Must-Know Trend for Independent Wedding Celebrants
Booking More Weddings At Your Venue
Booking More Weddings At Your Venue
Trends come and go and the latest product or offering isn’t always something you can or would want to adopt into your wedding venue but this trend I’m featuring today is a big one and it’s very likely here to stay. It rocks the very foundation of the wedding day itself and it’s vital you keep up to date with this trend and work with it as a host wedding location.
We know it’s not a new thing that couples are turning away in greater numbers from religious ceremonies. But in the past, it was almost always in favour of a legal ceremony conducted in a licensed venue by a Registrar by way of a civil ceremony organised with the local register office. The popularity of this is still high but a large number of couples are opting to plan a more personal, meaningful and appropriate-to-them ceremony, rather than the restraints of what a formal legal ceremony allows, and they are hiring independent celebrants to work with them to design something very fitting. It should be pointed out that these celebrant-led ceremonies are not legal but many couples are opting to carry out the legal and paperwork ceremony in a simple way with the basic witnesses and minimal fuss at the local register office, reserving the symbolic ceremony for their nearest and dearest and making this non-legal ceremony the wedding ceremony in their own eyes.
They often like the idea of spending planning time with a celebrant who has the resource and skills to write a really meaningful, heart-warming and often amusing ceremony and incorporate their personalities into this – whilst many Registrars do an amazing job at creating a beautiful wedding day atmosphere, the realities of their large role and volume of weddings means they do not have the resource to plan more than a choose A, B or C from a pre-designed ceremony order. I should point out that these kind of ceremonies are also really popular with couples who are abroad and come “home” to marry and who find the paperwork for a legal ceremony rather onerous to conduct from overseas. They get legally married in their new home (often where they are working) and then plan the symbolic ceremony when and where they like.
So how does this affect you as a venue and what can you do to keep up with the trend?
Get to know.
Build working relationships with a small number of independent celebrants in your area and talk to them about what would work best within your venue in terms of some of the rituals, symbols and ceremony components that they regularly organise and would work beautifully within your spaces.
The guest capacities & licensed numbers for your venue spaces would typically remain in the same way as for a legal ceremony but in general you are likely to get a greater request for guests to stand instead of sit or for seating “in the round” rather than “conference style” as the resounding reason that couples want to choose such a celebrant is to be more informal, inclusive and intimate. Have a look at what you can offer and promote this in your materials, showing images of less formal ceremonies in place if you can.
Be aware that independent ceremonies tend to be a bit longer than civil ceremonies as there’s more content and work that’s gone into them. Once couples get started (they’ve usually had so much fun designing the content) the ceremony could be a bit longer, particularly if lots of music is included! This obviously varies from couple to couple, but definitely not something to assume that it’ll be the usual 20-25 minutes!
Get the word out there.
Consider promoting independent celebrants on your preferred supplier list, at your wedding showcases and in your marketing materials. It’s so much better to be proactive and put the word out there as a possibility and show that you are up with and ahead of trends; always bear in mind that for your typical wedding audience, couples are millennials and in their twenties and thirties – they are usually early adopters of alternative ways of doing things that suit their styles and beliefs and if you can provide options they love as a venue location, they may well love you and name this as a resounding reason for booking with you!
Don’t know where to start?
Have a look at these great independent celebrants I’ve worked with via my independent wedding planning company, The Bespoke Wedding Company.
Jenny of Knight Ceremonies has kindly provided the images from wedding celebrations she has planned with her couples featured in this post.
Image of outdoor ceremony with couple facing guests – Paul Rogers Photography // 2 images of mums coming up to bride and groom – Kathryn Edwards // Image of couple saying own vows – Martina Capodanno // The three confetti images are courtesy of Tunnels Beaches // The first kiss image is from Philippa James Photography
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