You're a what? A Celebrant… I’m a Celebrant!
Updated: May 12
Well what do you do then? I’ve never heard of such a thing!!
Our first guest blogger joins us! Michelle the Funky Celebrant discusses what a celebrant is and does.
Two questions, that thankfully are becoming less and less common as Celebrants of all shapes, sizes, beliefs and persuasions are slowly but surely taking over the wedding world!
Hiya, my name is Michelle Taylor, aka the #FunkyCelebrant, and I LOVE putting the FUN into your ceremony. I’m based on the Essex, Suffolk border in glorious Constable Country, but I travel extensively throughout the region and beyond.
I adore colour and being ever so slightly ‘out there’ and will happily rock up to your ceremony in a bright 50’s dress, petticoat and DM boots, just because they make me happy!
But, before I go any further, let me take you back to the beginning and answer those questions, which those who are not in the know, will be itching to have answered.
WHAT IS A CELEBRANT?
The dictionary definition… A Celebrant is a person who performs a rite of passage
And a rite of passage is anything that you want it to be from welcoming a new child into the family all the way up to saying goodbye to a loved one…and it really is everything and I mean EVERYTHING in between. If you can find a reason to celebrate or commemorate any milestone of life you’ll find a Celebrant who can help facilitate that ceremony for you. But before I digress even further off course, this blog is all about what I can do for you as your…
FUNKY WEDDING CELEBRANT
Congratulations, you’ve set the date and you’ve started thinking about what kind of wedding ceremony you want. If you’re getting married in a church or other religious venue, this is not necessarily the blog for you ( that said I have co- hosted a wedding ceremony in a church with a very progressive vicar, so never say never!) But if you have your hearts set on marrying somewhere a little different, your back garden, on a train, up a mountain or even (gulp) jumping out of a plane…you’ll need a celebrant (who doesn’t have a fear of falling from a great height) to help you ‘tie your knot’ just the way you want.
CAN A CELEBRANT LEGALLY MARRY US?
Let’s get the elephant in the room out of the room straight away here…
In England & Wales right now, to legally marry you will still have to attend a Register Office and have what is known as a registration of marriage , or a 2+2 ceremony. This is a very basic ceremony between you as a couple, with 2 witnesses and is normally held in a working office, not the celebration room, at your local register office. No rings or vows need be exchanged and once you have repeated the contractual words after the Registrar ( all 41 of them!!) and signed the register you are legally wed. You can then hold the celebration of your marriage (more commonly known as the wedding celebration) wherever and however you want! ((Different rules apply in Scotland and NI, where for instance a Humanist Celebrant or a Pagan Celebrant can legally conduct the ceremony, but sadly that is not yet the case in the rest of the UK))
SO, WHAT WILL YOU DO FOR US?
That’s an easy question to answer, other than getting nakey… ( I won’t be volunteering for a nudist wedding any day soon, but I can point you in the direction of a celebrant who can!) or jumping out of a plane (yup, I’m the one with the fear of falling) anything goes!
I’ve travelled around the country and even into Europe conducting bespoke ceremonies for couples from all walks of life. You don’t need to have lots of disposable income to hold the wedding that truly reflects you as a couple, all you need is imagination and a lorra love. From an intimate handfasting involving just immediate family members in the back garden, to a lavish and intricate ceremony on the shores of you favourite lake in Europe, I can accommodate you.
There are so many symbolic elements and rituals that can be included, jumping the broom, handfasting, sand ceremonies, cocktail mixing to name but a few… no two ceremonies will ever look the same…and then when you throw your story into the mix, and it’s shared with your family and friends, (who thought they knew everything about you) it will inevitably have people laughing, crying, oohing and aahing along with you. Your ceremony is designed and built from the ground up for and with you, from your music choices to the readings and even if you’d like, some religious elements. From our first meeting, I am taking notes and planning just how to lay the ceremony out for you, and this process continues throughout our journey together.
Need a rehearsal? No problem, it’s included in the price.
Want help with your vows? No problem, we can work on them together and I’ll even print them off for you. I’ll download your music, provide the means of playing it and will even bring the mic for when nerves get the better of you and you go all shy and quiet on me. I’m always at your venue at least an hour before the ceremony, doing my last- minute checks and preps and won’t be rushing off because it’s very, very rare that I’ll book more than one ceremony in a day. You’ll have fun, inclusivity, love, banter and the most memorable day…all starting with the ceremony that captures your love story and personalities perfectly…
HOW’S IT ALL GOING TO WORK WITH SOCIAL DISTANCING?
For the rest of 2020, I have absolutely no idea right now, all I can say is that you can’t cancel love and we WILL find a way to celebrate.
I’m fully expecting the summer to be a write off and for everyone involved in the wedding industry it is going to be the biggest challenge we’ve ever faced, especially as most of us are small suppliers. But as a Celebrant I’m already getting my creative head on!
I am conducting all meetings via Zoom from the safety of our own homes as I embrace all that technology has to offer me, I can offer you a ‘Nearly wed’ ceremonies via Zoom. We can still mark the date with some sort of commitment celebration in front of family and friends and still make it unique and memorable for all the right reasons. Your videographer and photographer can even still work wonders with a visual record of the day!
If you were/ are planning to marry this year, you are part of a select group of people who in years to come can share your nearly wedding day story with your kids, grandkids …the one where you celebrated on zoom with a ceremony led by a fabulous celebrant who put a smile on everyone’s faces!
As we move forward into whatever phase the Government has us on now, ceremonies are definitely going to become smaller and more intimate with just a few immediate family members present, and quite possibly all taking place outside…BUT just think of the scope for the right kind of symbolism for these ceremonies…being blown a kiss, taking part in a heartbeat ceremony…my mind is whirring with the possibilities!
The Registration Services are going to be overwhelmed so couples will have to turn to Celebrants if they are to be able to hold any type of ceremony this year!
For a Celebrant, it really doesn’t matter if you are legally wed before or after your ceremony with us… remember the ceremony with the Registrar is just a registration and can be viewed in the same way as when you register a birth…that does not happen on the day a child is born…and it doesn’t mean that the child doesn’t get to celebrate its birthday on that given day!
We all just need to think outside of the old proverbial box as we move tentatively forward into the rest of 2020 and beyond.
We will still be holding weddings, we will still be celebrating love, we just need to get a little bit more creative in how we do that…and this is where your celebrant will come to the fore.