Corrine & Kevin Wedding with Sussex wedding celebrant Claire Bradford of Creating Ceremony
Photo by Carl Thomson Photography

Your wedding day

Your wedding day is for you and the love of your life to stand in front of your friends and family and make a lifelong commitment to each other. Your wedding is about you two, your story and what you both like. Whether you want to get hitched in your front room, on a beach at midnight or up a mountain, wearing traditional wedding garb, Star Trek uniforms or motorbiking leathers, it’s your wedding and it’s your call.

With an independent celebrant conducting your wedding, you don’t have to be restricted to licensed venues or to one-size-fits-all services. Your wedding ceremony can be anywhere you like (within reason – the middle of the M25 probably wouldn’t be advisable!), can include any readings you like and can incorporate as much – or as little – religion or spirituality as you like.

Don’t let the wheels of the wedding industry juggernaut crush your creativity. Get in touch today and we can start creating a ceremony that reflects the two of you perfectly.

Claire Bradford from Creating Ceremony Celebrant of the Year South East region in the Wedding Industry Awards

What’s the difference between an independent wedding celebrant and a registrar?

A registrar has to stick to a pretty rigid script and, whilst you may be able to include readings, you will not be permitted to have anything with any religious or spiritual content. You may have a limited choice of vows but you probably won’t be able to use your own. You may meet your registrar once beforehand if you are lucky, but he or she will not be able to spend much time getting to know you. Also, a registrar’s ‘slot’, even when coming out to your venue, will typically be around 20 minutes and they will have several weddings all on the same day.

As an independent wedding celebrant, after spending time getting to know you both, I will create you a totally personal and unique ceremony which will reflect your interests, beliefs and wishes. You can include religious or spiritual content if you wish, and I can even weave together two religious or cultural backgrounds into one ceremony if you so desire. Atheist, religious or completely woo-woo, it’s all good!

I can help you craft your wedding vows so that your promises come from the heart, not a service sheet.

And I only ever do one wedding per day, so you can have a ceremony as long or as short as you wish, knowing I won’t be rushing to or from another couple.

Can a wedding celebrant legally marry us?

No. However, just as you would register a baby and have a naming ceremony separately, you can do the ‘legal bit’ at the registry office at any time and have the wedding ceremony afterwards. Most couples choose the week before the ceremony but it’s totally up to you.

The statutory wedding service normally costs around £50 (this varies slightly from county to county) and consists of fewer than 50 words. Once you have done this part, you are free to have your ‘real’ wedding, with rings, vows, readings and other elements wherever and whenever you like. This leaves you much freer with venue choice and you don’t have to restrict numbers if you don’t want to.

What sort of things can we include in our wedding ceremony? 

Pretty much anything you like! Some couples choose to stick fairly closely to tradition with the structure and wording of their wedding ceremony; others go wherever their imagination takes them.

There are some beautiful options you can choose, like a sand ceremony, unity candle, handfasting, jumping the broom or a dove release. We can chat through ideas and I can make some suggestions based on what would suit the sort of feel you are after for your wedding.

How much does a wedding celebrant cost?

Weddings within 30 miles of Worthing, West Sussex, cost £850. Further travel or equipment (e.g. sand ceremony kits etc) will incur further reasonable costs, but this will be discussed and agreed on early in the process, so you won’t incur sudden unexpected expense.

When considering your options, it is worth noting that this price is about the same as – or sometimes less than – booking a registrar to come to your venue for your wedding.

What your investment will buy you:

  • A guaranteed booking of your wedding day. No ‘slots’ – I book out the whole day for you in my diary, so you get to say when and where you want me.
  • A first meeting, where we discuss early ideas, get the ‘big picture’ of the wedding and get to know each other a little bit.
  • A questionnaire for you to fill in together (I’ve had so much feedback from couples about how much they love doing this, despite initial reticence!) all about you two and your relationship.
  • A second meeting where I read you the first draft of your script and we firm up the details of what the ceremony will include.
  • A unique wedding ceremony script, written by me, to reflect your love story and all of the things you have told me about yourselves. This can be tweaked and added to until you are both 100% happy with it.
  • Help writing your vows, if you wish.
  • Advice on readings, ceremonies and other aspects of the wedding itself.
  • Access to me throughout the whole process – I’m on the other end of the phone or an email if you have any questions, ideas or worries about your ceremony.
  • A wedding rehearsal, venue availability permitting.
  • My delivery of your ceremony on your big day.
  • A personalised Creating Ceremony wedding certificate and presentation script, if you would like one.

Check out the blog post ‘How much does a wedding celebrant cost?’ for further details.

How far can our wedding celebrant travel?

I’m a Sussex-based wedding celebrant (I live in Worthing, near Brighton) so most of the wedding ceremonies I conduct happen in and around Sussex and up to London, but I’m more than happy to travel further afield if your wedding is happening elsewhere. If you’re prepared to pay my travel expenses and accommodation if needed, I’ll be there with bells on!

Do you have a question that isn’t listed above? Drop me a line and I’ll get back to you quickly.