How does it work?
After another busy weekend of meetings and flitting around like a busy bee I thought I would write a little something regarding ‘What to do?’ or ‘How does it work if we want a celebrant?’ As this seems to be the question that pops up the most when being contacted by couples.
There is a common misconception that when you decide to get married there are certain rules that you have to or are expected to abide to… this isn’t true! Most couples who are planning their wedding seem to go down the ‘traditional’ route and are often misinformed or incorrectly advised on certain matters or just not sure whether they can go off the beaten track or not and they end up with a day that is generic and compared to every other couples wedding; the dress… the rings… the food… the decor…t he candy cart… the doughnut wall… the flowers… the cake… etc. etc. etc!!
I see posts every day from brides seeking approval from the social media audience on all of the above, and sadly the personal uniqueness of the individual is lost in this conformity, and subsequently the stress and anxiety ruins what should be the happiest time of a couples relationship.
I say get off the beaten track, create your own path, do your own thing and don’t conform! Take a step back and re-evaluate things, this is going to be one of the biggest days of your lives so to get it right is important… you don’t want to look back and regret certain things, you want to look back and say “We owned that day!”
This is where the flexibility of a celebrant led celebration comes into its own, giving you the freedom of choice on location, time and content, giving you the right to celebrate in any way you choose. But there are a lot of couples that are not sure what a celebrant is, what we do and how does it work if we want to book a celebrant? So here is a brief summary of
How it works
First and foremost a celebrant fee is a flat rate which once agreed will not alter, this will include meetings, writing of ceremony, poems and readings, rehearsal, copies of ceremony and vows and a certificate to keep.
Once you have decided to get married, and decided that you want a legally binding wedding the first thing you should do is register your intention to marry at your local registry office, this is called a ‘notice of marriage, both parties must give separate notice. It is a legal requirement that your details and intention to marry will be posted in a public place, and it is the same procedure if you are marrying in a *registry office or a** licensed venue.
Once the notice of intent has been visibly public for around 3 weeks you are free to have your legal service, this does NOT have to be carried out before or on the same day as your celebration, it can be done at a later date if you want because having a celebrant led celebration has no legal requirements what so ever. You are free to have any type of ceremony you desire, and by working closely with your chosen celebrant you can achieve the day of your dreams, which may be held at a place and time of your choosing. So whether it’s a lavish manor house, a stately home, a beach or woodland… the sky really is the limit!
There is no reason why you can’t have a “wedding” celebration without the legally binding ceremony, this is an option for those who want to make a commitment but for whatever reason do not want the legal part. You can have the whole shebang and it’s just as meaningful and in fact no one needs to know you aren’t legally married….it’s your choice!!
With other celebrations such as naming day ceremonies there are no legal requirements to consider as the registration of a birth has normally taken place within 6 weeks of birth.
*There is a choice of ceremonies offered at a registry office but all you need is the very basic 15 minute with 2 witnesses. This should be the cheapest option, check before booking as cost and services may vary from area to area.
**Venues can offer a registrar to legally marry you but normally there is only certain areas that are actually licensed for this so you could still be restricted within the venue. It is also wise to check just how much the venue is charging for this service as it can be expensive!
I hope this has helped and I am happy to answer any other questions or queries you may have.