FAQs and expert advice about celebrant

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Sussex Wedding magazine whether it be about flowers, hair and makeup, fashion, wedding themes, health & beauty, cakes, stationery, legal advice. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to editor@your-sussex.wedding


United by love

United by love

Q. We've heard about rituals we can have during a celebrant-led ceremony, but how do we know which is right for us?

A. Tanya Jones says: Hand-fasting and unity candles are just two of the symbolic rituals that many couples are now choosing to include in their wedding ceremony, and each can be adapted to suit your own style.

Hand-fasting is a beautiful ancient ritual said to be where the phrase “tying the knot” comes from. Put simply, it's when a couple joins hands and ribbons or cords are used to tie a symbolic knot. You can use several different ribbons or plaited cord made up of different colours, or anything else you like. Couples often choose colours to match their palette. Using multiple lengths can also be a way to include family and friends.

A unity candle is a lovely symbolic joining together or two families. Two taper candles are lit individually, before both are used to light a larger central candle. This can be a great way to include both mothers in the ceremony and also works well for blended families.

If you're thinking of including a symbolic element in your ceremony, then simply talk to your celebrant. They'll be able to advise you on how they can incorporate it in a way that's completely right for you.

Tanya Jones, Perfect Promises UK


More than words

More than words

Q. What's the difference between a celebrant and a registrar?

A. Tanya Jones says: The fact that you can have your wedding at any time you choose, in any place you choose, including absolutely anything is a great place to begin. But I always come back to the main difference, which is the words. The ceremony itself is written just for you, so each one is completely personal. I believe the words you speak during your vows are among the most meaningful you'll ever say to each other, so they should be absolutely right for you.

What this all means is that you'll be able to relax and really enjoy your ceremony just as much as the rest of your day with only happy nerves, not nervous nerves. You'll feel confident in the knowledge that your celebrant, who's guiding you through the most important moment in your lives, will ensure you won't have any awkward words or phrases to stumble through. It'll be remembered for all the right reasons.

It's worth bearing in mind that a celebrant-led ceremony isn't legal, so you would still need to register your marriage at a Register Office, which can be taken care of shortly before your big day.

Tanya Jones, Perfect Promises


Be bold, be brave, be you

Be bold, be brave, be you

Q. How can we inject our personalities into our ceremony so that it's uniquely ours?

A. Merie Brown says: If you have a church or register office ceremony, you'll know what to expect. It's all about the process that every couple needs to follow to make your union legal. You'll have a set service following rules and guidelines. I myself had a register office ceremony; it was lovely but filled with words set by a stranger.

The main difference with a celebrant-led service is that it's not a legal marriage, but a wedding ceremony for each person to declare their feelings in vows they make to each other. My job is to make sure that they're the most important words of your day and they can take as long or as little time as you wish. I'll also spend time getting to know you, learning as much about your personalities as possible. Everyone has their own style and some ideas are more unique than others – what do you say to the couple who want a nudist ceremony, or the lady who wants to be Princess Leia?! But it's ok if that's what makes it personal to you. So be it Luke Skywalker or Minnie Mouse your personality will shine through on your day. So go for it. Be unique and have the ceremony that means the most to you both.

Merie Brown, Orange Rose Ceremonies

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