What is a Wedding celebrant?

Wedding Celebrant Anne-Marie
Anne-Marie Ledson
Wedding Celebrant

What is an Independent Wedding celebrant?

A Wedding Celebrant is someone who can create a bespoke ceremony designed with you. There are no restrictions on what you can include in your ceremony, which you can hold anywhere and at any time.

A wedding celebrant will get to know you so that they can create a truly personalised wedding ceremony with you. Your celebrant will listen to your ideas for your special day and help you to make them a reality. They will be able to provide inspiration and make suggestions about every element of your ceremony such as your vows, exchange of rings, any symbolic rituals you may like to include and how you can involve your family and friends in your ceremony if you wish to.

How does it work?

A wedding celebrant will spend time with you face to face and through virtual meetings and they will be available on the phone and via email as you plan your wedding. You’ll develop a relationship with your celebrant so that you’re comfortable to talk to them about yourselves and your relationship – how you met, how you fell in love, when and where you got engaged, things you love to do together and things you love about each other. This means your celebrant will be able to reflect your personalities and incorporate special anecdotes into a ceremony which will be created just for you.

The Bride and Groom listening to their love story told during their wedding ceremony by their celebrant Anne-Marie Ledson
The Bride and Groom listening to their love story told during their wedding ceremony by their celebrant Anne-Marie Ledson

A wedding celebrant doesn’t have to follow a set formula when writing a ceremony. You can choose whatever wording, readings and poems, music, or symbolic rituals you wish – these can be religious, spiritual or secular.

This is particularly useful if you come from different faith backgrounds and would like to use elements from both in your ceremony. Your celebrant will help you to create a ceremony that is meaningful to you, reflecting your personal views, values and beliefs.

The bride and Groom about to stamp on their Sapaatia bowls during their wedding ceremony
Sapaatia wedding ceremony an ancient Muslim tradition from East Africa.
(Nicola Dixon Photography)

Some Wedding Celebrants have a particular style or specialise in specific types of ceremonies such as Pagan or Spiritual ceremonies. All will adapt to suit the style you are looking for including formal or informal, traditional, spiritual, culturally significant or themed ceremonies. All celebrants will base the ceremonies they create on your wishes.

Things to think about when choosing a wedding celebrant

A wedding celebrant is usually self-employed. Is your chosen celebrant professionally trained, do they have a national qualification? Do they have Public Liability and Professional Indemnity Insurance?

Does your chosen celebrant belong to a professional organisation? Celebrants who belong to a professional organisation such as The Association of Independent Celebrants, or The Fellowship of Professional Celebrants will follow a code of conduct. Some organisations provide ongoing training for their members. You can search for a celebrant in your area on these professional organisation’s websites and on Google.

Your celebrant should have a privacy policy and follow all GDPR procedures in relation to your personal information.

A professional Wedding celebrant is a good listener who will get to know you and then write and lead a personalised ceremony based on your wishes.

If you’d like to create a ceremony that will be a unique and memorable occasion for you and your guests, that doesn’t follow a set formula then you should choose a wedding celebrant.

A wedding celebrant can’t register your marriage, you will need to do the legal elements with a Registrar. This shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes at the registry office in the presence of 2 witnesses and will cost £57 (price at April 2021). Your celebrant will explain this.

Anne-Marie Ledson April 2021