Spot The Difference!

/ December 5, 2021

Celebrant or Registrar?

Apologies for my absence from blogging, but I do have a good excuse, I have been mega busy!

2021 has been the summer of love, couples, venues and suppliers alike have rejoiced at the lifting of the covid ban and it has been one hell of a ride for all involved in weddings and of course other celebrations.

During the last five months my pre booked and many other couples have gone on to have the day of their dreams, yes there may have been slight changes but in general it’s all been tickety boo!

There has however been one question that has been frequently asked, usually by couples who were going down the registrar route but who have had to change direction because of one thing or another, usually the inability of the registrar to fit their needs.

 So what’s this question?  Well it’s this… What’s the difference between a registrar and a celebrant?

And for those of you who don’t know, I’m going to answer by describing and comparing some of my wedding celebrations this year to that of a registrar led wedding.

Celebrations of 2021.

I have given the gift of a wedding for a couple who’s family were facing the loss of a loved one, everything was arranged in 48 hours and the day was just perfect albeit emotional and it was an honour and privilege to be able to do this for them.

I’ve had, garden weddings, woodland weddings, festival weddings, stately home and manor house weddings, a wedding in a vine yard, a village hall wedding!

There have been greetings in other languages, Disney theme ceremonies, personal vows, secret vows, surprise readings, references of ‘sliding into DM’s and partners punching above their weight, and the occasional ‘F’ bomb!

I always arrive early to chat and mingle and to be on hand if needed, and more often than not I am!

I have waited 40 minutes for a bride to calm her nerves, I have  pinned boutonniere’s, stitched holes and hems, lacquered hair into place, given out tissues, mints and water, fixed fallen floral decorations and even given a guest a lift to their hotel after a rehearsal! And rehearse we shall, a week, a day or a night before, it’s your call.

Shall I go on?

I have written and spoken about journeys, and love stories, about heart ache and loss, about goals and ambition.

I have quoted from the greats, from Disney and from Pooh, from favourite books and tunes.

I have tied hands, blessed hands, warmed rings, lit candles, planted seeds and drank tea, we have laughed, and cried and whispered and cheered, voices have wobbled and legs have gone weak.

There have been best men and women, flower groom, and ring bearer dogs. Dad, mum, brother, sister, friends and toddlers have escorted down the isle.

At one of my favourite ceremonies there was a choir that sung four songs at certain points in the ceremony, which was just amazing! And another which was more of a stand up comedy sketch with the best man walking off to fetch a beer for himself and the bride and groom…all written into the ceremony script!

I have had 45 minute ceremonies and a 15 minute ceremony with no ‘speaking parts’, completely the couple’s choice. After the ceremony I chat and mingle, grab a quick selfie and never out stay my welcome!

I spend time and get to know you, do all I can for you, go above and beyond for you, because I want the most important part of your day to be perfect for you.

I design and make certificates, vow books and reading scripts which will always match the wedding colour scheme, be beautifully packaged in a luxury hand tied box and gifted to you, because I like to and want to do this.

This is what I do, this is what a celebrant is all about…We celebrate YOU!

The registrar.

Now, I can’t speak for each and every registrar out there but I believe this to be the general standard registrar wedding time line.

1: Registrar booked under strict restrictions and guidelines, followed by none or limited contact prior to the wedding day.

2: The day of the wedding the registrar attends the licenced venue, at allocated time.

3: Generic scripted ceremony service takes place to a strict time frame.

4: Registrar leaves promptly to attend another appointment.


So there we have it!

The difference between a celebrant led wedding and a registrar led service is clear to see. The possibilities really are endless, with a celebrant, you don’t need to compromise on your wedding day planning, the choices you make and the day you want can be a reality, but remember when you find the celebrant you like, book early to avoid disappointment!

Photo credits: Lina & Tom European Wedding & Event Photography. Amy Murphy Photography. Natalie D Photography.

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