What is a Wedding Celebrant and What do They Do?

independent wedding celebrant - Andri Benson CeremoniesPhotography by Sanshine Photography

What is a Wedding Celebrant?

A Wedding Celebrant is someone who officiates a wedding ceremony but is not legally invested to marry a couple. A Celebrant-led ceremony is ideal if you want something more personal and unique than a religious or civil ceremony allows.

A Celebrant can tailor your wedding to your own specifications, drawing on a range of themes, ceremonies and concepts. They don’t favour one wedding path or style over another and they’re usually happy to embrace different religions, practices and traditions, as long as it’s what you want.

independent wedding celebrant - Infinite Celebrations by Jas

Why You Should Book a Wedding Celebrant

In the UK, Local Registrars are bound by their legal format. They have set times, set locations and restrictions on what they can and cannot say or do. Opting for a Celebrant-led wedding ceremony gives you a great deal of flexibility. You can get married anytime, anywhere. Your wedding can take place on a beach, a clifftop, in a field or at the centre of a forest. You’re not limited to licensed wedding venues, so the options are endless.

independent wedding celebrant - My Perfect CeremonyPhotography by Camera Hannah 

A Wedding Celebrant could be the perfect solution if you’re planning an overseas wedding. Some couples prefer to have the necessary legal ceremony before they travel followed by a more symbolic, meaningful celebration at their chosen destination. This is a great way to approach restrictive residency rules or other legal requirements.

independent wedding celebrant - Ruby B CeremoniesPhotography by The Brand Studio 

Whether you’re getting married in the UK or overseas, your Celebrant will want to build a personal, meaningful connection with you throughout the wedding planning process. This helps them personalise your ceremony and ensure it’s a perfect fit for who you are as a couple. It also means the person delivering some of the most important words you’ll ever hear is someone you know rather than a complete stranger. 

sand ceremony - Cariad Personal Ceremonies

Couples who choose Celebrant-led weddings often want a ceremony that’s more reflective of who they are and how they want their union to be. You’ll have complete control over the content and feel of your ceremony. Instead of asking you to repeat generic vows, your Celebrant will create something unique, incorporating any rituals or traditions you ask for. You can involve your children or pets and add symbolic elements like a handfasting or sand ceremony. The whole thing can be light-hearted, fun, formal or simple – it’s totally up to you. And if you’ve already said, ‘I do’, a vow renewal is another perfect opportunity to experience this highly bespoke, flexible approach.

Benessamy Recommends

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and working alongside some incredible Wedding Celebrants. Here are a few links to explore…

Beyond personal recommendations, The Celebrant Directory is a great resource listing Celebrants all over the world.
If you’re considering a Celebrant-led wedding, don’t miss our post about doing the ‘legal bit’ first and planning a heartfelt, fun-filled party later.

Until next time,

Happy Planning!

Val x

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