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© 2018 by Alexandra Harrison - Brighton - East Sussex and Kent

Alexandra Harrison - Independent Celebrant, 

East Sussex, Kent, London, and International Destinations


Gone are the days of one-size fits all: not everyone wants the same ceremony.  Today you have the choice to celebrate your wedding or naming ceremony where and how you wish,  be it in a private country house or a farmer's field, and this is where I, as a celebrant, can help create the perfect ceremony for you. 


Your ceremony can be performed ANYWHERE by a celebrant.  You are not restricted to a licensed venue.  More and more people want to choose an unusual space or personal setting to host their wedding.  


If the venue does have a licence using a registrar to conduct the wedding and the ceremony is an option but it is not the ONLY option.  The wording, music and spiritual content can be restricted by a Registrar led ceremony due to the legal requirements.  Additionally, it must happen within a "permanent structure" so you cannot have the ceremony "in the open air" or on a train, or in a hot air balloon should the fancy take you!


The actual legal wording 

“I do solemnly declare that I know not of any lawful impediment why I (your name) may not be joined in matrimony to (partner’s name)”  or  “I call upon these persons here present to witness that I (your name) do take thee/you (partner’s name) to be my lawful wedded wife (or husband)”

These are the words legally required for marriage and must be said in a registry office, licensed venue or church by a registrar or authorised member of the church.  You must also formally identify yourselves to the registrar, and you and two witnesses must sign the marriage certificate in front of the registrar for your marriage to be recognised in law.  


Services led by a registrar can be less personal and are restricted by content. You have to choose from set commitments and your ceremony may not include anything that’s is spiritual or related to religion (unless you are having a church wedding).   

Information about you and your journey to your wedding day cannot be included.  You might not even meet the registrar before the service, and the ceremony is usually fairly quick, and you can’t be late or you could lose your spot!   


Your Ceremony does not have to be performed by a registrar or vicar.  In fact, the exchange of rings and vows is not even a legal requirement, so can be saved for your wedding ceremony after the “official marriage” and this is where I can provide you with a very personal service to ensure your celebration contains everything you want. 

A Celebrant offers you the chance to have your ceremony your way.  Exactly how you would like it. You can even write your own vows or promises and they can be as long or short as is right for you. 


You can involve who you want to read a poem or you play whatever music you want,  or you can include a symbolic act, for example, hand-tying or the releasing of doves – whatever you want to mark the occasion.   It really can be as special and magical and imaginative as you want.

The important thing is your unique and personal ceremony, be it a wedding, naming or renewal of vows can be held where and when you want and contain whatever religious or non-religious elements you feel are right for you and your families.


Celebrants should be trained and have full public liability insurance. Most are memebers of a registered organisation.

Photo by Ben Rosett on Unsplash