Celebrant or registrar? Celebrate with verity

celebrant or registrar

Celebrant or registrar?

You’re engaged, congratulations!  But now it’s time to start thinking about the big day itself, the type of ceremony you desire and answering the question, do we go for a celebrant or a registrar?

For many years, registrar weddings have been a popular option for couples who don’t fancy a traditional church affair. However, celebrant-led weddings are now becoming increasingly popular as they give couples the freedom to have a totally unique and personalised service and are a much better option if you want something really special! 

But what are the differences between the two? and what makes a celebrant-led wedding just so spectacular?

By definition…

A registrar is a government official who can only perform a wedding ceremony in a licensed venue, using very specific contractual wording which will legalise the marriage. They also do not permit any content that is of spiritual or religious meaning. 

A celebrant is a trained, independent individual who leads celebrations and ceremonies that are personalised to you and completely free from governmental, religious or legal obligations. They are limitless!

Why choose a celebrant?

Celebrant weddings are definitely full of sparkle! Celebrants work with couples to design a ceremony that is completely unique to them. It can take place anytime, in any location and without the need for a licensed venue!

Personalised Experience

A celebrant will work with a couple for a series of months prior to the big day, really getting to know the ins and the outs of that couple, their story and ultimately building a lasting friendship! Through questionnaires and multiple meetings, they will then write a bespoke ceremony script that tells that couple’s story in a way which really reflects them, their style and personalities. It’s all about you!

With a registrar, there is no personalisation whatsoever, as they have to keep to that specific contractual wording, which is exactly the same for every wedding they officiate. You also often won’t meet your registrar until the day itself! 

Any venue

Registrars are currently only able to perform their ceremonies in licensed venues, which can really restrict a couple when it comes to their venue options. Celebrants on the other hand, have the ability to perform their ceremonies absolutely anywhere. From hotels and barns, to forests and beaches, the possibilities are endless, whatever the weather! 

No time restrictions 

Celebrant weddings are not restricted by time, allowing them to be as long or as short as you please. Celebrants will often just be officiating your ceremony on that specific day, whereas registrars can be tied to multiple ceremonies during peak seasons. This means their ceremonies are on the speedy side and a lot less personal. A celebrant will always be happy to stay for a photo and properly congratulate you on the most special day of your life! 

Yes to religion and spirituality! 

Registrars are not allowed to include any content that is of spiritual or religious meaning and will have to leave the ceremony room if this is to take place. 

Celebrants however, welcome all faiths and beliefs! So whether you are a multi faith couple, have spiritual beliefs or just want to sing along to the odd hymn, we would love to incorporate that into your ceremony!

The legal bits

Registrars are able to legally marry a couple in a licensed venue, although this comes with many restrictions! Despite a celebrant not being able to legally marry a couple at present, couples can easily book into a registry office prior to the big day, which tends to cost around £50-£65 depending on your location. Couples don’t have to kiss, exchange vows, or rings during this short service, so they can save all of the really special moments for their celebrant ceremony. 

The pricing of having a registrar-led ceremony at your chosen venue can also vary and is often greatly increased at weekends and in peak season. Celebrants mostly keep their prices the same no matter the day, with the overall service you experience being far superior, more personal and meaningful than that of a registrar ceremony!


It’s pretty clear that a celebrant ceremony is the best route to go down if you are after something incredibly special. The freedom and flexibility having a celebrant gives a couple, also broadens their choices for all other aspects of their wedding day, from the venue to the time and content of their ceremony. Finally, the commitment, love and care you celebrant will put into making your ceremony, means that you are guaranteed to have a ceremony that fulfils all of your hopes and dreams and leaves  your guests saying “That was just so you!”.

Here’s a comparison table which answers “celebrant or registrar?”

Celebrant or Registrar Comparison Table
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