Top 10 FAQs

1. Is my Celebrant Wedding Ceremony legally binding?

No. Current law in England and Wales only permits Registrars and designated religious clergy & officiants to legally complete the paperwork for the marriage documents. It is possible for Jonathan to become registered with specific regions in Scotland for the ceremony to be legalised there.
In itself, a Celebrant Wedding Ceremony is not a legally binding ceremony. It is about celebrating your love and relationship in a way that is special to you. If you wish to confirm your commitment to each other without legal ties, then that’s not a problem. What is special and deeply meaningful is appearing in front of your family and friends at your ideal venue, exchanging vows and declaring to each other why you choose to be partners for life.

2. How do we make our marriage or civil partnership legal?
  • Visit your local Register Office to “give notice of your marriage”. This costs £35 per person.
  • The Superintendant Registrar should then issue an authority for the marriage, enabling you to get married in any district of your choice by submitting your completed marriage notice forms to the Registrar of Marriages there.
  • Arrange your legal marriage/ civil partnership ceremony at your chosen Register Office whenever you want – before or after your bespoke, celebrated ceremony – on the day itself, or a day or two before. You can literally go in your jeans and should take approximately 10-15 minutes.
  • A short statement about marriage will be given and you will be required to repeat a legal declaration.
  • The legal marriage register is signed by you both and your two witnesses.
  • You are advised not to exchange rings at the register office as this ideally will be done after saying your vows at the Wedding Celebration Ceremony.
  • A marriage at the Register Office will cost £57.00 plus £11 for the certificate. Including the notice, the legal and civil procedure will cost just over £100.
  • You then are free to enjoy your Celebrated Ceremony without any restriction on content.
3. Does it matter what culture, faith or religion I am?

No. The content of an independent celebrant ceremony is not restricted to any culture, faith or religion. If you wish to also incorporate a cultural or religious tradition into your ceremony, you can. Jonathan will tailor the wedding or commitment ceremony to your needs and customs, incorporating as many or as few of the symbolic options e.g. Handfasting, Unity Candles, Sand Ceremonies, Ring Warming, Gemstones, Medicine wheel, Pagan blessings, Jumping the broom, planting flowers or trees… etc.

4. Where can I hold my Wedding Ceremony?

Anywhere you wish! Your venue does not need to be a licensed wedding venue as your ceremony is not legally binding. Indoors, outdoors, on a beach, at the park, by a lake, up a tree, in the forest, on a mountain, in your own garden, at the zoo, a hot-air balloon… The options are only limited by our imaginations- so the sky really is the limit!! You just need permission from the venue owner before you invite all of your guests.


5. When can I hold my ceremony?

Jonathan will officiate your ceremony on any month, day, and at any hour you choose. Once booked, the day is dedicated only to you.


6. Can I involve family pets and other creatures such as doves?
Yes; as long as the venue allows it. However, Celebrated Ceremonies are committed to animal welfare. Jonathan is a bit wary of Tarantula spiders, though!!!
7. Can we include readings and poems in my ceremony?

Yes. You can include as many readings as you wish – whether religious or non-religious, silly or sentimental. You can even invite a guest to read one out for you, or to write something personal. Your ceremony is about you and your personal style. Jonathan will become a sound-board to your ideas, which can be practically honed, however “alternative”. The more original the better!

8. What if we are nervous about writing or saying our wedding vows?

Jonathan is a trained actor and public speaker who can give you tips and vocal exercises. You can use traditional, recognised wedding vows if you prefer or create your own individualised promises to each other. They can be as sweet, sentimental or as formal as you wish. You will have unlimited contact and guidance from Jonathan in preparing them. Alternatively, you can simply say “I do” to statements called out by your celebrant.

9. Can we include music and/or hymns?

Yes. It’s your day and you don’t have the restrictions of a totally secular Registry office ceremony. You can include as many songs, music or hymns as you like, and can choose to play these either on a PA system or employ your own musicians to perform live. It is the responsibility of the couple to organise with the venue the playing of their music or to book any DJ or live musicians on the day. If you have your own wedding planner, they can designate these roles.

10. Will we meet you before the ceremony?

Usually, we arrange a Zoom meeting in the first instance. Ideally, a face-to-face planning meeting is set up months in advance of your ceremony to discuss needs and content- perhaps in the comfort of your own home. For all Gold standard and Platinum weddings, a rehearsal is scheduled- usually the day before the actual ceremony. Where possible, this takes place at the venue.

About Jonathan

Jonathan Dolling is dedicated to serving you, whatever the occasion. Celebrated Ceremonies has become his passion since qualifying as an Independent Celebrant in 2014.

He cares deeply about what matters to the people he works with, honouring ordinary people with extraordinary dreams. 

Contact Details


07877 338114