EXPERT ADVICE

FAQs and expert advice about celebrant

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Yorkshire Wedding magazine whether it be about flowers, hair and makeup, fashion, wedding themes, health & beauty, cakes, stationery, legal advice. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to editor@youryorkshire.wedding

What Matters Most

What Matters Most

Q What is your advice on planning a sustainable wedding?
A Celebrant Rachael Bowers says: Less stuff, more meaning! I'd encourage you to think about what what truly makes you and your guests happy. For the couples I work with, who want a truly intentional wedding that reflects their green values, this means choosing things that matter and ditching those that don't. Wedding favours, single-use items personalised with dates or Team Bride, disposable flip flops... no one will miss these things!

How people feel at your wedding is what makes the biggest impression. Instead of wasting money on manufactured gifts that end up in the bin, make your wedding day memorable through an impactful ceremony, incredible music, or entertainment. Spending a little bit more on your wedding ceremony for example, with a celebrant or live musicians results in a much more personal and emotional event that sets the tone for the rest of your big day. Whether you want it to be fun, sentimental or serious, a ceremony written about you with music, stories and singing will be memorable for the right reasons, without harming the planet.

As a humanist celebrant, I work with many couples who want to have a more sustainable wedding. During the ceremony, I talk about their values as a couple, and this often includes caring for the planet and living sustainably.

Celebrant Rachael Bowers, Ceremonies with Rachael

The Rise Of The Celebrant

The Rise Of The Celebrant

Q What should we look out for in the world of weddings in 2024?
A Rachael Bowers says: There was a 49 per cent increase in searches for celebrant weddings during 2023, so I predict that their popularity will continue to grow in 2024!

A celebrant is like your personal cheerleader, coaxing the best out of you on your wedding day. If you want help writing wedding vows, we can do that. If you're anxious about being the centre of attention, we can design a pressure-free ceremony. If you want to get the wedding day going with a bang, we can do that too. Whatever your vibe is, a celebrant can incorporate it into your wedding ceremony in a way that civil ceremonies don't.

My couples tell me they love celebrant-led weddings because of the freedom they offer. You can hold your wedding anywhere; indeed I've recently led weddings in castles, family gardens, rustic barns and stately homes. But couples also love the level of personalisation: when you work with a celebrant, they get to know you and your story, and use that knowledge to craft a ceremony you and your guests will love. I adore working with couples to create wedding ceremonies that shout about their love in an engaging way.

Rachael Bowers, Ceremonies with Rachael

Up for renewel

Up for renewel

Q My husband and I want to renew our vows. How can a celebrant help – and what should we expect?
A Helen Lesak says: What a wonderful celebration and affirmation of your love! Your chosen celebrant will bring engagement, humour and sensitivity, created after a chat about your history, your family and your hopes for the content of your vow renewal. I can include readings; a symbolic element such as lighting a unity candle; your most important vows, exchanging of rings and your choice of music. Long, short, lavish or intimate, your ceremony will be all about who you are as individuals and a couple. With my service you will be the most important people of the day, as I will only book one service per day. I'll also make sure I arrive an hour before your renewal starts, ensuring all guests are greeted, so they feel relaxed and at home by the time you arrive. All in all, a good celebrant will elevate and infuse your day with sparkle to create treasured memories for you and your guests, just as it should be.

Helen Lesak, The Elegant Celebrant

Words of wisdom

Words of wisdom

Q I'm having an outdoor ceremony. I don't know whether to book a humanist or an independent celebrant. Can you help?
A Rachael Meyer says: A celebrant led wedding ceremony is meaningful, relaxed, fun, totally personalised and engaging. Both humanist and independent celebrants write and conduct celebratory wedding ceremonies that focus on the couple and their story.

In Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Channel Isles, the ceremonies that humanist celebrants conduct are legally recognised. Right now, the national human rights charity, Humanists UK is fighting for legal recognition of all humanist weddings, to bring England and Wales in line with the rest of the UK. There is a Law Commission Review due out in summer 2022, that will hopefully help to realise this long overdue change in law.

Until laws are changed, couples having any celebrant led wedding ceremony will need to arrange the legal documentation of their marriage with the Registrar, and this can be done for around £50.

The main difference between humanist and independent celebrants is that humanist celebrants are trained and regulated by Humanists UK, which has been delivering non-religious, inclusive, bespoke ceremonies for around 100 years. Budding celebrants are interviewed for their skill set and values, and trained and mentored by other humanist celebrants in the network. They're accredited shortly after delivering their first ceremony and once up and running, are subject to regular peer reviews and annual CPD. The national network of humanist celebrants works together to assure quality and reliability of all celebrants and all celebrants must be accredited and a part of the national Humanist Ceremonies network in order to operate. Ceremonies are meaningful, but non-religious and inclusive.

If you choose a celebrant to conduct your wedding, you're already on the right path to having an amazing wedding day with the ceremony as its beating heart! If you're not sure whether to book a humanist or an independent celebrant – please don't just go on price. Draw on reputation, word of mouth or do some online research. Go onto a celebrant's website and social media – or ask your wedding venue if they've seen celebrants in action. Online, look at a celebrant's style of writing, photos of weddings they've carried out, watch any videos they've posted, and most importantly, read their reviews. If you like their style, give them a call or set up a Zoom meeting before you book!

Rachael Meyer, Rachael Meyer Celebrant

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