Celebrants & Registrars – What’s the difference?

Bride with arms around groom

There seems to be some myths and misconceptions surrounding what celebrants are, what a celebrant does and how a celebrant works; so here goes with a simple guide!

A celebrant service encompasses what is important to the couples involved and can include customs and rituals but eliminates the restrictions that can often be imposed by others.

The elements that Celebrants can include within a ceremony are endless, creative and very personal to those involved.

Not all celebrants are “humanist”.  Humanists do not believe in any kind of God or supernatural force that will solve their problems, they believe that human beings must take sole responsibility for solving the world’s environmental problems. Only humans are capable of finding the solutions that can lead to a sustainable existence. Therefore, humanist celebrants do not make reference within their scripts to anything they do not believe in.

I am a member of The UK Society of Celebrants that is a professional body that trains, coaches and supports its members who are based all over the UK and beyond.  There are thousands of UKSoC celebrants who are very supportive of each other.

The ethos behind my business is that any ceremony should be about the couple and not the person delivering the ceremony; therefore, basically anything goes. If a couple want references to there religion or beliefs; if they want a theme or particular style; then that is included.

There are other organisations and individuals providing celebrant services too, some have not trained with an organisation and work independently.

Not all celebrants provide funeral services; I chose to become a Family Celebrant so am qualified to craft ceremonies for Weddings, Renewal of Vows, Commitment and Naming ceremonies.

Most Celebrants will be self-employed and as such their reputation has to be exemplary otherwise they don’t get work, and like all self-employed people if you don’t work you don’t get paid!  This is why any reputable celebrant will provide a very personal and professional service.

I only commit to one wedding per day, so that I can ensure my couples feel happy in the knowledge if things over run or there are last minute adjustments to their schedule; I can accommodate that to ensure their ceremony is just as they wish.

As I have mentioned I am a member of a professional organisation therefore, I have the back up of other professional celebrants and we are all trained to work with a particular method and to a high standard.  In the unlikely situation a UKSoC Celebrant is unable to perform a ceremony another UKSoC Celebrant could step in.  The scripts that we write are so detailed and even have timings and colour coded items that any of us could quite easily execute one another’s ceremony.

A celebrant provides a service anywhere that the couples choose, a venue does not have to be licensed; examples are a beach, woodland or a garden.  Basically the world is your oyster.

In Scotland, Ireland and Jersey Celebrants can also do the legal side of a Wedding Ceremony; but in England this still has to be done by either a minister or a registrar.  It is cheaper to have your ceremony at the registry office as registrars charge a greater fee to deliver their service in approved licensed venues; the cost can also increase depending on which day you opt for.

It appears that there are some negative comments and scare mongering from registrars in response to the ever-increasing popularity of couples opting for a Celebrant Service in the UK.

Here is a quick overview of the Registrars service.

Registrars are employed by the local authority and deliver ceremonies, but these are restricted to being held in either a registry office or a venue that is licensed and approved by them.

Registrars often have several commitments of more than one ceremony per day and are very stringent on timings, as they may need to be at another venue at a scheduled time.  Once you have booked a registrar at a particular time, that is your slot.  If you need to change it you will be charged.

Registrars who sometimes haven’t actually met both of the individuals before the Wedding Day read a standard script and deliver a service as oppose to a Celebrant who has got to know the couple and creates a ceremony specifically for them; nothing standard!

Registrars are paid a wage whether they are excellent or not!

Now that you know a few more facts you can perhaps make more of an informed choice of how you wish to proceed with Your Wedding Ceremony.













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