Take me to Church – or Not? Why you’ll love a Celebrant-led ceremony

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I just love that Hozier song, don't you? Which is why I thought of it as a great title for my article. Especially if you are at that part of your planning where you are doing some research into your choice of venue, location and format for your ceremony or wedding. Insert the head exploding emoji here.

As you were going down your online wedding rabbit holes, you hopefully came across the idea of hiring a Celebrant. You might even be doing that right now! So you might like some more information on why this is such a brilliant idea.

What’s all the fuss about?

Whilst having a Celebrant-led ceremony may not be for everyone — I understand you may have your heart set on a big church wedding - a Celebrant-led ceremony offers many options for personalisation you may not have thought of. As Celebrants, we have nothing against church weddings or religious ceremonies, we just love to offer some alternatives to couples looking for a different style of day, or for some reason aren’t able to marry in a conventional church setting.

What’s the difference?

A celebrant is someone who officiates at a ceremony, such as a wedding, funeral, a renewal of vows ceremony or baby naming. If you decide to use a Celebrant for your wedding day, you will need to get the legal bit done first. Which is where the flexibility begins for you. For example, the Registrar service takes around 45 minutes, you only need two witnesses and can be done any day during office hours (for example you can nip out from work on a Tuesday lunch time). You can then have your wedding day as you choose, at the weekend with all your friends at a time that suits you (evening for example), and not only during the registrar’s working hours.

Personalise your ceremony

But that’s not all you get to choose. How about including whatever you like in your ceremony? Whatever readings you love, and read by whomever you like (include friends, children, family members). Include whatever music is dear to your heart — whether it’s the song playing when you first met, a hymn that’s special to your family, or something you wrote yourself! (You might need to test it out on your friends first.) With a Celebrancy-led service you can include religious and non-religious elements as you wish.

You also have full control over the wording of the ceremony. Whilst the Celebrant will usually write a service for you, they will meet with you to finalise a version you are happy with, that reflects you, how you met, your hopes for the future and why you love each other SO MUCH! You are free to write your own vows and include your own rituals and ceremonies, for example a sand ritual or hand-tying.

Have it somewhere you love

Probably one of the most appealing reasons to choose a Celebrant for your ceremony is that you can hold the service anywhere. If you aren’t tied to the idea of a church or registrar’s office for your wedding, baby-naming or renewal of vows for example, the world is your oyster! Your back garden, your local pub, your favourite beach, in a castle, up a mountain, on a boat, or - as a couple did recently - at the base of a volcano! (Volcano Vows). In other words your ceremony doesn’t have to take place in a licensed venue or one that has been pre-approved by a registrar.

The perfect choice

There are so many reasons to choose a Celebrant-led ceremony, never mind it being led by someone that has taken time to get to know you and the reasons you have chosen to celebrate.

If you're contemplating a ceremony or a wedding somewhere different (and one that doesn't have to involve travel to achieve this), a Celebrant-led ceremony is one you’ll will love the more you find out about it!