The Celebrant angel aberdeen logo angel wings with scrolly writing the celebrant angel

Registrar or Celebrant?

Deciding who will help you say ‘I do‘ is one of the first steps of the wedding.

Registrar or Celebrant?

When you’re planning a wedding, there are so many decisions to make, including who’s going to marry you.

Registrar or Celebrant?

Have you googled it yet?

Did you find what you were looking for?

Well, let me tell you a little bit about the differences between a Registrar and a Celebrant ceremony.

It may help you choose what’s right for your wedding.

Now, there is nothing wrong with wanting the simplicity of a registry office wedding.

But some couples want a little more to their ceremony, which is why I’d like to explain about using a celebrant for your ceremony.

Then you have all the information for you to choose between a Registrar or a Celebrant, whichever is the right option for you.

Over time, couples’ choices on how they get married have evolved and brought celebrants’ services to the forefront.

Modern weddings are not old fashioned or boring.

They are full of love, laughter and probably some happy tears, mine included.

Would you like a more personal ceremony?

couple kissing their first kiss after wedding celebrant versus registrar with the celebrant angel

Why do couples choose a celebrant?

Well, mainly because our ceremony’s concentrate on the non-legal part of the ceremony, the fun part.

What we concentrate on is your love for each other.

Twice the fun

Or how they say in it France – Deux Fois Plus De Plaisir

Have you ever been to, or seen, a French wedding?  

They are something else—a true celebration of a couple in love.

French couples have two ceremonies—a civil and symbolic service—over the course of two days. 

And it has always been that way.

We all dream about fairy tale weddings, and over my lifetime, I’ve seen a couple of princess weddings, one being Princess Grace of Monaco.

A fairy tale story that every girl loved.

She had the 2 part wedding all those years ago when she married her French prince.

But it’s not just prince and princesses that have had a two-day wedding, 

There’s the famous too!

Couples like George Clooney & Amal; Brad & Angelina; and Guy Ritchie, to name a few, have gone the “French” route of getting married.  

They all had a small legal declaration then celebrated in style, the way they wanted to, where they wanted to, with friends and family.

You can to

Want to feel like a princess and have a two-day celebration yourself? 

Well, you can.  

How? I hear you ask?  

By using an Independent celebrant like me, of course.

Using an independent celebrity, you can separate the legal aspects & paperwork and then have your ceremony wherever you want. 

Do you want to be on the beach, in a forest, or on a mountain top when you marry the love of your life?  

You can be anywhere you want for your ceremony with a celebrant.

What’s running through your mind now when you know what you can actually have for your ceremony?

couple getting married on a beach jumping off the rocks onto the sand celebrant wedding with the celebrant angel

A Civil Ceremony

Currently, in Scotland, England and Wales, a Celebrant does not have the power to legally marry couples. 

That is the function of the lovely people at the Registry office. 

And you can find out information here and here about how to do the legal bits.

The Civil ceremony, which is at the registry office, is where the legal documents are signed, making the marriage official. 

This part only requires you and two witnesses, although you can take along more people if you want. 

It’s as easy as making your legal declaration with the Registrar (literally two questions) and signing the register, and hey presto, you’re legally married. 

You don’t need to exchanges rings or say your vows, just do the legalities and leave everything else to your wedding celebration. 

Often couples choose to have their civil ceremony the day before our celebration.

But you can do it after the celebration with me as well.

There are no set rules about which way you do it with a celebrant.

couple signing the register at the civil ceremony celebrant led wedding with the celebrant angel

Timescales or Freedom?

On a couples wedding day, I wake up knowing that I only have one job for that day.

To make sure that A&B have the ceremony they have dreamed of. 

What if something happens on your wedding day, which means things are running a half-hour late.

No worries… I only have one wedding per day, YOUR wedding.

So if we have to wait an extra half an hour for you to appear, then that’s not a problem. 

I’ll be here waiting for you to arrive, once you arrive then we start the ceremony. 

I can mingle with the guests until you arrive, keep your partner calm, make sure everything is in place. 

How does that work at a registry office?

It doesn’t. 

You have an allotted time to appear with the Registrar, including arriving 15 mins before your appointment. 

A registrar’s diary usually is pretty full, so chances are if you arrive late and there are other couples booked in behind you, you don’t get your wedding that day. 


All the unnecessary bits of the ceremony are cut out to fit in the three vital legal bits and the jobs done in 10 mins. 

Like you need that stress on your wedding day. 

So what would you prefer, a nice chilled day where time isn’t of the essence. 

Or, hurry hurry hurry, get me to the registry office on time,

Don’t get me wrong, all of that’s fine if you just want a quick, impersonal ceremony.

I know which one I’d prefer.

But then I prefer to be chilled about everything. 

What do you want on your wedding day? 


Who are you?

With a registry wedding, you won’t know who’s performing your legal ceremony when you turn up. 

They won’t know you either.

At a registry office, the staff are allocated their weddings in a diary; they won’t know who’s who until you walk in the door.

The only thing they do know about you is your name, DOB and parents names. 

That’s not very personal, is it?

And, we want one of the biggest days of your life to be personal, don’t we? 

The words said by the Registrar are chosen from a set template of words and readings.

A bit of a lucky dip on the day.

Eenie Meenie Miney Mo, which one will I use today kinda thing.

And your names are slotted into the blanks.

There are times that a Registrar will come out to an outdoor ceremony, but that’s a good bit more pricy, and they can refuse on the day if the weather isn’t great.

You don’t want to be standing somewhere waiting to see if they turn up or not, do you?


How do I choose a celebrant?

One of the best bits about choosing to have a celebrant led wedding is that

You get to handpick your Celebrant. 

We recommend that you chat with a couple of celebrants when you are choosing one for your ceremony. 

Gelling with your Celebrant is important. 

That’s where relationships are formed, and relationships make for good wedding ceremonies. 

There is nothing lucky dip about your wedding day with a celebrant. 

You will know that person by the time it comes to your wedding day; 

You will know:-

  • their sense of humour
  • their willingness to go that extra mile to make your ceremony exactly what you want. 

You will know how they love to tell a story, 

  • how they can keep you calm as you race towards your ceremony. 
  • And how organised they are pulling it all together for you. 

Your script

Is driven by you. 

  • Your excitement, 
  • emotions 
  • and dreams 

But more importantly, your beliefs and values.

Those ingredients are what make every ceremony unique.

Now which one would you want, a lucky dip or a celebrant?

Where can I get married with a Celebrant?

Where you have your ceremony is endless with a celebrant. 

Many of my ceremonies have been outdoors in nature.

And I’ve been lucky enough to miss the rain at every ceremony, how lucky is that?

Us celebrants do ceremonies in any weather and any location.

You just tell us where to be, and we’ll be there.

It’s that simple.


mary gibson the celebrant angel in aberdeen wearing a blue dress doing a ceremony
Hopefully, this little insight will have given you a broader overview into the options you can have for your wedding.

Whether you choose a Registrar or a Celebrant is 100% yours.

But why not give me a wee call and we can chat about what we can do together to make your wedding ceremony extra special for you.

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