Why Choose a Wedding Celebrant

What is a Wedding Celebrant? An Interview with Janey Briers Celebrates

So if you’re reading this article, it’s likely you’re thinking, why choose a Wedding Celebrant? Or have some questions about the benefits of having a Celebrant rather than a Registrar? Well, we’ve been lucky enough to have interviewed the very brilliant Janey Briers from www.janeybrierscelebrates.me to get an insight into why she believes having a Celebrant on your wedding day is a huge benefit.

We asked Jane:

  • What is a wedding celebrant and what makes them different to a registrar?
  • What are the most important advantages to having a celebrant?
  • What information do you need to write the ceremony?
  • What makes a good celebrant?
  • Could a couple just ask a friend?
  • What Jane loves about being a celebrant?
Portrait of a wedding celebrant in London

What is a wedding celebrant and what makes a celebrant different to a registrar?

A wedding celebrant is someone who can write, arrange and perform wedding celebration ceremonies, civil partnership celebration ceremonies and renewal of vows.

They differ from a registrar in that the ceremonies celebrants carry out hold no legal bearing.

Registrars don’t write the ceremonies they perform. They have to use set phrases and ‘off the peg’ language to make the marriage or civil partnership legally binding.

Meanwhile celebrants have the luxury of being able to create ceremonies free from legal jargon, written for and entirely tailored to the couple.

What are the most important advantages to having a celebrant?

The most important advantage to having a celebrant can be summed up in one word – freedom.

Freedom to write your own vows or promises. To make them as long or as short as you feel like. To write them so they entirely sum up how you feel about the person you are about to spend the rest of your life with.

Freedom to hold the ceremony anywhere you want. Your Mum’s back garden; the place where you met, even on top of a mountain top – your imagination is your limit.

Freedom to include songs, poems and readings that mean the world to you, and get your favourite people to perform them.

Freedom to create a unique, special day that you can look back on with fondness for years to come.

The most important advantage to having a celebrant can be summed up in one word – FREEDOM.

What information do you need to write the ceremony?

Ultimately a good ceremony should feel completely personal to the couple who are celebrating their big day. It should tell their story. So, the more life nuggets and pieces of personal gold a couple can give me the better.

I like to spend time getting to know the couple, so I really am writing for them. The more they are willing to share the better. I might not use everything they tell me in the final wording but better to know more and have stuff to leave out than the other way around.

Exactly what that information is isn’t set in stone as it comes from the couple themselves – the fact that it’s different every time is the thing that makes each ceremony unique.

Female Celebrant conducting a ceremony

What makes a good celebrant?

A ceremony, whilst being a celebration, is also an important landmark in a couple’s life journey together. A good celebrant is someone who can balance the joy of the occasion with a certain level of authority to be able to convey the serious side of what friends and family are there to witness.

You need to be able to keep your composure and head even in the most emotional of circumstances and be ready to deal with any surprises that might arise on the day without getting flustered.

You need to be able to perform – to project your voice so everyone in the place can hear what you are saying.

Could a couple just ask a friend?

Of course a couple could ask a friend to do it. It’s their day. All comes back to that freedom word I was talking about earlier. I’m hoping that lots of friends and friends of friends will ask me to be part of their celebrations over the coming years.

I could probably have hosted a ceremony without any formal training, but I feel far better prepared to do so now that I have a NOCN Level 3 Diploma in Celebrancy under my belt. The course taught me many things, but predominantly that there’s more to being a celebrant than meets the eye.

One thing that hadn’t even crossed my mind was safety. A good celebrant will be able to spot potential hazards and liaise with venue staff to make sure the set-up of the room is suitable and safe for all guests.

The course also opened my eyes to a library worth of readings, poems and things we call symbolic actions, that I didn’t know about before and therefore couldn’t have offered to a friend if they’d approached me pre course.

Ultimately though, a really good celebrant will be able to balance the formality and the fun and make you feel like you’ve asked a friend to do it after all. You’ll get the best of both worlds.

Janey Briers on Being Wedding Celebrant

Being a celebrant is wonderful. People invite you in to their worlds and entrust you with one of the most important days of their lives. It really is an honour and privilege to be part of these moments.

Having spent the last 24 years of my life writing adverts for large brands and corporations, it’s amazing to be able to now use my writing skills and creativity to create something special for individual people – far, far more rewarding.

Nothing beats the feeling you get when you know that you’ve created and delivered a ceremony that is just right; to see smiles on faces and tears in eyes through words that you have written is just magical.

Portrait of Jane Briers

Thanks for reading our interview with Janey Briers about why you should consider choosing a celebrant for wedding day. If you’d like any more information on booking Jane head over to www.janeybrierscelebrates.me

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