Updated: May 11
Hi , I’m Michelle Taylor aka #FunkyCelebrant!
I love celebrating LOVE in all of its multifaceted and multicoloured glory and there is no better way of doing ‘you’ than your wedding day.
I’ve been a celebrant for 9 years now and in that time I have seen so much change, we have become a real alternative for so many couples who want their own unique spin on their big day.
Love is LOVE and the fact that I now get to conduct weddings and celebrations for ‘all the people’ gladdens my heart, it’s after all, about one person committing their very being to another and that IS the most important part of a wedding day…the public declaration of ‘you and me, me and you.’ It is the day that your marriage begins, and your commitment to one another continues…
Times have changed so much, and as the world has shrunk, we are increasingly finding it possible to incorporate themes or rituals from around the globe into all of our celebrations and ceremonies. A celebrant gives you the opportunity to indulge yourself with little to no restriction as to how you celebrate your own love.
Unfortunately, the marriage laws in England and Wales, still have to catch up with the changing landscape, and as yet, celebrants in these countries cannot legally marry a couple, but hey, it really is no biggie on the problem front…
A quick registration of marriage with the registrar ( paying due reverence to the solemnity of the occasion of course, but with no rings or vows required, it really is a paper exercise.)
And then it’s time to celebrate your union in a time, a place and in a way of your choosing, it really is the perfect solution.
From the back garden to the steam train…Any location really is possible.
From sunrise to sunset…Any time of day goes.
From a psalm or a prayer to a completely secular ceremony…with the RIGHT celebrant for you, it really is all within your grasp.
Life isn’t one dimensional and neither should your wedding day be!
With a celebrant led wedding you can include anything and anybody that you want.
There are so many of us to for you to choose from, the ‘slightly out there’ one’s like me…replete in my DM’s and 50’s dresses and petticoats (Add into the mix that I don’t think there are any others who have the full- on Harry Potter obsession that I do!!) To the religious or secular ministers, the Pagan and the Humanists too.
Choosing the right celebrant for you has never been easier, but the one thing many of us have in common, despite all our own differences is the fact we love to tell a good old-fashioned love story in a very modern way, creating the perfect ceremony for our couples and celebrating what makes you all so unique.
I love saying to people that my favourite ceremony was my last one, because when it’s all gone to plan and everyone has ooh’d and aah’d in the right places, giggled at my jokes or cried a little happy tear during the very personal vow and ring exchanges… I walk out of the venue with a huge grin on my face, knowing that a little bit of me will live on in the memory of others for a very long time.
But and here’s the big BUT…every so often when I really have to think about my past year and all of the amazing couples, wonderful venues and different type of ceremonies I’ve written and delivered, for me as a total Potterhead nerd, being asked to incorporate a little bit of the Wizarding World into a ceremony just completely makes my year, let alone my day…
And so it was last July, that I was asked to create a ceremony for two equally massive fans…There was a robe, a wand, the Triwizard Cup, a cauldron, socks, and house coloured sand… Families were joined together in a unity sand ceremony and then the unbreakable vow was made, the Muggle way, with a handfasting, the wand waved and as if by magic…(bio-degradable) glitter showered down on the happy couple!
And then there was the HP V Star Wars one…but that’s another story for another day!
With the right celebrant any theme can be addressed, not everyone likes to dress up, but a fair few of us do!
We are you facilitators, we are there to speak some of your words, (let’s face it your vows should be all yours and yours alone), we help you make sense of the jumble of ideas that are whirring around your head when you realise with a celebrant, that…YES…YOU CAN…!
Simple, short and meaningful?
Full on medieval banquet mi ‘lord or mi ‘lady?
I have my passport ready and waiting! (Failing that there are a network of awesome celebrants around the globe)
‘We’re not sure what we want…but we want it to be memorable’
My absolute favs…because together we get to create something magical, something memorable and something that no one else will have seen before!
So, when it comes to choosing the right celebrant for you, don’t feel pressurised if the venue has a person they always use…A good venue will have a list of several suppliers from all categories!
Not all Celebrants are Humanists, the majority of us are Independents.
Most celebrant led ceremonies don’t include any religious elements, but every so often a couple may want a prayer, or a psalm included into the ceremony.
So, with that in mind here are…
My top 3 tips…
Don’t restrict your search to looking for JUST Humanist Celebrants…
In your search engine just type in Celebrant…your net will be cast much further and you are more likely you find your perfect match!
Speak to more than one celebrant, you may be lucky and find your perfect fit when you speak to the first celebrant butconfirm it by seeing what someone else’s style is like.
Don’t be led by price alone!...
Cheap doesn’t always equal a bargain!
This is arguably the most important part of your big day!!
No-one will remember what the cake tasted like or the sash colour on your chair, but they WILL remember how YOUR ceremony made THEM feel!
Find a celebrant within your budget, and shop around, ditch the sashes and up your celebrant budget! (I certainly don’t want you to bankrupt yourselves, BUT be careful…check they are insured, they work with a contract and they have a network of support, should the worst-case scenario occur, and they are ill!)
Communication is key!...
You’ll find the majority of us celebrants are a talkative lot; we love writing and listening and creating something from all the nuggets of information that you give us…AND boy are we good!!
Talk to your celebrant, email them, skype them or just drop them a text, the more information you provide the more we get to know you and the more we can write about you!
And ….a little favour please, don’t leave it all to the last minute! If your celebrant is chasing you for info, let them have it…we hate nagging!!
So, newly engaged?
Welcome to the world of Celebrants!
If I can help you in anyway don’t hesitate to get in touch
You can follow me on social media too!
Thank you so much to Michelle for writing this blog out for me, I love her creativity and the difference between every wedding!!