If you wanted to complete the legal aspects on the same day as your ceremony with me then you can ask the registrar to attend the venue an hour or so before, or after your ceremony with me. I have had couples that have done this in their PJ's early in the morning or that have slipped away quietly from the drinks reception to do it. It's up to you. It would take around 30 minutes to do, as they have to ask you some questions to verify that you are who you say you are and that you are not already legally married to anyone else. You would have to pay their full attendance fee though, they don't offer a lower rate for attending a venue, that only applies to ceremonies that take place in the Register Office.
You complete also complete the legal aspect at the Register Office at some point in the run up to, or after your celebrant ceremony, but it’s not as onerous or romantic as you think. Many couples book this at their local Register Office in the week before or after their wedding ceremony, they take two witnesses with them and complete the minimum legal requirements of their marriage. It’s a bit like going to register a birth or death, very quick and formal and stripped back to the essential legal parts. You wouldn’t exchange rings or vows or have the music and the readings and the family and friends with the registrar, you would do this with me on your wedding day. This simple service with the registrars costs approximately £60 and is usually available on a specific morning each week so it is advisable to book well in advance to secure your slot.
And what about if we went down the route of having a registrar at our venue to complete the legal aspects on the same day as having a Celebrant led ceremony?
The process is exactly the same as the above, you make an appointment (£30), register your intent to marry (£35 each) but then instead of completing the paperwork at the registry office you would get them to come to your venue and do that for you with a simple ceremony (£450 on a Saturday). You would book that for a couple of hours before or after your ceremony with me. It would take around 30 minutes in total as they need to interview you first, but it's perfect to do whilst your guests enjoy the drinks reception, or early in the morning before your guests arrive.
Will our guests know our celebrant ceremony is not legally binding?
In the simplest terms think about your birthday - that's the day that everyone gets together and has a party every year - no-one celebrates the day your parents went and registered the birth (I would be surprised if you actually knew when that day was), and they certainly don't drag everyone with them to sing Happy Birthday at the Registry Office!
It is up to you what you tell your guests. A celebrant ceremony is a real and very beautiful wedding ceremony, where couples declare their love and commitment to each other in front of their family and friends. Many couples choose to not tell their guests that it is not a legal ceremony and their guests are none the wiser, in fact regularly guests say after the ceremony that it was much more personalised and beautiful than other weddings they’ve been to!
Don’t just take my word for it though, here’s what one of my couples said that were in exactly the same situation as you :
‘It has been the most fabulous experience working with Vikki. Due to availability we couldn’t have a registrar on the day of our wedding and I’m actually so glad that wasn’t our fate for the day. Vikki made sure every aspect of our ceremony was unique to the both of us. You are truly amazing and so many people from the day complimented how beautiful the ceremony was and made our guests laugh and cry.’
You can check out what some of my fabulous couples have said about me on this link: www.vikkiharris.com/reviews
I'd love to have a no-obligation chat to answer any questions you have have about how it all works, reach me on 07867 662 351 or firstname.lastname@example.org