Once the lockdown is lifted the Registrars are going to have a huge workload and the sheer volume of demand for weddings on Saturdays next year and dates for weddings later this year will inevitably lead to more disappointment. There simply won’t be enough Registrars to go round.
However Registrars are not the only option. Don’t despair there are some really positive alternatives available to you.
I can’t get a new date with the Registrar for my postponed wedding.
Here is a solution. Use the a Registrar at your local registry office to get married but request their simplest ‘no frills’ statutory ceremony.
This type of ceremony involves only you and your partner and 2 guests (acting as your witnesses) and is much more time efficient than a Registrar going to a venue. It can be days if not weeks or even months beforehand. You will leave this ceremony LEGALLY married.
The next step is to ask a celebrant to conduct your wedding ceremony at a later date. It will be celebration of your marriage and personalised to reflect your love and relationship. By doing it this way you lessen the pressure on yourselves to find availability of a Registrar and a venue for the same date.
A wedding celebrant is more flexible than a Registrar
Unlike the Registrar most wedding celebrants only present one ceremony per day. This immediately makes them more flexible. They will also attend whichever venue you decide to choose to present your ceremony. It could be the same venue as your original date or you may find a new venue. Or even an unlicensed venue which could be literally anywhere so immediately there are far fewer problems with availability.
A Registrar only presents ceremonies in licensed venues
If you have your heart set on a certain date and your venue can’t accommodate this (due to availability) or you don’t want to pay an additional fee that some venues are applying; then there is a very real and sad reality that you may have to compromise on your venue. Again a celebrant led ceremony could be the solution. A wedding celebrant will present your ceremony anywhere.
Image credit: Will Dolphin Photography
You don’t need a Registrar at an unlicensed wedding venues
The answer is simple. If you are not using a Registrar you don’t have to think about a licensed or approved venue where the demand for weddings will be highest. You can have your ceremony anywhere you wish.
A celebrant led ceremony really can be held anywhere. In your garden, in a field, in an unlicensed part of an approved venue, in a wood on a beach. Anywhere. There may be somewhere you have always thought would be the most perfect place for a wedding or a place with a special meaning to you.
Be imaginative, within reason anything is possible and allow your creative juices to flow and create a new vision for your day.
Image credit: DHW Photography
Choosing your unlicensed venue
Do some research there really are lots available. Like the fantastic Sidbury Manor. This beautiful Grade II listed manor house will provide you with the most beautiful backdrop for a ceremony be in the landscaped gardens or woodland glades.
It really does open a whole world of opportunity as you will be completely unhindered by rules but perhaps a few practicalities. So do try and be practical. You need to be able to get all your guests there after all. Be inspired by the images on Pinterest and Instagram and let your creativity and vision of your ceremony take you somewhere special and unique.
Registrar’s contractual words
The contractual words used by the Registrar are approximately 40 words. The ‘real’ wedding day is the day you celebrate your marriage with a ceremony.
It’s the vows that you make in front of your friends and family that are important. The wedding ceremony is the essence of your whole wedding day and around which everything else is planned.
Your celebrant led ceremony will be so personal and unique that nobody will notice or care whether you are legally married or not. The focus will be on you both, your relationship, your friendships, your story and love. It will be a real celebration of your marriage.
Finally, if you are newly engaged – many congratulations. Don’t be put off by all the drama around us. This is a perfect time to start planning and most importantly enjoy being engaged. You may never have considered a celebrant led ceremony but do look into it. All of the above applies to you as well. You’ll be amazed what you can do.