The Legal Bit! The paperwork can be done quietly and without fuss on a day earlier in the week, with just two witnesses, couples can go to their local Registry Office and say the 32 “contracting words” that allow them to hold a marriage licence. There is no need to exchange rings or make vows, except for the “Contracting and Declaratory Words”. The cost of this is a fraction of the fees charged at a licenced venue, and also really reduces the pressure on couples as they relax and look forward to their Celebrant-led ceremony! As one couple put it “we don’t celebrate my birthday on the day my birth was registered, we celebrate it on the day I was born – and consider my Wedding Day to be the day I have the Ceremony I always wanted, with everyone I love.” So, choosing a Celebrant is then a major part of the planning process, and here are a few tips on what to consider when making that choice 1. Decide if you want a Humanist Celebrant or an Independent/Civil Celebrant. Humanists do not believe in religion or spirituality and therefore their ceremonies will not include “blessings” or any religious or spiritual content in vows, readings or music. https://humanism.org.uk/ . Humanists in Scotland CAN offer the legal ceremony as their ceremonies comply with the Civil Ceremonies – containing no religious or spiritual content. If you choose a Civil Celebrant, they can offer either a totally non religious ceremony, or a ceremony that includes religious or spiritual content, all combined with storytelling and meaningful, personal content. 2. Check the credentials of your Celebrant! There are a number of institutions and organisations that train and accredit Celebrants, and offer ongoing support and guidance and training so that their Celebrants remain up to date, and totally professional. Ensure your Celebrant has up to date insurance cover – Public Liability and Professional Indemnity Insurance is key. They should also be able to show you their Terms and Conditions so that for example should they not be able to attend on your day, there is a plan in place for a substitute Celebrant from the same institution or affiliation, to take charge.

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