by Hazel Jane - Scotland-based Independent Celebrant

Frequently Asked Questions

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What is an independent celebrant?

Independent celebrants (sometimes referred to as civil celebrants) conduct ceremonies independently from any religious organisation.

What’s the difference between an independent celebrant and a humanist celebrant?

Humanism is registered as a belief system of its own, even though it’s not religious. This means that ceremonies conducted by humanist ceremonies must not contain religious content of any kind (including readings, hymms, or rituals).


Would you travel for a ceremony?

Yes of course! I would love to go wherever your special day takes you.

Are you religious?

I am not affiliated with any particular religion, but I love faith. I believe in the rhythms of the universe. I believe we are connected by something otherworldly, and that belief brings me great joy. Being an independent celebrant means that I will respectfully incorporate any spiritual or religious elements that are meaningful to you into your ceremony.

What training have you had?

I trained in Family Celebrancy with Terri Shanks and the Fellowship of Professional Celebrants.


Can you perform a legally binding marriage ceremony?

Unfortunately not. However, this is a very simple process. You can go to the register office, make the legal declarations and sign the papers within about fifteen minutes. Fees will vary depending on where you live, but doing this on a weekday can make it inexpensive.

Are there any limitations of when or where I can have my ceremony?

Nope. At dawn, under the midnight stars, underwater - you can celebrate any time of place and anywhere in the world you would like (although you’ll need permission if you’re on private property).

We want to go abroad for our wedding - how does that work?

If you’re going abroad, I would recommend doing the legal aspect of your wedding in your home country. It is possible to do this abroad, but it means bringing a lot of valuable paperwork with you and often causes hassle and stress. Also, sometimes there can be complications meaning that your marriage is not legally recognised in your home country.

If you do the ‘legal bit’ first, you can go abroad completely relaxed and enjoy your ceremony.

You can choose a celebrant abroad, but do take language barriers into consideration. You may want to bring an English-speaking celebrant out with you.

We live abroad, but want to come to Scotland for our wedding - how does that work?

Firstly, you’ve made a great choice. Scotland is an incredible places with so much beauty, history and culture.

As with going abroad from the UK, I would recommend doing any of the legal parts of your marriage at home. You can then come to Scotland for the ceremony of your dreams.

If you are coming to Scotland to get married, feel free to get in touch for any recommendations. I would love to help.

Hazel Gibbens14 ©Kasia Kiliszek.jpg