Written by Agnes Los Last updated: August 16, 2013
The steady increase in Celebrants delivering wedding ceremonies continues to open up the questions around choice and originality when it comes to planning what is a special day. More people are discovering that anything is possible when a Celebrant creates and delivers their ceremony, using their words. Wedding Celebrant Steve Albrighton from Special Ceremonies answers the 10 questions most frequently asked by the British brides and grooms!
Why I would have a Celebrant deliver my ceremony instead of a registrar?
A registrar, like a church, will have a limited choice of what can be included in your ceremony. You can ask for certain words, poems, and readings to be included, but often there are restraints on time and around what can be said. A Celebrant creates a unique ceremony every time and no two ceremonies are the same, just as no two couples are the same.
If I wanted my ceremony to have some religious element to it, would that be okay?
You can have whatever you want in your ceremony; after all, it is YOUR day, not the Celebrant’s day. The same would apply for those couples who want no reference to religion – your ceremony means your words.
Will I be legally married if I have a Celebrant?
No, the legal bit has to be done in a registry office; it takes less than 10 minutes and costs around £100 in total. Many couples do this in jeans and t-shirts and they save the dressing up for the wedding ceremony.
I have been married before and I have children, does that matter?
It makes no difference to a Celebrant how many times someone has been married or what the circumstances were. A Celebrant only cares about your wedding and will be committed to delivering something memorable.
Where can I have my wedding ceremony?
Any venue that is permissible. This could include a hotel, a museum, a gallery, woodland, a beach, a field, your old school, a night club, your garden, a tea room, the place where you first met. You can book any venue that hires out rooms for social events or gives you permission to do so.
Does a registrar have to be present at my wedding ceremony?
No, remember this is not a legal ceremony; most couples do the ‘legal bit’ either before or after the main event, as mentioned above.
I want the whole wedding ceremony to last about 40 minutes; I don’t want some 10 minute quickie. Is that okay?
Absolutely. A lot of preparation takes place so that a memorable wedding service can happen. There is no rush, a Celebrant is not on a tight deadline, and there is no one else out in the corridor waiting their turn. A Celebrant is there for you and you only.
I have heard about old traditions that can be included in my ceremony, like ‘Jumping the Broom’ and ‘Handfasting’. How can I find out more about them?
During one of the first in-depth conversations you have with a Celebrant, they will offer you the opportunity to include these and more. Every good Celebrant will make you aware of what choices you have to include any number of old traditions. If you know of a tradition that your Celebrant has never heard of, rest assured, if you want it and it is possible, they will research it and build it into your ceremony.
Why is it so important to have a unique ceremony? What’s wrong with a registry office or church wedding?
Nothing is right or wrong about the choices you make, however when you consider the time you spend on the look of the wedding, the dress, the make-up, the hair stylist, the food, the deco, then taking just a small chunk of that time to consider the impact a personalised ceremony will have, it’s got to be worth it.
What are the costs to hire a Celebrant?
The costs vary according to the area and whether your Celebrant has to travel to your wedding or not – typically you may expect to pay around £350.
Special Ceremonies is run by husband and wife Steve and Berni Albrighton who have been married for 25 years. Their sole aim as Celebrants is to create and deliver a ceremony that belongs to the bride and groom. Together, they choose the words, the poems, the readings, the songs and unlike a registry office or a church, nothing is off the peg. There will be no other couple, anywhere in the UK, who will have the same ceremony. Contact Special Ceremonies today to ask what they can do for you.
Looking for something different to the civil ceremony? If a traditional church ceremony is too religious for you and a civil ceremony is not spiritual enough, consider an alternative Humanist ceremony…