01 Mar 5 Top Tips for Choosing Your Celebrant
5 Top Tips for Choosing Your Celebrant
Congratulations – you are getting married! Thrilling times are ahead for you both as you start to plan your big day! Decisions will have to be made: date to be set, a venue to be chosen. Then you need to think about the professionals you will need to engage for your wedding day: photographer, florist, caterer, DJ, dresses and suits need to be looked for, tried on and bought, it’s quite a list – and this isn’t an exhaustive one. And we haven’t mentioned the wedding ceremony! Let’s get wedding planning.
If you’re planning a wedding, the person who will be conducting your ceremony needs special consideration. Luckily, we are here to help you think more about this important part of your day. The wedding ceremony – the heart of your day and the reason why the rest of the decisions need to be made.
What is a Celebrant led wedding?
Typically, couples who think of marriage have two traditional choices. Get wed in a religious ceremony which often takes place in a church, or a civil ceremony with a registrar. These are the two options that are most commonly known and both follow a traditionally recognised pattern of ceremony and wedding vows. But there is a third option, and it’s becoming increasingly popular. To get married by a wedding Celebrant in a Celebrant led ceremony.
If you choose to get married at the local Register Office, there are many rules and regulations, basically a lot of red tape that comes with this formal ceremony. Depending on how much you are willing to pay, you may not be able to bring in any decorations, you may not be able to play music or, more importantly, share personal vows.
What do Celebrant led Weddings involve?
Why not let your imagination run wild and think about having a Celebrant wedding ceremony at a location of your choice, which can include a licensed wedding venue.
Celebrant ceremonies also often involve symbolic ceremonies such as Handfasting, Unity Candles, Sand Ceremonies, Ring Warming, Oathing stones, Memory Boxes, Tying the Knot or the planting of flowers or trees. And you can incorporate a cultural or religious tradition into your ceremony if you wish. So as we said, let your imagination run wild!
Your Celebrant will take the time to get to know you both and write a bespoke ceremony especially for you, including your very own wedding vows. During the run up to your wedding ceremony, your chosen wedding Celebrant will become a friend and provide support and reassurance right up to your actual celebration date.
And on the actual day, just by their presence and a smile, you will feel relaxed. Your friendly face at the end of the aisle is there to lead you through that heart-stopping moment when you pledge your love to each other.
Not all Celebrants are the same!
Are you going to choose an Independent Celebrant or a Humanist? Do you know the difference? A quick rule of thumb is that an Independent Celebrant can work with you to include spiritual and religious elements to a ceremony if wished. In contrast, Humanist Celebrant will provide a purely non-religious option.
Several important factors need to be considered when choosing a wedding Celebrant. This includes reviewing their credentials and background, whether they’re able to deliver the type of ceremony you want and what style of service they will provide. Here are our top five tips:
Do your research – read reviews and get references.
Sounds a bit dry – but it is so important! Have a look at directories such as @CelebrantsDirectory for a list of Celebrants in your area. Take a look at the Celebrants website. Do you like it? Do you like the style of writing? Is it informative without being boring? What about the photos – are there ones of the Celebrant actually conducting a ceremony? Do they have any professional training? How long have they been a Celebrant? Check out their testimonials from previous couples, and look at their social media presence – Facebook page, Instagram, Blogs,etc. Are there current posts? Do they interact with other wedding professionals in the area?
Has your chosen Celebrant been recommended?
That’s brilliant! Many licensed venues will recommend a wedding Celebrant and know who they have worked with before. Likewise, the wedding industry is a small world, and your other suppliers should at least know of them. Check out posts on Facebook asking for Celebrant led weddings – who do others recommend? If you haven’t done so already – check out their testimonials.
Meet with potential Celebrants to get a feel for their style and approach
This sounds absurd, but… chemistry is so important, and the best way to check that out is over a cuppa and a chat. Sometimes arranging a meeting in person can be challenging (think last year and the Covid restrictions), but we have all become used to video calling. Does the Celebrant offer a free meeting with no obligation? If not, what do they provide to help you decide if they are the Celebrant for you?
Make sure you’re comfortable with your chosen Celebrant, and they understand what you want from your Celebrant ceremony.
Do you feel like you are chatting with a new friend? Do they make you feel relaxed? Are you able to enjoy the process of getting to know them? Do they understand you and your vision, ask questions, or tell you what you will do?
As a Celebrant, they should be able to make suggestions, but you should always feel that it is your ceremony, and you shouldn’t be pushed into doing something you don’t feel comfortable with. Do they come across as professional, friendly and positive? Will the ceremony feel joyous, meaningful and momentous?
Check their fees and what is included in the cost.
Are the fees transparent? Do they cover all meetings, rehearsals, travel? Do they have any extras, such as a PA system? Do they provide materials for rituals such as handfastings, sand ceremonies, unity candles? What charges do they make for providing these?
If you’re considering a non-traditional wedding, getting married by a Celebrant could be the perfect option for you.
Celebrants can help couples create ceremonies that reflect their unique relationships and values. They can also help you personalise your ceremony with music, readings, and rituals. And if you’re looking for something truly special, many Celebrants offer creative options like elopements or destination weddings.
We established Cornish Celebrants in 2014, following a combined total of nearly 30 years working for Cornwall Registration Service. Our training and experience of dealing with all of life events gives us a unique perspective when we meet and chat with our families. So many of our couples compliment us on our warm, empathetic, professional and knowledgeable approach.
We have conducted thousands of ceremonies, and now, as Independent Celebrants, we are the recommended Celebrants to many venues throughout Cornwall and Devon. As our business has grown, we have added some hand picked affiliated Celebrants to help out on busy dates and provide cover if needed (an extra reassurance for our couples – your ceremony will never be at risk at not taking place!). It is our joy to help couples celebrate their wedding ceremony in the way they want –it is never about us – its all about the couple and giving them the celebration they imagined!
Peter and Tom’s Day
It was an absolute pleasure to be a part of their day and in their own words…
“From our first garden centre meeting to saying goodbye after the ceremony, Nicola imbued us with joy and enthusiasm, whilst her extensive experience as a registrar lent her a gravitas that authorised the proceedings, as joyous as they were. She also had experience with same-sex ceremonies, which was important to us”
If you would like to discuss how a Celebrant could help put the joyful heart into your day with a bespoke ceremony, do get in touch for a chat.
Nicola: 07716992526 Denise: 007967533359