Registrars versus Celebrants
Recently several people have asked me to explain to them the differences between having a Wedding Ceremony conducted by a Registrar and between a Family Celebrant.
Its simple actually- actually my gorgeous husband Geoff explained it like this.
Its like buying a house and then making it yours as a home. To be built the house has to folllow legal requirements and checks in order to be classified as livable. However its not a home until YOU personalise it and make it uniquely yours.
A Registrar will provide you with the legal capacity of a marriage including a relatively standardized ceremony; your Celebrant however will celebrate your wedding ceremony in such a way that it becomes truly yours – unique and personalized, unlike anyone’s else’s……………………thanks Geoff!
Here are a few additional pointers to help you understand along the way:
- A Celebrant will work with you to craft a personal ceremony, make your vision a reality and create meaningful memories.
A Registrar delivers a standardized off the shelf ceremony which can be over in as little as 10- 30 minutes and is based on a standard template which is given to every couple.
2. Celebrant can deliver a service which is as short or as long as you would like, anywhere!
Registrars may have a number of weddings scheduled on the same day. This could mean that if you are too late, your ceremony is unlikely to proceed on that day.
3. For the time being, Celebrants cannot complete the legal documentation. The signing of the register does not have to occur during the ceremony but does have to occur either before or after the ceremony. The signing of the register takes 10 minutes infront of a registrar with 2 witnesses. The ceremony which is the bit which most people consider as the wedding includes the readings , exchange of vows, rings and anything else your heart fancies if conducted by a Celebrant. Due to the personalisation of the ceremony, most guests at weddings wouldn’t even realise that the legal aspect, hasn’t been included.
Registrars can legally complete the paperwork for the marriage documents.
4. A Celebrant can deliver a ceremony anywhere you choose. This can be in your garden marquee, under the stars, on a beach, during a street party, or anywhere your imagination takes you.
Registrars can only perform services in a registered venue which must be a permanent structure with four walls and a roof. No alcohol is allowed in the room where the ceremony is being conducted. They usually stand with the couple in front of them so that your guests only see the backs of the lucky couple.
5. Your Celebrant is chosen by you and will have on-going contact leading up to the ceremony so you will feel at ease with their approach. You will have a close working relationship with your Celebrant to ensure the day goes your way.
A Registrar is allocated to your ceremony by your registry office with no input or choice from you. The first time you meet them may but not always be probably a few moments before your ceremony.
6. A Celebrant brings your ideas together and works with you to make it as personalised as you like. You can have readings, songs and rituals such as a warming of the wedding rings by your guests and the lighting of a unity candle if you wish or any other ritual and symbolism that may be important to you.
Registrars must keep to the script with no embellishments or personalisation allowed. They cannot allow any religious music or readings so there are limitations in your choice of wording, music and content for the ceremony.
7. Your Celebrant arrives early to ensure that all participants are in place and aware of their role for the day.
A Registrar arrives just before your ceremony starts and does not require you to be there more than 10 minutes before.
8. If required, a Celebrant will ensure that the couple feel reassured by doing a rehearsal prior to the ceremony.
NB :Vows should be a pleasure to give, after all they are representing your love for your special soulmate. Make them yours as you tell the world how special that person is to you.
Registrars tend not to do a rehearsal although some may for an additional fee.
A lovely poem one of my brides gave me once to share…..
“A recipe for marriage”
A pinch of understanding,
A tablespoon of trust
A drop of fun and flattery
And kindness is a must.
A teaspoon of adventure
A heap of hopes and wishes
An ounce or two of thoughtfulness
And a scoop of hugs and kisses.
A grain or two of consistency
A dash of admiration
A slice of friends and family
And a cup of conversation.
A dollop of devotion
A soupson of surprise
A bunch of boring household chores
And a spot of compromise.
A drizzling of honesty
A sprinkling of laughter
A splash of patience and support
Makes… a Happy Ever After.
Please note that all photos used on my site are of families that I have worked with and prior consent was given before using the images.
The Differences Between Civil Partnerships and Marriages
This is a question Im beginning to get asked more and more frecuently so here you go:
A civil partnership is a legal relationship exclusively for same sex couples and distinct from marriage. The civil partnership gives couples the same legal standing as heterosexual marriage and ensures parity of treatment regarding rights and responsibilities that come from forming a civil partnership.
There are a number of differences between a civil partnership and marriage. A civil marriage is formed when a couple exchange spoken words, whereas a civil partnership is formed when the second civil partner signs the relevant document. A marriage can take the form of either a religious or civil ceremony, but the formation of a civil partnership is an entirely civil process. There is no requirement for a ceremony to take place and the act does not allow any form of religious service to take place during the registration process. Couples can however arrange a ceremony in addition if they wish.
Same sex couples who register their partnership gain access to a number of legal rights. These include rights to survivor pensions, equal treatment for tax and benefit purposes together with next of kin rights. Along with these rights come certain responsibilities including parental and maintenance duties if applicable.
At present, when a heterosexual couple gives notice of their intention to marry, their details, including names, occupations and addresses are made public, as the marriage register is a public document. When drafting the civil partnership act the Government recognised that there could be a risk of harassment for some lesbian and gay couples if their sexual orientation were made public. Because of this addresses are not published to protect people’s privacy.
Following a registration you may take your partner’s name if you wish, change the name on your passport and driving licence and you will be legally civil partners.
Hope that helps………
PAGAN WEDDINGS – a speciality of Lucy’s from Celebrant Number 1.
Modern Paganism is one of the worlds fastest growing religious bodies and it can incorporate Wicca, Druidry and Asatru – all combining the virtues of Nature, courage, tranquility, wisdom and kindness – nothing scary or sinister, infact in its own way a very beautiful, life loving and peaceful belief.
A Pagan Wedding is totally magical from standing in sacred circle on blessed ground, to summoning the elements of nature, to handfasting and the sharing of mead and bread and even the jumping of the broom – a Wedding where Nature is very much a key player.
Equality, openmindedness and inclusiveness are important values to Pagans and go hand in hand with the Circle of Life.
So if this appeals to you for your Wedding Day, let me know.
I will cover the entire country for a Pagan Wedding- travel costs out of West Yorkshire to be discussed.
Blessed be xxx
( photos courtesy of Mark and Faye Earnshaw and their Pagan Wedding which I wrote and conducted )
Needs help with your vows…….then read on….
Vows are probably the most important part of a marriage Ceremony as they are the road map to a happy marriage as the very promises which a couple are making and striving to adhere to every day for the rest of their lives.
They should be written with thought and with effort on both sides.
Many couples like to write their vows in secret – this can make the exchanging of vows an even more emotional part of the Ceremony than otherwise.
However even if they are being written in secret, encourage the couple to have some idea of acceptable promises that will succeed and are realistic – even if it becomes a “wish list”.
As a Celebrant offering advice on writing vows, consider the following when talking to your couple.
- As a couple, how sensitive are they to criticism?
- Can they truly be honest and open not just in front of themselves but also in front of family and friends?
- Taboo subjects?
- Should they be serious or more fun – what reflects the couple generally?
- Are there children already within this relationship to whom promises can be made?
- Do you want “ being faithful” being built into the vows?
Things I appreciate about you:
- Good Man/ Woman
- Makes me Happy
- Makes me laugh
- His strength
- How he tries to make our life better
- Willing to help anyone
- How he can make my bad days good
- How his laugh makes me feel warm
- The little things (his smell, the small gifts (snacks, socks) )
- Has to win
- Has to do the right thing
- One lines
- His stories
Us as a couple:
- In love
I love you. Very Simple. Very Truly. You are everything I have looked for in a human. I’m forever change because of who you are and what because of what you mean to me.
I love you with all my heart and I want nothing more than to share my future with you – all my triumphs and my challenges and my joys and my sorrows. Together we can accomplish the life we both dream of living.
Even though I’m unsure about most things in life, I am certain that I love you and that I will continue to love you for all my life.
I promise to love you, respect you, support you and above all else I will make sure that I’m not just yelling at you because I’m hungry.
Everything in life has pushed us together (mum wanted me to go to another school, you chose a different technology and was placed in the wrong class, we could have sat anywhere in that classroom, but we sat next to each other.) My choices, my heartbreaks, my regrets, EVERYTHING, when we’re together my past seems worth it. Because if I had done one thing differently I might have never met you.
I’d choose you every time in a hundred different lives, in a hundred different worlds, in every version of reality, I’d find you and I’d choose you.
From the moment, our paths crossed you’ve surprised me, distracted me, captivated me and challenged me in a way that no human ever has. I’ve fallen in love with you again and again, countless times without reservation and I still can’t believe that today I get to marry you.
I promise to be true to you, to uplift and support you, to frustrate and challenge you, and to share all of the beautiful moments of life and some day when the stars align I might let you win an argument.
No matter what trials we encounter together or how much time has passed. I know our love will never fade. That we will always find strength in one another and that we will continue to grow side by side.
I believe in the truth of what we are and I will love you always with every beat of my heart.
Lobsters fall in love and mate for life. And you know what, you can actually see old lobster couples walking around their tanks, you know, holding claws. (Friends)
You love me, real or not real? Real (Hunger Games)