If you’ve landed on this page because you’ve heard a few people throwing around the word celebrant but aren’t exactly sure what the deal is…don’t panic you are most definitely not alone! When I started out my celebrant journey half my friends thought I was giving up sex, the other half thought I’d found religion! Neither could be further from the truth – I’m not celibate and I haven’t made any pledges to some celestial being. But as an Independent Celebrant here’s what I AM all about…
Have you ever sat through a wedding, christening or funeral and thought you hardly recognise the people at the heart of the ceremony? Listened to vows that use words you’d never hear your loved ones utter? Endured a funeral that could have been anyone’s and bears no relation to the memories you cherish? I think we’ve all been there if we’re honest and in its purest form, celebrancy has evolved to give families an alternative. That’s not to say any of the strongly religious, registry or Humanist options are necessarily ‘bad’, they’re just not for everyone.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
Independent celebrants spend time getting to know couples and families, to understand what makes them tick and then create unique and relevant ceremonies that feel personal and memorable. We can incorporate religious elements such as a payer or hymn into ceremonies if that’s your wish – which is something that Humanist celebrants aren’t allowed to do (Humanist ceremonies are completely secular). We can operate in any venue for most ceremonies, there is no need for it to be specially registered or designated. We can spend as much time at your ceremony as you would like (funerals may be time-limited), so there’s no rush to be heading off to the next wedding on the list. We can create an entire funeral service from arrival at a crematorium, to final committal and ashes interment.
We have the flexibility to build a ceremony that truly represents who you are, bringing out the elements that are important to you and incorporating rituals, music and readings that reflect your story. For the traditions that you hold dear we will find the right space in the ceremony to include them. Basically, we write the script for your special occasion without being bound to anyone else’s rules.
WHAT CAN’T WE DO?
Firstly, let’s start by getting the big, noisy elephant out of the room – no I cannot legally marry you yet (although there’s a High Court Judgement pending). You would need to attend a registry office for a standard marriage service to make it legal – by the way, that’s five minutes and you speak about six words each. However, that done we can create a wedding ceremony whenever and wherever you want it, to last as long as you want it, incorporating whatever you want into it.
If you’re still not sure why you’d choose a celebrant led service vs a registrar in an approved venue, keep reading. Registrars do a fantastic job within their parameters, but you’re limited to the venue you choose, the time slot you get, the words you speak and you meet your registrar for the first time on the big day. With a celebrant led service you choose the day, time, venue, location, words, duration, rituals, music and your celebrant will spend time getting to know you both to create a service that’s unique to you. Still undecided? Registrars and celebrants cost about the same but offer a world of difference in value.
When it comes to Baby Naming, Vow Renewals and Funerals there’s nothing that any other officiant can do that a celebrant can’t. If you were to work with a Church Minister for a funeral for example, you would still need to legally register the death in the same way, and the service is largely ceremonial as opposed to providing any legal basis. Although a Minister would always lean towards incorporating a lot of religious content. A celebrant has exactly the same legal standing when it comes to funerals, baby namings and vow renewal – it just gives you full authority to create the ceremony that’s right for you.
However, a celebrant definitely can’t and won’t ever pretend to be a Minister or provide any form of religious representation. A celebrant’s religious beliefs are unimportant however yours are crucial. If you’re looking for a heavily religious service then working with a celebrant is unlikely to be for you, but most independent celebrants (myself included) are more than happy to incorporate a light touch of any religious or spiritual belief you have into any ceremony.
So if you’re planning a life changing event and thought you had to stick to rules you didn’t understand – think again! A celebrant led service gives you the freedom to celebrate or commemorate on your terms, with only your own rules to follow.
Want to know more about how we could create your perfect wedding or commitment ceremony?
Interested in a family ceremony to welcome new additions or start a fresh chapter in your life?
Searching to find a way to say goodbye that inspires you to move forward?
Still not sure if a celebrant led service would be right for you – let’s inspire your Rebel Heart! Give me a call on 07891 122542 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we can chat through your story.