I like big BUTS and I cannot lie…

Haha made you look, made you stare! But it’s true – I DO like big buts – because answering them might just make the difference between you choosing a ‘meh’ wedding ceremony and a ‘HELL YEAH!’ wedding ceremony.

So, what do you think? Fancy looking at some buts with me? Let’s go!

BUT it’s not legal, is it?

I don’t do the legal bit, no. And in this country, we’ve been very used to getting it all done in one go, so this is a sticking point for lots of people. However, the legal bit can be done very quickly and easily (less than £60 for the very basic signing – it’ll take around 15 minutes and is usually on a weekday morning), and doing it separately gives you SO MUCH extra scope for your ceremony. For example, by doing the legal bit separately, you can:

  • have your wedding ceremony anywhere you want (no need to worry about licensed venues)
  • get to know your celebrant, and have me get to know you too (no worries about getting a crusty jobsworth turning up on your big day)
  • be unhurried (I only do one wedding a day, so I won’t be rushing off to another ceremony or turning up late to yours)
  • include anything you want in your ceremony (favourite film references, costumes, vows in Klingon, songs, your children, religious or spiritual content, fire breathing… whatever floats your boat)
  • get wed at bonkers o’clock, if you’d like to (midnight wedding in the woods or a ceremony at sunrise on the beach, anyone?)
  • work with me to create a truly personalised and unforgettable ceremony that you and your guests will still be talking about for years to come
  • have help at hand all the way through the planning process as often as you want it

BUT I’m on a tight budget…

Doing the basic registry office procedure and then paying for my services actually costs about the same (sometimes less) than getting the registrar to come out to your venue. And you get all that meeting time, help and the personal touch included in my price, so it’s amazing value.

I can also do just the writing part, so if you have a friend or relative who could conduct the ceremony using my script, you would save more money.

BUT my mum/uncle Kevin/great grandpa/sister-in-law won’t approve…

It’s YOUR  day, it’s YOUR say. Weddings are guaranteed to bring out family politics but, at the end of the day, you can’t please all of the people all of the time. And neither should you try. It’s your wedding, for Pete’s sake – they should put up or shut up. Compromising to keep everyone happy will always end in regret. Stand firm. Do your thing.

BUT we’re spiritual…

No problem at all. As an independent celebrant, I am happy to include any religious or spiritual content you’d like to include (although I might just draw the line at sacrificing virgins…)

Having a celebrant can be a great solution for couples where one is a believer and the other isn’t, where a ceremony with a registrar or a vicar would be a big compromise for one of you. We can can create a bespoke solution for your wedding that you’ll both be really happy with. And that goes for mixed faith weddings too.

BUT our venue isn’t licensed…

It doesn’t need to be! This opens up your choice massively and means you can have your wedding ceremony wherever the heck you like.

BUT I really wanted a picture of us signing the register…

This is a really traditional part of a wedding that a lot of people like. But did you know that, even when you’ve been married by the registrar, that photo is taken with a ‘dummy’ certificate, for legal reasons? Fun fact. If you’d like to have a ‘signing’ photo opportunity, I can create you a certificate or a keepsake copy of your vows to sign for that purpose.

BUT I just don’t understand why we’d hire a celebrant when we could just get the registrar to do it?

Well, for all of the reasons in that first big BUT really. Essentially, you get a highly personalised service to celebrate your big commitment to each other, led by someone you’ve come to know and trust, rather than a one-size-fits-alI legal procedure led by whoever happens to be on duty that day.

BUT I don’t know what I want to say…

Don’t worry. I know that it can seem overwhelming but that’s what I’m here for. We’ll get to know each other well, you’ll tell me all about your relationship and your dreams for the day and for the future and I’ll weave my magic. Of course, if you DO know what you want to say (or at least some of what you want to say…) then we’ll include that big style.

BUT I don’t really know what a celebrant does…

You know when you go to a wedding and there’s a vicar or a person in a suit saying the words at the front? Well, that’s what I do only without the dogcollar or suit, and generally with bucketloads more personality. The words I read aren’t from a well-thumbed service book, but are individually crafted to reflect you as a couple and everything you care about, laugh at and are into.

Rather than being the bit that your guests sit through in order to get to the partying, a ceremony with me kicks off your celebrating in style.

BUT how does it all work?

Well, you get in touch first of all, and we might have a chat on the phone or over email and arrange an obligation-free meet up. We can do it over Zoom if you live miles away, or I’ll come to your house (or wherever is most convenient for you). We’ll talk over a cuppa about the ideas you’ve had for your wedding, the things that are important to you, how you met etc and you can ask me any questions you might have and generally see whether you like the cut of my jib.

If you decide to go ahead after that, then I take a booking fee and send you a questionnaire to fill out. You’ll have access to me all the way through the planning process to ask questions, share ideas or thoughts or generally chat all things wedding.

We’ll meet a second time and I’ll read you the first draft of the ceremony. If one or both of you cries, I take that as a good sign! We continue to hone the script until it’s just perfect in your eyes, and I can help you to write your vows, if you’d like.

We have a rehearsal a few days before the wedding, if you’d like one, and then I turn up and conduct your ceremony on your big day for you. Big hugs and glasses of fizz abound.

BUT it wouldn’t be a ‘proper’ wedding…

I hear this one a lot, and I’m always slightly confused by it. What constitutes a ‘proper’ wedding? Is it the legal bit? Surely not?

In my humble opinion, the whole point of a wedding is to celebrate your union and the decision you’ve made to stay together through thick and thin for the rest of your lives. THAT’s what my ceremonies are created for, not the signing of a legal document for taxation purposes. But I do realise that, being a celebrant, I would say that!

The thing I often ask people is whether they would go to a funeral and say it’s not a ‘proper’ funeral because the death certificate wasn’t signed? Or go to a baby naming or christening and feel cheated because the baby’s birth wasn’t registered at the same time? What is the essence of the ceremony that makes it ‘proper’, I wonder?  Is it just what we’re used to? Ooh I feel another blog post coming on…

BUT how do I get the ball rolling?

Get in touch! You can either give me a call on 07929 764162 or fill in my contact form and we’ll fix a good date for me to chat with you. I’m available daytimes, evenings and weekends, so I can fit round your schedule. And there’s no obligation, pressure or hard sell. Just a chat and a cuppa. Let’s do this!

Top photo by Proggie (Flickr)