There are many ways to celebrate your love as a couple outside of a traditional church setting. Whether you’re planning a same sex wedding or want to host an informal party in a special location, there are many options available to you. But, one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make is who will conduct the ceremony, and this requires thought.
Choosing a Registrar
The first thing you need to consider is what you want to achieve as a couple. If you want your big day to be legally binding, you’ll need a registrar to make things official.
A registrar is employed by the local authority and will conduct a ceremony that’s restricted by legislation. No spiritual or religious content can be included. And, as registrars work to a strict schedule, you’ll be given a specific time slot. Civil partnerships are often carried out in a registry office by a registrar. However, you can also choose a wedding-licensed venue of your choice to help personalise this special occasion.
Choosing a Celebrant
If the thought of sticking to strict civil ceremony rules makes your feel uncomfortable, then you might want to think about a bespoke, non-legally binding ceremony conducted by a celebrant. While such a ceremony isn’t recognised by law, it’s the perfect way to express your love in front of your nearest and dearest in a way that’s right for you.
Celebrants are self-employed and typically have more time to get to know you as a couple. They’ll meet you in advance and discuss your needs, expectations and how you want the ceremony to take place. There are also different types of celebrant including humanist celebrants, civil celebrants and independent celebrants depending on your preferences as a couple. Celebrants can include religious and spiritual elements if you request them.
By separating the legalities of marriage, your ceremony can focus on love and be conducted wherever you choose – be it at a beautiful park, beach or garden. You can also gather with your friends and family abroad or at home. A celebrant is not restricted to licensed areas and you can write your own vows or even play your own music.
How do we do the legal part?
If you want to be legally married but also love the idea of a flexible celebrant-conducted ceremony, why not combine the two? To do this you can legally marry at the registry office in front of several witnesses prior to a more lavish ceremony. You can also ask the registrar to marry you at the venue of your choice before the celebrant takes over but beware this is often a slightly costlier option.
When looking for the perfect wedding venue, don’t miss the picturesque setting of Hythe Imperial, a grand Victorian hotel overlooking the stunning south-east coast. With luxury Kent LBGT wedding packages available, you can celebrate in style and be looked after by a special wedding team that will cater to your every need.