Many couples have wondered this over the years: Is a Celebrant led wedding ceremony legally binding? That's why I've taken it upon myself to set out the answer and the simple steps that you need to take when it comes to your wedding in the UK.
In England, there is a simple separate officially ceremony that couples do before their Celebrant led wedding. These are officiated separately and can happen before or after your ceremony with your Celebrant. All you have to do is register your intent to marry with the registry office and then book an appointment to sign your legal documents. You show up with two witnesses, sign your marriage license and say some few contracting words in front of your witnesses and viola, you're done.
At this service, you are not required to exchange rings or say your vows at this appointment so you can save that for your Celebrant led ceremony. After this, you are then free to think about your amazing ceremony with a Celebrant. Please note that the legal process can differ slightly from one local authority to the next, so be sure to check in with your local registry office so that you know the instructions that pertain to you.
If you'll be getting married and having a Celebrant led wedding in the UK, here are the steps you need to take to make sure that the legal part of your marriage is complete.
. The first step to take is to choose a location and book your dream wedding venue. It does not need to be licensed by the way. This one of the perks you get when it comes to having a Celebrant led wedding. You have multiple options and can pick whatever location that you fancy.
Did you know that one of the restrictions Registrars are under is the temperature? A Registrar is legally required to move your ceremony indoors if the temperature drops below 16 degrees. So, what happens if you want to have a winter wonderland wedding?
Luckily for you, such restrictions do not apply to a Celebrant, and you can have your wedding wherever you want, no matter the temperature as long as you have permission from the landowner. I've conducted outdoor weddings in the Autumn, and all I and the couple had to do was dress appropriately.
· Step Two
After choosing the right venue for your wedding, the next step is to contact and book your Celebrant (Hopefully me). Please do your research first and then check their availability for the date you've chosen. You can then have a consultation with them to see if they are the right fit for your wedding.
The advantage of having a Celebrant is that you can choose who conducts your ceremony and even have a personal relationship with them, thus making sure your ceremony is personalized and unique. You'll get a say in your ceremony's format, flow and more. Most Celebrants also conduct only one ceremony meaning you set your ceremony for any time in the day as opposed to settling for whatever time they are free.
· Step Three
After choosing a Celebrant for your wedding, the next step is to register your intent to marry. Contact your local office and inform them that you have already booked a Celebrant. Let them know that all you require is a simple service to complete your paperwork and declarations. They'll take note and prepare your legal documentation and record the details of your marriage. You can then choose a day close to your main ceremony for your official activity if you so, please.
· Step Four
Step four is your legal service itself. At your legal service, you can choose to only sign your papers. You can save your vows and ring exchange for your Celebrant led ceremony. Just be sure to inform your local office, as stated earlier. You will need two witnesses for your legal service at the Registry office and then choose from each of the following legal statements:
"I do solemnly declare that I know not of any lawful impediment why I, (Your Name), may not be joined in matrimony to (Your Partner's Name)."
or "I declare that I know of no legal reason why I, (Your Name), may not be joined in marriage to (Your Partner's Name)."
Or By replying "I am" to the question "Are you (Your Name) free lawfully to marry (Your Partner's Name)?"...
· Contractual Vows
"I call upon these persons here present to witness that I, (Your Name), do take thee, (Your Partner's Name), to be my lawful wedded wife (or husband)."
or "I (Your Name) take you (Your Partner's Name) to be my wedded wife (or husband)"
or "I (Your Name) take thee (Your Partner's Name) to be my wedded wife (or husband)"…
· Payment Information
As at this year (2020), the current Standard UK Fees for Notice of Marriage is £35 per person, and it is payable to the registration service in which both parties live. You will also need to book the Statutory Ceremony, which is £57 (+cost of your marriage certificate).
Once you've got this out of the way, you can then have your ceremony wherever you wish. Over the past couple of years, I have conducted ceremonies in the strangest of places including on the beach, in beautiful woodlands, castles, stately homes, on working farms, in rustic barns, at lakeside settings, and in fields with tipis, fire pits and cows!
· Step Five
With all of these done and out of the way, it’s time to plan your big wedding party or small intimate ceremony with no restrictions. If you’re having a destination wedding, this is also a very easy way to set about it rather than have to complete documentation and all that will be required of you at the foreign destination that you choose.
Just have a legal signing and then you can do your ceremony however you want. I don’t know about you but I’d choose this way simpler method. So, what do you say?
If you’re interested in having a Celebrant who understands your uniqueness and can feature it in your wedding ceremony, then why not contact me? Conducting meaningful ceremonies that are memorable and respect your culture, identity and identity is something that has been my passion from day one. You can find me living in Southend on Sea, Essex near London and the South East of England. Why not give me a call on 07838921491 or send me an email at email@example.com? I'd love to hear from you.