• Niamh McGuinness

Why Choose an Independent Wedding Celebrant?

Updated: Jan 3, 2021

Choosing your Wedding Celebrant

One of the big decisions you will need to make when planning your wedding is who will perform your ceremony. There are so many options today that it can become a difficult decision to make.

  • Do you want a religious or secular ceremony?

  • Do you want a traditional wedding ceremony or a unique ceremony that will stand out in people's memories?

The choice of celebrant is often a contributor to that memory. In this blog I will be talking about the reasons to choosing an Independent Celebrant.

A question we often get asked is

What's the difference between an Independent Celebrant, a Humanist, a Spiritualist and a Registrar?

It can be very confusing but the landscape has changed so much over the past decade in Ireland, which means there are so many more new options for a couple. Independent Celebrants are not affiliated to any group and therefore work independent of any restrictions that might be imposed by groups.When choosing a celebrant, you have to think about what reflects you both as a couple, your personalities and your belief system. For some couples it’s important that they get married in their venue or location of choice, and therefore an independent celebrant like Michael Grace Celebrant might suit them best as celebrants can officiate a wedding ceremony at most locations or venues seven days a week, with no restrictions imposed by the state or other groups.

So, before you make that important decision, why not look at an Independent Wedding Celebrant, what they do and how they work with you to create a truly unique and special day.

Your Celebrant will take time to get to know you, working closely with you to carefully craft a beautiful, bespoke ceremony that will reflect your ideas, values and personalities. These ceremonies can include a family tradition, acknowledgement of your culture, heritage or anything that encapsulates you as a couple.

An Independent Celebrant will be happy to include religious elements into your service should you so wish; such as a prayer or a religious blessing. You may wish to write your own vows/pledges and your Celebrant will be at hand to guide you; making heartfelt pledges is such a beautiful moment in the ceremony.


A Celebrant Led Ceremony

You may already have ideas of how you would like your ceremony to be. Or if you're unsure, your celebrant can discuss options with you and make suggestions, resulting in a tailor-made service which shares your story involving your family and friends. Creating an environment where your guests are not just spectators but rather are also part of the celebration.

It can be wonderful when children are involved, or you may wish for your parents to have a role in the ceremony, or perhaps the family pet?

Whatever your ideas, your celebrant will work with you and weave them into your special day.

Your Celebrant will also offer ways to enhance your ceremony with a unity ritual such as a sand ceremony, or the lighting of a unity candle. Or perhaps you would like a hand-fasting ritual; this is an ancient Celtic tradition representing the bond of love and where the saying “tying the knot” comes from. There are so many beautiful ways to enhance your ceremony which your Celebrant can discuss with you.


Location, Location, Location

The best thing about Independent Celebrants is that we aren't governed by time or weather, we are very flexible! Your ceremony can be held at any location of your choice. Hotels, Golf Clubs, a family home, local pub, a marquee or a tepee in a field, a boat, or natural locations such as woodland or a beach, the choice is yours.

A Celebrant-led ceremony can also be carried out in venues licensed for civil marriages, although with a Celebrant ceremony you aren't restricted to the licensed room, your ceremony could take place in the gardens if the weather is favorable!

Celebrant ceremonies are also a perfect choice should couples wish to get married in a quiet ceremony abroad; complete the legal aspect in Ireland and then head away to that perfect location for the ceremony of your dreams.


Can an Independent Celebrant legally marry you?

Currently in Ireland independent celebrant led weddings are not legally binding.

Weddings are made up of two parts; the legal paperwork and the celebration of the marriage. The legal paperwork must be signed before or after your wedding ceremony.

There is no rule that the legal paperwork can only be signed as part of the ceremony. It can be signed before or after the ceremony.

As independent celebrants are not affiliated to any particular belief system or group they do not have legal solemnizing status in Ireland, however that shouldn’t be something to stop you from considering a Celebrant to officiate your wedding ceremony.

In this sense, it doesn’t matter if the person officiating your wedding is not a member of the clergy or the civil office. Your wedding will still be valid and legal as long as you have a marriage license and a signed marriage certificate.

What does matter, is that your ceremony is everything that you and your partner want it to be. With a Celebrant, you can specify and tailor your wedding ceremony until it is the perfect representation of your love as a couple.


Your Wedding, Your Way (Married With Grace)

And so we are left with the question, Why choose an Independent Celebrant?

Your Wedding, Your Way - Your celebrant led wedding ceremony can be as unique, bespoke and individual as you like it to be.There are no restrictions on the type of ceremony that you would like to have.You craft your wedding to suit your personalities.

Location, Location, Location - There are no restrictions on where you can have your wedding ceremony. From chic hotel to ancient castle, from forest glade to sandy beach. With so many fabulous locations to choose from, there is no limit to the location that you can select for your wedding.

Time - with either a religious wedding or a registrar you will need to fit into their timetable. With a celebrant you can have your ceremony whenever you like – even midnight or dawn, there are no restrictions – mind you, it might be challenging to get your guest to your wedding for 5am!

Traditions/Symbolism - There are many traditions and symbols that you can choose for your wedding. Ancient Irish traditions like hand-fasting (tying the knot) to the more modern symbol of blending colored sands.Your wedding can be crafted with as many elements and symbols as you like to make it uniquely yours. Music, readings, poetry, candles, hand fasting, sand blending and so many more.

Make it personal - Your Wedding Celebrant will tell your love story in your style. No template or standard script, no tick boxes or restrictions, just a unique, tailored Ceremony written exclusively for you. After all, no two couples are the same.

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