Tying the Knot Ceremonies

Wedding and Civil Partnership Celebration Ceremonies to celebrate your love and relationship in an authentic and beautiful way.

Effortlessly hold the ceremony of your dreams by creating your own traditions – and keeping some old ones too!

Deciding to get married is one of the biggest and most important decisions we as human beings can make in our lives. You’ve found the one person you want to spend the rest of your life with and there is no way you are not going to mark the occasion to celebrate your coming together – and in a way that is authentic to you both.

When planning a wedding there are immediately a million things to start thinking about – how many guests do you want to invite (Covid restrictions notwithstanding)? Where should you hold the ceremony (and the after party!)? setting a date, do you want bridesmaids/ushers? flowers, rings…the list goes on. But let’s strip it back for a moment…the fact is you and your soulmate are going to affirm your love for each other, with the presence and support of your nearest and dearest (and maybe a whole heap of friends and acquaintances too (note – no ceremony can be too big or too small!). 

Most couples go straight into “Do we want a religious wedding or a registrar wedding?”…

…a fair place to start. And I get it- that was me in 2010, when I was preparing to get married to my second husband, asking myself the exact same question but not knowing how to achieve our dream ceremony. The first time round (in 2001) I had gone for the very traditional church wedding – I’m not even sure why! Looking back, I think it just seemed like the ‘right’ thing to do and something my family probably expected would happen. 

Second time round I knew I wanted something different…but if we weren’t going to do the religious wedding, it had to be a Registrar wedding, right? Neither of us had any idea there was a real alternative to a Registrar-led wedding. So, off we went to a Register Office to celebrate our very personal,  deep and profound love for each other….and whilst it was a great day (afterall I was marrying my soulmate!) it could have been so much more.

You may be profoundly in touch with your faith and it’s a no-brainer to go straight to your local church/synagogue/mosque/temple and get it organised, and that’s great. But you may be thinking, ‘no…a completely religious wedding is not quite right for us’ – maybe you have some religious beliefs but a full-on religious ceremony doesn’t feel quite right; maybe you and your partner are from different religious backgrounds, making it a challenge to incorporate aspects of both faiths, or; maybe religion just doesn’t even factor into the equation for you – all options are absolutely fine.

But hang on just a second! The question you really need to ask yourselves is: 

“What do we really want our wedding to look and feel like?”

…because there IS an alternative. You’re not like everyone else – you value your authentic selves, you want to celebrate your unique relationship with symbolic meaning and significance – creating a beautiful and wonderful experience; you want a ceremony and a wedding day that reflects your story and who you are, both as individuals and as a couple, incorporate some elements of tradition, whilst adding your own unique touches too. You don’t want an ‘off the shelf’ ceremony that everyone else gets.

Whilst in England and Wales, a Celebrant-led ceremony does not yet constitute a legal marriage (you do still need to do the legal bit with a Registrar), you can have every bit of what your heart desires as part of a Celebrant-led ceremony.

But surely the Registrar ceremony does the job? For the legal formalities, yes it does. And whilst Registrars will be professional, friendly and deliver a ceremony for you, the bottom line is that their job is all about making sure a legal marriage is conducted – there is very little room for meaningful personalisation. Sure, you can choose from a limited selection of predetermined words and have reading or two – but there are strict rules enshrined in current marriage law (in England and Wales) that mean:.

  • the ceremony must be conducted in a “solemn and dignified” manner;
  • absolutely no religious content can be included;
  • the ceremony must take place in either the Register Office or a Licenced Venue;
  • certain words must be said by the couple.

Another consideration is that Registrars will often have other ceremonies to get to on the same day, so time is of the essence.

Let’s take a look at how a Celebrant led ceremony compares to a Registrar led ceremony.

What are the possibilities?Registrar-Led CeremonyCelebrant-Led Ceremony
Ceremony can take place at any time of day✔*
Ceremony can last more than 30 minutes
Religious and/or spiritual content, if desired
Ceremony can take place in any location
Your story can be shared with your guests
Symbolic actions to add meaning and depth to the ceremony✔**
Your guests can play an active role in the ceremony, if desired 
At the end of the ceremony you are legally married
* Yes, but there are restrictions
** Only the exchange of wedding rings will be performed. No other actions will be included in the ceremony

Create your own traditions and the ceremony of your dreams!

With a Celebrant-led ceremony, the possibilities are truly endless – we can embrace pretty much anything you desire. A Celebrant will work with you to provide a ceremony that reflects what you want – not what a religious minister or Registrar feels is appropriate.

Big party with everyone you know in attendance or small and perfectly intimate soirée? Loud and proud or quiet and understated? Glitz and glamour, or boho chic? In a grand, majestic building or on the beach or in the garden? Elements of religion (whether it’s readings or rituals) incorporated into the ceremony, or spiritual or even magical elements included? The shortest amount of words you can say or 15 minute personally written promises and vows said to each other? A ceremony encompassing ancient wedding traditions and rituals, more modern symbolic actions or brand new ones of your own? Or something in the middle or completely left-field of all of the above?!

“Symbolic Actions are all about creating depth, meaning and uniqueness to your ceremony”

Helen, The Authentic Celebrant

Symbolic actions above, left to right: Handfasting, unity candle, sand ceremony

Including symbolic actions in a ceremony are all about creating depth and meaning to a ceremony. The most common example of a symbolic action is the exchange of rings. Giving and/or receiving a ring is not a legal requirement of a wedding ceremony – you don’t have to do it – but it is a popular tradition with many couples. The unending or ‘unbroken’ circle of a ring symbolises unending or undying love for your partner. And there are many other actions that can be incorporated into a ceremony to signify other aspects of your relationship (not only your relationship with each other, but also with your family and friends), that may be important to you.

Wedding and Civil Partnership Celebration Ceremonies to celebrate your love and relationship in an authentic and beautiful way.

Effortlessly hold the ceremony of your dreams by creating your own traditions – and keeping some old ones too!

Daffodil Package 

Looking for something simple and classic? 

This package includes a standard scripted ceremony personalised with your
names; your choice of music; up to 1 reading of your choice and the symbolic
action of exchanging rings

Package price: £325*

Sunflower Package

Looking for something special to reflect who they really are?  

This package includes a ‘getting to know you’ meeting to discuss your story
and desires for the ceremony; a bespoke scripted ceremony to tell your story; 1
script revision; up to two symbolic actions of your choice; up to 2 readings of
your choice; music of your choice; and a keepsake copy of the script.

Package price: £550*

Orchid Package

Looking for the ceremony that your heart truly desires? 

This package includes a ‘getting to know you’ meeting to discuss your story
and desires for the ceremony; a bespoke scripted ceremony detailing your
story – both as individuals and coming together as a couple; up to 3 script
revisions; Unity Candle ‘ceremony’; up to two additional symbolic actions of
your choice; unlimited readings of your choice; music of your choice; a
ceremony rehearsal before the big day; and a keepsake copy of the script.

Package price: £700*

*Payment plan available, on request; All ceremonies are conducted at a location of your choice, subject to health and safety requirements

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Does having a Celebrant-led ceremony mean I will be legally married?

For anyone marrying in England or Wales, the short answer is unfortunately ‘no’. The only way to be legally married is to have a ceremony performed by a Registrar, which is bookable via your local authority/county council. 

In other parts of the world, the story is likely to be very different – if you’re planning for your ceremony to take place outside of England or Wales, get in touch to see what we can do!

  • Do I still need a Registrar?

To be legally married in England or Wales, yes you do. However, this doesn’t have to be on the same day as a Celebrant led ceremony, and if you use the Registrar ceremony to ‘just do the legal bit’, the Registrar part can be done in 10 minutes for a relatively small cost. As a former Registrar, I can guide you through this.

  • Is a Celebrant and a Registrar the same thing?

No… There is a common misconception that a Celebrant and a Registrar are one in the same, but there are important differences.

A Registrar, will perform your legal ceremony and must take place in a licenced venue. They will stick to a prescribed script to ensure your ceremony adheres to the legal requirements of a marriage taking place in England or Wales.

As an Independent Celebrant, I perform a ceremony (sometimes referred to as a ‘celebration’ ceremony), which we will have worked on together; it can take place in any location; and include as tractional or non-traditional, religious or non-religious elements as you would like. I create a beautiful and meaningful ceremony just as unique as you are, which captures the essence of who you are and allows you the freedom to create your own traditions.

  • Can I get married anywhere?

A Celebrant led ceremony can take place anywhere (with the building/place/landowner’s permission of course).

For a legal marriage ceremony with a Registrar, you will be required to have the ceremony in a licenced venue or premises, or Register Office.

  • Can I have a ceremony at any time of the day?

Yes! You can have a ceremony at any time of day or night, although additional fees may apply – please ask.

  • What can I do in a Celebrant-led ceremony that I can’t do in a Registrar-led ceremony?

See the table above on this page for an at-a-glance summary of what you can expect as part of your ceremony.

  • Can I include actions or readings from different cultures and/or religions, in the ceremony?

Yes, absolutely!

  • During the ceremony, I want to be able to acknowledge and remember my relative who has passed away and won’t be sharing this moment with us – is this possible?

Yes – absolutely. All ceremonies – no matter how large or small, simple or intricate – are full of different emotions.  Being able to acknowledge the loved ones that won’t be part of our day as we might have imagined, can be an important aspect. With sensitivity and in the right way, we can tip our hats to those we’ve lost.

  • How far in advance do I need to book?

Some couples plan their special day years in advance…some do it within a matter of weeks. Wherever you are on your journey to your dream ceremony, get in touch as soon as possible to discuss availability. It’s never too early to or too late!

  • How can you provide a service that is Covid Secure?

All necessary precautions will be taken in line with a COVID Risk Assessment. The location of the ceremony will also be risk assessed in line with Government guidelines and will need to comply with any legal restrictions in place at the time. Meetings can take place online, or face to face with social distancing and following Government guidelines.

Still have questions? That’s ok! – just contact me for a chat

“You are unique…and so am I”

Helen, The Authentic Celebrant

You are unique…and so am I. Finding the right celebrant is important – you will absolutely want to find the right person that you connect with to be on this wonderful journey with you. You should look around to make sure you find the right person – just as every couple is unique and individual, so is every Celebrant.

Everyone has their own individual ideas about what their perfect day looks like; and every couple deserves to have the ceremony and wedding day of their dreams. It’s fascinating, special and an absolute privilege to be a part of your day. Bringing my experience and knowledge as a both a Registrar and Independent Celebrant, having officiated hundreds of ceremonies, I’ll be your guide and support you in creating the meaningful and beautiful ceremony you’ve been dreaming of.

Whatever stage you are at in your planning, it’s never too late to enlist the support of a Celebrant. Imagine missing out on the ceremony of your dreams that captured you and your relationship perfectly!

Wedding and Civil Partnership Celebration Ceremonies to celebrate your love and relationship in an authentic and beautiful way.

Effortlessly hold the ceremony of your dreams by creating your own traditions – and keeping some old ones too!

What’s included?DaffodilSunflowerOrchid
‘getting to know you’ meeting to discuss your story and desires for the ceremony
Bespoke scripted ceremony Standar script personalised with your names✔ telling your story✔ detailing your story – both as individuals and coming together as a couple
Script Revisions✔ up to 1✔ up to 3
Symbolic Actions✔ Exchange of Rings✔ up to 2 of your choice✔ Unity Candle Ceremony plus another 2 of your choice
Readings of your choice✔ up to 1✔ up to 2✔ unlimited
Music of your choice
Ceremony Rehearsal before the big dayOptional (at additional cost)
Keepsake copy of the script
Investment for your unique celebration£325 £550£700 

Still have questions? That’s ok – just contact me for a chat

Would you like to find out about other services from The Authentic Celebrant? Read about them on the Services page