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What Is a Wedding Celebrant?

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Getting married starts with many questions you did not know you needed answers for. Some of these are who is to be your wedding photographer, what type of flowers to decorate your ceremony with, or what is a wedding celebrant. Learning about all of these things and making decisions can be stressful, so here is the article that explains the marriage celebrant’s definition.

Read More: How to Find Humanist Celebrants in Scotland 

What Is a Celebrant?

A wedding celebrant is a person who conducts and officiates formal ceremonies. They can officiate at other ceremonies such as vow renewals, baby namings, and funerals in addition to weddings, which is where they are frequently seen. 

They will make your wedding special and create an amazing romantic atmosphere you would never get in a registrar ceremony. You can exchange vows, have special traditions, or do anything you like. Also, if you get married in Scotland you can have a wedding anywhere outdoors with a wedding celebrant.

A wedding celebrant or officiant is almost the same, they perform the same functions. The only minor distinction is that celebrants are more frequently used in the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, than officiants, which is the official designation in the USA.

newhall estate scotland wedding of samantha and jamie

Photography by Wildling Weddings at Newhall Estate

What Should You Choose:

Celebrant or Registrar-Officiated Wedding?

The registrar is legally permitted to perform civil ceremonies in the UK. Except for Scotland, if you are getting married in the UK you would need a registrar to officiate your wedding or a priest. You can also get married only solely for paperwork with a registrar and have your ceremony somewhere else on your terms. 

The downside of having your wedding officiated by a registrar is that the wedding ceremony can be performed only at locations where the wedding registrar has access, like a hotel or a city hall. Also, the ceremony is not as romantic as it is when the celebrant is creating a perfect fit for the couple.

What Distinguishes a Priest From a Wedding Celebrant?

Celebrants and priests differ in a few important ways, with the largest one being that the celebrant is not a member of the clergy. While a priest receives official training to conduct ceremonies, a celebrant attends seminars and conferences at the direction of the celebrant organisation in his or her nation. 

The fact that a celebrant can customise the wedding to your needs, incorporating as many ceremonies, themes, and concepts as you’d want, is a more significant difference for your wedding than the fact that a priest is constrained by the religious conventions and rites of their faith.

non-religous wedding blessing newhall estate carriage house scotland wedding of samantha and jamie

Photography by Wildling Weddings at Newhall Estate

WHICH ONE TO CHOOSE:​

Celebrant, Registrar, or Religious Ceremony?

To decide which of these ceremonies is best for you and your other half, you must first learn what is a celebrant and what is the difference between all of these ceremonies you can have.

Celebrant Wedding Ceremony

A celebrant is a person who has received training to perform a ceremony for you that is specially created to honour your marriage in a way that is meaningful and acceptable to you, your wedding preferences, and your way of life. Your ceremony can include anything you want because a celebrant is not constrained by religious or legal restrictions. 

Celebrants often take great delight in getting to know their couples well before the big day and designing and creating a ceremony that is uniquely tailored to them. Even if you want to have a highly traditional service, the celebrant will still try to get to know you and your partner to be able to share a particular moment from your love’s life on your special day. 

A celebrant can officiate your ceremony anywhere in the world, whether it is indoors or outside, public or private, regardless of whether the site has a marriage licence. This is because celebrants are not bound by any legal restrictions.

Registrar Wedding Ceremony

In the UK, there are now many locations with marriage licences. These include historic places, hotels, tourist attractions, restaurants, and other locations that offer comprehensive wedding packages. For couples who want to host their entire ceremony and wedding day under one roof or in one location, having your ceremony at one of these locations is frequently the best option. 

The ceremony itself, however, is rather limited in what it may cover. Due to government regulations, the registrar ceremony cannot include elements of religion, cultural tradition, or spiritual symbolism. Timings are also constrained because the registrar frequently only allows half an hour for your ceremony because there are other bookings for that day. 

Religious Wedding Ceremony

The church wedding is still a common, traditional option for wedding ceremonies in the UK. In addition to providing a lovely location for your wedding, the church is also a place of worship that enables you to celebrate your union through time-honoured customs. You can choose to have a civil ceremony with a government registrar, but these ceremonies do not often feature songs, prayers, or sermons. 

A church ceremony is not for those who genuinely don’t care about religious values, as you will be forced to follow the parish standards for church attendance in the weeks leading up to your wedding and include at least one bible reading in your service.

scotish wedding blessing wedding photography at newhall estate scotland samantha and jamie

Photography by Wildling Weddings at Newhall Estate

How to get the BEST wedding photos – tell me where to send these tips!

Why Should You Hire a Wedding Celebrant for Your Wedding?

Here are some reasons why a wedding celebrant might be a better choice for you and your ceremony now that you know what one is.

Celebrants at weddings do more than merely oversee the service. Wedding celebrants give you the work, whereas priests only officiate at services and registrars are more concerned with the legal side of things. They can accompany you from the moment the engagement is revealed until after the reception and before you leave for your honeymoon if you wish them to. Even wedding planning has been known to receive help from wedding celebrants.

The ideal choice for couples who feel that traditional wedding structures are not for them is wedding celebrants. Wedding celebrants can diverge when it comes to conducting the ceremony from beginning to end, meaning you have greater control over what you want to include and exclude in the ceremony. In contrast, priests and registrars are required to adhere to specified religious and legal rules.

Celebrants can do more things. Do you want to have a unique wedding inspired by a book character, or a Marvel movie? Celebrities are always willing to participate, look at the role, and even act in a certain manner upon request. However, celebrants make sure that the great day is just as the couple expected it to be. Other officials are more likely to say no to an extravagant notion, a remote venue, or an unusual dress.

The celebration is all about the two of you when you use celebrants. Your wedding should reflect you as a couple just as much as your relationship does. With a celebrant, the only rules that apply to your wedding are the ones that you establish.

How to Hire a Wedding Celebrant?

Now that you know what a celebrant is, you might already have decided if you want a celebrant wedding ceremony or maybe a religious one. If you decide to hire a celebrant you must first make a short list of those who you would like to officiate your wedding. Check out their websites or get recommendations from friends and family.

Choose the top list and then contact them one by one to check if they are available for the date you need. They will take you through the process of booking and they will get to know you and prepare an amazing ceremony for you.

Here are some of the celebrants in Scotland to consider:

Wedding Celebrant FAQs

Since there is no formal education required to become a celebrant, anyone can become one. Some training will help you in becoming a celebrant and being successful in your job. You can apply for courses that will help your career prospects.

You go to a private training course. Empathy and some wedding planning experience can help you a lot in your career. Courses for celebrants are offered at different prices and lengths, so choose wisely and consider all the requirements.

They may or may not be religious. It is not required for celebrants to be religious, it is a personal choice.

In Scotland, a celebrant wedding is legally binding. The marriage can be conducted by an approved or registered celebrant. There must be two witnesses present, aged 16 or more. At the end of the ceremony celebrant, couple, and witnesses are all signing the marriage schedule.

Anyone can become a wedding celebrant, you can even ask your friend or a family member to officiate your wedding. They need to obtain authorization through the National Records of Scotland website.

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