Can I be legally married by a life celebrant and why have a celebrant wedding?

by Steve Pritchard-Jones

In a word, no! As the law currently stands, celebrants don’t have the legal right to marry people in the UK. 

The legal aspect of a Celebrant led wedding

To be legally married in England and Wales, you must sign the marriage license in front of a Registrar or an ordained minister, however, you don’t legally have to have your wedding ceremony performed by them. The exciting bits such as the exchange of rings and vows are purely ceremonial and not a legal requirement, this can be done at your wedding ceremony. 

A wedding service led by a Registrar is usually over pretty quick with a set time limit, limited content and a short set script and not personalised. Your registrar ceremony must not include anything related to religion, information about you as a couple, or the journey to your wedding day. The ceremony will not include any special rituals which can make your wedding day extra special. 

A celebrant will offer you the chance to have your ceremony exactly how you’d like it. Bespoke, personal, fun, meaningful and focussed on you as a couple and at a venue of your choice. Couples no longer have to stick with licensed wedding venues and I can officiate your special day in licensed and unlicensed venues including, in the middle of a field, up a mountain, aboard a boat, aboard a steam train, at your family home, or on the beach! Because the legal aspect is done separately from your wedding ceremony, you have the freedom to decide and choose somewhere that’s meaningful to you. No restrictions on the venue, time, or content!

Tell your beautiful story

Every engaged couple’s journey is different. Everything you’ve ever dreamt your wedding to be; not a dream, reality! Your wedding ceremony is a celebration of your journey, as well as, your continuing adventure in life as a married couple. A celebrant will work with you to explore wishes and write a ceremony tailored to you. It will be stunningly constructed, as traditional or non-traditional as you wish and with special rituals to make the ceremony extra special and one that your friends and family will talk about fondly for years to come So if you wanted a personalised ceremony that reflects your sense of humour, stories of your crazy holidays, readings, poems, personal stories that combine your backgrounds and heritage, and even live music. It’s your ceremony! It’s your special day! A celebrant will make it happen.

Something different – The personal touch

Have you considered including something extra special and unique?

How about a unity candle ceremony, handfasting or sand ceremony, to name just a few? Rituals are fabulous because they are meaningful and may involve your family and friends. 

Click here to read my blog about the different wedding rituals www.pjtopnote.co.uk/wedding-ritual-options/

A life celebrant will give you:

  • Freedom of choice
  • Freedom to choose the location of your choice
  • Freedom to choose the date and time
  • Freedom to choose the content
  • Freedom to choose who takes part in the ceremony

Plus much more…..

You can have a ceremony that is created with you to reflect your devotion to each other, your love for one another, your personal beliefs and your chosen lifestyle.


Top Note Ceremonies with Steve Pritchard-Jones


Tel: 07988 626 583


‘at your service’

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Steve Pritchard-Jones

Steve Pritchard-Jones

I am an independent civil celebrant conducting weddings, celebration of life/funerals, commitment, civil partnership, renewal of vows, adoption welcoming, naming, pet funerals, internment or scatter of ashes, memorials service, and even divorce ceremonies in Shropshire, West Midlands, Mid and North Wales, Derbyshire, Staffordshire & throughout the UK.

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