WHAT IS A WEDDING CELEBRANT?

If you’re looking to have an alternative wedding ceremony or perhaps you’d like a ceremony on top of a mountain, but marriage restrictions in the UK mean that you can’t, you may want to think about hiring a celebrant.

I had a catch up with Lynn from Lynn Tierney Ceremonies, a professional celebrant who shed some light on what it’s like having a celebrant led ceremony.

Oxford Celebrant - The Oxford Wedding Blog

FIRSTLY, WHAT IS A CELEBRANT?

“A celebrant is someone who writes and conducts a wedding ceremony.  It is for couples who want a celebratory ceremony and want more than a registrar can offer them.  They don’t want a service that’s been written for everyone else, they want the ceremony to be about them, and they want it to be personal, and restriction free.

These couples are usually happy to do the legal paperwork another day, then that frees them up to have whatever they want in their ceremony and to have their ceremony wherever they want as well.  In the England and Wales, the law says you have to get married in a licenced venue, under cover a permanent structure with a roof.  Lots of venues offer this but, at the same time, loads don’t.  So having a celebrant is a great alternative option as couples can have their ceremony wherever they wish.

The Oxford Wedding Blog - Alternative Wedding Ceremony

WHATS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A HUMANIST CELEBRANT AND A CELEBRANT?

A humanist celebrant is one that is a member of and has been trained by Humanists UK and works within that belief system, whereas an independent celebrant works with all couples, regardless of their beliefs, culture and lifestyle.

alternative wedding ceremony by Philippa James Photography

WHAT SHOULD COUPLES EXPECT WHEN HIRING A CELEBRANT?

What I tend to do is meet with the couple and ask them lots of questions so I have an idea of who they are and what their wedding vibe is going to be.  I find out how they met, what their future dreams are, when was the exact moment they knew they were for right for each other, why they are getting married at this point, and what marriage means to them.  Then we have a planning meeting, and go through what everything will look like on the day – how they are walking into the ceremony, music, any readings, and any theatre.  All this helps me write the ceremony script.

At the start of the ceremony I welcome everyone, and throughout the ceremony I share the couple’s story.  The couple read their vows – and I encourage couples to write their own vows – then I talk them through exchanging the rings.  Some couples have a  certificate to sign, and some have a symbolic ritual such as a handfasting.  Each couple is different and each ceremony is personal to that couple.  It’s my job to write the script and deliver a performance that matches their personality and relationship.

Oxford Outdoor Wedding by Philippa James photography

CAN YOU RECOMMEND ANY ALTERNATIVE OXFORDSHIRE WEDDING VENUES THAT YOU LOVE WORKING WITH…

Yes I can.  There are so many beautiful outside spaces in our county that are just perfect for holding a ceremony.  And I love a barn wedding.  I do a lot of outside weddings at The Thythe Barn, it is such a lovely wedding venue and the staff are brilliant there.  For more information about Lynn or to get in touch – www.lynntierneyceremonies.co.uk

NEXT WEEK LYNN SHARES 5 TOP TIPS FOR WRITING YOUR OWN CEREMONY… WATCH THIS SPACE!

For more alternative wedding ceremony inspiration take a peek at my own wedding here:  AN OXFORDSHIRE WEDDING FESTIVAL where my brother-in-law wrote and conducted our wedding ceremony.

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