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Is a Celebrant led wedding ceremony legally binding?

In England, Celebrant led weddings are officiated separately to the legal signing of the register. This is usually done prior or after the wedding ceremony and won’t affect your Celebrant Ceremony at all. Don't worry though, its usually a very simple and affordable process to become ‘legally’ married, freeing you up to think about your amazing ceremony.

In order to become legally married in England, if you have a Celebrant ceremony, you will need to register your intent to marry with the registry office and book your appointment to sign the legal documents. The legal element of your marriage is just a short appointment that will involve signing the marriage licence and saying a few contracting words in front of 2 witnesses of your choice. It is not a legal requirement to exchange rings and vows, so these can be kept for your wedding ceremony with your Celebrant.  

The legal process can differ slightly from one local authority to the next, so please check in with your local registry office on the steps you need to take to become legally married. Once complete, you are free to have a Ceremony that you truly love.

In Scotland and now Northern Ireland, some Humanist Celebrants can legally marry couples anywhere so the legal documentation will be completed on the day.

For a more detailed breakdown on the legal process, read our guide on how to legally marry with a Celebrant.

Not planning on having your wedding in the UK? Please contact your favourite Celebrants for an outline of the legal process in your desired country as they’ll be more than happy to help.