Recently we’ve had the pleasure of working alongside some of South Yorkshire’s wedding celebrants. They’ve made the wedding ceremonies of our couples personal, unrestricted, and kept some of the most popular wedding traditions. Today we wanted to share with you what a wedding celebrant is, and how they can influence your wedding ceremony.
We spoke to a local wedding celebrant, Tania Fisher, to answer all our questions.
What is a wedding celebrant?
“The simple answer is: A person who writes and officiates wedding ceremonies.
But it’s a little more than that.
A heart led celebrant is a person who dedicates time, effort and emotion into writing a unique ceremony especially designed with the couple at its heart. This allows couples to specifically tailor their ceremony to suit their needs and beliefs.”
What is the difference between a celebrant and a registrar?
“There are a few key differences between Celebrants, Registrars, Priests and Humanists.
The biggest is that a celebrant is not a member of the clergy, neither are they licensed to perform a legal ceremony.
They gain their certification through official training bodies. Ongoing training and continued personal development is a big part of life for a celebrant. I have just completed my advanced training certificate.
A priest and other religious leaders are bound by the religious conventions and rites of their faith.
Registrars are by law allowed to officiate via civil ceremonies, meaning the ceremony is purely secular, with no religious tones. They generally have three scripts, differing slightly in content. They very rarely deviate from this script.
A Humanist and Celebrant are quite similar when it comes to roles and purposes. However, humanists don’t believe in wedding traditions and rituals and superstitions.
A Celebrant doesn’t favour one wedding path over the other. They usually embrace different religions, wedding practices and traditions, as long as it’s what the couple wants. After all, it’s your wedding ceremony.”
Are there any restrictions on wedding venues when choosing a celebrant?
“No, anything goes when it comes to the venue! Celebrants are not as yet legally allowed to marry; therefore a venue does not need a licence. Your own back garden, on top of a mountain, or even in the middle of a forest, you can choose anywhere for your celebrant led ceremony – and any time. Midnight on Halloween, or even Christmas or New Year’s Day, the choice is yours.”
Will the marriage be legal?
“Unfortunately the marriage will not be legally recognised.
In addition to the celebrant led ceremony, many couples will have a simple service at the registry office. Some couples opt to have the registrar present for the legal aspects on the day. (This can however double the cost, and so I generally encourage people to the registry office).
Other couples chose to marry legally overseas and have a ceremony at home to celebrate with extended friends and family. “
Why choose a wedding celebrant?
“As I mentioned before, you have complete flexibility over your wedding, including the time it takes. Your ceremony will be unique to you, and you can and one or a number of rituals (ring blessings, ring exchange, hand tying, hand blessing, the list is endless).
There are no restrictions over time or location; sun set/rise on your favourite beach, in a teepee at the top of a hill, you have complete control.
A celebrant will dedicate their time and energy on creating a perfect day for you.”
Can celebrants offer other services?
“YES, the list is endless:
Naming ceremonies (not just for children, want to change your name after completing a gender change, after a divorce, coming of age, etc.)
I had the privilege of officiating my great nieces naming ceremony at the graveside of her grandma on what would have been her 60th birthday. Great grandma and grandad were in attendance in their graves. An experience I will forever treasure.
New home blessing
Pet honouring ceremony
New business blessing
Sagesse (wisdom) ceremony
And many more…”
To see more of the services Tania can offer or to talk to her about your wedding ceremony ideas head over to her website: Tania Fisher Celebrant.
Next on the blog we have What happens if someone ‘objects’ during a wedding ceremony?