WHAT CAN A CELEBRANT DO?
As a professional celebrant in the UK, I can help you to create and perform ceremonies to recognise and celebrate significant events, milestones and values.
There are a lot of blurred perceptions out there about what a celebrant can do versus the clergy or a registrar so I hope I can help you to see this more clearly.
I am trained to conduct all kinds of ceremonies in all sorts of places and as I always say, the only thing that limits us is our combined imaginations; the only true limitation is that I cannot officiate over any ceremony if held on consecrated ground...so if your dream wedding is in a church, I am afraid I will have to bow out!
As a celebrant, there are no limitations as to what can be included in your ceremony either so it can be completely personal. The clergy tend to follow a religious service written anywhere between 1662 and 2001 and will more than likely use hymns and bible readings. Registrars must follow a script with statutory wording and you can’t currently include anything of a religious nature – no hymns, bible readings, prayers, blessings or even songs that refer to God or angels. Humanists are also restricted to ceremonies without reference to anything spiritual or religious.
In total contrast, I can create a ceremony with any words you desire; if you want a prayer or blessing, you can have them! After all, it IS all about you!
CAN I "MARRY" YOU?
One of the most asked question I get from couples is can you "marry" us?!
Unfortunately in the UK (as at June 2020), the "M" word is pretty much the only thing I can't do....legally! This is something our Government is considering and changes could be afoot to mirror our celebrant colleagues in the USA, Australia and New Zealand (over the past few years the Government has been a little tied up with some other business so we have fallen down the list! But watch this space!)
So, the short answer is that no, I cannot "marry" you and you will need to get legally married too. Many of my couples prefer to do this in advance of their ceremony but it is not necessary so long as you remember that it does have to happen at some point! In order to do this, you will need to book a basic service at a register office with two witnesses and literally just sign the documents; everything else can be done by me at your wedding ceremony. You don't need to exchange rings or personal vows at this service- it simply is a transaction. Let's keep everything else for your personalised ceremony!
WHERE AND WHEN CAN YOU CONDUCT A CEREMONY?
The answer is, pretty much anywhere (apart from on consecrated ground, as previously mentioned). It can be indoors or outdoors as a celebrant ceremony doesn't need to be in a licensed building or structure; one thing I can't do though is predict the weather so it's always a great idea to have a Plan B or great wet weather gear!
A ceremony conducted by a celebrant does not have to be in a licensed building or structure so you really do have few restrictions. If you want a funeral to be conducted outside of a crematorium or cemetery, you should chat with your Funeral Director who will be more than happy to help you; or I can always do this for you too.
So, if you have a dream location for your ceremony, just make sure you have permission to be there and your dream really can come true! A beach, woodland, field or garden can all make beautiful settings for your day.
And so long as the venue is happy, your ceremony can take place at any time of day to suit you.
What could be more flexible than that?!