Wedding Celebrant in Ayrshire

5 Tips on How to Choose a Wedding Celebrant

Just a few days ago I met with one of my 2018 Wedding couples for a catch up, and so that I could give them their “Aye Do!” gift pack, and at one point we were talking about the wedding and the bride said, “So many of our guests have since said that the Ceremony itself was their favourite part of the day, so thank you for that.” For me, this is one of the best compliments a Celebrant can receive, because the ceremony should be the most important part of the whole day. But in order to make sure it is, you need to make sure you choose the right Celebrant. And you can do this by deciding what is important to you, and then using this as the framework to find the perfect Celebrant!

So here are a few tips to help you with your search…

1. Type of Celebrant
There are many different types of Celebrants available, so the first thing you need to do is to decide on which one is right for you. There are 5 main types:

Main features:
Religious in nature
Usually held in a Church or Chapel
Clergy are authorised to conduct legal ceremonies

Must have religious content
Can be very inflexible
Less personal content

Main features:
Personal content
In Scotland, ceremonies can be held anywhere
In Scotland, Humanist Celebrants are authorised to conduct legal weddings

Doesn’t allow for any religious or spiritual content
You are required to hold Humanist Beliefs (one life and no afterlife)
You are required to be members of the Humanist Society of Scotland, which includes a fee.

Main features:
Non-religious/non-spiritual in nature
Usually held in a council building or the registrar will come to your venue at an additional cost
Registrars are authorised to conduct legal ceremonies

Doesn’t allow for any religious or spiritual content
Usually a very short, impersonal ceremony (although you may be able to pay an extra fee to have more flexibility)

Independent Celebrants
Main features:
Very individual & personal
Ceremonies can be held anywhere and at any time
Can be religious/ non-religious/ part religious or spiritual

In Scotland, Independent Celebrants are not yet authorised to conduct legal marriages, so couples will have to visit the registry office separately to conduct the legal aspects of their marriage.

Interfaith Celebrants
Main features:
Very individual & personal
Ceremonies can be held anywhere and at anytime
Caters for all faiths & none
Can be religious/ non-religious/ part religious or spiritual
In Scotland, Interfaith Celebrants are authorised to conduct legal marriages.

There are not a great many Interfaith Celebrants in Scotland so they tend to get booked up very quickly.

2. Tone
Next you need to decide on the tone you want to set for your day. For example, you might want your ceremony to be formal & traditional, casual & relaxed or lighthearted & fun. Ideally the tone should reflect who you are as a couple, and whatever tone you choose should run throughout the whole day.

3. Gender
When I first started out as a Celebrant I never considered that some couples would prefer a female celebrant to a male, or vice versa but they sometimes do. But what I would say is that if you do have a gender preference, ask yourself why this is, because I know of couples who think they should choose a male celebrant as men are more likely to be funny, or think they should choose a female because women are more romantic. However, there are lots of really funny female celebrants, and lots of very romantic male celebrants. So while my advice would be to do lots of research and focus on the celebrant rather than the gender, if this is something that’s important to you, use it to narrow down your search.

4. Location
Most celebrants will charge a fee which includes a certain amount of mileage and then they charge a fee per mile for anything over that. So, for example I offer free mileage within a 50 mile round trip and charge 45p/mile for anything over that. So this is something to take into consideration when looking for a celebrant. Start closer to home and then if you don’t find someone suitable, you can begin to widen your search.

5. Likeability
One of the most important factors in choosing a Celebrant should be whether or not you “like” the celebrant, or “get a feel for them” or “click with them”, or however you want to describe it. But ideally you should choose a celebrant that you’ve spent some time chatting to, and come away knowing that he/she has the personality, experience and commitment to deliver you a fabulous ceremony. And if you don’t feel that, then just keep looking!

Choosing a Celebrant for your wedding is an important step and one that should not be undertaken lightly. But hopefully these 5 tips will help you with your search, and all you need to do now is start researching the different Celebrant websites to find the perfect Celebrant for you. A great place to start is where you should be able to find Celebrants in your area. And my top tip: Look for Celebrants who have lots of photos, testimonials and ideally videos so that you can view their Celebrant style and decide if it’s right for you.

Happy searching!

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