We recently talked about beach weddings, and the fact that in Italy it’s possible to legally get married outside the courthouse, or organize a symbolic ceremony.

But in this case, who officiates the marriage?
You have probably heard that anyone can celebrate a legal wedding – that’s true, with a proper authorization from the local district’s Mayor. You can ask a friend to conduct your ceremony!

However, there is a specific professional who takes care of organizing, personalizing and celebrating the ritual part of your ceremony. This role is actually more common outside Italy, but is starting to be more and more recognized in our country as well: we’re talking about the celebrant.

Let’s see in detail what a wedding celebrant does…

Why should I hire a professional celebrant for my civil or symbolic wedding?

Having your own wedding celebrated by a friend or relative is certainly a one-of-a-kind experience. But there are a few risks that may ruin such an important moment. Who should you pick, and why? Is the person you have in mind really capable of talking in public with the right tone and volume? Will he/she handle the strong emotions? Last, but not least: how will the speech be, and who’s going to write it?

The professional celebrant doesn’t just write and read a text or a ritual phrase. Before that, it’s necessary to get to know the couple by listening to their story, their demands and wishes for the big day, to create and personalize with them a fully custom ceremony.

In a symbolic or civil wedding, the celebrant’s speech is written starting from all of this. Therefore, it’s possible to customize the ceremony as one likes, choosing readings, poetry and music, or tying the knot with a special ritual – with sand, lights, candles, ribbons, or an alternative rite that can be created specifically for the couple.

The celebrant also helps in structuring the ceremony, handling the timeline, suggesting the readings and helping brides and grooms to write their own vows. She/he will coordinate and arrange all the moments of a ceremony in order for it to be in harmony, and custom-made for that specific couple.

Moreover, with the Mayor’s authorization the celebrant will also serve as legal officiant, and will know how and when to integrate the civil formula (required by law) during the ceremony.

Also, remember that the celebrant is an expert in public speech: he/she will use the adequate tone of voice, volume, and non-verbal communication, and could also give some setting suggestions, if needed.

Another important aspect is that the celebrant will make sure that the ceremony is open to every guest, no matter what culture, gender or belief they are, avoiding discrimination and encouraging inclusion and meeting of different people. For example, many celebrants can speak more than one language: it’s not difficult to find someone who can officiate the civil wedding in English. For those who want to have a religious ceremony, it’s still possible to celebrate a symbolic ritual, even on the same day: that’s not going to be against their beliefs.

Just remember that celebrants are not wedding planners. Their job is to organize and celebrate the ritual moment of your big day, and not to supervise every part of the event! It’s fair to have an expert for every camp, someone who can professionally and specifically take care of that element. This way, you’ll have a valid and detail-oriented service.

How to organize a wedding with a celebrant?

In Italy, there is a national association, called FederCelebranti, through which it’s possible to find accredited professionals who celebrate in various Italian locations.

If you need help to choose a celebrant for your destination wedding in Sardinia and planning your religious, civil or symbolic ceremony, feel free to contact me.