, from start to finish. You can include your own stories, readings, poems, music. You may wish to keep it non-religious, have a Humanist ceremony or add in your own spiritual or religious elements. You may wish to write and say your own vows or promises as a true reflection of your relationship. A Celebrant can help you with the writing of these, if you so wish. You could add symbolism or rituals, such as a beautiful hand fasting, unity candle lighting or sand ceremony. Celebrants can provide many suggestions and ideas of how to enhance your ceremony. A Celebrant script is totally flexible and enables the wording to totally reflect you, your journey, your love and commitment on your special day.
“Who can you 'involve' in your celebrant led wedding ceremony?”
A Celebrant ceremony will allow you to involve as many guests as you wish to, sometimes all the guests can take part in a ‘warming of the ring’s’ ritual or other fun ways such as a 'heartbeat' ceremony. You may wish to involve guests of a four-legged variety, perhaps as a flower pup or a ring bearer, after all, those precious pups are such an important part of the family too!
"What if I wish to change the entrance to our ceremony?"
You may wish to arrive and enter as a couple together, have the 'bride' waiting for the 'groom', you may wish to have someone with you as you enter or enter independently. Once again, the choice is yours.
“What if you wish to sign a certificate in front of your guests?”
A Celebrant can produce a 'wedding certificate' to be signed by the couple. The official legal marriage certificate, previously signed at the Registry Office, can be shown during the ceremony or a personalised additional certificate can also be signed. You decide!
“Will a Celebrant led wedding ceremony feel less real?” Absolutely not!
Society is changing, views and values are changing. Milestones are still important and are still celebrated. There is simply more choice, ideas and opportunities for ceremonies today.
Celebrant-led ceremonies are becoming increasingly popular, including naming, civil-partnerships, vow renewals and funeral ceremonies. Often, once someone has experienced a Celebrant-led ceremony, they are impressed with the personalised essence, tone and content of the ceremony. They become ‘converted’ or ‘aware’ of Celebrant led ceremonies for the first time and are 'open' to experiencing or having Celebrant-led ceremonies.
For many, the opportunity to marry where you want, when you want, how you want, saying what you want and involving who you want, is their dream ceremony. That dream is now a reality. Other countries have conducted Celebrant-led ceremonies for years and it has become the norm e.g. Australia, Scotland and New Zealand. The opportunities and freedoms are now being embraced and are offered in Wales and England too.
The legal “marriage” part, conducted by a Registrar, involves the formal process of signing a register and verbally confirming your commitment in front of two witnesses in a Registry Office. This take approximately 15 mins and costs around £50. This is the 'marriage' legally recognised, in a no-frills ceremony. Similar to when people legally register births and deaths with the registrar but then having the ceremony (funeral) and celebrations (naming/Christening) separate. This is now also available to separate the legalities for the 'marriage' and the 'wedding' ceremony. The wedding ceremony itself, with all your guests, is the magical part. One that lasts, in the smiles and memories of those present, for years to come.
“Can we have a themed wedding ceremony?”
Celebrants will accommodate and embrace any ideas/themes you may have. From whimsical, eco/sustainable, vegan, historical, sport, film to character themes. Do you want a themed wedding with costumes? Celebrants may have to research your theme, but they will wholly take it on board, from costumes to music to wording: “May the force be with you!”
The only constraint is your own imagination and vision. Unless it involves a Celebrant climbing, sky diving or abseiling. This would take some practice first!
“So, how do you book a Celebrant?”
Research Celebrants online, on professional directory sites e.g. the 'Association of Independent Celebrants', https://independentcelebrants.com/business-directory/donna-graves/ or 'The Celebrant Directory' https://www.thecelebrantdirectory.com/find-a-celebrant/weddings/show/dmg-ceremonies. It is important that you 'click' with your Celebrant so you can collaborate and design your bespoke ceremony.
"So why would you book a Celebrant?"
As a local wedding supplier commented: "I have only worked with a few celebrant's as usually it's the registrars but when I have I much prefer the personal nature of the service." They go on to recall: "I shot a humanist ceremony and it was wonderful so many personal words, friends coming up to give stories and it was just an amazing vibe of friends being open in front of each other."
At DMG Ceremonies, the essence of the service is always: