Advantages of a Celebrant for your Wedding Ceremony in Scotland
The main reason for using the services of a Celebrant to conduct your wedding ceremony is CHOICE. Celebrants are not tied to any belief system – religious or humanist – and they are not tied to the strict ceremony regulations that apply to state registrars. With a Celebrant you can have the ceremony you desire in the venue of your choice and the ceremony will be totally geared to your philosophy and beliefs. After all it’s your wedding and the ceremony is a very important part of your wedding day.
With a Celebrant you can now make both the ceremony and the reception as individual as you please. You may be happy to have a traditional a religious ceremony with traditional vows and the order of the ceremony dictated by someone else with restrictions on readings, music, vows and sometimes even photographs. A civil or humanist ceremony is the opposite as you won’t be allowed to include any content that’s related to religion, such as hymns (even as quotes), Bible references, or even songs that indirectly refer to religion. A good wedding Celebrant is working for you and will follow your guidance.
Wedding Celebrants are not that well known in the UK, but they have been around for about 50 years. In England, Scotland and Wales you must be legally married first at the registry office and then you are free to work with your celebrant to design the wedding ceremony of your dreams.
A Wedding Celebrant gives you flexibility. You will be able to have your wedding in the venue of your choice as well outdoors. It’s entirely up to you how the whole occasion reflects your personal beliefs and lifestyle. You will choose your own vows, readings, poems, music, retuals, decor and anything else you fancy, without restriction.
When you are standing in front of all your guests, the person welcoming them and officiating your ceremony is one of the most significant people at your wedding. You will have had several meetings, emails, phone conversations, planning and drafting and redrafting your wedding ceremony. This person is the one asking you to commit your lives together and the person you have appointed. This will not be the case with religious, humanist, or registrar weddings who all are bound by the strictures of their organisation.
With a good Celebrant you can have your wedding themed. You and your partner might share a common hobby that you would want incorporated into your service. You may decide on a more formal occasion and would like the ceremony to follow a certain traditional structure, or you are a couple that find yourselves never on time, and need a Celebrant who is relaxed and doesn’t mind the start time being a little flexible.
You can choose, speak to and meet many wedding Celebrants before deciding on the right one for you. You can find someone who suits your style, someone you really connect with and trust to have the responsibility on the special day.
© Chris Vermeulen
Falling in love, getting engaged, and planning your marriage to the person of your dreams is meant to be romantic and a celebration of love. However there is a less romantic side to getting married as it is the legal union of two people, who are joined together after they have obtained a marriage license from the state registrar. The law of the land defines the rights and responsibilities of your marriage relationship, which you and your partner may modify by creating a premarital (or prenuptial) agreement.
Every country has a legal process that must be followed to the letter of the law in order to be legally married. For example in France and Germany all couples have to be legally married in the town hall before they can have a member of clergy, humanist, or celebrant conduct their wedding ceremony. In Scotland all couples must obtain and complete the “Marriage Notice Application Form M10” from the registrar in the district in which the marriage is to take place.
If they are to be married by a religious or humanist officiant they need to collect the marriage schedule that will be signed by the couple, two witnesses and the officiant during the wedding service and then lodged at the registrars on the next working day. Alternatively the couple can to book the service room and have a secular wedding ceremony conducted by the registrar. By definition religious celebrants have to follow the rules of their religious institutions when conducting a wedding. Likewise humanist celebrants have to adhere the humanist society’s rules and philosophy. Registrars have rules and guidelines set by the state and there is very little wriggle room.
However there is a way to separate the legal requirements and still have the ceremony of your dreams. That is to follow the process outlined above regarding the “Marriage Notice Application Form M10” and once the registrar has checked the paperwork and is satisfied you can return to the registrar office in your casual clothes with two witness for a short five to ten minute ceremony – which I believe is unnecessary - and sign the paperwork. In Scotland the registrars insist on this, but this is not the case in every country.
You are now free to work with your chosen celebrant to design the wedding ceremony of your dreams. Your wedding ceremony is truly the most important part of the wedding day and using a Wedding Celebrant allows you all the flexibility you’d wish for. You will be able to have your wedding ceremony however you choose and it’ll be entirely up to you how the whole occasion flows and reflects your personal beliefs and lifestyle. You will choose your own vows, readings, poems, music, venue, decor and anything else you fancy, without restriction. All other forms of wedding ceremonies have to follow certain rules and formula.
When I conduct such weddings we sign a specially printed commemorative marriage certificate during the wedding ceremony at your venue. I also give couples a professionally printed booklet containing their bespoke ceremony which they will be able to keep as a memento or record of their big day.
© Chris Vermeulen