A Celebrant’s Guide to Your Perfect Alternative Wedding

When you start planning a wedding you enter into a world you never knew existed. It’s filled with chair covers, wedding favours and seating plans that push you to the brink of mental stability – enough to make any sensible couple want to run as far away as they can from salmon-pink bridesmaid’s dresses and clashing aunties. What makes this whole situation so frustrating is that it can commodify weddings into a cookie cutter production line that spoils the whole ethos of getting hitched. Sounds awful doesn’t it? This is where a celebrant-led wedding comes in.

Sponsored – Francesca Clark is an independent celebrant and a member of the Fellowship of Professional Celebrants. She is based in Essex and covers events in Essex, London, Kent, Suffolk and Hertfordshire but can travel nationally and internationally. She only stops her Gwent sessions to play Dungeons and Dragons and lives with a Napoleonic Reenactor. 

What is a Celebrant?

I’m a celebrant who spends my time meeting couples and writing and performing ceremonies. I conduct weddings, vow renewals, baby naming and other family celebrations. Basically, if you need something celebrating, I’ll be there!

I’m aware my viewpoint is slightly biased but I truly believe that a celebrant-led wedding allows couples so much freedom when it comes to their ceremony that I’m keen to let people know what’s possible and that it’s more than they ever thought. Below are four reasons why a celebrant-led wedding could be for you, with some ideas to spark your imagination.

The Wedding Ceremony

Having a celebrant means you’ll have a ceremony that is totally personal to you as a couple. Want a wedding that incorporates your shared love of Jane Austen, The Cure or H. P. Lovecraft? No problem, Cthulhu’s your oyster.  Rather than the templates of the civil service and church, a celebrant will work with a couple to write a script that is just for them. This involves the celebrant sitting down with the couple and hearing all about their own love story. Then the celebrant will create a ceremony totally unique to them that incorporates all the elements that make them who they are.

Woman Holding Red and White Rose Bouquet

 

Alternative Wedding Locations

Celebrant-led weddings can take place anywhere rather than strictly licensed venues. This opens up a world of opportunity for where to marry, meaning you could look at a location which is important to you as a couple, a place of historical importance, or even a friend’s back garden. Is an outdoor wedding your dream?

 

bright, daylight, environment

 

Dress Code

Of course the dress code for any wedding is always set by the couple. However, traditional venues are not always known for their open-mindedness. Celebrants are used to working with exciting and artistic couples who might want to include elements of costume and fantasy into their wedding. Personally I have a strong interest in both vintage and gaming culture and I’d love to be able to help a couple find ways to incorporate their passions not only through their ceremony but also through costume. In fact, if anyone wanted to get married as Geralt and Yennifer from The Witcher series, I’d marry them for free (or at least for 30 crowns!)

 Woman in Black and Red Short-sleeved Dress Standing in Front of Green Steel Structure

 

Faiths and Rituals

A celebrant-led wedding is a great way to combine faiths and spiritualties. Very often couples would like a spiritual element to their ceremony but feel that marrying in a religious institution is not for them. Celebrants are not affiliated to any faith and as such can incorporate as much spirituality as required, or none at all. The same is true of rituals, celebrants can incorporate a host of traditions old and new including handfasting, ring warming and jumping the broom.

 Candle, Illuminated, Light, Altar, Pagan, Wiccan, Magic

But I’m Not Getting Married?

Of course it’s not just weddings. A celebrant can help welcome a new child into the family, renew your vows or say what you didn’t get to say the first time round. If you can celebrate it then a celebrant can deliver you a personalised event to be remembered.

I hope the above has given you some ideas about how a celebrant-led ceremony could help you create an event that is truly for you by incorporate your passions and interests. If you’d like to speak about this anymore do take a look at my website or drop me a line at [email protected]


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