Thinking of getting married? (in England)

Updated: Aug 20, 2020

When it comes to getting married you have choices! Yes, probably more than you realise.

Girl thinking

For instance do you know the difference between a wedding ceremony led by a Registrar, a Humanist celebrant, or an Independent Celebrant?

A Registrar led civil ceremony is prescribed by law and includes the legal part of a marriage. It is restricted in content and is more or less standard for all couples, only the names are changed. Religious elements cannot be included (e.g. hymns, poems, readings or music) and you are limited to time and place (i.e when a Registrar is available, and venues must be ‘approved/licensed’ for weddings which often come at a premium) Some councils are starting to offer a few more options than the standard ceremony but you will pay extra for this.

Humanism is a belief system and a Humanist Celebrant creates purely non-religious ceremonies in line with their own beliefs. They don’t believe in the supernatural (Gods/Deities) so cannot include rituals, anything spiritualistic or religious in a ceremony. A Humanist ceremony (in England) does not include the legal part.

An Independent Celebrant is not restricted by any belief or faith and can, therefore, include in a ceremony what is important to you whether that be religious, non-religious, spiritual, humorous, unusual or something totally different. Neither are they restricted by location (it doesn't need to be 'approved/licensed for weddings), time, content, or style (throw out the rule book). Like Humanist ceremonies they do not include the legal registration of the marriage, this however is easily organised. A celebrant-led ceremony gives you much more flexibility as it is created around your wishes, your story, your personalities and what is important to you. You get the best of all worlds (in my opinion, but I may be a bit biased!)

(Please note: ALL ceremonies are subject to some form of Government restriction during the Covid-19 pandemic)

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