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

 

A tailor-made ceremony

A tailor-made ceremony

Q. We aren't getting married in a church and need a formal ceremony but don't know where to begin. I really want my ceremony to reflect us as a couple. Please help!

A. Mark Gregory says: Three words: find a celebrant. Religious couples should find their local religious leader and get married in their nearest religious buildings. That's fairly clear. Non-religious couples have two choices: a short, unoriginal registry office ceremony led by someone who has three or four other weddings to officiate that day; or, an original, personalised ceremony led by someone whose sole job is to make your big day as good as it possibly can be.

If you want your ceremony to reflect you as a couple, then you can't go wrong with a celebrant. Celebrants will meet you months (even years!) in advance of your ceremony and get to know you as a couple, and as a result, craft a meaningful ceremony that truly reflects you both.

This will involve telling the story of you as a couple (as much as you're willing to share with parents and grandparents, of course!), as well as helping you to write your vows, and even including special ceremony elements such as a hand-fasting, a unity sand ceremony, or even live vocals to sing you down the aisle.

One drawback is that celebrants can't legally marry you at this time, but this has plenty of benefits too – not least that, as a result of not having legal constrictions, you can have your ceremony literally anywhere you want. Clifftop? – Sure. Ski slope? – Why not? In your back garden? – You do you!

Mark Gregory, Mark Your Occasion
www.markyouroccasion.com

 

Ceremonies

Ceremonies

Q. Following the last 18 months, how has the wedding industry changed?

A. Scarlett Kolavinsky says: Demand for a celebrant-led wedding is certainly on the increase; it's important to note however, that a celebrant-led ceremony is not legally binding and the couple would need to have a registrar legally marry them. Typically couples get legally married at the local Town Hall, with just the two of them and two witnesses (or close family members) and have the larger celebrant wedding with all their family and friends.

Couples I've been speaking to have a number of key reasons why they wanting a celebrant:

- Availability of registrars. Due to the increased pent up demand for weddings, couples are finding that registrars do not have the capacity to conduct legal weddings on a day and time that suits the couple.
- Couples who contact me have been to a celebrant wedding and like the personal and bespoke touches that a celebrant can add to their special day. Whether the couple want a traditional formal ceremony or a non-traditional and relaxed day with humour, the celebrant will find out exactly what the couple want and the ceremony will be tailored exactly to their personalities. The celebrant can also discuss adding mini ceremonies such as handtying, including family members and help with poems, readings and vows.
- Couples want a ceremony in a venue that is not licensed and so a registrar cannot conduct a legal ceremony in the venue. Couples who have sought me out are wanting to have their ceremony in their favourite venue which might be a garden, a woodland or their local village hall.
- Due to Covid, couples may have been legally married in the last 18 months , but due to the restrictions they had very few family members attending. They now want a larger ceremony with all their family and friends and are looking for a celebrant to conduct their ceremony.

Scarlett Kolavinsky, Memorable Ceremonies
www.memorableceremonies.co.uk

 

Would-be wed

Would-be wed

Q. We're starting to think that we may have to postpone or alter our wedding because of coronavirus. What options do we have for our ceremony?

A. Lisa Bourne says: All is not lost! Here are some ways a celebrant can help you have a meaningful ceremony despite the situation…

- Virtual ceremonies. I recently led a Zoom wedding ceremony for the wonderful Ann and Mark, which included music, personalised vows, readings, a handfasting and an exchange of rings. The pair have postponed their celebrations, but this ceremony will now be celebrated as their wedding anniversary.

- Smaller ceremonies outdoors. As lockdown eases, small socially distanced outdoor ceremonies are permitted. At the time of writing, groups of up to six people can gather in private or public spaces. Think gardens, parks, beaches – and champagne!

- Elopement. Perhaps you want it to be just the two of you, away from it all, focusing on one another. You could bring a couple of extra people if you wish, and a celebrant will make the elopement extra special.

- Commitment ceremonies. Not a full wedding ceremony, but a marking of your intention to marry in the future. Held on your original date, this is a beautiful way of celebrating all the reasons why you love each other and a reminder of why you decided to marry.

- If your registrar is no longer available. I've had bookings from couples who didn't know about humanist celebrants when they initially booked their registrar. Now, arranging a postponed ceremony but with no registrar available on the new date, celebrants are saving the day! Celebrant-led ceremonies are not yet legally recognised in the UK, so you'll need an appointment with a registrar to complete the legal side, but the important part is that all of your other suppliers are available on your new date and your celebrant can help you create a bespoke and meaningful celebration.

Lisa Bourne, Lisa Bourne Humanist Celebrant
www.lisabourne.wixsite.com/lisabourneceremonies

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