Planning a wedding is so much fun; there’s the venue visits, dress fittings, décor shopping and of course the cake tasting!  But there’s one integral part of the day I’m sure many of you have glossed over, and that’s the actual getting married bit!  The ceremony and exchanging of vows isn’t just important, it’s what the day is really all about.  And there’s so many different options out there – from a religious ceremony in a place of worship to an informal exchange of vows with just the two of you and your witnesses on a beach or hilltop.  For those of you who have decided not to go the traditional church or registry office route, or are simply undecided, this afternoon we’ve asked B.LOVED contributor and wedding celebrant Lisa from Carmela weddings to answer a few questions, including what is a wedding celebrant?!

Lisa is also offering one lucky reader the chance to WIN her wedding celebrant services at their wedding or vow renewal, worth over £500.  To find out how to enter, read on!

I’m currently feeling very cosy sitting by the fire here at Carmela Weddings HQ working on a ceremony script for a March wedding. As an independent celebrant I often get asked lots of questions about what a celebrant does and how couples can use one to make their wedding unique so I thought I’d answer some of those questions for you today.

A celebrant is somebody who is trained to write and perform a personalised ceremony for your wedding, renewal of vows or baby naming ceremony. As the ceremony isn’t legally binding, most couples go to their local registry office the day before – or even on the morning of – their wedding and carry out the legal part with just a couple of witnesses, leaving the celebrant led ceremony to be their ‘actual wedding ceremony’.

There are two really great things about having a celebrant-led wedding: the first is that because it isn’t legal, you don’t have to have your wedding ceremony in a licensed venue! So if you’ve always loved the idea of getting married outside in a garden, forest or meadow or anywhere else for that matter, you can. I’ve even seen couples choose museums and old abandoned warehouses or train stations for their ceremony – it’s different, fun and lots of couples are starting to want something unusual on their day so using a celebrant gives them the opportunity to do this. The second fabulous reason to have a celebrant is that they don’t have to use the same words as the law requires a registrar to use, which means they can write a ceremony totally unique to you as a couple, or even as a family. Celebrants often incorporate stories of how you met, the proposal, family who could not be at the wedding or anything else you would like your guests to hear about on the wedding day. This is particularly useful if you have mixed religions, cultures or want something different from the formal wording normally used.

There are different types of celebrants – you may have heard of humanist celebrants, non-religious celebrants or civil celebrants. These are all types of independent celebrants. Many celebrants (myself included) will include religion or leave it out dependent on what each couple wants – it’s all really down to you and what you want in your ceremony.

So how does it work? Well, usually you’d meet with your celebrant for an informal chat about your wedding and about you and your family and the celebrant can then get to know you and find out about the kind of things you’d really like involved in your ceremony. They will then go and write a first draft script and can help you find readings, poems and music too (in my own ceremony when I got married we had everyone sing Madness’ ‘It Must Be Love’ instead of a hymn). This draft will then be amended and adapted until you’re completely happy with it. The celebrant will perform a rehearsal with you and everybody involved before the actual wedding and then they will also perform the ceremony on the day and usually stay for photographs and a chat with your guests during the drinks reception.

Lastly, it’s worth having a think about some extra elements you might want to add to your ceremony. Most celebrants perform symbolic hand-fasting’s, which work so well if you have children as they can get involved and really feel part of the day.

Other elements I’ve added are unity sand rituals, broom jumping ceremonies and love letter rituals – I particularly love this one – you both write a love letter to each other and it gets sealed in a box that is only allowed to be opened either on your 10th wedding anniversary or if you are ever thinking about splitting up – such a lovely idea!

I hope this has helped enlighten you on the role of a celebrant and how we can help make things a little more personal for you on your wedding day. I’d better get back to my script writing – this next one is going to be an interesting wedding as it’s all themed which means a costume for me to wear too – not as rare as you might think!

So now you know what a wedding celebrant can bring to your day you want one of your very own, right? Well Lisa has kindly offered her services to one lucky reader for their wedding day.

The prize includes:

  • A consultation and 2 follow-up meetings
  • A unique one-off ceremony script including redrafts so that it’s exactly right for your wedding or vow renewal
  • Guidance on readings and poems for the ceremony
  • My attendance on the day to perform your ceremony (including a rehearsal if needed)
  • A keepsake folder containing a copy of your wedding script

That lovely lot is worth £500.

All you need to do to enter is tell us what getting married means to you over on our Instagram feed, or tag us (@blovedblog @carmelaweddings) in your own post!



Terms & Conditions
  • Entry is via comment and on B.LOVED’s Instagram account @blovedblog
  • Entrants must tag @blovedblog and @carmelaweddings
  • Entrants must be getting married before 31st December 2017
  • Travel is included within 60 miles of Egham, Surrey. All other costs at the prize winner’s expense
  • Competition closes at 11.59PM (GMT) on Sunday 21st January
  • The winner will be notified by email and has 7 days to respond
  • No cash alternative
  • The decision taken by the promoter is final
  • No purchase necessary


Emma K

I’m Emma, co-founder and editor of where I dedicate much of my time to encouraging people to live life to the full and say ‘yes’ a little more. But with a background in weddings (waitressing since I was 12 years old for my Mum’s catering business, and dabbling in wedding blogging), I am delighted to find a second home here at BLOVED

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