In England, besides marrying in a church or registry office, there’s another option. As an independent celebrant, I can help you create a wedding that is just right for you, that isn’t bound by the rather narrow constraints of a church or registry office. You can have your ceremony at a place that’s particularly special to you – in or out of doors. It could be in your own garden; on a beach; halfway up a mountain; at a luxury hotel; an orchard; in your own home – wherever you choose. And what I say there would be tailored especially for you and your partner. I’d create, with your guidance, an individual, personalised ceremony which truly reflects your love for each other.
The content of what I say would be exactly what you want to hear, rather than what you’d have to go along with in a church or registry wedding. This can be spiritual, secular, religious – even themed, if that takes your fancy – it’s up to you. And with an independent ceremony there would be no time constraints; you can have the music and readings which touch your hearts; and involve as many friends and family as you want. It’s an opportunity for you and your partner to express your feelings for each other in a profound way. You also have the choice of who to use for flowers, catering and so on, which isn’t always the case with some registered venues. And, again unlike a church and registry office, I offer you a rehearsal close to the day, so that you’re comfortable that everything works and will run smoothly.
That’s how my wife and I were married. It was a beautiful ceremony, which was enhanced by the help we had from our celebrant in shaping the occasion, and the way she ‘held the space’ and touched the hearts of everyone there that day. It was that which inspired me to be a celebrant myself, and I officiated at my first wedding and funeral in the 1990s in Auckland, New Zealand. There’s one difference between that country and England. Until the law changes, to make your marriage legal, you have to make your declaration in a registry office (this can be the brief version) a few days before your independent ceremony. As far as your guests are concerned, your ceremony is your wedding.
There are many things which can contribute to a memorable wedding day – flowers, photography, perhaps a video, what you wear, makeup, the reception. But the single and most important thing that you and everyone present will treasure and remember is a heartfelt ceremony which reflects the love between the bride and groom.