Absolutely Weddings’ experts answer your wedding planning questions. Here, celebrant Hannah Jones explains what’s involved in a celebrant-led wedding service
Q: We’re getting married quietly, but are considering having a celebrant-led service at our party. How does this work?
A: Celebrants are as different as the couples we work with. I’m an independent celebrant and my approach is to collaborate with the couple, explain the possibilities and help them to design a ceremony structure that fits their day and their personalities.
Although a celebrant cannot legally marry people, we help couples design a part of the day that has unique meaning to them. Many couples marry quietly at a register office or have a religious ceremony that not all their guests can attend. Some couples find that marriage services – especially at register offices – feel rather impersonal. As I point out to my clients, you wouldn’t ask the council to organise your birthday party! The other reason people choose this route is simply to mark the moment. After all, it’s not often that all the people we love gather in one place just for us.
A celebrant helps couples design a part of the day that has unique meaning to them.
I have acted as celebrant at a wide variety of wedding celebrations, including multi-faith. I see myself as advocate for the couples I work with, and a point of calm – helping them to remember what this is all about. Perhaps the biggest part of what I do is to help create a narrative structure for their service. Sometimes it includes poems or specially written vows, while other couples want things to be very simple. However we design their service, this marks a journey from being two engaged people to being two individuals who are also now a married couple. That should be an uplifting and memorable moment for everyone in the room.