April 30, 2024

What is a Celebrant and why do you need one for your wedding ceremony?

Guest Blog, Wedding


Celebrant || www.ceremonieswithsuzanne.co.uk || www.instagram.com/ceremonies_with_suzanne || www.facebook.com/ceremonieswithsuzanne

Today's guest blog is written by the lovely Suzanne from Ceremonies with Suzanne.

What is a celebrant and why do you need one for your wedding ceremony?

Hello there, I’m Suzanne from Ceremonies with Suzanne, (www.ceremonieswithsuzanne.co.uk | www.instagram.com/ceremonies_with_suzanne | www.facebook.com/ceremonieswithsuzanne) an independent Family and Funeral Celebrant based in Leighton Buzzard, serving Bedfordshire and the surrounding counties. I completed my celebrant training in April of 2023 after 20 years as a primary school teacher. As somebody who is passionate about freedom of choice and celebrating individuality, the more I learn on my journey the more I know that becoming a celebrant is the best decision I ever made!

I am so excited to be featuring on Rebecca’s amazing blog page to share why celebrant-led weddings are the way forward.

So, what is a wedding celebrant? In short, a wedding celebrant is somebody who creates and officiates bespoke wedding ceremonies, working closely with couples to ensure that their personalities are at the heart of the ceremony. Wedding celebrants are not restricted by *legal or religious requirements and, therefore, have more freedom than registrars and places of worship when it comes to where and when ceremonies can take place and what is included in them.

Tradition vs Non-Tradition

Weddings are steeped in tradition from the bride’s father ‘giving her away’ to her new husband to wedding rings being placed on the fourth finger of the left hand to wearing something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. All of this makes for interesting reading for another time, but we’re not here today to talk about tradition, we’re here to pause for a moment and think about what else a wedding ceremony could look like. What if you don’t want a traditional wedding party of ‘bridesmaids’ and ‘groomsmen’? What if, as a couple, you’d like to walk (or dance) down the aisle together? What if you’d like to wear exactly what you want rather than the traditional white dress?

I’m here to tell you that with a celebrant-led wedding, your ceremony can look exactly how you’d like it, being 100% about the two of you as a couple and not restricted by traditions and expectations of others.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying here that you MUST do away with tradition – not at all, I’m as happy with a traditional white wedding as the next person. What I AM saying is that you need to know that you have a choice.

Time and Place

With a celebrant-led wedding your ceremony can take place wherever you wish (with the owner’s permission) and at a time that suits you. Just imagine the options that this opens up!

Let’s think about where your ceremony could take place… you could opt for a more traditional venue such as the many stunning licenced manor houses, barns or castles on offer, or you could think outside the box a little and hold your ceremony, for example, in a family member’s back garden, in a restaurant, on a beach or in a wooded area, somewhere that may hold special meaning to you.

Many weddings are held between noon and 3pm but consider the excitement of an early morning ceremony as you and your guests watch the sunrise at your favourite beach destination, or the calmness of an evening ceremony at a historical venue that is special to you both.

Ceremony Content

When it comes to planning what goes into your ceremony, you are limited only by lack of imagination! Without the constrictions of other types of weddings, your ceremony really is a blank canvas waiting to be filled. Consider songs, music and extra elements being included, friends and family showcasing their talents, pets being the stars of the show… the possibilities are endless!

Music is often a big part of a wedding from background music before the ceremony and during the wedding breakfast to the evening reception. Why not set the scene of the day with music choices during the ceremony? Think about the entrance you would like to make. Will it be traditional, will you have live music or singing to accompany you down the aisle, will you dance to your favourite disco song? You could even consider inviting your guests to join you both for a singalong mid-ceremony!

Handfasting, or handtying, is an extra element that is increasing in popularity for being used during wedding ceremonies. It is a way in which to include your guests, if you wish to do so, and is steeped in pagan history. Other elements include unity sand (pouring two coloured sands – or more if you have children and would like to include them – into one vessel to create a beautiful keepsake), unity candles (lighting one large candle with two smaller ones either by the two of you or your mothers to symbolise the coming together of two families) or pausing for a shot of your favourite beverage! There are so many elements to choose from or why not create something of your own?

Your guests bring many talents of their own. Is Great Auntie Gertie a closet poet who would love to read out her latest masterpiece dedicated to you? How about the brother who is an amazing saxophonist who is too shy to read anything out but would love to play a piece of music for you? Maybe Grandma has always dreamt of being a flower girl and you can give her the chance to show off her confidence whilst making her dream come true on your wedding day.

It's not only your guests who may have talents to show off. If you can’t bear the thought of leaving your gorgeous pooch at home on your wedding day, why not have them as your four-legged ring-bearer? If you’re lucky enough to own farm animals, could a well-behaved goat or alpaca do the job? If you don’t have a pet but would love to include an animal in your ceremony, never fear, owls can be hired to deliver your rings safely to you instead.

I hope that this blog has given you just a teeny snippet of what your wedding ceremony could look like. Let your imagination run wild, mix old traditions with new, and create a ceremony that is a whole lot ‘you’.



*It is worth noting here that at this point in time in England and Wales, celebrant-led weddings are not legally binding – you are required to attend a registry office for a small fee to sign the legal paperwork to be legally married. This law is being discussed by the government though, so watch this space!