What is a Celebrant, and Do I Need One?

by | Mar 27, 2018 | Funerals, Celebrant, Namings, Weddings

Changes in society, cultural diversity and non-religious beliefs are without doubt some of the reasons that individuals, couples and families reach out to Celebrants. But what is a Celebrant and do you need one?

Are you one of these people who just doesn’t know how to get your service organised without the religious elements?

Do you just want to do it your way with your family, friends and colleagues, creating your ceremony the way you want and not the way you are told to have it.

It’s difficult, I do understand, but don’t panic; as help is at hand in the guise of a Celebrant.

So you may be asking yourself, what is a Celebrant and what services do they conduct? Probably more than you think!

●    Naming Ceremonies
●    Celebration of Adoptions
●    Weddings & Renewal of Vows
●    Funerals & Memorial Services

Let’s talk about the Wedding Ceremony.

Nowadays, a wedding is not the strictly traditional affair it used to be…. To be legally valid, a UK marriage ceremony must be performed by an authorised person (for example, a registrar, a vicar or a priest) and be witnessed by two people.

This means couples must choose between; an approved religious ceremony, a registry office ceremony, or a registrar who will attend the wedding at a licensed venue.  The reality is that the ceremony is likely to be very quick, and with restrictions on readings, music, vows and sometimes even photographs. For example, civil ceremonies may not include anything that’s related to religion, such as hymns (even as quotes), Religious book references, or even songs that indirectly refer to religion. In some cases, churches will not allow photos to be taken during the ceremony, or they restrict the photographer’s access.

So in practical terms, using a Wedding Celebrant allows you all the flexibility you wish for. You will be able to have your wedding wherever you choose, at any time, and it’ll be entirely up to you how the whole occasion flows and reflects your personal beliefs and lifestyle. You will choose your own vows, readings, poems, music, decor and anything else you fancy, without restriction.

what is a celebrant

How do I arrange a celebrant wedding?

You must arrange for an official registration of your marriage at an applicable registry office, where you will legally become a married couple. The costs for this are usually a fraction of what it costs for a registrant to attend at a licensed venue, or hiring the ceremony room at the registry office. There is usually a basic fee for filing the marriage application, then another small fee for a basic ceremony on a scheduled date with two witnesses. You should check with your local authorities for applicable requirements and costs

Then, you meet with me to set the date for your ceremony, define the overall structure and programme, how you want to enter the venue, the vows, other readings, speeches, music, flow and timings. We can even discuss releasing balloons, or involving your pets! I can help you draft your vows, review and finalise the ‘order of service’.

Just make sure you do the legal bit first to satisfy uk laws.

If you found this useful and would like to find out more than do contact me at sonal@sonaldave.com

I look forward to hearing from you.


© Sonal Dave all rights reserved 2023. No reproduction of this content in part or in full is permitted without prior permission.

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Sonal Dave is a Ceremonies Celebrant, Lady Toastmaster and Professional Public Speaking Expert. Speaking English, Gujarati and basic Hindi, Sonal’s services include symbolic Asian rituals, the sand ceremony and many other symbolic Indian or Western elements.

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What is a Celebrant wedding ceremony and why would I want to have one?

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