What is a wedding celebrant and how can one make my wedding unique?

What is a wedding celebrant?

What is a wedding celebrant?

You may have heard about wedding celebrants but thought, what is a wedding celebrant? More and more couples are looking for a way to make their wedding celebrations really personal to them, especially when it comes to the wedding ceremony.   A lot of couples want to have a celebration that is unique and very meaningful to their relationship. 

The Celebrant’s Role

The role of the celebrant is unique in that they are available for all sorts of celebration.  Whether it is a naming day ceremony, a wedding, a commitment ceremony or renewal of vows.  With no restrictions on location,  guest numbers, content of the ceremony and they are available 7 days a week!

So if a couple want to get married in their back garden for example, the celebrant is there to deliver a ceremony that is entirely unique to couple.

The celebrant will meet up with the couple and get to know them before the big day.  A unique ceremony is then drafted up centred around the couple.

With a one wedding a day policy,  the couple won’t feel rushed during their ceremony. The time of the ceremony is also up to them, although sometimes venues will have set times.  The celebrant can help the couple write their vows, choose readings and rituals.  Having a celebrant to guide the ceremony also encourages family and friends to take part too. I love when couples include family and friends in their ceremony.  What better way to personalise the ceremony!

Ballybeg House Wedding Ceremony
Photo credit: Terry Redmond Photography

So What Is The Difference?

Celebrants offer a unique way to celebrate the start of married life. However, at present they are unable to legally marry the couple,  unlike a  HSE registrar or religious/Humanist officiate.  But it is not difficult to do them separately.  Many couples make a trip to the Registry office with their two witnesses before hosting their wedding celebration.  They will often use the trip to the Registry office as a reason to get together with close family and friends, before the rush of the wedding day.

Once you complete the legal papers with the HSE, how you choose to celebrate your marriage is entirely up to you!  Click for information on getting legally married in Ireland.  

Can’t anyone do a ceremony then?  

I do not know anyone who just decided one day that they were going to be a celebrant and then started working straight away.  The training to become a celebrant is intense and very detailed.  Your celebrant will not only write and deliver your ceremony. They more than likely know the script off hand. They will liaise with your venue, musicians, photographer etc to ensure the smooth running of your ceremony.  Your celebrant will act as choreographer during the ceremony , directing everyone on where to stand, sit, move (celebrant led ceremonies are often very free-flowing). They are trained in performing rituals and are a great source of information on ways to bring old traditions into a modern day ceremony.

Elopement on Cliffs of Moher
Photo Credit: May22 Photgraphy

 

Is my wedding ceremony ‘real’ ? 

My take on it is that a wedding is made up of 2 parts; the legal paperwork (remember a marriage is basically a legal contract between two people!) and the celebration of the marriage.  You have the legal ‘ceremony’ and the personal ceremony.  Doing them separately is quite common throughout Europe and in some countries religious ceremonies are not legally binding either. 

In Ireland there are different choices available to couples and it is really a question of what the couple believes is important.  We have moved on from the time when the choices were simply the church or the registrar, and this was the case when I got married myself 8 years ago.  So it is still a relatively new movement away from what is ‘expected’ to what really matters.  Modern day couples are realising that there are other options available, and are embracing the freedom that comes with a celebrant led ceremony.  

The important thing is to make sure it is about you! 

About Yvonne Cassidy

Yvonne Cassidy is Creative Director of Yvonne Cassidy Weddings, and an Independent, Ethical Celebrant and current Chairperson of the Irish Ethical Celebrants Society.  Yvonne helps couples create and design beautiful, unique weddings.  To chat with Yvonne about your wedding styling or wedding ceremony get in touch.  

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