Wedding Misconceptions

Oct 18, 2022
Outdoor handfasting for civil wedding

Unless you’ve actually been married already (and not necessarily even then!), you’ll make assumptions about weddings that aren’t necessarily true.

I’m going to take a few of these and set things straight.


The registrar is not the only possible officiant. However, a marriage has got to be legally registered and, unless you marry under the auspices of certain religions (notably, C of E, Jewish or Quaker) which cover this, you’ll need to involve the Register Office.

You won’t necessarily need to go out to the Office. Registrars can come to your venue (depending on its compliance with certain stipulations) and conduct the ceremony there. The ceremony will be totally secular.

Apart from that, you have the option of a civil celebrant. (Currently – but this may change next July depending on the decision on the legislation reforms – civil celebrant ceremonies have no legal validity.) They are additional to Register Office services, offering the advantage of being fresh, even unique. They are certainly not standard and can reflect the couple’s beliefs and personalities.


With a civil celebrant, you have choice as to the type of ceremony you opt for. It can be quite wacky – but doesn’t have to be so. It can be relatively conventional. It can be part or wholly religious. So don’t go thinking that celebrant ceremonies have to be woo-woo!

But they can be, of course.


Everyone assumes that you need to take out a couple of mortgages to finance a wedding. Indeed, that may be the case, if you think too big. However, there are ways to reduce costs (eg making your ceremony off-peak, operating a cash bar, etc.).

But the point is that this should be a unique, unforgettable day, and that it really is worth pushing the boat out this once. You can’t put a price on memories.

Pressure on Couples

Your wedding may be subsidised or even paid for by others; that doesn’t mean that someone else should dictate what goes in, or stays out of, the agenda. It’s your big day, and that fact should be respected..

If pressure is being applied regarding the ceremony, remember that your officiant will be there for you and will support you.

So I hope these canards have been laid to rest. If I can help disperse any other misconceptions, don’t hesitate to ask.