Holly Smith ♡ Celebrant London

Frequently Asked Questions

Celebrant London - Katie and Liv wedding at Stockbridge Barn Farm
Holly Smith Celebrant London

I create beautiful, uplifting ceremonies that celebrate you and your love story.

You might have questions about booking a celebrant for your ceremony, and I’ve answered the most common ones below. If there’s anything else you still want to know, please do get in touch.

Why did you become a celebrant?

Well I’m just a little bit obsessed with weddings, I love meeting new people, have a brilliant way with words, and can’t get enough of real love stories. Combine all of those things, and this job was made for me.

I was honoured to be asked to perform a friend’s wedding ceremony in 2014 and I’ve never looked back.

What is a celebrant, and why should I use one?

Wedding Celebrant, Marriage Celebrant, Civil Celebrant, Officiant, Registrar – these are all words to describe the person who will conduct your wedding, baby naming or vow renewal ceremony.

As an independent celebrant I work with you to create a ceremony that reflects you and your relationship. It’s full of personality, and your guests will say it’s the best wedding they’ve ever been to. I know that because I hear it every time!

You plan every aspect of your wedding day, but sadly the ceremony is one area where couples often have little control. For lots of people neither a church or a registrar wedding feel quite right for them. Registrars conduct several ceremonies a day, use template scripts, and can only work in licensed venues, and you usually don’t meet them until right before the ceremony.

Working with me means full flexibility. You can have your wedding in the location of your choice, led by someone who gets to know you, and who will tell your love story in a way that has your guests laughing and crying happy tears.

My ceremonies are completely tailored to you and I’ll do everything I can to make sure you achieve your vision for your dream day. Perhaps you want to include special readings, songs, poems or a performance. Maybe you want to find a way to incorporate a symbolic ritual. Or maybe you just can’t imagine getting married without your dog by your side.

With me as your celebrant, there really is no limit to what you can include.

Are celebrant-led weddings legally binding?

In England and Wales, by law, a marriage must take place in a covered, stationary venue that is licensed, and be conducted by a religious leader or registrar. If you would like to book me for your wedding ceremony, you will have to register your marriage either before or after, as this is the legal aspect of your partnership – just like registering a birth or a death. You can have a basic service to complete the legal paperwork for as little as £48.

I can then perform your wedding ceremony in any location; like your local pub, a beach, a marquee in a field, a family garden, or even on a boat! I can also work in licensed venues but will not have the same restrictions on the ceremony that a registrar will have. Working with me means more choice and flexibility for you.

In other parts of the world, celebrants have legal power but we’ve got a bit of catching up to do over here! If you’ve got questions about the legalities just get in touch.

If you are having a vow renewal or baby naming ceremony, there is no legal requirement for this to be registered.

Are your ceremonies religious?

I personally am not affiliated to any religion. I simply believe in equality, diversity, and that couples deserve a ceremony that feels personal and memorable! I respect that some couples will like to incorporate religious elements, such as a favourite hymn or prayer, and I will be happy to work with you to find a way to include these.

What do your services include?

Firstly we’ll arrange a free, no-obligation meeting where we can chat about celebrancy, my services, and I can answer any questions you may have. I will spend some time getting to know you, learning about your relationship, and understanding your wishes for your day. We can do this in person or over Skype.

If you decide I’m the right person for your ceremony, I’ll ask you to fill in a booking form and pay a deposit to confirm your date. I will start working on your ceremony straight away, and will continue to work with you until we get the service absolutely right for you.

Before the wedding ceremony we’ll have another meeting to finalise all the logistics and make sure everyone feels prepared for the big day. I think of myself as the stage manager of your wedding, so everything will go smoothly. 

On the day of your wedding I will arrive super early to make sure everything is ready and conduct your ceremony myself.

Afterwards you’ll receive the commemorative copy of your ceremony script and readings to keep as a treasured memento for years to come.

Can you help us write our vows?

Yes! If you would like to write your own vows to each other I can help you at no additional cost. I can also work with any friends or family who you would like to do a reading, if you’d prefer to keep it a surprise for the day.

If you don’t want to write your own personalised vows that’s totally fine, I will include some that are tailored to you.

Do you do any other kinds of ceremonies?

Of course! I am also available for Baby Naming ceremonies and Vow Renewal ceremonies. Take a look at My Services to find out more. I’m also happy to discuss options for any other ceremony you may like to have such a special birthday, a Civil Partnership conversion, a graduation, or even a moving away party! Just get in touch and we can have a chat about your ideas.

We’ve got a weird idea…

GREAT NEWS! I wanna hear it. I love helping creative couples create a ceremony that includes all the things that are important to them so let’s chat ASAP.

Where are you based?

I live in Hertfordshire but conduct ceremonies all over London and beyond. I am always happy to meet over Skype or Whatsapp video chat if you’re not local.

How much do your ceremonies cost?

I charge £595 for wedding ceremonies, £400 for vow renewals, and £350 for baby naming ceremonies. This includes all my services and travel within the M25. 

Do you travel?

I love to do weddings beyond London and will jump at the chance to travel and celebrate your love. If you are planning a wedding outside of London, please get in touch and we can discuss your needs. Any additional expenses will be kept to a minimum and agreed in advance.

I want to book you! Can you recommend a venue?

Absolutely! I’ve got tonnes of suggestions for locations, venues and suppliers across London and beyond. Let’s have a chat about what you’ve got in mind!

Are you insured?

Yes, I have Public Liability Insurance through my membership of The Fellowship of Professional Celebrants.

I want to be a celebrant, can you help?

So great to hear, it really is the best job ever! I trained with The Fellowship of Professional Celebrants who I highly recommend.

If you are interested in becoming a celebrant I can offer mentoring and coaching depending on my availability. Please get in touch to discuss.