What's the difference between a Celebrant and a Registrar's Wedding?

Celebrant ceremonies are identified as a prominent wedding trend by 'Hitched.'  The key differences: 

Freedom to Choose Your Venue: One of the advantages of a Celebrant-led ceremony is the freedom to select your wedding venue. While Registrars are confined to licensed venues, Celebrants can conduct ceremonies virtually anywhere (including licensed wedding venues). Whether you’d like a wedding in a luxurious hotel, a majestic manor house, a rustic barn, a quaint village hall, a cosy restaurant, a cherished family home, a picturesque marquee, a private garden, by a serene lakeside, or in the heart of nature within a paddock or woodland setting, a Celebrant can make it happen. Perhaps you’d prefer a twilight wedding late into the night, or a couples only wedding at your favourite romantic location? 

Registrar Vs Celebrant: Registrar ceremonies can sometimes feel restricted and rushed, mainly because Registrars often officiate multiple weddings during a single day. Meeting the Registrar for the first time, just minutes before you walk down the aisle, can be quite uncomfortable. The ceremony typically features simple, legal wording, with limited options for personal touches or symbolic elements.

If you choose a licensed wedding venue, it’s YOUR choice to opt for a Celebrant-led ceremony as an alternative and this choice is entirely acceptable.  As a Celebrant, I'll always get to know you as a couple well before the big day so ultimately you'll know it's ME who'll be delivering your marriage ceremony! 

If the traditional Registrar’s wedding system leaves you feeling restricted, and you’re looking for creativity, inspiration, and support, then a Celebrant ceremony means you have no restrictions or limitations on timing, format, style, content, location, and your ceremony can be tailored to include your own ideas.  A celebrant-led wedding is all about YOU as a couple, sharing a ceremony in ANY location, and in your own STYLE.  

During the busy wedding season, Registrars might not always be available to officiate on a date and time that aligns with your venue's availability. However, as a Celebrant, I will be able to deliver your ceremony and, as a former Registrar, I can offer guidance regarding the legalities of your marriage. Please note that when you choose a licensed venue, you do NOT pay a Registrar's fee in addition to a Celebrant fee.  

Making it Legal: A wedding ceremony is a commitment of love in the presence of your guests. The legal recognition is essentially formal paperwork and costs just £46 (plus £11 for legal certificate).  While Celebrant-led ceremonies focus on the love and personalisation, there is a straightforward process to complete the legal aspect of your marriage. This process, known as a Statutory Marriage, involves making legal declarations and signing a marriage schedule with two witnesses. See LEGAL WEDDING

Choosing a Celebrant: 

If you're looking for a more personalised, creative, and sincere ceremony, a Celebrant-led wedding offers the ideal solution. I've also got plenty of creative suggestions for symbolic elements to make your ceremony truly memorable. Whether you'd like a unique venue, a customised ceremony, or a more intimate experience, I can help make it happen. When selecting a Celebrant, it's important to choose someone you can connect with. I'm more than happy to meet, either in person or via Zoom, for a friendly chat with absolutely no pressure to discuss your ceremony, vow renewal, naming ceremony, or any special event you'd like to host at any location. While I'm within easy reach of Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, and Derbyshire locations, I'm happy to travel further afield, and even for destination weddings overseas.

A Day to Remember: Weddings really are my passion, and I genuinely love being part of a couple's special day. Each ceremony is unique, reflecting the love story of the couple. Your wedding day is just the beginning of your journey together, and I'd be delighted to help you create beautiful memories that will last a lifetime. I’ve worked as a Registrar for 15 years in Yorkshire & Nottinghamshire, delivered hundreds of wedding ceremonies in a variety of venues at wonderful indoor and outdoor locations. Fortunately, I also have the experience to guide you step-by-step regarding the legal aspects of your marriage. 

As a Celebrant I can help when:  

You’d prefer a ceremony that's truly personalised to your story, and ultimately you'd like to know WHO is going to deliver your ceremony. 

Your preferred venue is not a licensed wedding venue, and you'd like a meaningful ceremony in your chosen location, even at your home or in your garden.

Registrars may not be available on the date or time you prefer at a licensed wedding venue, so you need a flexible alternative.

You're already married elsewhere and would like to celebrate with friends and family, or you were married abroad and would like a second ceremony in the UK.

You're looking to renew your vows or celebrate a special anniversary with a beautiful and unique ceremony.

You'd like to celebrate the naming of a child with a heartfelt and meaningful ceremony tailored to your wishes.

Additional Special Touch: To add a special touch to your wedding, consider the services of Colour & Style Analysis Image Consultancy to create colour harmony, ensuring that your bridal party looks their best. I've had the pleasure of combining both roles, styling bridal parties with appropriate colour schemes, offering guidance on how to pose for those all-important wedding photos, and even "marrying" my clients and customers of my daughter's bridal boutique, Charlotte Elizabeth Bridal, (awarded Wedding Industry Award National Bridal Retailer 2024)

I genuinely LOVE being part of a couple’s special day and to create beautiful memories - no two ceremonies are ever the same!

Take a look at the gallery and feedback received from prevous couples here: Gallery & Reviews  

Weddings really are my passion!

Sue Burton

Celebrant Style

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