Your burning questions answered!

Many people are still unclear about what a celebrant does. When I told my friends and family that I wanted to be a celebrant, some of them asked "a what"?

A celebrant is a person who officiates at a ceremony or rite, such as a wedding, funeral or naming ceremony. Think of a celebrant as a 'master of ceremonies' - the person who holds the space, conducts the ceremony and keeps everything going. A celebrant can officiate a bespoke, personalised ceremony and include religious or spiritual content if desired.

Celebrants are usually self-employed and work independently of any religious or statutory organisation.

At the moment, celebrants cannot legally marry couples in England. Registrars can process and approve a couples marriage licence and conduct a legally binding ceremony at licenced venues only.
  • The freedom to create a personalised, bespoke and meaningful celebration that is completely unique
  • You can tailor your celebration around your own ideas and preferences. If you want to renew your vows on a beach, get married in the ruins of a castle or hold a woodland funeral ceremony, the choice is yours!
  • Your celebration can be held almost anywhere and you aren't confined to licenced only venues
  • Your celebrant takes time to get to know you so that your celebration isn't a one-size-fits-all affair
  • A celebrant-led ceremony allows you to include rituals, symbolism, readings and family members in a creative and fun way
Every celebrant has their own unique style, personality and way of working. Much like people in general, they each have their own strengths, qualities and approach to working. No two celebrants will ever create the same script or conduct a ceremony in the same way, which makes every ceremony so special.

You may want a celebrant who loves to integrate nature into their ceremonies or a quirky celebrant who loves dressing up and creating themed ceremonies. If you are a humanist you may prefer a humanist celebrant.

The best advice I can give is to talk to a few celebrants near you and get a feel for who they are as people and how they work. Google local celebrants in your area or visit celebrant directories.

Follow your gut and trust your instinct!
A funeral celebrant (also known as a funeral officiant) officiates funeral ceremonies. Funeral celebrants work independently and are usually from a non-clergy background.

A funeral celebrant supports the bereaved family throughout the process and works with them to plan and deliver a memorable and personalised service for the person who has died. Funeral celebrants help to organise and conduct funerals; leading the ceremony and welcoming other people as they offer their tributes during the service. They work closely with loved ones to provide a thoughtful and fitting send off for the person who has passed away.

Funeral celebrants are the main host of funerals or celebration of life ceremonies. Religious or non-religious content can be included as part of the service.

If you would like to include religious or spiritual content, such as words or rituals, then we can certainly include them as part of your ceremony. 
This is a very good question because many people aren't sure about what the difference is!

A registrar can legally marry couples whereas a celebrant can only hold bespoke ceremonies. Many couples choose to do the 'legal bit' first at their local registry office with two witnesses and then hold their wedding or civil partnership with an independent celebrant afterwards.

While you can absolutely get married with a registrar, a celebrant-led ceremony offers versality, choice, personalised words, rituals and symbolism.

The beauty of having a celebrant is that they will get to know you pretty well before the ceremony whereas with a registrar, you will get whoever is on the rota on the day.
The short answer is no. Independent wedding celebrants can deliver a loving and meaningful wedding ceremony but the legal bit is not yet possible.

In England, independent celebrants cannot legally marry couples. The legal part of marriage must be done at the registry office and usually costs around £50. Most couples choose to do the legal aspect at the registry office and have the ceremony a few days or a week after. It is entirely up to you.

Once you have done the statutory part of your marriage you are free to hold your own awesome wedding celebration with rings, vows, readings and any other rituals that you would like to include such as handfasting or a wine box ceremony.
Funeral Director's take care of all elements of the funeral, such as whether you are choosing a burial or cremation, a full funeral service or a direct cremation, etc. They take care of the deceased and deal with the funeral arrangements.

A funeral celebrant focusses on the service itself, including the eulogy, readings, music and the order of service. They work with families to create an intimate and personal tribute to the person who has died and lead the funeral ceremony.