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  • Wedding Celebrant

    What Does A Wedding Celebrant Do?

    What Does A Wedding Celebrant Do?

    There’s lots of confusion about the difference between a registrar and a celebrant when it comes to weddings. For years, we’ve always thought the only two options were a ‘proper’ wedding service in our official place of worship (whether that’s a church, a synagogue or a somewhere else religious-based), or a registry office. Full stop. But no! There are many other alternatives if you feel that the formality of church, or the impersonal restrictions of a registry office are not for you. And those alternatives come in the form of a celebrant.

    Celebrancy is still little-known in the UK, although it is gaining popularity. It began in Australia back in the 1970s. The country had no long history of formalised religion like Europe – (the country was only colonised in the late 1700s) – so, for this reason, it was more open to alternatives to church. The majority of the population were not religious, and were thus looking for other ways of celebrating their marriages (and other family ceremonies).
    The first civil marriage celebrant, Lois D’Arcy, was appointed in 1973 – and the rest is history! The movement grew, and spread –first throughout Australia, and then the rest of the world.

    DIFFERENT TYPES OF CELEBRANT

    The job of a celebrant is very similar to that of a priest, or vicar or registrar. Ultimately – they stand in front of the couple on their big day, and conduct their service. BUT – the content and how things are put together is a huge difference.
    First of all – let’s look at the kind of celebrants on the market.
    Humanist: They do not ‘do’ God, or spirituality, or any type of afterlife, or prayers. For a really informative look at what humanist –v- independent celebrants do, visit this website and look under blogs Humanist-v-independent celebrant www.westmidscelebrant.co.uk
    Independent Celebrant: Free to approach the service from whatever angle the client prefers (this is also covered by the blog above).

    CONTENT OF A WEDDING SERVICE

    Aha! Now you’re talking. This is where you really can have it all. Firstly – it’s important to know that the service is not a ‘legal’ undertaking. You will need to ensure this is taken care of at a registry office BUT (and this bit is important), there is a very basic registration/service they can perform, for around £45 (check prices with your local office) – and that’s the legalities taken care of.
    In the case of this ‘basic’ service, there are just two conditions to fulfill – 1) It has to contain what is known as the ‘declatory & contracting words’ and 2) it has to be witnessed by two people. Many couples do this legal registration of their marriage quietly before or after their personalised ceremony. You don’t even have to take vows or exchange rings or a kiss. It’s literally a registration of a marriage (just like you would with a birth or death). And then – the celebration can be the big event that they can enjoy where and how they want to.
    Think about it – in a registry office, there can be nothing religious. Time is limited. The venue is usually very formal and impersonal and numbers are limited too. Contrast this with a personalised wedding that can happen anywhere from a park to a beach to your own garden. It can include everything from music, contributions from family and speeches, through to symbolic ceremonies and of course the rings and vows too.
    Now you’re informed – it’s your choice. Good luck on your big day!

    FOR INFORMATION:
    Declaratory Words:
    I do solemnly declare that I know not of any lawful impediment why I ………………..…….. may
    not be joined in matrimony to ……………………………
    B. I declare that I know of no legal reason why I ……………………………………….. may not be
    joined in marriage to ………………………………
    C. By answering ”I am” to the question “Are you …………….………….. free lawfully to marry
    …………………………………..

    Contracting Words
    D. I call upon these persons here present to witness that I ……………………. do take thee
    ……………………… to be my lawful wedded wife/husband.
    E. I ……………………… take you ………………… to be my wedded wife/husband.
    F. I ……………………… take thee ……………….. to be my wedded wife/husband.



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