bride and groom getting married next to officiant

What is a Wedding Celebrant?

Why you should consider a wedding celebrant.



Here is all you need to know about having a celebrant host your ceremony and how they differ from officiants.


Each couple wants a wedding that is unique to them. Some are not phased by who announces them husband and wife and just need someone to deliver their lines. Others prefer a more personal approach that is sentimental to who they are as a couple.


If you are part of the latter, a celebrant might be the best option for you. Celebrants have a passion for crafting ceremonies that are intentional and authentic to the couple they’re working with. Creating your ceremony to be an experience that is aligned with your vision is what they are technically hired to do.


If you are thinking of hosting a humanist wedding, take a look at my go-to guide over here.


same sex couple looking at each other while saying wedding vows


What is a celebrant?


A celebrant is a certified professional who conducts and officiates formal ceremonies. They assist with organising and performing ceremonies for many of life’s milestones from weddings to vow renewals, baby naming, and funerals.


Celebrants generally go through specified training and learning everything to understand the flow of formal rituals and the fundamentals of ceremonial public speaking. A humanist celebrant is a lot more of a personal option.


They get to know the love story of who you are as a couple so they can co-create a ceremony that is unique to you. Their specialty is curating and conducting intentional, authentic, and non-religious ceremonies that support the couple they are working with.


What does a celebrant say at the wedding?


Humanist celebrants are very flexible and offer versatile services. They ultimately tailor the ceremony so that it suits you. It is in your hands to choose how you would like your ceremony to flow, although they are there for guidance and advice.


Humanists weddings are about keeping the ceremony as personal to the couple as possible which is why it’s up to you to decide whether you would like to say written vows, sing, play music, tie the knot, etc.


What is the difference between a celebrant and a registrar?


Registrars are entitled to officiate a civil ceremony that legally approves the couple’s marriage license.


Celebrants can advise, guide, and support couples throughout the process of acquiring a marriage license, but they are not entitled to officially approve it.


In other words, the registrar acts as the authority to process and approve the legalities of marriage, while a celebrant conducts the personal aspect of the ceremony. The formalities of the registrar office and your ceremony do not have to be combined if you don’t wish them to be.


You might also like: The Complete Guide to Registry Office Weddings


Are celebrant led weddings legal?


As long as you have arranged your marriage license beforehand, your wedding will be legal and valid. Your marriage is official as soon as the paperwork is done– the wedding is just the celebration of your union.


It’s up to you whether you want to sign your wedding certificate before or after the ceremony. Either way, when the paperwork is signed in the presence of a registrar is when you will officially be married.


Where can I find a celebrant?


Check with your wedding vendors, friends, and family to see if they know of someone they can refer. The more personal, the better! Otherwise, check out the UK Humanism Org to find a celebrant that’s right for you.


bride and groom holding hands and running through gardens



Why choose a celebrant?


  • Wedding celebrants are less about the paperwork and more about the personal aspect of your ceremony.
  • Celebrants are ideal for non-traditional couples who would prefer to do things their own way.
  • Having a celebrant allows for a lot more flexibility for your ceremony. Their experience and advice is also helpful in crafting a ceremony that feels truly authentic to you.
  • Celebrants make the ceremony unique to who you are as a couple. This allows the day to feel a lot more sentimental and a lot less legal.


bride and groom facing each other holding hands and laughing

If you are planning a micro-wedding during COVID-19, I have a great guide that you can access over here!

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