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Celebrant-Led Wedding Ceremony and The Legal Bit - How Does It All Work?

Celebrant-led weddings are on the rise. In fact, according to @hitcheduk, 'There's been a 49% increase in search volume for 'celebrant weddings' in the past year with 880 monthly searches now taking place, and traffic to our article about celebrant-led weddings has increased by an incredible 157%, showing a clear trend for unique wedding ceremonies.

Couples are seeking to personalise their wedding ceremonies - the most important part of their wedding day - and have them really tailored to their relationship and history together. Hiring a wedding celebrant is the perfect way to do this.'

Good news for celebrants and good news for couples getting married!

As a wedding celebrant in Bedfordshire and the surrounding counties, I am often asked what the difference is between a celebrant-led wedding and a registrar-led one.

Can You Be Legally Married By A Celebrant?

Unfortunately, as the law stands at the moment, celebrants in England cannot perform the legal part of a marriage. This is currently under review and will, hopefully, be changed and brought up-to-date and in line with some other countries at some point in the near future.

The Legal Bit

You may find it surprising to know that the legal part of a marriage ceremony is around 50 words each and takes minutes to complete!

The simplest, and cheapest, way to do this is to book a '2+2 ceremony' at a registry office. The 2+2 simply stands for the 2 people getting married + 2 witnesses. You will need to do a little homework around the registry offices in your area that offer this service and on which days of the week they conduct it, as it varies from council to council. To get married this way costs in the region of £57 and can be done in the lead up to, or after, your celebrant-led wedding.

Of course, you may wish to make an event out of your legal marriage and hold a bigger ceremony at a registry office, but this does cost considerably more.

Please remember that you DO need to give notice before you intend to get legally married. You can find out all of the information that you need at the government website Marriages and civil partnerships in England and Wales: Give notice - GOV.UK (

The Celebrant-Led Wedding!

By choosing to keep the legal part of your marriage and your wedding separate, you can get married anywhere you choose, so long as you have the permission of the land owner, and not necessarily in a licenced venue!

If a festival wedding sounds like your thing, do it! How about getting married at home, in a castle, in a woodland or on a beach? Or of course, you could hold your wedding at one of the many stunning wedding venues that are on offer. The great thing with booking a celebrant for your wedding is that you get to choose!

There are SO many more perks to choosing a celebrant-led wedding over a registrar-led one, but that's for another day!

If you'd like to have a free, no-obligation natter about whether a celebrant-led wedding could be for you, you know what to do!


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