Why Celebrant Ceremonies Are Unforgettable…

Why Celebrant Ceremonies Are Unforgettable…

It pains me to say it, but many people still have no idea what a celebrant is and how they differ from a registrar. I am obviously biased and feel everyone should know. But don’t panic. If you are getting married shortly and are considering a celebrant, then let’s look at how making this choice could be a game changer…

Celebrant-led weddings have grown in popularity over the past few years, and this is due to changing trends, mainly the one to create a more personal wedding and step outside of the expected. Our special day is becoming more focused on what we want instead of what is expected of us. Times are changing, and new traditions are being born. It is an exciting switch that has undoubtedly been a long time coming.

When you think of getting married, what options spring to mind? I doubt there are many. It seems so restricting, but that just isn’t true…sorry to start a debate, but I want to scream about it from the rooftops. You don’t have to have a religious ceremony in a church, nope. And you don’t have to choose a civil ceremony in a registry office, nope. Nor do you have to choose a venue with a license, or even have a Registrar at your venue .. Another more exciting option is becoming more popular because of its possibilities; have you considered a celebrant?


The who, what, where and why…

The first thing I say when I meet my couples is that they can do anything they want on their day and anywhere- within reason, of course! Outdoors, in a castle, on a beach, maybe even on a boat; if we can get there and have permission ( not a license) to have a ceremony there, let’s do it! It is exciting for me because no two weddings are the same. I also love sharing details of past weddings I have led and inspiring people with options they have never considered.

But what is a celebrant? Good question. A celebrant is a person who creates and delivers bespoke, individual, personalised ceremonies, in whatever way you want, to mark a special milestone.

This could be a wedding, funeral, or baby naming, or any celebration of love and life. The ceremonies are not automatically religious and do not tick any specific boxes. There are no rules, expectations and certainly no formalities…unless you want them. The day is yours to do as you wish, and that is the beauty of it. If I could sum up a celebrant-led wedding in one sentence, it would be ‘a wedding with complete creative freedom, tailored to what YOU want’. I love that.


Helping you make the big decision…

A Registry office ceremony works for many people, but several things must be considered before deciding. A registrar has a list of rules and regulations that must be followed; some boxes must be ticked, and there will be limitations to vows, music and decorations etc. Most importantly, there will usually be a strict time limit…an in/out process that will get you out the door as quickly as you have arrived. You may be one of many people they are marrying that day. And if you have a delay ..  there is a risk your ceremony cannot take place.

A celebrant will not have that same time restraint. The day is yours to plan in your own way, at your own pace, making it informal, relaxed, and much less stressful. You may choose to marry at sunset, sunrise or midnight! Am I selling it to you? Of course, I am!

As a celebrant myself, one of my favourite parts of the process (yuck…I hate that word) is getting to know my couples. It is so much fun and often very emotional for us all. When I write a ceremony, it is with you and only you in mind. It may seem daunting initially, but I can reassure you it isn’t. The planning should be just as fun as the actual day, and I hope that is something I can bring. I pride myself on it. My priority is to guide you to make authentic and meaningful choices. I will help you to find ways to include and involve all your favourite people. And ultimately craft a ceremony which does your love justice – a line I shamelessly stole from hitched.co.uk, but I love it!

Let’s do this…

In a nutshell, if you want to celebrate  in a truly individual way, then a celebrant is the way to go. A wedding is just that after all- a celebration of your love with all your special people. Marriage is just the legality- 32 words and a mark on paper .

And if you want a day that brings love, fun and a mix of all the emotions, you’ve now found the way. Remember,  registrar is allocated to you, but a celebrant (hello, here I am) is chosen by you. We talk, we get to know each other, and if you think we are a good match, we go for it. My role is to create an individual day, a beautiful ceremony that you and your guests will remember for life.

I would love to meet you, so why not come and say hi. Let’s see if we are a dream fit…

6 Ways to Personalise the Heck Out of Your Big Day

6 Ways to Personalise the Heck Out of Your Big Day

Long gone are the days when everyone had their wedding mapped out for them, when no planning was required because the decisions had already been made before anyone had even popped the question. And gosh, aren’t we relieved.

That is not to say I don’t like tradition. And that doesn’t mean I’m against the idea of supporters stepping in to arrange this, that and the other. But what I do like is choice.

A wedding should be about two people making their own choices – opinions and input may or may not be wanted (a controversial topic, I’m sure) – but ultimately the final decision should belong to the couple.

If you are reading this now and are mid-plans for your wedding, what do YOU want; what would be YOUR dream day? If the end result ticks those boxes, you have hit the wedding jackpot.

The past decade has seen a real increase in quirky weddings, and nowadays, it is all about personalisation. People are using their day as an opportunity to celebrate their lives together and this is where your perfect Celebrant steps up!

For some, this might mean adding a theme; for others, it is often about including other family members, children, or even pets in the ceremony. In a world where people share life experiences before getting hitched, this trend is becoming more popular.

A wedding is no longer just about two people exchanging vow’s and/or rings; it is now an opportunity to celebrate the relationship found and the life two people have already built together. And of course a Celebrant ceremony has all the feels of personalisation to the max!

So here are six differant wedding personalisations that I wanted to share with you guys to get the cogs turning:


Song lyrics and movie quotes…

Every couple has ‘their song’ or ‘their movie’ that resonates. Every time they hear or see it, they catch each other’s eye and smile because it reminds them of a time that was important to them. It might have been their first date, the day their child was born, or maybe even something naughty that is probably best not shared. To include it within the day seems right. Even if no other person in that room knows the significance, it doesn’t matter. I have known couples to weave film quotes into their vows, which is a really intimate touch. It’s sometimes funny, sometimes sentimental, but it always brings an element of surprise.  Whether you explain the sentiment to your guests or leave them scratching their heads, it doesn’t matter because sometimes the little secrets are the special ones.

Theme it up…

I mentioned including a song or movie line in your vows…why not take that one step further and use that as inspiration for the theme for your whole day. Wedding themes are HUGE! And the exciting part is that there is so much you can do with them; they give you a blank canvas. You could have tables named after songs by your favourite artist, a first dance taken from an iconic movie. The possibilities are endless; nothing screams personalisation more than a themed wedding.


Let the games begin…

Long gone are the days when weddings were automatically formal events. If that’s what you want, then fab, go for it. But it’s not a done deal. A popular trend continuing into 2023 is to make a ceremony fun! More and more people include games into their day, either a few rounds of quizzical questioning between the couple (although it’s best to be picky with the questions, eeek) or something on a larger scale to include the guests. Either way, the crucial element is everyone having a good time. But how quirky can you go? The options have endless. It’s also a surefire way for you to have some giggles in the build-up or in the in-between moments. Keeping a few secrets from the guests can be a lot of fun…trust me, I know!



Include everyone…

Some couples want the day to be about just them. And that’s fine. We all had lives before our children and pets came along, and sometimes it’s nice to have something in our lives that isn’t about them. I get that, and I am here waving the ‘it’s not all about them’ flag. But some also like including others in the celebrations, maybe even giving them a role. It doesn’t have to be a huge role but just enough to make them feel part of it. If you want your wedding day to be a family affair, that’s exactly what you should have. Remember that you make the rules! I have so many ideas to inspire my couples that it can become one of the most exciting parts of the planning process. Planning shouldn’t be stressful; it should be fun and a memory to hold on to.


Craft some homemade touches…

We are a generation of Etsy lovers; We are all about reusing, recycling and borrowing! Couples now bring homemade delights to their day…ring boxes painted by their children and cake stands made during the hen party. Knowing that friends and family have helped create things for the day is pretty special, especially if they can be used again or kept in a prime spot to be looked at and treasured for many years to come. So get those creative juices flowing; this is the time to bring personal touches to your day.


Photo booth and disposable cameras…

Need I say any more here? The second someone mentions a photo booth, we know it will be a fun day. In one of my other blogs, I mentioned that raw photos are now more popular than ever, and I still stand by that. Professional photos will always be necessary, but we want contrast nowadays. We want blurry pictures of Uncle Ted with a curly wig tripping over a chair. We want an off-centre snap of anyone wearing a feather boa. This stuff is gold and has a place in every newlywed’s wedding album.


I could go on forever. In fact, picking just six wedding personalisations was almost impossible. If these ideas have got you thinking about what you want your day to symbolise, then come and have a chat.

We can laugh and cry and brainstorm together. I am here to listen and support…oh and to help make your special day everything you could possibly dream of, trust me when I say I am a celebrant who is as passionate about your ceremony as you are!




Why a Celebrant? Good Question!

Why a Celebrant? Good Question!

When my husband proposed, I assumed we would get married in a registry office. We aren’t religious, so that was our only option, right? Wrong.

And thank God I found out in time. As the first blog for Vidal Ceremonies, this seemed like the perfect place to start…one of her brides sharing their own journey and shouting about why a celebrant could be the right choice for you.
Lee and I had been together 12 years when he proposed; we both knew that for us, a wedding was about sealing the deal. We were already life partners, owned our own home, and had two beautiful (if slightly feral) children. Our day needed to celebrate the life we shared and the one we were building for our future. In a nutshell, we wanted a party – one big fat whoop to everything we had achieved. And we wanted all of our friends there to share it with us.

How it all began…

The first item on the list was to find a venue. Strangely that went pretty smoothly. We had a place in mind, arranged a visit to discuss it with them, and had a date provisionally booked within the week. But the meeting took a strange turn of events. Over a glass of Bucks Fizz – it was only 10am, but who’s judging? – we discussed the possibility of upgrading the wedding reception to the wedding and swerving the registry office ceremony .

That’s when the venue suggested a celebrant (keeping the Registry Office to a minimum, no frills business, at our leisure) and even had someone in mind. A recommendation from a friend of a friend led to a phone number arriving in my inbox. She was described as a warm, friendly, funny and slightly naughty woman (where appropriate, of course) from Peterborough that would be a perfect fit for our personalities…. I was intrigued. To me, registrars were serious and wore grey suits, and they certainly were NOT naughty. And celebrants? Well, I didn’t even know what they were. So that’s how I ended up on the phone with Gill, aka Vidal Ceremonies.

An hour later, I hung up and looked at Lee. Then I started crying. We knew instantly that this woman would marry us. Her mission was to learn about the life we shared and create a ceremony tailored to us. Not a generic speech. Not a religious speech. Not something that would send our guests into a deep sleep. Instead, we knew our ceremony would be filled with fun, personality, and the odd bit of cringe because those are the things that separate our story from everyone else’s.

Between our first conversation and the wedding, we developed a fantastic relationship with Gill. She kept in regular contact with us via zoom calls, emails, and texts; we even met for a Costa…her treat! By the time the wedding arrived, Gill was an important part of our lives. She had heard a journey that even those closest to us probably didn’t know every aspect of. And she had seen me cry when we talked about the ups and downs of our crazy 12 years together. I didn’t realise what an emotional journey working with a celebrant could be. If you are considering it yourself, be prepared for an experience you will never forget. There will be laughter, tears, moments of pure joy, and times when you question things you had never really thought about. It truly was a crazy few months, but a time I would relive in a blink of an eye if I could. I’m sad it’s over.

Let’s cut to the big day…

When I walked down the aisle, I saw my husband and cried instantly – I knew I would, hence the fake lashes and waterproof mascara. I was a mess of emotions. But I also saw Gill. The woman we had shared some intimate moments with over the past six months and the woman who would unite us as husband and wife. Her face immediately put me at ease before she whispered, ‘let’s do this’. I was ready to embrace our special day. The one I had waited over a decade for.

Our ceremony was everything I imagined. It was emotional. It was funny. And it was honest. Gill spoke about who we were as individuals and as a couple. She spoke about how we met and all our crazy times together. Our guests laughed and cried and occasionally gasped; all the emotions were there. I can’t even begin to describe how Gill captivates a room. She is endearing and delivered our story beautifully. I felt like this woman we had known for such a short time knew us better than some of our guests. Why? Because she had taken the time to.

Her mission from the first day we met was to embrace our world. Our ceremony touched everyone who shared our wedding day, and if I could go back and do it again, would I have done it the same way? Abso-bloody-lutely. My wedding day was the best day of my life, and Gill played a massive part in that.

It was a no-brainer…

If you are considering a celebrant but need to hear the first-hand experience of a blushing bride, then I hope my story has opened your eyes – and heart – to the joy a celebrant can bring.

If you want someone who will prompt you if you get your vows mixed up (not talking about myself, of course), then Gill is your woman. And if you want someone that will bring the ceremony back to ‘the moment’ if your husband’s phone rings mid-service (not talking about my husband, of course); plus all of the above-then Gill could very well be the right fit for you.
A celebrant is a friend for life, not just an extra guest at the wedding. We made the perfect choice.

Charlotte Milbank, Cambridge
Guest Blogger and Bride of 2022
(Chatty Puffin Writing Services – Writing Services | Chatty Puffin | Ely)