2. Why use an Independent Celebrant?

Using an Independent Celebrant means you can have the ceremony you want in the place and on the day you wish, with fewer restrictions on content or time.

If you have always dreamed of a having your wedding or partnership ceremony in an unlicenced venue, for example at home, in a woodland or forest, on a boat gliding down the Thames, on a moonlit beach or at a festival site then a celebrant-led wedding may be for you.

You can also incorporate spiritual elements should you wish; I’m happy to work with couples of all faiths, or none at all.

More and more couples looking for something more personal, creative and bespoke – more authentically “them” – are choosing to go down this route when planning their ceremony.

The legal bit…

In England legal marriages and civil partnerships can only be conducted by registrars and desiginated religious officiants and they can only take place in licenced venues.  A marriage officiated by a Registrar (also called a civil ceremony) cannot contain any references to religion at all.  This means that many favourite readings, hymns or music cannot be included.

Usually registrars and religious officants will have a number of ceremonies to conduct on the day of your marriage/partnership; often as many as seven or eight, meaning you will have a limited time-frame for your ceremony which can be an additional restriction when planning your celebration.

Because of this many couples now opt to have a legal wedding with just their witnesses either on the morning of their planned celebration or a couple of days before, and then have the special ceremony in front of their families and friends, led by an Independent Celebrant.

In England and Wales the minimum that needs to be said to make the marriage legal (statutory declaration) is:

I declare that I know of no legal impediment why I [your name] may not be joined in matrimony to [your partner’s name]

followed by the contracting words:

I call upon these persons here present to witness that I [your name] do take you [your partner’s name] to be my lawful wedded husband/wife/partner

All the rest is ceremonial, including the vows and exchange of rings.  This means that the bulk of a religious or civil wedding/partnership is set down by the governing body and not the couple getting married.  As long as you have said the above words in a recognised venue, in front of two witnesses, you can do whatever you want afterwards.

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