Help and FAQs

Wedding Celebrant FAQs

Are you insured?

Yes we are fully insured with public liability insurance.

What is the difference between Celebrant, Wedding Planner and Master of Ceremonies?

As a Celebrant, we write and conduct any ceremony personalised to clients’ needs.   As a Wedding Planner we plan, design, obtain suppliers etc and co-ordinate your wedding or event.   As a Master of Ceremonies, we provide compere duties at a wedding, or reception or other event ensuring everything goes to plan and timing, whilst enquiring everyone has a good time.     Clients are free to book 1 of our services or more.

Is a Celebrant-led ceremony legal?

Not at the moment, but there is consultation currently undergoing to review the marriage law given it is out of date ie discrepancies.

Is a Celebrant wedding ceremony less real?

Certainly not! Signing the register is simply signing the legal paperwork. In my opinion, the most meaningful part of your wedding day is the words and rituals you pledge to each other, declaring your love and commitment in front of your family and friends. We cross our fingers the Government will agree to update the Marriage Law to open it up to choice.

Do you have to legalise your marriage?

No. A celebrant-led wedding ceremony celebrates your love and relationship, there is no need to legalise it if you do not wish to.

What do we need to do if we wish to have “legal” marriage?

Naturally, a wedding with a Minister or Registrar will be lovely, but neither can offer a 100% bespoke and personalised ceremony that couples will get with a Celebrant-led ceremony. They will not be able to offer rituals, nor outdoor services. Couples tend to sort their legalities (ie obtain marriage certificate within basic meeting beforehand with a Registrar, then have a personalised ceremony with Celebrant.

We wish to be “legally” married, what do I need to do?

Step One
Speak to me around the type of ceremony you dream of and look at dates. It's important to find the right Celebrant, to ensure the Celebrant is in tune with you.

Step Two
Find the Registry office that you wish to be “married” – in other words where you wish to be legally married. This can be any county I understand. Telephone the district council office, go to births, deaths & marriages, and telephone that department. Explain that you wish to book a BASIC STATUTORY LEGAL WEDDING CEREMONY (you do not need ceremony where you exchange vows etc; just the simple marriage ceremony). Majority of Council Registrars do not offer this service outside of their registry office, but some do ie in a hotel that has a wedding licence. You need to find out when they have availability and time, and book it. At the time of booking, you will need to pay the fees. Likely this booking is done over the telephone, as well as your payment.
The Registrar fees you are likely to pay for the basic statutory legal wedding ceremony is Registrar’s booking fee, their statutory basic ceremony fee and marriage certificate.

Step Three
Now you have your date of wedding ceremony, you need to GIVE NOTICE OF INTENT at the Registry office in the district where you live. Currently, the earliest you can do this is 3 months before the date of your marriage ceremony, but it MUST be done before 29 days. You will need to complete forms, and state where and when you are going to have your marriage ceremony ie legally married (not your celebrant wedding ceremony). The Registrar will charge fees for the notice of intent to the Registrar is £35 per person
(to note – you will have up to 12 months to then hold your legal marriage ceremony with registrar from date of intent)

Step Four
When you attend your basic statutory marriage ceremony you will need to bring with you:
Evidence to show nationality, address, and if married previously that you are divorced and able to marry again. Documents for example valid passports, driving licence with home address, and divorce certificate (if appropriate).You will also need to take two witnesses with you.

What happens if I need to cancel or postpone my wedding ceremony with you as Celebrant?

If it is because of lockdown, then likely to be no charge and you will be able to rebook another date.  

If you cancel outside of “lockdown” you are likely to lose some monies

Do Registrars create bespoke wedding ceremonies?

Not in the sense of what a Celebrant can.  Many Registrars offer either their traditional wedding ceremony or their “bespoke” one.   Their bespoke package offers 30 minutes of  

  • Vows (from chosen resource)
  • Up to 4 pieces of music – 2 of those will be used for signing of the register.
  • Exchange of rings

How is a Celebrant’s wedding ceremony different?
  • Can be conducted anywhere ie inside and outdoors (registrars can only conduct in registry office or licensed indoor venue)
  • Any time day or night, 7 days a week, 365 days a year
  • Can include any religion(s), spirituality, other beliefs, or none at all
  • Any music (and amount)
  • Any style ie traditional, celtic/spiritual/pagan, humour etc, wording, content (its all about you two, and your love story)
  • Include any poems, references, blessings, stories.
  • Any rituals*
  • Vows (written from scratch by Celebrant, or couple)
  • Signing of bespoke wedding ceremony certificate
  • Include any guests or children or pets within the ceremony itself (if desired)
  • Anything goes!

What rituals do you perform (example of Rituals by Amanda-Louise)*

These all point to forever love and harmony together, some celtic, some modern and can all be personalised to the couple and ceremony style.

  • Handfasting
  • Unity Sand
  • Rose
  • Signing of certificate
  • Exchanging rings
  • Exchange of Vows
  • Cutting Ribbon
  • Jumping the broom
  • Honey & Walnut
  • Blending of Drinks
  • Last Kiss, First Kiss
  • Chinese Tea
  • Unity Candle
  • Ring Warming
  • Quaich or Loving Cup
  • Breaking the Glass
  • Wine Box
  • Oath Stone
  • Bread, Salt & Wine
  • Wish Tree
  • Message in a Bottle
  • Wedding/golden crowns ‘stegona’

Can I have my Celebrant-led Ceremony at home?

Yes, if you want to. We can do this anywhere, so whether its up a mountain, on water, by lake/beach, or even in your garden – we are only restricted by your imagination!

Do you have a contract?

Yes, all my services have terms and conditions and agreement, which gives you security of booking, and data protection.  

Each element will have its own agreement/contract. Its shows Im a sole trader, registered with Inland Revenue.  

At present I am not VAT registered.

What is a Commitment Ceremony?

It’s very much like a wedding ceremony but it has no legal standing.  

Sometimes a couple will choose to have a commitment ceremony if one (or both) are still legally married and going through a lengthy divorce, but they want to make a spiritual commitment to their new partner.

Do you conduct same-sex ceremonies?

Absolutely Yes!

How far do you travel?

I am mainly booked in Somerset & the West Country as my main residence is on Exmoor but subject to availability I can travel further if required.

Where can I hold my ceremony?

Absolutely anywhere!

Do you conduct themed weddings?

Absolutely Yes but without the ‘cheese’.

What other types of ceremonies do you offer?

I can create any ceremony appropriate as you journey through life, for example baby naming, birthdays, weddings, blessings, pagan rituals, wedding vow renewals, anniversaries, moving home, coming of age, gender, change of name, divorce, funerals, memorials, pet funerals and officiating opening of new buildings/businesses to name but a few!

How do I book?

Please contact me to arrange a free 30 minute consultation.  

Call – 07879-220046  OR email  

hello@alkcelebrant.co.uk

Wedding Planner FAQs

What style of wedding do you plan?

My role is creating your vision into reality, whatever your style. I can make suggestions. My personal view is that weddings should represent you as individuals, and as a couple.   

Do you have preferred suppliers?

I have a range of gorgeous contacts, however, if you prefer to source any supplier, that’s of course fine. It's about the right fit for you.

Can you be our Celebrant and Wedding Planner?

Absolutely yes! All of my services are stand alone, or you can book one or more of our services.

What areas do you cover?

We live on Exmoor (Somerset/Devon) and tend to work across the nearby counties.  I also spend time in Sussex and Hampshire which tends to take me to those counties regularly.  I can travel through out the UK though.

How do you calculate your fees?

We charge a bespoke fee between 10 and 15% of the total wedding budget for full-service planning and design, with a minimum fee of £2,500.  For partial wedding planning the minimum fee is £1,500. We will confirm a more accurate quote once we have had the complimentary initial consultation (made in person or via the internet). Fees are calculated on various factors such as guest numbers, location, if outdoors, whether you have already booked venue, number of event days etc. So do get in touch to arrange the initial consultation, its complementary and non-contractual.

Do you charge for travel and accommodation?

This will depend upon the package and location, but this can be discussed at the beginning of our working relationship.

Are you qualified?

Wedding planning qualifications are not recognised by an official body in the UK, but we have trained in this area.

Will you take over decisions and our day?

No this is your day.

What if something doesn’t go to plan?

We work 110% to ensure everything is smooth and seamless. Unfortunately, we cannot absolutely guarantee that nothing will ever go wrong. Should this happen, we are solution focused to deal with any unforeseen circumstance.

Are you insured?

Yes we are fully insured with public liability insurance.

What is the difference between Celebrant, Wedding Planner and Master of Ceremonies?

As a Celebrant, we write and conduct any ceremony personalised to clients’ needs.   As a Wedding Planner we plan, design, obtain suppliers etc and co-ordinate your wedding or event.   As a Master of Ceremonies, we provide compere duties at a wedding, or reception or other event ensuring everything goes to plan and timing, whilst enquiring everyone has a good time.     Clients are free to book 1 of our services or more.

Wedding dog CHAPERONE FAQs

What are the expectations if my pet is excitable, nervous, boisterous?

The important thing is to consider the welfare of your dog.Ask yourself do they have the right temperament to cope with your celebrations.Weddings are stressful for humans so your dog might have heightened anxieties too. We will, of course, discuss with you of ways in which you care for your pet, and what are your pet’s strengths ie do they sit, or how they respond to commands (or not!).

There is the saying ‘never work with animals’ and there is a reason that things do not a lways go to plan! This may be more about your expectations!  For example, your dog may not wish to glide down the aisle with your rings, but we will be there to catch them the other end!

This goes for photographs too, it may be that your dog will only wish for a couple of photos before he/she is off to find something more exciting, so we will discuss with your photographer beforehand.

Why do you not recommend my dog attends the reception?

We often find it’s a long day for your dog after attending the wedding, having photos, and receptions can be overwhelming, so we offer to take your pet home for some well-deserved treats and rest.

Can I dress my dog in wedding attire?

Yes of course!  But we generally leave this to you to source – after all you know your dog’s style.

Some of our guests do not like dogs, what should we do?

Not everyone likes dogs, or they might have allergies.   Just let us know which guests to avoid if they are worried.

Can you organise pamper session at a grooming salon?

Yes of course!  This will be an additional fee.

Can you organise additional walks prior to our wedding date?

Yes of course! This will be an additional fee.

Can you attend our wedding rehearsal with our dog?

Yes of course! This will be an additional fee.

Can you organise our dog to stay at a licensed kennels?

Yes of course! Let us know if you have a preferred kennels, or we can make recommendations.

We have more than one dog, can you still provide your dog chaperone service?

Yes of course, we love dogs! This will be an additional fee.

Can you recommend dog friendly wedding venues?

Yes we can if you are looking for an indoor ceremony. Its important to find the right venue that truly are dog lovers!

Do you have insurance and DBS checked?

Yes and yes!

Do you donate to St Bernard Trust after every booking?

Yes we do. We have rescued St Bernards ourselves, and have got to know the Charity who rely on donations to carry out their voluntary work.

How do we book?

Contact us and we will send you a contract with our terms of agreement and also the invoice for the £150 non-refundable booking fee to secure the date.

Are you insured?

Yes we are fully insured with public liability insurance.

What areas do you cover?

I am mainly booked in Somerset and the West Country as our residence is on Exmoor, but happy to travel further if required.

Can I just book this service?

Yes of course!   All of our services can be booked on their own, or can book one or more.

Can my dog board with you in your own home?

Yes of course!

Wedding Master of Ceremonies FAQs

Are you insured?

Yes we are fully insured with public liability insurance.

What is the difference between Celebrant, Wedding Planner and Master of Ceremonies?

As a Celebrant, we write and conduct any ceremony personalised to clients’ needs.   As a Wedding Planner we plan, design, obtain suppliers etc and co-ordinate your wedding or event.   As a Master of Ceremonies, we provide compere duties at a wedding, or reception or other event ensuring everything goes to plan and timing, whilst enquiring everyone has a good time.     Clients are free to book 1 of our services or more.

What areas do you cover?

I am mainly booked in Somerset and the West Country as our residence is on Exmoor, but happy to travel further if required.

What is the difference between Master of Ceremonies and a Toastmaster?

As a Master of Ceremonies our style is more “friendly charm” than the formal stance of a Toastmaster, however as a Master of Ceremonies you still have the degree of formality, but it is delivered in a more relaxed way in line with clients’ wishes as well as suitable attire.

What is your style as a compere?

We will adapt our style to your event wishes.   Clients have described us as warm, friendly with charm and enjoys laughter!

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