Can you legally marry us?
Sadly No! The FPC and other professional bodies are currently campaigning for a change in our archaic wedding laws to allow us to do the legal bit but at this time, celebrants cannot legally marry couples in the UK… just yet!
In a report (September 2020) the law commission highlighted our marriage laws as dated, ancient and unnecessarily restrictive, so we are all hopeful that this will change very soon.
For the time being, a celebrant can conduct a wedding ceremony to however you chose, using the words and vows you chose, to however traditional or unorthodox you chose but until the law is changed, the “legal” part of the marriage still needs to be signed and witnessed in the presence of a registrar or authorised religious dignitary, e.g. vicar or priest, which can be done before or after your celebrant wedding and doesn’t need to be on the same day.
Do you have recognised certifications?
Yes. I trained with and am a member of the Fellowship of Professional Celebrants. Founded in 2011, the FPC has become the largest organisation of independent celebrants in the UK and Europe.
The benefits of being an FPC member include lifetime support by the organisation, up-to-date legal and compliance guidance, and appropriate public liability insurance.
By choosing an FPC celebrant you can be assured you are choosing someone who has been professionally trained to an exceptionally high standard, who is fully certified, and has no criminal convictions.
Why choose a celebrant?
Choosing a celebrant over a registrar has multiple benefits to you for planning your wedding day.
Having a celebrant led ceremony means you have complete flexibility over your venue (as it doesn’t need to be licensed) and your celebration.
Your ceremony can be as unique as you created it with your ideas, your vows, and your style.
There is no need to rush your decisions, as we will work together with unlimited contact until every detail is perfect.
Who are the Fellowship of Professional Celebrants?
The ‘FPC’ was founded in 2011 and has become the largest organisation of independent celebrants in the UK and Europe.
“Membership of the FPC is exclusively for those celebrants who have successfully completed one or more of our acclaimed training courses.”
Benefits of being a FPC member include lifetime support by the organisation, up-to-date legal and compliance guidance combined with appropriate Public Liability Insurance.
“By choosing an FPC Celebrant, you can be assured you are choosing someone who has been professionally trained to an exceptionally high standard and is fully certified with no criminal convictions.”
What’s the difference between a celebrant and a humanist celebrant?
Humanism is a secular belief in life and as such a humanist celebrant does not include any religious or spiritual material in the service whatsoever. An independent celebrant, such as myself, can include religious, spiritual, symbolic or ritualistic material to any extent you chose. An independent celebrant ceremony is only about you and your ideas and beliefs.
Can a celebrant marry you in a church?
There are no legal reasons why you can’t get married by a celebrant in a church, but you would need to seek permission from the pastor, vicar or priest to see if the church would allow it.
Does a registrar have to be present at the ceremony?
No, the “legal” part of the marriage with the registrar can take place before or after the event and it doesn’t need to be on the same day.
How long does the ceremony last?
The ceremony can be as long or as short as you like, anything from 15 to 45 minutes will usually suffice. This will be discussed at the first meeting and will depend on what you would like your ceremony to include e.g. readings, vows, poetry or unity / symbolic ceremony.
Will it feel like a “proper” wedding?
It most certainly will feel like a “proper” wedding! Because it is a proper wedding!
Not being restricted by time, place or license, you can have the wedding of your dreams with whatever content you like. Your ceremony will be personal to you and reflect your personalities and uniqueness but can also include touches of tradition, and unlike humanist weddings, can include religious material such as prayers and readings. Celebrants are open and inclusive to all regardless of your age, orientation or gender identification!
What’s the process, before, during and after?
The whole process is easy, relaxed, and stress free.
Once you have made an initial contact we will arrange an informal no obligation meeting at a place of your choice and convenience, maybe your home or a local café or bar. Currently, COVID restrictions mean telephone or video calls such as Zoom are the norm but however we speak we’ll chat about you, your plans, your hopes and dreams, and a whole host of other things in-between! You can ask me everything and anything and I will be happy to answer truthfully and fairly!
Once you have mulled things over, if you wish to book I will give you a personal welcome pack; this will include all the relevant paperwork based on what you’ve told me at out first meeting, along with an “about us,” couples questionnaire! This is a fun way to find out a little more about each of you so that when I write your ceremony it becomes your personal story.
The welcome pack will also include a booking agreement, which once signed and returned along with the booking fee holds your date exclusively, as I will never try to juggle two ceremonies in one day!
Six weeks before your wedding day, the remaining balance will be due and at this time I will reveal the first script to you!!! This can be tweaked, and content can be added or removed and fine-tuned until you are 100% happy.
Throughout the process I shall touch base with the venue, the events manager and /or wedding planner, to ensure we are all on the same wavelength and are in collaboration with one another so everything runs smoothly and effortlessly on the day.
What’s included in your fee?
My fees vary for different celebrations and you can find these on the relevant information pages, but for all occasions my fee covers everything excluding a few minor additions*.
I charge around the same as a registrar would cost to come to your venue but I offer a considerably more extensive and personal service, which is bespoke to you and fantastic value for money… who doesn’t want a hot deal or more bang for your buck!
I am based in Suffolk and I cover Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Essex and Hertfordshire. I am happy travel further afield and in such instances travel expenses may be added*.
My fee includes:
- Initial meeting
- Welcome pack
- Sourcing readings, poems and any symbolic ceremony items you may want to include such as unity candles*, hand fasting cords or ribbons* etc.
- Help with writing vows
- Personalised vow books
- Help with planning the ceremony and advice on how to include children and pets
- Unlimited contact via email, message, or phone
- Second meeting
- Collaboration with venue and planner
- Early arrival on the day to liase with venue, planner and all other services to sync timeline etc.
- Time with you both to individually reassure you and calm any nerves
- Delivery of service and symbolic ceremony
- Keepsake certificate to sign for photographs if requested
- Keepsake boxed copy of your ceremony script if requested
So whatever the occasion whatever you have planned I would love to hear from you and all about it, pick up the phone, drop me a mail or message and let’s have a no obligation chat… I’m looking forward to it.