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  • Writer's picturePetite Weddings

Introducing Cornwall Celebrant, Rebecca Morris

Updated: Dec 9, 2022

Cornwall Celebrant

Today we welcome Cornwall Celebrant Rebecca Morris to Petite Weddings, joining lovely Denise and Nicola, Cornish Celebrants on our select list of recommended suppliers. You can see links to their services here.

At Petite Weddings love bespoke, intimate wedding ceremonies in perfect little spots chosen by our couples. It's not difficult to have exactly the ceremony and celebration of marriage the two of you want. That's as long as you know what your choices are, and how to go about arranging things. We help lots of couples arrange small weddings in Cornwall each year and in this blog we share some of the things we've learned that work really well, including how to get married on the beach. Read on if you'd like to find out more!

Small weddings

When it comes to your wedding ceremony you have choices:

- A religious ceremony at a religious building of your choice

- A registrar led ceremony at an approved premises or town hall

- An independent celebrant led ceremony at a location of your choice (where you have the landowners' permission)

- Combining any of these above, but with clear time and space between the separate elements

The majority of our couples choose either:

- A ceremony conducted by local registrars in an approved premise


- A legal ceremony for the paperwork at their local town hall followed by an independent celebrant led ceremony in a place chosen by the couple

So what are the pros and cons of each approach? Let's take a ceremony conducted at an approved premises first. The first benefit of this approach is that it results in a legal marriage for the couple - an important factor for many of our couples as most do want their union to be recognised under UK law.

There's a wide range of approved premises where you can choose to have your legal wedding ceremony. We work with a small number of handpicked wedding venues that understand and embrace the intimate wedding concept and these alone provide a choice from: a castle, a beach pagoda, a rustic barn, garden pagoda, a beautiful period Georgian house and the unique Skyspace Sculpture by James Hurrell. The choice is entirely yours. Each of these unique locations provides a beautiful place for your ceremony and in a setting that will allow you plentiful photography opportunities too. You are also able to stay and continue your celebrations at a number of these venues making your whole day stress-free and relaxed. It also removes any transport costs from your budget.

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The downsides of these registrar led wedding ceremonies are that although the ceremony does provide some choice in terms of words and format, you are quite restricted in terms of what you say to one another, music and readings have to be pre-approved by the registrars and you do not speak to the person marrying you until the day. You also have no choice over which registrars marries you. Many couples find this impersonal approach at odds with the whole vibe of their special day.

Another negative about a wedding with a registrar is that you can only get married when and where they agree. Taking the when first, you can only get married between the hours of 10am and 5pm as these are the hours they work. Many of our couples arrange dusk of after-dark weddings and these just cannot be accommodated by the registrars. In terms of the where, you are restricted to the approved areas of the approved premise you select. Usually each venue has 1 or 2 rooms or areas approved. If you are to marry outside it must be in an approved permanent structure such as a garden pagoda. There are some lovely premise that can provide for this, but some couples want something a little freer preferring a beach, clifftop or woodland location or perhaps round a campfire at night. The options really are limitless.

how to get married on a beach

This is where celebrant led ceremonies come into their own. Your celebrant led wedding ceremony will start with a conversation with your chosen celebrant to discuss what you want from your wedding ceremony, ideas you have, who you want to include in your ceremony, e.g. your children or parents and what roles they could play, suggestions as to how to really make things personal and discussion about your ideal location and timings. There are very few restrictions that need to be considered other than ensuring you have the landowner's permission to conduct your wedding where you wish. Your celebrant will take care of this for you. Your celebrant will also draft your ceremony for your input and approval and will become very much part of your day even before it's started.

This not only puts some of your nerves at rest through knowing who is leading your ceremony, but also opens your options up considerably, and means that you can say what you really want to say to one another, where you want, have a format you feel comfortable with and include any rituals e.g. tying the knot, that you want and you can be sure no one else has had an ceremony just like yours!

how to get married on a beach

The downside of these types of wedding ceremonies is that they are not legally binding. What most of our couples who choose this route do is take advantage of the cheapest way to complete the legal requirements to make a wedding legal by booking a time with their local registrar usually ahead of their wedding day to go in and complete the legal paper work with the registrar. You can book to do this very informally at the registrars desk and it feels very much like visiting your solicitor to make a will or sign conveyancing papers for house purchase. There is a cost to this ( basic wedding - currently £195 in Cornwall) and you will need to provide two witnesses to the legal element, but this does then free you up to enjoy the wedding ceremony you really want.

We recognise every couple is different, and hope that this short article explaining the differences between the types of wedding ceremony you can choose will make it easier for you to decide what is right for you. If you'd like to find out more please email or call on 07411 117294.

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