A bit of an update for those whose wedding plans have been put into disarray by today’s announcements. I’ve had a lot of calls in the past few hours, and I thought it might be useful if I try and clarify a few things for you if you’re reading this.
A celebrant can perform your wedding ceremony and we can tailor it right down to the last detail – it will be your ceremony, with words that you and I agree together, and it will be a hugely personal ceremony.
What a celebrant can’t do is legally marry you (and it will be a couple of years before we can, so don’t rely on press speculation that this might be of any short term help). What that means is that we can carry out a wonderful wedding ceremony together, but that you will need to separately arrange for a legal marriage ceremony with your local council registrar.
Just to spell that out, it’s a separation of the legal marriage, which you will need to arrange with your local registrar, and the wedding ceremony which we will work on together – that means that until you’ve carried out the legal marriage with your local council registrar, you won’t be legally married. (It might seem picky, but I’ll ask you to sign something as part of the planning to make sure that you understand this bit – it’s really important )
While that could be seen as a concern, in that there are two separate parts of the wedding, in reality, and in particular in these challenging times, there are some real positives that come from this way of arranging your ceremony.
The legal part can happen before or after the ceremony, so all you need to do is find a place that will accommodate your party, whether that’s your planned venue, a different hall, a garden or wherever fits your day (and the law), and I can come and carry out the service. The organisation of the wedding can be much more flexible without the need to accommodate the legal marriage at the same time.
I’ll work with you beforehand so that we agree in detail what sort of service you want, who should be involved and what we should all say and do, and you’ll get the ceremony that you want, not one that is restricted by the church or the state.I hope that helps – if you speak to anyone that’s struggling with this, get them to get in touch and I’ll do my best to help out.