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  • Writer's pictureLaura Bell

How to get Legally Wed with an Independent Celebrant

Updated: Oct 30, 2023

If you're exploring options for your wedding ceremony, it can be a bit of a minefield of where to start.


The majority of licensed wedding venues will recommend that you contact the Dorset Registry Office to book an appointment however, did you know you have another option for your ceremony?

Independent Celebrants are able to conduct ceremonies with no limitations other than you will have to do the legal part separately. Now this sentence might put you off the option of choosing a Celebrant for your wedding ceremony but let me ask you one question... When do you celebrate your birthday?


Do you celebrate your birthday on the day you choose or the day your parents registered you at the registry office? By separating the legal obligation and the wedding celebration, you can have a personalised, bespoke and magical wedding ceremony of your dreams with Laura Bell, an Independent Celebrant.




What is an Independent Celebrant?


Independent Celebrants conduct ceremonies independently from any belief system but we will happily incorporate religious and spiritual elements into the ceremony. There are also Humanist Celebrants who conduct ceremonies for likeminded couples. They often don't include any religious content, but may also be an option for your ceremony. You may also explore Sacred Celebrants and Interfaith Ministers for your ceremony too, who offer something different again.

What does a Celebrant Wedding look like?


Firstly, no one will even know that it's not legal on the day. Your ceremony will be structured with an introduction before going into your love story. You can opt for readings by friends or loved ones, rituals for extra additional elements such as handfasting, unity candles or tree planting. I'll then go into vows, which I can write for you or help you write ending with the ring exchange, signing of a keepsake certificate and ending with a blessing.


The way I see it is, your wedding ceremony is the foundation of your marriage and not just a legal contract. So why not have something that reflects you as a couple, symbolises your unity and it so much more personal than "insert name here?"





How do I get legally wed with a Celebrant?


You can simply contact the Dorset Registry Office and let them know of your plans. They may suggest using their new service of having a Celebrant, however this is not a bespoke script or anything we offer. You should be given the option to book your legal part of your marriage at Dorchester Registry Office which is around £48. It's known as a 2+2 ceremony (the couple and two witnesses) but you're allowed to have up to 9 guests. (Correct at the time of print, January 2021).


What are the perks of an Independent Celebrant-led Wedding?


By choosing an Independent Celebrant you will get to know and meet them as many times as you like before your wedding day. You'll have the option to see the script before and sign it off (or you can keep it a surprise!)


You will be able to have a rehearsal the day before, should you feel you need one. You can stand anywhere you like and even ask your Independent Celebrant to move aside! We don't mind at all because we are here to give you options and choice on one of the most important (and mostly expensive) days of your life, so why shouldn't you have what you want?


Your Independent Celebrant will get to know you as people and not just a number and help you with your wedding planning journey with plenty of supplier recommendations! We will draw upon your common interests, goals in life and your future together as a married couple.




Where can I get married with a Celebrant?


You can get married anywhere you like in Dorset, with the landowner's permission of course. Laura Bell officiates ceremonies across licensed and unlicensed wedding venues, beaches, barns and parks. The option is all yours and the biggest piece of advice I can give you is to not settle or compromise on anything that's important to you both.





How do we book Laura Bell as our Celebrant?


So glad you asked! You can email: hello@ceremoniesbylaurabell.com or call / WhatsApp: 07701050693


Photography credits: Megan Donati Photography, Sadie Osborne Photography & Danielle Watkins Photography.










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