What is a celebrant?

The simplest answer is a Celebrant is someone who works with you to completely personalise any ceremony you are planning to celebrate a life event- couplings, weddings, new arrivals, adoptions, naming ceremonies, commitments, vow renewals, friendships and the loss of a loved one. They are there to make sure that the details, beliefs, values and personality of those involved are the focus in a totally bespoke and unique as you like way.

And the best bit? They can lead your ceremony anywhere. How good is that? Want to get married in your back garden? Sorted! Fancy welcoming your new baby in to the family with a fantastical woodland picnic? Do it. Does your friend deserve a massive celebration of them, about them, with all their friends and family singing their praises for their next "big" birthday? Grab yourself a celebrant and get creative. And a photographer too obvs.

Who is Kirstie?

I first met Kirstie back in her former life as a dress maker and all round creative genius. I instantly loved her style and vibe and we worked together on styled shoots for her business, making gorgeous frocks and spreading joy. During lock down, not surprisingly, the need for wedding and prom attire fell by the way side and Kirstie channeled her energy in to her passion for people, writing (she has a Masters don't you know), her love of love, and trained as a Celebrant. She's already award winning in her field. She's hilarious too. The type of person you always feel illuminated by.

I love working with this woman. If you are planning a ceremony please get her involved because your celebrations should be unique as she is.

Kirstie Celebrant on location at wedding venue

What is the biggest benefit to using an Independent Celebrant?

When planning ceremonies, especially funerals, a lot of people assume you have only these options: Religious, Civil or Humanist Celebrant. Not so.

Religious ceremonies are the obvious one to explain- the ceremony will follow the dogma of your chosen faith and take place in a place of worship.

Civil ceremonies can take place at a registry office or any venue officially approved by the local council. They can't include anything that’s religious- prayers, readings or songs, so that's a no to hula dancing down the aisle to "God only knows" by the Beach Boys then.

Humanist ceremonies are led by non-religious people who believe that "this life is the only life we have, and who make sense of the world through logic, reason, and evidence." So no religious references, spiritual references or references to any life in galaxies a long time ago in a galaxy far far away.

But what if you want to honour your Buddhist values whilst also pleasing you're Hindu in-laws-to-be with a reference to their faith? Or what if you want to recreate Hogwarts in the local woods and play Quidditch with your wedding rings? An Independent Celebrant can do this for you. And with style.

Are Independent Celebrant weddings legal?

Currently- this is a no, but the good news is you can quickly sort this out before or after your ceremony by booking in at your local registry office and signing a piece of paper in about ten minutes. There's a massive push for this to change soon though, making Celebrant led weddings legally binding, and you can support the move towards Wedding Law Reform by writing to your local MP and supporting online.

Kirstie Atherton, Celebrant, conducting wedding ceremony
Kirstie Atherton, celebrant, conducting outdoor wedding ceremony
Kirstie Atherton, wedding celebrant

How Do You Choose a Celebrant?

Well, if it's not clear from my blatant fan girling, you basically just choose Kirstie!

Working with her is a dream, and if you choose me as your wedding photographer or ceremony photographer you know you are in the safe hands of any absolute dream team! We're both big on respect, celebrating love and complementing your day to make all your dreams and vision come true.

But essentially, you need to make sure that it's someone who gets you, listens to you, is interested in you and your story. And who works with fabulous like minded people, like me!