FAQs and expert advice about celebrant

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your South Wales Wedding magazine whether it be about flowers, hair and makeup, fashion, wedding themes, health & beauty, cakes, stationery, legal advice. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to editor@yoursouthwales.wedding


Moments that matter

Moments that matter

Q. What are your top tips for choosing the perfect celebrant?

A. Carol Gunter says: A celebrant offers additional choices for those of you who may want to move away from a traditional church or registrar ceremony. It allows you to create a bespoke wedding that captures your style and approach. Before booking a celebrant consider the below:

- Be sure to have an initial discussion before making your final decision. It's important that you connect and are comfortable that the supplier represents you both.

- If possible, choose a local celebrant as this will make it easier for you both to keep in touch.

- Although not essential, look for a professionally qualified supplier and don't be afraid to ask about their experience.

- Check out what's included in the contract and the cost of the ceremony. There may be extra costs such as travel or additional elements such as handfasting, unity candle or a sand ceremony.

- Most companies commit to only one wedding a day to ensure that you have no added time pressures. Check that is the case and if not, be clear about time restrictions.

- Social media, websites, magazines and Google searches are a good place to start your search, but also talk to other suppliers as word of mouth recommendations are also great.

- Book as early as possible as, like many other suppliers, the good ones are in high demand.

- Just remember, to be legally married, you will still need to do the legal bits in the registry office. Most couples do this a day or two before their celebrant ceremony at a cost of around £50.

Carol Gunter, Your Special Celebration


Moments that matter

Moments that matter

Q. How can we make our ceremony fun and memorable?

A. Lisa Kendall says: Your wedding ceremony is typically the first time you will be in front of all your family and friends, so it's important that it feels like the most authentic representation of who you are as a couple. One way to do this is through your music choices. For example, if you're into rock or rap, incorporating these genres into your service can show off some of the things that make you both special. There are many ways to incorporate fun elements into your big day, from dramatic entrances to games and activities for guests during the cocktail hour.

You could do a sand, candle or bubble ceremony, have a fun reading or even incorporate an animal. Having your precious pooch bring the rings down to the best man or woman is an adorable addition to any wedding.

One of the most popular options is called The Unity Candle. This involves two candles being lit at the beginning of the service and then put together as one. The flame represents your love for each other as well as your commitment to being together through thick and thin. This is also something that the whole family can be a part of.

Lisa Kendall, Fun Loving Ceremonies


The one for me

The one for me

Q. Our wedding planner has suggested we hire a celebrant for our big day, should we book one, and what are the benefits?

A. Carol Gunter says: A celebrant is someone who has the skills and experience to create a bespoke wedding ceremony, just for you and you alone. Unlike more traditional approaches, celebrants focus on what is special to you, with no restrictions on things such as location, content or timing. They are not a legal registrar, so couples tend to do the legal bit a day or two beforehand, freeing them up to have their ceremony whenever and wherever they wish. If you're attracted by a once in a lifetime experience that reflects what is important to you, then you should book a celebrant.

- A celebrant will spend time with you beforehand, getting to know you, translating your style and preferences into a personalised ceremony.
- No rules, no must do or can't dos, only endless choices and options.
- Budget-friendly or a complete extravaganza, both are fine or anything in between.
- Involvement of family, friends, children or pets is a definite yes.
- Additional symbolic ceremonies can be made bespoke to you.
- There's no requirement for a licenced venue, it's just a case of wherever you want.
- Traditional, formal, quirky, romantic, retro, vintage, themed – we can cater for whatever works for you.

Carol Gunter, Your Special Celebration


One fine day

One fine day

Q. We're thinking of hiring a celebrant for our upcoming wedding. What should we take into consideration before booking?

A. Carol Gunter says: Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life and deciding on a type of ceremony is an essential part of this. A celebrant led service will give you lots of freedom, and most suppliers will be delighted to accommodate your wishes and preferences. Consider the following:

- Make sure they have availability on your chosen date and are willing to travel to your venue.

- Always meet your celebrant face-to-face to make sure that you connect with them and feel confident that they understand your style and approach.

- Ask how many ceremonies they conduct in one day. Most commit to only one service a day, guaranteeing you their full attention. If not, be sure to agree on extended timing to avoid feeling rushed.

- Check if they're happy to have your friends and family involved in the service.

- Ask if they offer any additional services and if you want something bespoke, see if they can help.

- Be clear about any parts of the ceremony that you want to write yourself and mention if you need help doing so.

- Find out what's included in the price and what costs extra.

- Make sure that you have the final sign off on the ceremony plan.

- Ask if they've been trained or are professionally qualified.

- Ensure they provide you with a contract that includes details of what's included, along with costs and any cancellation arrangements.

Carol Gunter, Your Special Celebration


Deck the halls

Deck the halls

Q. My hubby-to-be and I love Christmas and want to incorporate festive nods into our ceremony. Do you have any ideas of how we could do this?

A. Carol Gunter says: There are no rules or restrictions when you have a celebrant-led ceremony, which means you can build in as much or as little festive cheer as you like. Here are some ideas:

- Play Christmas music when you enter your venue, this could be an upbeat song, something romantic or a traditional carol.

- Hold your ceremony around a decorated Christmas tree. - Invite your guests to write messages on baubles and place them on the tree as keepsakes.

- Incorporate Christmas verses into the wording of your ceremony and include a candle unity ceremony.

- Have your first kiss as a married couple under a sprig of mistletoe.

- Use a machine to make it snow at the end of your ceremony and as you exit together as a married couple. Your view of festive cheer may be different from others, and that's fine. A celebrant will work with you to understand your wishes and build these into your ceremony, creating a wonderful experience and memories for you both.

Carol Gunter, Your Special Celebration

When it's time for you look for local businesses to help you with your wedding, take a look at our advertisements below. Most will have links to their own websites. These advertisements are updated regularly so please revisit often and mention Your South Wales Wedding when making any enquiries.