The Mystery of the Civil Celebrant

Apr 30, 2024
intimate celebrant ceremony

I’ve been a Civil Celebrant for some 11 years now.

Up until about 2009 I don’t think I had even heard of the profession, far less knew what a civil celebrant actually did.

So it doesn’t surprise me that there are a lot of people out there for whom the job of civil celebrant is a mystery.

Perhaps I may clarify a few things?

What I am Not

One area of confusion is that there are various types of celebrant out there.

Some offer a totally religious take; others, like the Humanists, do not. A Humanist is supposed to conduct a completely secular service, without even a mention of God.

An independent civil celebrant like myself can lead a fully secular service too, but is also able to offer a part-religious or mixed-faith service (or even a full religious one).

Your Venue and the Timing

Although the law was supposed to have changed by last July, it still stands that a legal ceremony must take place at a Register Office or at a place licensed for weddings.

In both instances, you cannot necessarily marry any day or time you choose.

The advantage of a civil celebrant ceremony is that there are no restrictions to constrain your choices. Indoors, outdoors, in a hotel, on the beach, weekday evenings, Sundays – you name it, the celebrant can accommodate you.

What’s in the Ceremony?

The celebrant-led ceremony may be a great many things.

It can be religious and quite conventional. It may be quite woo-woo, with pagan rituals, for example. It can be a combination. To decide on the sort of ceremony – and its tone and content – have a chat with your celebrant and get a few ideas (or explain your own).

This preliminary chat is invaluable as you can discuss the elements to include and also who (if anyone) is going to participate and how. You also get to know the celebrant a bit. That way, you can ask questions and check that you will be happy working with them.

So now a little of the mystery has been unveiled, I trust! You can see how the celebrant-led ceremony will ensure that you have the unique, personalised ceremony of your dreams.

If you want to discuss this further, please get in contact with me.

Photo: Victor Shack