Choosing a civil celebrant
For couples looking for a truly bespoke ceremony a celebrant-led wedding has become more and more popular over recent years. Whilst wedding celebrants officiate at a wedding ceremony, unfortunately they are not legally recognised in the UK (yet!). So Diana recommends that all her couples complete the legal documentation in a quick, simple and formal procedure ahead of their wedding day, in a process which she will gladly guide you through beforehand.
There are so many reasons why couples choose to hire a celebrant; sometimes it’s because they live overseas and legally marry in their home country before their destination wedding in the UK; or it could be that they do not want a church wedding or a registry office wedding; some find a civil wedding at a venue too restrictive, while others simply want a truly unique service that is designed specifically for them, and over which they have full control.
If you are thinking about choosing a wedding celebrant for your wedding but you don’t know what to expect, or how to choose the right celebrant for you, a good place to start would be to ask for personal recommendations from your wedding planner, and from your family and friends.
Look at the websites of individual celebrants; check out their qualifications and experience, and read testimonials from past couples. When you have a shortlist we would suggest that you arrange a call to finalise who would be the best person to join your team of wedding day suppliers.
Diana encourages potential clients to think carefully before finally selecting the celebrant they want to work with.
To help you, she has compiled the following checklist so you can see if other celebrants come up to her high standards. By the way, Diana Saxby of Grace the Day, ticks ALL the boxes!
Is the celebrant…
- fully trained, fully insured, truly independent and a member of a recognised professional governing body
- full-time, available to meet you and conduct your ceremony at any time of day or night, seven days a week. You won’t be able to take advantage of excellent weekday venue rates if your celebrant only works at weekends!
- able to show you authentic client testimonials
- has a clear pricing structure detailing everything that is included – including unlimited changes to the ceremony script to get it exactly right, and supervising a full rehearsal. Check there are no hidden charges for script edits, travel time, mileage etc
- happy to give you a copy of your personal ceremony script as a memento at no extra charge
- in a working relationship with the wedding venue of your choice, with good contacts
- confident about all the legal procedures and able to guide you through the process of obtaining a marriage certificate through your local Registration Service. NB: There are no legal requirements for Vow Renewal, Naming Day or Commitment ceremonies, or if you have married overseas and are booking a Wedding Blessing ceremony in the UK
- able to call on someone of equal skills and high standards who could step in in the unlikely event of last-minute emergency or illness, so your ceremony can go ahead without any worries
Above all, you need to be confident that the Celebrant will respect your wishes and conduct your special ceremony the way you want it to be done, and without deviating from your instructions. Diana is committed to offering you her personal attention and the very best professional support.
What happens next?
Once you have spoken to Diana and agreed a date…
- A holding deposit secures the date in Diana’s booking diary, the balance of the fee is due no later than 8 weeks before the ceremony.
- Diana will meet you soon after your booking is secured to start drafting your personalised ceremony script, exchanging ideas, learning more about exactly what you want and sharing material from her vast collection of reading, vow and music suggestions. The initial consultation meeting is confidential and normally includes only the couple. If a wedding planner has been engaged, Diana is very happy to liaise with them after the meeting to keep them informed of all decisions throughout the ceremony planning process.
- Diana then writes a draft script for the ceremony and emails it to you for your thoughts, amendments, edits - unlimited edits and changes can be made to get it absolutely right and ensure it is a true reflection of your wishes for your ceremony and your relationship.
- A meeting at the venue is then organised to discuss practicalities, and to meet the wedding planner if appropriate.
- A rehearsal at the venue takes place, if you feel one is needed.
- On the big day, Diana conducts the ceremony, with an assistant in attendance if there is a large number of guests .
Your FREE personal planning checklist
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