Benefits of Working with A Celebrant for your Wedding Ceremony

Wedding Celebrants in the UK – Celebrant hosted wedding, offers you more choice and customisation of your ceremony

If you are planning your wedding, its good to know that a modern wedding now doesn’t have to be the strictly traditional affair it used to be, things are changing. Couples now have a better choice of saying “I do” at  a wider range of places and not just licensed venues. You can hold your ceremony at any time and on any day of the week with the help of a wedding celebrant. Wedding celebrants in the UK can help you to plan out your ceremony content and conduct the fully personalised ceremony. 

Legal requirements for marriage in the UK

 To be legally married in the UK you need to obtain a licence from your local council registry office. You will also need two witnesses to see the document signing too. To have an authorised person to carry out your marriage means couples must choose between: an approved religious ceremony, a registry office, or a civil ceremony at a licensed venue. But you can do it slightly differently now by working with a wedding celebrant, which will also let you save £££s in the process. 

A Celebrant lead ceremony overcomes the current restrictions on the ceremony content

The ceremony is the most important part of the wedding day. Couples can now make both the ceremony and the reception as individual as they please. Some couples are perfectly happy to have that sense of occasion that comes with following the traditional vows and order of the ceremony set by someone else. The reality is that traditional ceremonies are likely to be very quick, and with restrictions on readings, music, vows and sometimes even photographs. If you opt for a civil ceremony you won’t be allowed to include any content that’s related to religion, such as hymns (even as quotes), Bible references, or even songs that indirectly refer to religion. In some cases, churches will not allow photos to be taken during the ceremony, or they restrict the photographer’s access. Working with a wedding celebrant can help you change all that.

Personalise your ceremony, your way

Now there is a way to have exactly the ceremony you want – by hiring a Wedding Celebrant. Many brides don’t know about wedding celebrants in the UK, but they have been around for over 40 years. In England, Scotland and Wales you must be legally married first at the registry office (this costs around £50 to obtain your marriage licence) You are then free to work with your celebrant to design the wedding ceremony of your dreams.

Using a Wedding Celebrant allows you all the flexibility you require. You will be able to have your wedding wherever you choose. It’s entirely up to you how the whole occasion reflects your personal beliefs and lifestyle. You will choose your own vows, readings, poems, music, decor and anything else you fancy, without restriction.

How to choose a wedding celebrant

Jacqui Tillyard Wedding Celebrant

  • Find a celebrant who really resonates with you – it’s wonderful to have someone you really like performing your ceremony.
  • Arrange an initial face-to-face meeting with the celebrant. This is a good chance to see the celebrant’s demeanour, speaking style, and whether they’re friendly yet professional. Ask all the questions you want. They should be able to advise on things you are unsure of, and make appropriate suggestions.
  • The Fellowship of Independent Celebrants who provide a network of qualified celebrants throughout the UK and beyond. Their website lists all their trained professional celebrant members, all of whom carry £5million Public Liability Insurance. Expect to pay upwards of £450.00 with possible travel expenses on top.

How to arrange a celebrant wedding

  • Arrange for an official registration of your marriage at an applicable registry office. Here you will legally become a married couple. It costs a fraction of the price to just obtain your marriage licence. You can save a fortune by not having to hire a registrant to attend a licensed venue, or hiring a ceremony room at the registry office. There will be a basic fee for filing the marriage application, then another small fee for a basic ceremony on a scheduled date with two witnesses. You should check with your local authorities for applicable requirements.
  • Meet with celebrant to set the date for your ceremony, define the overall structure and programme, how you want to enter the venue, the vows, other readings, speeches, music, flow and timings. You can even discuss releasing balloons, or a rose or sand ceremony, or involving your pets! Your celebrant will draft your vows for you and review and finalise the ‘order of service’.
  • Schedule and hold a rehearsal with your celebrant.
  • Get ready to say your ‘I do’s”!

Handfasting at your wedding ceremony

Handfasting Wedding Ceremony Leicestershire

What is Handfasting?

Handfasting is an ancient Celtic marriage ritual and it involves tying a piece of material (can be tartan, cord or ribbon if you prefer) around your joined hands, as a symbolic way of representing your union as a married couple. It’s where the expression ‘tying the knot’ came from!

You can choose to have your handfasting ties draped across your hand or they can be tied in a form of knot. The know becomes your keepsake symbol of your vows to one another.

History of Hand Fasting

The exact origins of the handfasting ceremony are mostly lost to time. We can be certain that the ancient British custom has been around for many thousands of years. History shows that early handfasting ceremonies and weddings coincided with types of pagan worship. In particular these ceremonies tool place amongst Celts that migrated to Britain for Europe around 7000 B.C. They often revolved around the worship of a matriarchic goddess figure.
The 1995 film, ‘Braveheart‘ shows William Wallace (Mel Gibson of course) and the love of his life, Murron, having a hand fasting ceremony. The original idea of hand fasting was a kind of engagement. It showed that the couple were betrothed for a year and a day before they then married.
Handfastings that took place alongside a Druid ceremony were important in Celtic Britain. These grand ceremonies were often reserved for the richer elite members of societies. Most people opted to express their love with a smaller handfasting celebration that they could afford. May Day and Beltane are still important days in Pagan and Celtic traditions. These days were often seen as a traditional day to get engaged. Scottish and Irish viewpoints also indicate that a handfasting signified betrothal between a couple rather than marriage itself.  Back in history a wedding ceremony that took place in front of witnesses – often friends and family – was not required for a couple to claim they were married.  Holding a more public handfasting in front of the local community ensured their status as a couple was recognised. Unlike a modern marriage, which is designed to last forever, a handfasting was often only valid for a year and a day.

 A New Modern Tradition

In recent years there has been an increase in demand for couples to have a hand fasting ceremony at their marriage, even Prince William and Kate Middleton had one at their wedding in 2011.

If you decide to have a hand fasting, I always make a point of saying that although that was the tradition, your hand fast will be for life! There are a few different ways for a hand fasting to be done and your Celebrant will be able to give you ideas.

Handfasting has changed since its original inception, however  you can still use some traditional parts of the practice in your ceremony. For example, renewing vows several times without a permanent marriage. Accepting that a bond will only last as long as love does. The specific method of tying the ribbon or cord during the handfasting, right to right hand and left to left. You can incorporate a legal practice in the handfasting, where you can also exchange rings during your ceremony.

Hand fasting is a lovely gesture and one that seems to be becoming more popular. The tied knot is a nice keepsake of your big day. Your knot becomes a symbol of your promise to be bound to one another, in love.