A registrar is a government official, responsible for maintaining legal records, in particular for births, marriages and deaths. Wedding or Civil Partnership ceremonies must be held in a licenced venue and the script for the ceremony is very restricted.
A celebrant is an independent person, trained to provide unique, personal, custom-made ceremonies to celebrate key life events, typically births, marriages and deaths, without restrictions on content or location. A celebrant-led wedding ceremony can be held in any location, inside or outside, at any time of day or night. All you need is permission from the land or property owner.
At the present time, a celebrant-led wedding ceremony is not legally recognised in the UK. Couples will need to register their marriage in a register office. We recommend that couples book the ‘Signing Room’ and ask for a ‘statutory ceremony’ to legally register the marriage. Only two witnesses are needed and the process can be very quick. Think of this as the ‘admin’ part of your marriage and save all the celebrations for your big event.
Yes, when you contact your local register office to arrange your appointment, mention that you have already booked a celebrant and that you will only need to book the ‘signing room’ to complete the paperwork and declarations. Try to book this on a date close to the date of your ceremony. Some register offices hold special ‘Signing Days’, so try to find out if your local office does this. The fee for this should be around £60.
A registrar is restricted to only performing ceremonies in licenced venues and their time is limited. You probably will never meet your registrar before your ceremony, so there is unlikely to be any chemistry between you.
A celebrant will get to know you and you will build up a good relationship in the period before the date of your wedding ceremony. A celebrant-led wedding ceremony can be held in any location of your choice, subject to permission of the land owner, and can be held at any time of day. There is no time restriction on the ceremony, so you can include as many songs, poems, personal tributes etc as you choose. You have total control over the content and structure of your event. You will know and trust your celebrant and will feel safe in the knowledge that this is your own unique event. We will only book one wedding ceremony per day, so we will be at your disposal for as long as you need us. Unlike registrars, we will not disappear once the ceremony is over, unless you want us to!
No. The content of each ceremony is determined by your preference. We can incorporate aspects of your religion in your ceremony, if you agree this is what you want, but it is not necessary. A celebrant-led ceremony can be whatever you want it to be. There are no restrictions.
We will incorporate any of your ideas or suggestions. We will happily include symbolic ceremonies, for example hand-fasting, unity candles, planting of flowers or trees etc. We can discuss this, and more, in our initial consultation.
Yes, where possible, we will be happy to attend a rehearsal of a wedding ceremony before the date of the event, subject to availability. If you would like a rehearsal of your Baby Naming ceremony, Renewal of Vows or Living Wake, this can be arranged too, subject to availability. If this is not possible, we can always have a mock rehearsal via Skype etc.
Although based in Durham, I am willing to travel throughout the North East and North Yorkshire to officiate at ceremonies. I am willing to travel to other locations, subject to agreement and availability. Additional expenses may be payable to cover travel costs. I am also willing to officiate at ceremonies in Spain, on the Costa del Sol, subject to my availability.