Guest Blogger: Diana Saxby, Wedding Celebrant

Would you like to be married on a cliff-top, on a secluded beach, or in a particular location that’s very special to you both? Well that can be difficult, as wedding venues have to be licensed – but there is an answer, and that’s to use the services of a Wedding Celebrant.

I thought it would be nice to have the occasional Blog post from other professionals within the wedding industry, to give you a better understanding of what they do, and what they can offer regarding that most special day of your life. So today, I’d like to introduce you to Diana –


Image Copyright Olivier Depaep

“I’m a Civil Celebrant, trained and registered to conduct ceremonies for Weddings, Baby Namings, Renewal of Vows and Civil Partnerships. I’m a member of the AOIC, which is the professional body for Independent Celebrants (Association of Independent Celebrants –

I’m passionate about the role of a Celebrant and I’m also keen to raise awareness of trained Celebrants generally as I find there’s a lot of ignorance about our profession.  We have great freedom in our work and most of us are open-minded and flexible.

All Celebrants work differently, but the service I offer is falls somewhere between a Church wedding and a Registry Office ceremony. I like to work with couples who have vision, imagination and a romantic view of weddings, but who want a personalised service which is not limited by the prescribed script used by Registrars (who won’t allow religious or spiritual readings for example). Whilst Celebrants respect and observe protocol when required we are neither bound nor limited by it.

Celebrants are also flexible in the hours they work and will officiate outside the restrictive 9 – 5 hours of Registrars so if you’d like to get married on a beach at daybreak or sunset, or under a starry, moonlit sky, a Celebrant will usually be available at any time and in any place

Couples are able to express their own personality and to have total control over what is said and done at the Ceremony. We work together over several months to compose a script which they are happy with and this remains personal and private until shared on their wedding day.  It’s essential that we all connect and trust each other so that the Ceremony on the day is meaningful and sincere, allowing the couple to relax and enjoy their wedding day without nerves or anxiety. Working together builds a relationship of mutual trust so that we have faith in each other to bring everything together on the day.

Unlike Registrars who have been known to limit the number of photographs taken or who instruct the photographers where to stand, I welcome working with them through the service so that neither of us hinders the other.  I don’t impose restrictions and am happy to recommend reputable professional photographers and film makers who work discretely to capture every image that the couple wants. But it’s important to understand that celebrants are not wedding planners – whilst we have valuable contacts with a number of suppliers in the wedding industry, a wise celebrant will not take responsibility for the planning arrangements. His/her responsibility is only for the wording and delivery of the script and choreographing the bridal party for the ceremony i.e. the groom, best man, attendants.

I feel passionately that couples should have the wedding ceremony they choose, and not one which is dictated by the Church or a Registrar.  I will write your vows for you, or encourage you to write your own after we have met and exchanged ideas. We’ll use sample vows and blessings for ideas and include readings, poetry or even prayers which might be meaningful to you.

There will be no other wedding like it, because the words written for the ceremony are unique to each couple.

I cover Dorset, Berkshire and the Cotswolds and I enjoy working with couples who choose beautiful settings and locations. I have links with several wonderful venues, from hotels with beach frontages and terraces which they are willing to use for ceremonies, a medieval manor with working drawbridge and moat, a rural wedding barn, and fabulous hotels with spas where helicopters can land on the lawn and a hotel beside the river which has moorings and its own motor cruiser which one of my Grooms has booked so he can arrive and moor up at the jetty on his wedding day!

I consider I have the most privileged job in the world – because I make memories!”

For more information, please check out Diana’s


Dorset wedding and portrait photographer

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