Celebrant or Humanist?

What are the differences between a Celebrant and a Humanist?

The obvious difference is at the end of a ceremony conducted by a Humanist, you will be legally married; however, there are other things to consider before deciding.

Using a Celebrant for your wedding gives you the freedom of your imagination when planning your special day.   You choose the venue, ceremony, songs, poems, vows, etc. to make your ceremony a unique, special and beautiful occasion which reflects your personalities.   The joy and love you feel on starting married life in this unique way together is captured and shared with family and friends.

The advantages of choosing a Wedding Celebrant to conduct your ceremony is that your choice of venue is limitless.  The world is your oyster.  You can let your imagination soar and find that perfect place which incorporates your unique personalities and interests, and reflects who you are as a couple.

As a Celebrant I can conduct your ceremony anywhere, anytime, including outdoors and can include any elements you want.  You may have a place that is special to you, or need help in deciding and choosing.  I can help and advise if asked and can visit the venue with you.

With a Wedding Celebrant, you complete the registration of your marriage with the HSE and then have the wedding ceremony of your dreams that you share with your family and friends another day.

What kind of ceremony do you want?  A Humanist will conduct their ceremony in a completely secular way, so, for example, if you really wanted the tune Angels by Robbie Williams, or perhaps Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley played, then you could not.  Similarly, if you wanted a poem or reading that contained any religious elements, then you could not include this in your ceremony.

A constraint in using a Humanist celebrant, rather than a Wedding Celebrant is that your ceremony can only be carried out in certain licensed premises, so if you have your heart set on somewhere that is not licensed, then you will not be able to have a legal ceremony there.

The legal bit

First, you will need to give the Registrar (HSE) notice that you intend to marry.  You must give a minimum of three months’ notice, but I would recommend giving more.  You do not need to know the date of your wedding, so long as it is more than three months away, that will be sufficient to start the process rolling.  Try and make arrangements with the Registrar for the date and time of your registration as soon as possible.  This can be whenever you like and could be either a week, or a day or so before your wedding ceremony

You will need two people to be present to act as witnesses at the Registration of Marriage.  The registration takes approximately 20 minutes with your two witnesses.

You do not have to register your marriage at your local office, you could decide to make an outing out of it and visit a registry office in another town.

The registrar will prepare your Marriage Certificate for you.

See some useful links below:



If you would to discuss your ideas for your ceremony, without any obligation, then please do contact me.




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