Most of us are familiar with two main ways to get married – a religious service at a place of worship or a civil ceremony conducted by a registrar. But as couples seek out more personal expressions of their relationship and their values, a third option is becoming much more popular – a celebrant-led wedding ceremony.
Independent celebrants are specialists in creating and delivering ceremonies which are written especially for you. This makes every ceremony just as unique as you are, which is why we love them here at The Great Barn.
Here's how it works:
Step 1: Book your celebrant
We work with Anne O’Brien from Bluebell Ceremonies. She’s a qualified and experienced celebrant, with a warm and inclusive style. She really cares about delivering the best possible experience for each couple and we trust her to create something magical every time.
Step 2: Give notice of your intention to marry
This needs to be done at your local register office at least 29 days before Step 3. It normally costs £35 each and involves signing a legal declaration and presenting some documents, like proof of address.
Step 3: Register your marriage
Celebrants aren’t able to legally marry you in this country just yet, so you‘ll need to register your marriage at your nearest register office. This can be done before or after your celebrant ceremony and involves making two legal declarations in front of two witnesses and signing the marriage schedule. It takes about 15 minutes and costs £46.
Step 4: Work with your celebrant to create your dream ceremony
This is where the fun starts. Choose any content and any style. You can keep things traditional and classic, or take inspiration from your heritage (love knots for the Welsh, oathing stones for the Scots …), include prayers or blessings if you wish, involve your children if you have them, and celebrate with a Mexican wave … whatever feels right for you.
Celebrant ceremonies are full of warmth and personality and are completely unique to you. Here are eight great reasons to choose a wedding celebrant:
Your wedding ceremony is all about you, and with a celebrant, you get to a say just how much you mean to each other in a way that’s beautiful and meaningful to you.
Every ceremony is unique. There are no templates or pre-prepared words and we find that our couples and their guests are often blown away by how different a celebrant ceremony feels. Often couples choose a celebrant when they can’t match the time or date they want with the registrar’s availability, but 9 times out of 10, they’re so glad they made the switch.
There are lots of fabulous ways to include your guests, from ring warming to a good old sing-along. Chat with your celebrant about which special people you’d like to involve.
There are no rules about what you can include in your ceremony. If you have a mix of backgrounds, you can blend traditions to honour different cultures and beliefs.
A celebrant led wedding can take place at any time and in any location. There's never any rush, and most celebrants only perform one ceremony a day, so if you need to change plans at the last minute, there’s no problem.
You’ll spend time getting to know your celebrant so that your ceremony is perfectly matched to you. Thoughtful or quirky, flamboyant or pared back - whatever your style, your ceremony will be a reflection of the things you hold dear.
Your ceremony can celebrate many things - the anniversary of the day you first met, the birth of a new baby or an overseas wedding shared with friends and family back at home.
Not everyone’s comfortable in the spotlight, but working with a celebrant means that by the time you're ready to say your vows, you'll know each other pretty well, so you can relax and truly enjoy the moment.
If you are interested in finding out more about having a celebrant for your wedding, do contact Anne below who will be more than happy to help.