Here in the UK we’re still living through the Covid Chaos and my heart goes out to each and every gorgeous couple who are re-scheduling their wedding for the 3rd / 4th / 5th time, or those whose first date is coming up in the next few months and are starting to feel uneasy about all the ”What If’s?” There is so much uncertainty, anxiety and disappointment… not to mention all the re-organising and cost that goes with it. However, finding your perfect celebrant RIGHT NOW might be one thing you can do with absolute certainty regardless of whether everything else is on hold… and here’s why it could even help you create the perfect day!
Before we get to talking about why finding your celebrant now might be such a good idea, I’ll explain what a celebrant wedding ceremony is as there is still so much confusion out there. A wedding written and delivered by a celebrant can happen anywhere, anytime, any date – there are literally no restrictions whatsoever on when, where or how you have your ceremony. It can incorporate anything you want from songs, to poems, to rituals like handfasting or ring-warming, personally written vows and family tributes. The only limit is your imagination… I’m currently working on a Pirate ceremony complete will full costumes (including me), communal singing of sea shanties and a ritual for the blessing of the treasure!
But is it legal?
Ok, so here’s the big scary question and one which often stops some couples from having the day they’ve always dreamed of & compromising instead with something which fits an outdated legal framework. Put simply No, celebrant weddings in England and Wales are not legal marriage ceremonies (yet… legislation is being considered to change this). If you opt for a celebrant wedding you would still need to legally register your marriage. So what does that mean – in reality, it means 10 minutes in your local registry office at the cost of about £50-£70 to say the 20 or so words that the law needs to hear with 2 witnesses to listen. But think of it this way – you register a death (legal) then have a funeral (ceremonial), you register a birth (legal) then have a Christening / Baby Naming (ceremonial) – what’s the difference between registering a marriage (legal) and then having a wedding (ceremonial)? Have I convinced you that a celebrant wedding might be for you? If so, keep reading as to why you might need to start choosing one NOW even if you don’t know exactly when or where your big day is going to be…
1.TIME TO MAKE IT PERSONAL
The biggest advantage by far to a celebrant wedding is how personal you can make it – it is ALWAYS about you and your other half, your story and how you want to tell it. That’s something that a registry or church wedding simply can’t compete with. But for your celebrant to be able to truly understand you, get you and make the very best job of your ceremony, then they need time. The more time they can spend getting to know you and your other half, individually and jointly the better they understand why you love each other, the funny stories of your journey and the moments you’ve laughed and cried together and it’s all those tiny details that will make your ceremony so memorable and unique for you and your guests. And that can all be happening in the background even if you’re not sure exactly when or where the ceremony might happen just yet.
2. GETTING CREATIVE
The other big advantage of having a celebrant wedding is that it enables you to get creative and develop a ceremony that your guests can’t fail to remember. Again this is where celebrants can help you, they have ideas from working in the industry, they’re usually naturally creative and curious and certainly in my case I’m always keen to push those boundaries a bit. So when you have always dreamed of a Reptile themed wedding but don’t think anyone will get you, a celebrant is likely to grab that with both hands, start scribbling down Lizard Lines for your vows and googling Iguana Cocktails to serve during your Happy Hour. Celebrants will go beyond just the words of your ceremony, to help bring in those personal touches and tiny details that are so much more meaningful than the big grand gestures we’ve all seen a hundred times at a wedding. But like anyone else, we’re not always great at Creativity on Demand – really creative ideas take time to evolve, work through and deliver so the more time you can give your celebrant, the closer to your ideal you’ll get!
3. WE DON’T MIND WHEN YOU NEED TO RANT
I can only speak for myself but my biggest motivation for becoming a celebrant was to help people have the most wonderful wedding day, in the way they had always imagined. Everything a celebrant does is about helping you to create the ceremony and the day that you’ve always dreamed of, telling your story, your way, is all that matters. We know how stressful wedding planning can be, even when there isn’t a global pandemic. We appreciate how annoying outlaws and bridesmaids can be, how awkward it can be to find THE dress or table decoration you’ve got in your head, and the trauma of deciding between fruit or chocolate cake (chocolate every time, surely??). So we’re here, calm, detached and independent but absolutely rooting for you as a shoulder to cry on, to dry your tears, debate whether Lime Green is the best colour for your skin tone (it is if that’s what you want) and hold your hand. We can give you advice, put you in touch with our network, help ease a conversation with a difficult supplier – whatever you need, we’re here for you to lean on… even if you’re having to re-schedule for the 10th time!
4.THE SIMPLE LAW OF ECONOMICS
Ok so can you remember to your schooldays and the basic laws of supply and demand? Well, unfortunately they’re going to come into play over the next few months. We’re already facing a huge backlog of weddings from the last 12 months, with undoubtedly more to come. Churches can realistically only hold one wedding a day, perhaps 2 at most and registrars may potentially only be able to hold ceremonies at their premises to try and catch up on the backlog. Equally, celebrants have had a year of weddings postponed and are looking to fulfil may of their 2020 commitments through 2021. So will 2021/22 couples who haven’t already booked their ceremony officiant struggle to book one? Yes and no – I don’t want to start a massive panic as there are still LOTS of vicars, registrars and celebrants around and we’re all doing our best to help you. Might couples have to compromise on dates, times and locations for their big day – possibly, yes. But going right back to the start, that’s the beauty of a celebrant wedding – any time, any day, any place.
So like everything else in life it all comes down to choice, even now when it might feel as though you have no choice. If you’re thinking that what’s most important to you, is how you celebrate your love story, creating a unique and memorable day that reflects everything about who you are, then it sounds as though a celebrant wedding might be for you. And by finding your perfect celebrant now, they can help build your day, suggesting venues you’ve never heard off, or proposing times and day that work better to incorporate your ideas, making your day even more special than you’d anticipated. Why not take control now and inject a little certainty amongst all the cruel uncertainty of 2021 wedding planning?
If you think a celebrant wedding might be for you but still have questions why not give me a call on 07891 122542 and I’ll be happy to try and answer them for you! Go on, take the leap & Trust Your Rebel Heart…