Expert advice about celebrant

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Bristol and Somerset Wedding magazine whether it be about flowers, hair and makeup, fashion, wedding themes, health & beauty, cakes, stationery, legal advice. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to


To have and to hold

To have and to hold

Q. We've decided to have a celebrant-led wedding so we can get married outside. What suggestions do you have for making the ceremony personal to us?

A. Kate Mortimer says: Consider why you chose your setting. Does it represent your love of the outdoors? Does it hold deep personal significance? Or did you like the venue and getting married outside was an exciting option? Try to keep these reasons in mind when planning your ceremony.

Al fresco nuptials lend themselves to quirky décor, whether that's bright colours, wildflowers or fun themes. Try to choose elements that represent your relationship. I recently had a couple who chose to reflect their love of the sea; it worked beautifully in their rural setting. Handfasting also works brillaintly outdoors – a rainbow of ribbons fluttering in the wind looks spectacular.

With a celebrant, you really can make the day your own without being tied into set words or ceremony elements. I get to know my clients really well, and it's so rewarding conducting a ceremony with deep significance to them.

Kate Mortimer


Tying the knot

Tying the knot

Q. A friend mentioned to me about having an independent celebrant conduct our ceremony as we don't want to wed in a venue. Can you tell me more about this?

A. Dr Jayne Chidgey-Clark says: Many people want to leave behind the restrictions of a religious or registrar-led service and instead have something that reflects their wishes and personality. With an independent wedding celebrant, you take control.

As this type of ceremony is not yet legally recognised in England, you will need to go to the register office before or after the big day to deal with the formalities. On your wedding day, you're then free to choose the location of your dreams and any special elements to make it individual. For example, you could include broom jumping, handfasting, a unity candle, sand ceremony or anything else that's important to you.

Another benefit is that family, friends and pets can all be involved if you wish. Also, if you have any spiritual or religious beliefs such as Paganism, they can be incorporated. I will listen to you and help you design your perfect ceremony; the only limit is your imagination.

Dr Jayne Chidgey-Clark