One of the first questions most people ask when they call us is “do you have wedding licence?”. The answer is no, but don’t let that stop you from choosing Highfields Park as your wedding venue! Katie Keen, Wedding Celebrant at True Blue Ceremonies, is right here on our blog to answer all the questions you have about wedding blessings and how you can still have your whole wedding day in one place.
Over to you Katie!
Many modern couples are choosing personal Wedding Ceremonies (also known as Blessings) created and performed by an Independent Celebrant, as an alternative to some of those bland, repetitive and frankly dull scripts and sermons you’ll often hear delivered by a local authority Registrar or Vicar.
Many of these couples also now research and source their wedding suppliers independently, putting together their own bespoke wedding day just the way they want it, rather than having to choose a package deal from a restrictive list of preferred wedding vendors at a traditional ‘wedding venue’.
So today I’m going to answer some of the most common questions I get asked about these types of ceremonies – so here goes!
Where can I have a blessing?
In recent times, demand for Wedding Ceremonies that are unique and tailored to each couple has soared, and as a result there are more Celebrants available to create these ceremonies for couples. There’s also been a great deal of interest in Celebrant-led ceremonies across the wedding industry because of the bespoke nature of the work and the fact that these personal ceremonies can be held almost anywhere. Properties without civil licences are now able to serve as locations for a Blessing Ceremony as part of their wedding offering, meaning that the whole Wedding Day may be held in one place.
Why would I choose a Celebrant-led Wedding Ceremony?
You get complete control of the written content of your ceremony, plus any visual enhancements to the script (perhaps hand-fasting, a unity candle ceremony or a ring-blessing).
You have the flexibility to hold your wedding anywhere meaningful (particularly outdoors): woodland and festival weddings, tipi or marquee weddings are popular, as well as those hosted at home.
You’ll build up a close relationship with your Celebrant as you create your own unique ceremony together and then everything won’t seem to scary on the day. Celebrants also bring a wealth of knowledge, especially suggesting poetry, readings, enhancements and advising on timings and running order. You’ll get the reassurance that your wedding ceremony will be professionally planned, rehearsed and stage managed on the day to ensure everything runs smoothly.
Which couples usually choose an Independent Celebrant for their Wedding Ceremony?
Mostly it is couples who love the idea of saying their ‘I Dos’ completely in the open air, in the garden of their family home, in a woodland, a meadow or beach setting, Sometimes even a museum, steam railway or snowy mountainside!
Many couples want their wedding day to start with a meaningful ceremony incorporating their own unique, individual love story, which their guests will remember for a long time.
Other reasons can be that the couple have married abroad and wish to have a symbolic English Wedding back home or they don’t want to marry in a place of worship but wish to use a smattering of religion in their wedding, perhaps a hymn or a prayer, which is impossible with a Registrar-led civil ceremony as it must remain secular.
I often carry out ceremonies for multi-faith couples who want to incorporate symbolism and ritualistic elements from both their faiths and backgrounds into one unique bespoke tailored ceremony.
For some it’s simply the only choice if they wish to do something completely different such as celebrations featuring a festival, cosplay, steampunk, gothic or medieval. There is something out there for everyone!
Are the Wedding Ceremonies Legal?
The ceremonies themselves don’t cover the legal aspects of a wedding. Couples will need to book a statutory Marriage Registration appointment at their local Register Office, taking two witnesses with them to observe the requirements of marriage law in England and Wales (it’s slightly different in Scotland). Declaratory and contracting words are spoken, the Register is signed and couples leave with their Marriage Certificate, free to celebrate their personal Wedding Ceremony exactly how they want in front of their guests.
Some couples liken it to signing the deeds on a property transaction before getting the keys to their new home! They may not have legal status yet, but Wedding Blessings are uniquely personal and always about the couple – which really is the most important thing!
Thanks so much Katie. If you would like to know more about Wedding Blessings visit Katie at True Blue Ceremonies.