There are many Frequently Asked Questions that curious clients ask about my Celebrancy services…
Many of them are answered below, but I am always happy to answer any others questions you may have. Simply phone me for a chat.
Is a Celebrant led service only for the ‘adventurous’?
I love the challenge of creating a totally bespoke ceremony for each of my clients. However I also respect that some people would prefer a very traditional style service – and I am always very happy to oblige! If you are planning a funeral for an older relation you might want to respectfully provide the type of service they expected.
My passion for celebrancy is borne from my desire to make landmark events in life as memorable and meaningful as possible. You are the best placed person to tell me what you want to achieve. When we spend time together over a cup of tea or glass of wine, I will get to know you, and I will be able to help you plan your perfect day.
What time can my service be held? Am I restricted to ‘business hours’?
Only if you are planning a funeral in a crematorium or graveyard. In that case you will be limited to ‘usual opening hours’.
If your ceremony will take place outside of an ‘official public buildings’ there will be no time restrictions for you to worry about. If you want to exchange vows or hold a memorial we can do that at any time. At sunrise or under a full moon, I can make it happen!
Where can our celebration be held?
Namings, weddings, exchange of vows and funeral services can all be held ANYWHERE (as long as you have the landowners permission on private property). You might book a village hall, marquee or sports clubhouse. We could celebrate on a beach, up a mountain (I love a challenge!) or within a stone circle. There really are no restrictions.
When can we host our event?
Again, no limitations – 365 days a year!!
How many people can I invite?
It’s entirely up to you!! Some of my ceremonies have been incredibly intimate with only a handful of people in attendance. Others are ‘performances’ shared with hundreds of friends and family.
Will you lead a ceremony for an intersex or same-sex family?
Of course – I love to support any family as they celebrate their love for each other, be it at a wedding, naming or funeral.
What is the difference between you and a registrar for a wedding?
I am always so pleased when I get asked this question! It gives me the opportunity to tell you why Celebrancy is SO fabulous!!
A registrar can legally marry you at the same time as hosting your ceremony, but beyond that they are under many limitations!
They cannot offer you a bespoke ceremony. Instead a registrar uses standardised words from a ‘cookie-cutter’ service. You will only be able to select your vows from a very small number of choices.
In a celebrant-led service, you (or I) can write vows that come from your heart and express your true dedication to each other.
On average a registrar will spend approximately 1 hour in planning your ceremony . I will dedicate around 8 hours to just the writing element alone!
A registrar cannot marry you in the open air, in a marquee, or close to an area providing alcohol or food. You can’t exchange legal vows in a private space. A registrar cannot marry you in a spiritual or religious space or allow any readings that pertain to ‘belief’ systems.
I however can perform your service in any venue of your choosing (as long as it isn’t trespassing!). A celebrant can also include any content that is meaningful to you.
Will my ceremony be legally binding?
Celebrant led ceremonies require you to ‘register’ your event – be it a birth, death or marriage. The legal entity is totally separate to the ‘celebration’ or ‘memorial’, which allows me to completely personalise your ceremony into a unique event.
Does that mean that I have to get married twice?
No – in fact more and more people are choosing NOT to have a legal entity to their ‘wedding’. Instead they are choosing a ‘commitment ceremony’ outside of the legalities of a registered marriage.
A number of my couples have been officially married abroad and plan a ‘blessing’ celebration to share with their friends and family at home. For all intents and purposes this can appear to be a fully fledged wedding on the day if you wish.
If you DO want your marriage to be recognised as a legal entity then you simply attend your local registry office to complete the ‘official’ requirements. This can be attended by just yourselves and two witnesses and can be as short as 10 minutes whilst you declare your wish to be legally joined. Some of my couples will do this in the days or weeks proceeding their ‘special day’. Others will await their return from honeymoon to complete this part. Many marriages abroad are recognised as a legal entity within the UK. Therefore some clients arrange an intimate ‘marriage service’ during their honeymoon to complete their dedication to each other.
We would love to hold our service abroad – can you help?
Absolutely – I’m always up for a trip away and to explore a new destination!! You will be responsible for the costs and arrangements of my travel and accommodation (2 nights for European destinations. International celebrant services require a minimum of 3 nights accommodation and premium class travel in addition to my usual fees).
When do we make payment for a funeral?
If you are utilising the services of a funeral director then they will take care of my fee on your behalf. If you are arranging the day yourself my fee is payable upon booking.
When do we make payment for a wedding, naming or other celebration?
A booking fee (50% of the overall fee) is payable upon signing the contract. This secures your place in my diary and is non-refundable as I will not accept further enquiries for the same date and time as your ceremony. The remaining 50% will be invoiced shortly before our first planning meeting. Following that meeting your entire fee will be non-refundable as I will dedicate many hours of work to writing your ceremony.