Weddings, Civil Ceremonies, Same-Sex Marriages - your personal wedding ceremony

If you use a Wedding Celebrant to conduct your ceremony it gives you the freedom to have a ceremony which is totally personalised to your own life story, journey and togetherness, and to look to the wonderful future ahead of you.

There are restrictions placed on ceremonies taking place in a church, register office and licensed venues that use a Registrar, but if you use an independent celebrant you can do things your way.

You can write your own vows to each other, and exchange rings, encourage family participation. Choose memorable music and poems. It is your special day - create your memories with your family and friends, in a romantic location personal to you. We will ensure that your bespoke ceremony will be one to remember.

You may be non-religious, or perhaps were religious in the past, so we could incorporate a spiritual approach if you wish to have one.

Wedding Traditions, Rituals and Symbolism

You may have your own ideas of incorporating rituals and symbolism into your ceremony, but if required, (we can discuss in more detail), you could include the following if you feel you would like something different:

Rose Ceremony - A single red rose always meant "I love you". Your gift to each other for your wedding day has been your wedding rings, but for your first gift as husband and wife you can exchange red roses and make additional vows.
A Sand Ceremony offers a symbolic, visually poignant moment that can help personalise your wedding. Bride and Groom and, if there are children involved, they can pour the coloured sand into a vessel which symbolises the merging of two lives, the bride and groom and their combined families with children. The pouring of two or more different coloured sands into a larger vessel creates a beautiful work of art and a memento to be treasured forever.
Hand Fasting is a ceremony that is steeped in ancient Celtic tradition, full of symbolism and primarily involving the binding of the couples' hands with ribbon.
Jumping the Broom is a time-honoured wedding tradition in which the bride and groom jump over a broom during the ceremony. The act symbolizes a new beginning and a sweeping away of the past, and can also signify the joining of two families.
Wine Ceremony - or "Cup of Life", includes the sharing of a glass of wine between the bride and groom at the end of the ring exchange, symbolising the celebration of the harvest and the changing of the season of life.
Candle Ceremony - the "Unity Candle" is one of the most common rituals done performed at weddings. It's performed with at least two thin tapered candles and one larger centre candle, also called a unity candle. Not advised for outdoor weddings!

Package and Fees

Wedding ceremonies and civil partnerships include:

  • Initial consultation to discuss your special day
  • A ceremony questionnaire for the bride and groom
  • Questionnaire for selected family & friends
  • A professional bespoke ceremony design, choreography and script writing – “your love story”
  • I can help you in writing your own personal vows
  • Advice and access to poems, readings and music
  • Regular reviews, revisions and contact throughout the process
  • Rehearsal prior to the wedding
  • Conducting the wedding ceremony by your celebrant
  • Personalised wedding certificate
  • Copy of the wedding ceremony script to keep
  • Wedding ceremonies cost from £500 (Initial payment fifty percent - non-refundable)
  • Final payment two weeks prior to the wedding

Additional costs may be added that are not covered in the standard fee. For example, a ceremony booklet for your guests, ritual props (e.g., candles, ribbons, sand ceremony glasses); travel expenses and accommodation if the ceremony takes place off the Isle of Wight. Ceremonies abroad can be conducted, and costs for this can be discussed on an individual basis.

Legal formalities

If you choose to use a celebrant, you will have a very personal ceremony.

However, to make the marriage legal you will also have a wedding ceremony at your Register Office. You will have a short official ceremony which will be conducted by a Superintendent Registrar, and the Deputy Registrar will register your wedding making it official and legal, which will include:

  1. The "Declaratory words" - I do solemnly declare that I know not of any lawful impediment, why I (your name) may not be joined in matrimony, to (partners name).
  2. The "Contractual words" - I call upon these persons here present, to witness that I (your name), do take thee (partners name), to be my lawful wedded wife (or husband).
  3. You will be required to sign the Register.
  4. You will also need two witnesses at the service.
  5. You will then be issued you with your Wedding Certificate.

To legally be married, you will have to give notice at the Register Office. Notice for all marriages must be given in the 12 month period prior to the date of the marriage. You must submit your notice early enough to allow the registrar to make sure both parties are free to marry one another.

Normally, notices should be with the registrar about eight weeks before the marriage, but if either of you have been married before, the notices should be with the registrar ten weeks before.

The minimum period is 28 days before the date of the proposed marriage, but if you leave things as late as this you could be faced with the need to postpone your marriage.

Wedding ceremony FAQs

Why choose a celebrant and not a local authority registrar?

  • Your perfect venue may not have a civil marriage license, so council registrars would not be able to perform a ceremony there.
  • Many couples are now choosing alternative, unusual places to exchange vows – their own gardens, woodlands, outdoor spaces – so their only option is personal ceremony with a celebrant!

Is the ceremony the same?

  • A celebrant will write a bespoke ceremony script just for you – no two ceremonies will be the same.
  • A personal wedding ceremony includes many different elements – your love story is told, you can choose symbolism.
  • You’ll have the opportunity to write your own wedding vows to each other – I can help if required.
  • Your celebrant gets to know you as they plan your ceremony, and you’ll feel comfortable and prepared on the day itself.
  • A rehearsal close to the wedding day is included in our service – well, how else would we practise it.
  • Every celebrant tailors their ceremonies to each individual couple, producing a very meaningful script. Some are intimate and brief, others longer and more complex but all will be personal.
  • One of the main differences is that you can hold your wedding ceremony wherever you like and at whatever time you like.

Is the wedding legal?

  • A celebrant-led wedding ceremony is not legal and binding – another way to describe it is your wedding blessing. But your guests will not know any different - unless you tell them!
  • UK-based couples make their declaratory and contracting words at a register office before the big day with two witnesses and receive a marriage certificate.
  • The ceremony that I create for you will be forever remembered as your wedding day, and personal wedding ceremonies often touch your family and friends very deeply.