Making the Most of Your Big Day

Jul 26, 2016
Civil celebrant handfasting couple at wedding

What do you think of, when you’re planning your big day? Is it the celebrations afterwards? Maybe it’s the location, catering, guests and a great band.  But haven’t you forgotten something rather important?

What about the ceremony itself?

That’s really what the day is all about, so let’s look at how we can make the most of that.

There’s no choice

People believe that the ceremony has to follow a set formula. It’s either a full religious or a register office service, surely?  Well, no, not necessarily.

Correen & Steve Farnborough Canal Centre

Supposing you don’t relish much (or any!) religion in your ceremony? Supposing you want something more than the rather sterile register office wedding that is the same for everybody? Maybe you want an unusual venue – outdoors, perhaps. Then consider a celebrant. He or she will be able to work with you, suggest readings, music and rituals, and help you build exactly the service that you choose – from start to finish.

The celebrant can’t do the legal bits – you still need the registrars for that, but you can accomplish that at the register office a day or two before, or else, if you’re using a licensed premises, the registrars will come along, and you can have your bespoke, celebrant-led service after the legal part.

3 important points

When considering a celebrant, there are three areas to pay special attention to:

  1. Beliefs – you may want to compromise, of course (your parents may be paying for your wedding; you may be a mixed-faith couple etc.), but you only need to include as much religious/spiritual content as YOU WANT. It is your event, after all!
  2. Planning – work together (as a couple) with the celebrant to ensure the rituals you would like are included. You have input into everything from readings to readers, choreography, rituals and music.
  3. Time – don’t underestimate how long it may take to construct the perfect wedding (and that goes for the celebrations too).

To summarise:

  • Work together as a pair (good practice for your married life!) and decide what you really want for your wedding. Remember it is YOUR day, although be prepared to compromise a little.
  • Do work with your celebrant to come up with the ceremony that will be most meaningful.
  • Start the process early.
  • Look forward to a most wonderful day!!


Cover photo courtesy of