A celebrant is someone who will work with couples to create and perform a bespoke wedding ceremony to suit them, but they can also perform vow renewals, baby naming ceremonies and funerals.
“It’s asking loads of questions, meeting up for coffee or wine and most importantly creating something special”
I had the pleasure of meeting Debbie (The Urban Celebrant) at a wedding back in October 21 so it was great to catch up with her again and find out a bit more about how she became a celebrant and how they differ from a Registrar.
1. Tell Me About Yourself
Well, I’m a proud Scot living in Bristol with my husband and step daughter. As well as being a celebrant I also work in leadership training.
In my spare time, I like to keep relatively fit, eat out, spend time with family and friends and have a real interest (verging on obsession) with clothes. My 2022 resolution is to buy better and look to pre-loved as opposed to new.
2. How Did You Get into being a Celebrant?
I was at my good friend’s wedding which was conducted by a Celebrant and I turned to my husband and said, ‘I could do that’. Within the month I’d signed up to a training course with the Fellowship of Professional Celebrants (FPC) and 5 months later started my own business.
3. How Does a Celebrant Differ from a Registrar?
There is a real clear distinction between registrars and celebrants with regards to weddings. Registrars work for local government and are able to perform a legally binding ceremony for couples in registry offices or licensed venues. Don’t get me wrong, this is how I got married 18 months ago and we had the best day. But the downside is that they can be too formulaic for couples who want more choice about their ceremony.
A celebrant, on the other hand, is picked by the couple to help them create a ceremony that is personal and reflects them. There are no rules – the couples decide what they want to say, who they want to include, how long their ceremony is and where it is held.
One very important thing that differs is due to England and Wales marriage laws unfortunately being very outdated, celebrants have not been recognised (yet) to legally marry or conduct a civil partnership. I say yet… because the Law Commission is looking at giving couples more choice following a recent consultation.
4. What Do You Love About Being a Celebrant?
I love meeting and getting to know couples – it’s honestly the most fun (and I get to call this a job). My other favourite aspect is performing the ceremony itself. Not going to lie – I love it. What a buzz!
5. What Makes You Stand Out from Other Celebrants?
The one things about being a celebrant amongst a community of other amazing celebrants, is that we are all different in terms of style, personality and vibe. If you are showing off your true self through your social media and website then you will attract your tribe and people – which I seem to be doing.
In terms of my USP, being a Scot in the South West definitely helps, as so many of my couples have a link or love of Scotland, but I’d probably say my relationship/ partnerships with the couples and spending time to get to know them really really well.
6. What is Your Most Memorable Wedding?
Oh man, I’m sorry but I can’t pick out just one wedding! They are all so memorable in their own way. One moment that still makes me chuckle was one where the groom’s mobile went off at a very important part in the ceremony and it was the gym calling! The photos and the video captured the moment perfectly.
Debbie offers a variety of services depending on the couple or family’s need, however her most popular service is the wedding ceremony. If you want to break away from tradition a Celebrant is a fantastic way to do so. They allow you to be personal, include your own traditions and combine cultures and values for an inclusive experience.