Isn’t a Civil Celebrant a Luxury?

Mar 28, 2023
celebrant-led wedding at Hedsor House

Well, of course, you need to define what you consider luxury.


There aren’t really too many cons, in truth. The bottom line is that you can have a ceremony without a celebrant. If it’s a wedding, you can go down the Church or Register Office routes. They cover everything.

If a ceremony doesn’t need official documentation, technically anybody can conduct the ceremony. So you can ask a friend or relative to do so.

Therefore, technically, using a celebrant is indeed a luxury.


To despatch the second objection first, if you’re not using a professional celebrant, you may not get the ceremony you are hoping for. It may be difficult to design a suitable service without the guidance and ideas of a celebrant. Moreover, a celebrant knows how to present in public, and will do a lovely job. They will enhance the ceremony.

The first objection is a matter of choice.

You can opt for a religious ceremony (Church). You get the standard service and you know what you’re getting. It won’t be personalised, but that’s fine for some people.

The Register Office service is also standardised. It won’t really be personalised and, in contrast to the religious ceremony, it will be totally secular. You can’t mention God at all, for example. Most Registrars haven’t been trained to present with panache, so the service, which lasts about a quarter of an hour, is rarely particularly special. However, some couples are content with this.

Of course, until such time as the law changes (which should happen this summer), you need to use one of the two above options to comply with the law.

So, in that respect, using a civil celebrant would almost be duplication.

However, the professional services of a celebrant normally include the following:

  • The chance to discuss your vision of your ceremony and build a unique service
  • Advice and ideas based on (possibly) years of experience
  • Respect for your input
  • Numerous conversations/emails and drafts to get the order of service just right
  • Help with the choreography of a big event
  • A trained public speaker
  • Professional pride and passion

One of my USPs is that I offer knowledge of languages (French, German, Russian, ability to read Hebrew and Czech), which has proved useful and popular.


Some celebrants’ package will cost over £1,000. Some will ask half that. (As I write, I’m somewhere in between.)

I would love the chance to make a real difference to your special day.Do contact me for a non-obligation chat.

People who use me are convinced that I am not a luxury!


Let me finish with a quote from just one of my happy couples:

“From our first meeting with Michael we came away feeling very confident we would like to use him for our ceremony. His calming yet assertive demeanour put us at ease and we knew he would blend and adapt to what we had planned very well. Michael injected some fantastic ideas along with some beautiful readings and on the day there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. The whole process was very fluid and professional but always with a smile. We couldn’t recommend him enough.”

photo: Matt Penberthy