Celebrant weddings are undoubtedly becoming more popular!

With so many ways that a celebrant can make your wedding ceremony truly unique and personalised, it’s not hard to see why!

In fact, celebrant weddings are Hitched.co.uk’s top wedding trend for 2024! Hitched have seen a 49% increase in couples searching for ‘celebrant weddings’ on their site and traffic to their blog about celebrant weddings has increased by 157%! This trend is gathering pace and it’s only going to keep going!

A groom in a pink suit and a bride in a simple white dress pull their handfasting ribbons tight in front of Alex Hilder - Celebrant, who is smiling broadly
www.purplekitephotography.co.uk at Mentley Farm Lavender

So, why would you want to go for a celebrant wedding?

Here are eight wonderful reasons!

Firstly, to have a celebrant wedding in England and Wales, you have to separate the legal part and the ‘heart part’!

Currently in England and Wales, only a registrar or a licensed religious minister can legally marry you. They will generally use a set text that can be customised at set points or you will be able to choose ‘set of words A or B’.

What is usually meant by a ‘celebrant wedding’, on the other hand, is the ‘heart part’ of your wedding ceremony. This bit is the celebration of your commitment to each other and is usually in front of your family and friends. It is created and conducted by a celebrant – whether a Humanist Celebrant or an Independent Celebrant – whose skills lie in capturing your story and creating a truly bespoke ceremony for you instead! 

Many of my couples have commented that splitting it makes the legal marriage (or ‘Basic Registration of Marriage’) far less stressful and they are actually able to enjoy it! So, far from this being a reason not to celebrate your wedding this way, it means that both parts actually become more meaningful and far less stressful.

Some couples choose to rock up to their legal marriage ceremony in jeans and a T-shirt and choose strangers as their witnesses. Others choose a couple of select friends or family members to be their witnesses.

Doing it this way might also be a chance for an extra wedding outfit too!!

“After seeing a few friends get married with a celebrant and how personal their ceremonies were, we knew that is how we wanted to get married. It also meant our legal ceremony could be done a few days before, which took the pressure off the big day and allowed us to invite elderly grandparents who may not have made the big day.”

Naomi & Rory – East Quay Weddings, Whitstable, Kent

2. You will know exactly who it is who will be marrying you!

One of the most common concerns leading up to a wedding is over who will be actually performing the ceremony. Will they be too funny? Too serious? Too flippant? Too strict??

By choosing to have a celebrant wedding ceremony, you get to pick your celebrant! You can make sure that you gel together and that they totally ‘get’ you and that their style totally reflects you both.

By the time the day of your wedding rolls around, it will feel as though there is a friend waiting at the end of the aisle to greet you – one who knows all your stories and all about your love for one another – ready to settle any nerves and guide you through to ‘I do’!

And you can guarantee that it will be a glorious celebration of YOU!

Image thanks to www.paulfullerkentphotography.com

3. You have no restrictions on what you can say and what you can’t say!

A civil ceremony requires that there be no religious or spiritual references whatsoever throughout the ceremony. This often means trawling through your potential readings and music to check for religious references or choosing from an approved list.

With a celebrant wedding ceremony led by an independent celebrant, you can have a purely non-religious ceremony but equally you don’t need to choose between purely religious or purely secular if neither of those feel true to you. It even means that you can actively include religious or spiritual readings, rituals and music if that fits with what either or both of you would like.

So a bible reading or a prayer, maybe read by a family member, can absolutely be included. You can even include a hymn if that is calling to you! And a gospel choir to help you all sing it? I might just be able to help you with that too!

4. You can include your own vows in your celebrant wedding if you want to!

Including your own vows can be a huge reason to choose a celebrant wedding ceremony. Many registrars will also allow these to be included now. However, because we get to know each other over the months before your wedding, we can customise these to take into account exactly how much public speaking you each feel comfortable with.

If you want to, this is your chance to tell your partner publicly how much they mean to you and how they have changed your life.

Or you might feel far more comfortable with joint vows that are written by me but based on everything you have told me and that you both answer with ‘We do’ at the same time.

Every little thing is bespoke with a celebrant!

“We each set about writing our odes to each other while Alex beavered away at creating the most ‘us’ joint vows which exceeded our expectations by MILES. The personal touches that these brought just can’t be compared with what would’ve been had we opted for a registrar.”

Jada and Ian – Down House, Lamberhurst, Kent

5. We can welcome each group of guests.

Welcoming in each set of your guests really makes them feel loved and appreciated and does a great job of gathering them all into the ceremony.

Your guest list, no matter how extensive or exclusive, is full of those who matter most to you. By finding out about all the different groups who are coming and where they have travelled from we can give them a wonderful namecheck to make them sit up and feel included (and even whoop and cheer if that’s the vibe you’re after!)

It’s a chance to make it clear to them how much they are loved and that the effort that they have gone to to be here has not in any way been taken for granted. 

6. We can welcome in the memory of loved ones.

Very often there are people who you know would be right there, dabbing their eyes and kicking up their heels to celebrate with you, if only they could be. They were so important to you that it doesn’t seem right not to acknowledge them and have their names spoken on this special day.

This moment is never sad, rather it feels like a celebration of them and gives us an opportunity to honour them and give their memory a warm welcome from all those who they were special to. 

We can even add in special moments to remember them, such as lighting a candle or even reading a letter or poem for them.

“…a huge thank you to Alex for reading a letter I wrote to my late father during the ceremony. Alex read it so beautifully and it was such an important and special moment.

Louisa & David – The Barnyard, Sittingbourne, Kent

7. We can create unique symbolic moments for your wedding ceremony that really suit you and your story.

It could be a handfasting or hand tying, a sand ceremony, a unity candle ceremony, a wine box ceremony (sometimes also known as an ‘Emergency Box’!) or you can even toast one another with a cocktail making ceremony!

It can be something totally fun and unexpected like a ‘Find the Ring Bearer’ game mid-ceremony or you can decide who goes first with their vows with a round of ‘rock, paper, scissors’! Or we can create something super personalised!

With one couple we replicated the “chocolating” ritual that they did whenever they had a ‘grown up’ conversation to discuss (bottle of wine + bar of chocolate = staying on the sofa long enough to have the conversation!). In this wedding, their vows were woven together alongside a bottle of wine and a bar of chocolate in their own unique ‘Chocolating’ ceremony! More about that one in a whole other blog!

8. And finally, your wedding ceremony will be totally unique because it is totally full of you!

Your love story can be woven in from the very beginning of your unique wedding ceremony. Every little detail that I glean from our chats together and your questionnaires gets gathered up and stitched together in a seamless way.

Don’t worry, I don’t favour the ‘CV’ style of love story! I’m much more interested in blending together everything I’ve learnt about you (and sometimes what your friends and family tell me!) from the very start! 

“…the end result was a beautiful, moving and completely bespoke and personalised ceremony which left us and our guests with an experience like no other.”

Chris & ShannenColtsford Mill, Oxted, Surrey

So there you have it, 8 reasons to choose a celebrant wedding ceremony!

Still not sure that a celebrant wedding is for you? Have a read through my FAQs here

Or click here to book a free, no obligation, consultation call and you can bombard me with questions about how we can work together to create something magical just for you!