Let’s Celebrate: The TV Journalist & News Reporter Who’s Qualified as a Celebrant

Quorn’s Jane Barbeary is a television journalist, news reporter and newly qualified wedding and naming celebrant.  Here she explains what celebrants do, and the growing trend for more personalised ceremonies.

You’ve named the date, booked the venue, and decided what to call your twitter hashtag for the big day, – but the important bit, the actual promises you make to the love of your life, are pretty much the same words used by every other couple getting hitched.

There’s not a lot of wriggle room for registrars to really personalise a ceremony to reflect you, as a couple. The laws on marriage date back to 1836, and the language used in ceremonies reflects that time.

Many people find the traditional wording of a church service reassuring and comforting, and that’s truly lovely. But if you want a ceremony that reflects your relationship, and you as individuals, then there is an alternative – The Celebrant.

Celebrants write and deliver ceremonies that are all about you and tailored to your wishes. Think of it as a hand made suit or couture gown, but without the hefty price tag!

Once you’ve done the legal bit at a register office, (midweek is generally the cheapest option. www.leicestershire.gov.uk) you are then able to have your unique ceremony at the venue of your choice.

It can be anywhere, – your favourite restaurant, a beauty spot, stately home, or back garden – the choice is yours. It can be the same day as your legal ceremony or at a later date.

Your ceremony should be uplifting and heart-warming. It should make your family and friends smile, and maybe occasionally sniff. It’s a huge milestone in your life and should leave you with many happy memories.


You can find a celebrant in your area by visiting the Association of Independent Celebrants and The Celebrant Directory websites. Independantcelebrants.com

Alternatively contact Civil Ceremonies who have a list of celebrants they’ve trained and work with. They’re an Ofsted Outstanding Provider offering the only nationally recognised Diploma in Celebrancy: Naming and Couples. www.civilceremonies.co.uk Tel 01480 276080

After that you can meet up for an initial no obligation chat, and assuming you get on, and want to work together, take it from there. A celebrant wont grill you for your entire life story! They will just gently find out about you, and how you’d like your ceremony to be. It can be as simple or as extravagant as you’d like, and if you’re stuck for inspiration, celebrants have lots of it. You can have family and friends giving readings, poetry or short speeches. You can include religious or spiritual content and have live music or your favourite song played. Children and pets aren’t off limits either, the latest trend is for alpacas as ring bearers! (www.pukkapacas.com)

A Celebrant will write the entire ceremony, including vows or promises if you want them. Some couples prefer to write their own vows, but would like the celebrant to read them aloud. It’s entirely up to you, there are no hard and fast rules. Once the ceremony is written the client is asked to approve it, and if there are any changes to be made, these are done.

They can also write and deliver civil partnership ceremonies, wedding vow renewals and baby naming ceremonies. Some celebrants also train to conduct funerals.

As a journalist I know the power of words and the impact of a story well told. With a celebrant ceremony there is so much more you can include to make it stand out.

Rings or other tokens can be exchanged, and symbolic rituals like hand fasting, jumping the broom’ and lighting unity candles, can be woven in.

The key word is CHOICE – it’s Your Day, Your Way. The celebrant is the person who makes that happen, but the content is uniquely yours. Not all celebrants work the same way, we all come from varied backgrounds, but if you find someone you trust with your Big Day then it can be a truly special occasion.


Jane Barbeary is a Member of the Associations of Independent Celebrants.
You can contact her on 07821 187193 or email her at [email protected]
Find out more at www.nuptials-andnaming-ceremonie.co.uk
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