Do you know the difference between a Liverpool Wedding Celebrant and a registrar? Which one is best for your ceremony? We asked friend of The Liverpool Wedding Blog Lorraine Hull – Liverpool Celebrant- to tell us more…
What is the difference between a Celebrant and a registrar?
A registrar works for the local authority, is usually based at the register office and completes the legal requirements for registering births, marriages and deaths. They can also attend council approved venues to perform wedding ceremonies; some provide naming and renewal of vows ceremonies, but this varies from area to area. Registrar ceremonies tend to be fairly generic, you are unlikely to meet the person who will conduct your wedding and it can seem like your ceremony is part of a production line – you literally have a ‘slot’. There are also lots of restraints on what you can, and can’t, say, and do – but there are usually (thankfully) some limited opportunities to include some personal touches.
Celebrants work independently and are usually self-employed. Unlike Scotland, in England and Wales, a Celebrant is not able to complete the marriage legalities (hopefully, this will change in the not too distant future). However, Celebrants will be able to give you the ceremony that you actually want – rather than what you are given. You can have your ceremony anywhere, at any time; there are generally no restraints, no generic scripts, no feeling that you are on a conveyor belt…
What sort of ceremonies can a Celebrant perform?
Celebrants perform ceremonies that celebrate any, and all, life events: from the first ‘hello’ to the final ‘farewell’, and everything in between. They are always personalised and personal. Every person, and relationship, is unique and so is every Celebrant ceremony. As a Celebrant, I am most asked to conduct weddings, namings, renewal of vows and funerals.
Why might a couple need a Celebrant?
Because they don’t want a generic registrars script; they want to be able to personalise their wedding ceremony (it will be designed & written especially for them)
Because they want to know who will conduct their wedding ceremony (and they want to make sure that they understand what kind of wedding they want)
Because they are planning, or have had, a low-key legal ceremony, at home or abroad, and want to celebrate with family and friends (with more than just a party)
Because they want to have their ceremony at a venue that the registrars do not attend or the registrars are not available on the day and time that they have chosen (they would still need to register their marriage with the registrars – this is a simple, and inexpensive, process)
This sounds like a cop out but it is honestly every single one! How could I possibly single one out? The most poignant have been weddings where the bride or groom, or one of their parents, is terminally ill. The most extravagant and elaborate weddings where the couple are from different cultures and we have worked together to incorporate and fuse elements from their respective cultures. The most fun have been weddings when the couple have truly owned the ceremony – one groom got down on one knee and proposed, mid-ceremony, after I reminded him that changing your Facebook status to Engaged after a big night out is not actually a proposal! At another wedding in a cinema, all of the guests had popcorn for during the ceremony and a film of the couple played on the big screen before the “I do’s”. But there are all of the others too and they are all special and memorable, for one reason or another.
What is your favourite thing about your job?
I love that I can build a rapport with my brides and grooms and I love being able to say “yes we can do that” or “ooooh thats interesting, yes I’d love to do that!”. I love that, unlike when I was a registrar, there are no barriers or time constraints and I am able to do everything that I can to give people the ceremony of their dreams. I am over the moon to get such lovely feedback from my couples (it always makes me burst into tears!).
I am definitely happier since I became a Liverpool Wedding Celebrant!
What advice do you have for couples planning their wedding?
Consider having a Celebrant led ceremony. You choose your partner, clothes, stationery, photographer, make-up artist, hairdresser, cake, flowers, venue, menu and theme, so why on earth wouldn’t you choose who was going to conduct your ceremony and what they are going to say? You do have a choice, most celebrants will offer a free no-obligation meeting so that you can be assured that they are the right Celebrant for you. If you are going to use a Celebrant check their website, social media and reviews. Always ensure that they are proffesionally trained, fully insured and part of a professional body such as the Association of Independent Celebrants (I am all three).
We cannot express how happy we are to have Lorraine officiate our wedding ceremony last month. She was absolutely brilliant! She made the planning process of the ceremony stress-free and tailored it to exactly how we wanted it to be and more
Thank you Lorraine for sharing your knowledge and expertise! For more information, please visit Lorraine’s website.