What is a Celebrant?
Many people are still unsure about the role of a Celebrant, and how this differs to the role of a registrar. View our online guide What is a Celebrant? for more information or take a look through our FAQs to find some answers to your more specific questions…
A registrar is a governement official, responsible for keeping legal records. A wedding ceremony performed by a registrar must take place in a venue licensed for marriage, using specified contractual wording to legalise the union. Religious / spiritual content is not allowed in a registrar wedding ceremony.
A celebrant is an independent individual who is trained in providing you with a custom made ceremony designed to celebrate any ‘right of passage’ in a way which is personal to you, without legal obligation or government restriction. There are very few limitations as to what can be included in a celebrant wedding ceremony.
Is my Celebrant Wedding Ceremony legally binding?
No. You will need to register your marriage in a Register Office before or after your celebrant wedding ceremony in order to make your marriage legally binding.
View our online guide How To Legally Register Your Marriage for more information.
How do I legalise my marriage?
You will need to give notice at your local register office and arrange to have a ‘Statutory Ceremony’ to legally register your marriage . This is the ‘admin’ part of the process, and does not need to be treated as a formal ceremony. View our online guide How To Legally Register Your Marriage for more information.
Should I be legally married before I have my Celebrant Wedding Ceremony?
Not necessarily. Most couples do prefer to register their marriage before the Celebrant Wedding Ceremony. However, if you would prefer to register your marriage afterwards, that’s OK too.
Do I need to register my marriage on the same day/ at the same venue as my Celebrant Wedding Ceremony?
No. You can do this any day before or after your wedding day at any register office in the UK. You do not need to have a registrar attend your Celebrant Ceremony or be present at your venue. Often, it is cheaper to register your marriage at your local register office on a weekday, rather than at your venue.
We don’t want to legalise our marriage at all, is this allowed?
Yes. A Celebrant Wedding Ceremony is not a legally binding ceremony. It is about celebrating your love and relationship in a way that is special to you. If you wish to confirm your committment to eachother without legal ties, then that’s not a problem.
Will my Celebrant Wedding Ceremony be considered less ‘real’ or ‘important’ if we have already
signed the register in a Register Office?
Not at all! Signing the register is simply signing the legal paperwork behind the marriage. The most meaningful part of your wedding will be when you walk in in that big white dress, stand up in front of your family and friends and say your vows together, and declare why you have chosen to commit to eachother as partners for life. Trust me, I am yet to have met a couple who felt anything otherwise!
Do you offer Same-Sex Weddings?
Yes! Samantha is proud to offer Wedding Ceremonies for any couple of any sexual preference or gender orientation.
Does it matter what culture, faith or religion I am?
No. The content of a celebrant ceremony is not restricted to any culture, faith or religion. If you wish to also incorporate a cultural or religious tradition into your ceremony, you can.
Where can I hold my Wedding Ceremony?
Anywhere you wish! Your venue does not need to be a licensed wedding venue as your ceremony is not legally binding. Just be sure to have permission from the venue owner before you invite all of your guests.
Can I hold my ceremony outdoors?
Yes. Indoors, outdoors, on a beach, at the park, by a lake, up a tree, in the forest, on a mountain, in your own garden, at the zoo, on the train… The options are endless. It may be wise to have a back-up plan for wet weather though!
When can I hold my ceremony?
Samantha will officiate your ceremony on any month, day, and at any hour you choose.
Can I include a symbolic ceremony?
Yes. Celebrant ceremonies often involve symbolic ceremonies such as Handfasting, Unity Candles, Sand Ceremonies, Ring Warming, Gemstones, Water, Memory Boxes, planting flowers or trees… etc. OR if you prefer not to have a symbolic ceremony, that’s fine too!
Can I include a family pet at my ceremony?
As long as the venue allows it, so does Samantha! (Although I’m a little bit nervous of snakes!!)
Can I include readings and poems in my ceremony?
Yes. You can include as many readings as you wish – whether religious or non-religious, silly or sentimental. You can even invite a guest to read one out for you, or to write something personal.
Can I include music and/or hymns?
You can include as many songs, music or hymns you like, and can choose to play these either on a PA System or have live musicians, it’s up to you! Please note though that you are responsible for providing your own PA System and music, and for the booking of any live musicians on the day.
Can I write my own wedding vows?
Yes! You can do this yourself, or Samantha can help you. Your vows can be as sweet, silly or sentimental as you wish. You will have unlimited contact and guidance from Samantha throughout the whole process to offer help if you need it.
Do we have to write our own wedding vows?
Not if you don’t want to. You’re welcome to use traditional recognised wedding vows if you prefer, or simply have no vows at all – it’s your wedding, your way!
I’m very shy and hate public speaking…
Samantha wants you to feel as comfortable as possible on your wedding day. You can read the vows yourself, or repeat them line by line after your celebrant, or simply say “I do” – whatever you prefer.
A family member or friend has passed away, can we remember them in our ceremony?
Yes. Samantha will ask you if there is anyone you would like to give mention to when you meet, and you may wish to include a photo or keepsake on a nearby table
I want to keep my ceremony short, simple and traditional, is that OK?
Yep. No fuss, no fluff. Your ceremony can be as simple as you want it to be.
I want my ceremony to be alternative, extraordinary, and elaborate, is that OK?
Certainly! Your ceremony is about you and your personal style. Samantha prides herself in being open minded to your ideas, no matter how crazy, quirky, or unusual they may seem!
How long will my Wedding Ceremony last?
A typical ceremony will usually last anywhere between 20 – 40 minutes, depending on how many readings and songs you choose to include, and whether you wish to involve a symbolic ceremony.
What should we wear for our ceremony?
You can wear whatever you like! Most brides choose to wear a traditional white wedding dress for a wedding ceremony, but there are certainly no rules. Whether you choose to wear something traditional, or something more informal is up to you. I even welcome fancy dress!
What will you wear at the ceremony?
Samantha will typically wear something smart and comfortable, and appropriate for the occassion. If you are working to a very specific theme for your wedding, Samantha will even be happy to consider alternative options to meet your requirements. Samantha is not a minister, though, so will not be wearing religious robes or a dog collar.
Will we meet you before the ceremony?
For all marriage and commitment ceremonies, Samantha will meet with you a few weeks before the day to discuss your plans in full. If you can not meet in person, we can meet over Skype or FaceTime instead.
Will we be able to have a rehearsal before the ceremony?
Yes. For all weddings, Samantha will offer to hold a rehearsal with you either a few days before the wedding, or on the day itself. Depending on the ceremony location this may come at an additional expense to cover travel.
What other types of ceremony do you offer?
People encounter many changes throughout their lives and we often wish to commemorate our individual rites of passage in our own unique ways. Samantha will work with you upon request to provide bespoke ceremonies for all occasions which are important and personal to you, including; birthdays, anniversaries, baby blessings, moving home, coming of age, retirement, divorce, or anything else which you wish to commemorate.
How far are you willing to travel to assist with our ceremony?
Samantha predominantly offers her services to the areas of London, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Berkshire and Surrey. However, she is always willing to consider enquiries from further afield, although please note that a travel expense may be added.
We live abroad, but we’re planning our ceremony in the UK. Will you work with us?
Yes! Samantha is experienced in working with international couples and families to help plan their ceremony here in the UK whilst based oversees, and is happy to arrange a meeting over Skype or FaceTime at a time convenient to you.
We’re getting married abroad, will you be our Celebrant at our destination wedding?
Yes! Samantha is always willing to travel oversees to assist with a destination wedding abroad. Contact Samantha direct to discuss your plans and destination, and Samantha will provide you with a specific quote based on your intended location.
We hope that this has answered some of your FAQs, but please contact Samantha direct to discuss any queries you may have in more detail….
Samantha is a professional marriage and family celebrant, and certified member of The Fellowship of Professional Celebrants in partnership with The UK College of Celebrancy.