Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Celebrant?

There are a number of different types of Celebrant, some are affiliated to a local council, some are humanists who will have no religious input, and others who concentrate on funerals, some on weddings and life celebrations. Jon is an independent civil celebrant, who will work with families and couples on wedding or funeral services. Being an independent celebrant allows him the freedom to create the service you have in mind, you are not restricted by time, date, venue, content, gender, religion…. Jon really will create a ceremony that is unique to you, your eternal ceremony, for births, marriages, life celebrations and beyond.

Why Should I Choose a Celebrant?

We live in a diverse, multi-cultural society and many people feel that they are restricted by the services that are currently available in traditional ceremonies. A registrar is bound by legal requirements and provides limited options using a set script, the services can feel cold and remote and it feels like a conveyor belt with the registrar churning through similar ceremonies day in and day out. Unfortunately, many of us have been to a funeral service and felt that it bore no resemblance to the person being mourned or to a wedding that did represent the couple getting it married, it did not tell their ‘love story’. Jon does not do this, he will build a relationship with you, and he will listen to your life story and provide ideas for the service, vows, readings, poems, music and much more, your ceremony will be his sole focus on that day.

Is The Wedding Ceremony Legally Binding?

Unfortunately, as of now it is not, but hopefully that may change in the future, as the law is constantly being reviewed. In many countries a Celebrant can legally marry you and hopefully the UK will soon follow suit.

So if you wish to ensure that your marriage is recognised legally in the UK, you must book an appointment with your local registry office and comply with the legal proceedings. The ceremony at the Registry Office will take approximately 15 minutes, you will need to repeat the legal declaration and then sign the register with the two witnesses and registrar. The exchange of rings does not have to even take place at this stage, you can save this for the wedding celebration Jon has styled on consultation with you.

You do not have to do this on the day of your wedding celebration ceremony, you can pop in days before and complete the legal aspects and then simply concentrate on enjoying your day, when and where you desire. If this feels unusual and against ‘the norm’ it is because it is…and that is really the point…Are christenings done on the day of the child’s birth? Is a funeral service on the same day as someone passing? Why should your wedding celebration be any different?

Where Can We Have The Ceremony?

This is the easiest question to answer…. It is your ceremony, your day and the options are endless, it really is limited by your own imagination!

Some areas you may have to get permission from a local authority or the landowner but surely it should reflect you and your lifestyle. To help you along, picture the ceremony in a place that means something to you as a couple or to your family, be that some woodland, parkland, a barn or field, at a festival, on a beach, some beautiful gardens, your home, a hotel, your village hall or in the grounds of a castle… Did I mention the choices are endless?

What Can Be Included In The Ceremony?

Again, very easy to answer, absolutely anything, being an Independent Celebrant, Jon can ensure that the Ceremony contains what you want. He will provide you endless options on poems, verses, scripts, music, prayers and help you with the vows.

Celebrant ceremonies can be non-religious or semi-religious with a variety of elements included, that means that Jon can include religious content if required, just because it is not at a church it doesn’t mean you can’t have your favourite reading from the bible or you don’t include your favourite hymn. Alternatively, there can be absolutely no religious content at all.

If you wish friends and family to be included then that option is also available, as can other symbols of love and commitment, such as, Unity Candles, Sand Ceremonies, The Loving Cup, Handfasting, The Warming of Rings and the Sharing of Wine.

Ultimately, it is very simple, Jon will create the ceremony you want, where you want it, how you want it and when you want it…. It will be your bespoke ceremony, not a copy from someone else nor to be repeated ever again….

What Ceremonies Can Jon Deliver As A Celebrant?

Jon provides his services for a vast array of ceremonies, the world is rapidly changing and we now find the need to celebrate our life’s moments for a variety of reasons. He will create a bespoke, personal ceremony for the following:

  • Weddings
  • Handfastings
  • Renewal of Vows
  • Civil Partnerships
  • Milestone Celebrations
  • Naming Ceremonies
  • Funerals
  • Ashes Scattering
  • Memorials
  • Pet Services

Very simply, if you want a ceremony for something you hold dear and want to share it with friends and family, then Jon will sit down with you and create the service you have in mind.

What Happens When I Book Jon As My Celebrant?

Dependent on the ceremony required it works in slightly different ways, but as a general guide Jon will:

  • Plan a meeting to discuss the ceremony in depth.
  • Provide options on the content of the service.
  • Draft and edit a personal script.
  • Substantial email, telephone or Skype/Facetime support.
  • If required, attend a rehearsal.
  • Delivery of the ceremony on the day itself.
  • If a wedding, provide a Celebrant Wedding Certificate to sign after the ceremony.
  • Provide a keepsake copy of the script of the service.
How Do I Book Jon As My Celebrant?

Just go onto the contact page of the website and fill in the form. Upon receipt, Jon will make contact with you in a timely manner to arrange the initial meeting at a venue of your choice. This is a no fee/no obligation meeting but for a ceremony date to be secured, a booking form needs to be completed within 7 days of the initial meeting and the deposit paid within 7 days thereafter.

Do You Have To Be Qualified To Be A Celebrant and If So What Training Has Jon Had?

As mentioned previously, any of the marriage related ceremonies are not legally binding, but hopefully that will change in the near future. It is widely accepted that when the law changes and follows the example of the USA, Australia and Scotland, then the Celebrants conducting the ceremony will have to be qualified and regulated.

There are a number of well-regarded Celebrant organisations in the UK, Jon is a member of the Fellowship of Independent Celebrants and working to achieve the highest qualification in the UK, the NOCN Diploma in Wedding/Funeral Celebrancy. This has been at a cost of nearly £5000 and highlights the value he puts in providing the best possible service to his customers. At his own cost, Jon continues to attend seminars and training days to ensure his knowledge is current and up to date.

In addition, being affiliated to the FOIC, Jon is covered by £5 Million Public Liability Insurance and £1 Million Professional Indemnity Insurance.

What is The Diploma and What is the NOCN?

The FOIC hold a national accreditation to the Ofqual awarding body, the National Open College Network (NOCN).

The NOCN is an Accredited Training Centre offering the accredited Level 3 Certificate and Diploma training and the Diploma is a UK recognised qualification. Ofqual is the regulator of qualifications, examinations and assessments in UK. Their role is to ensure all learners get the results they deserve, standards are maintained, and their qualifications are correctly valued and understood, now and in the future.

The NOCN qualification confirms occupational competence in the specific role of civil celebrants.

Does The Fellowship of Independent Celebrants Have A Code of Ethics?

Yes, of course, it is an internationally renowned professional organisation.

Code of Ethics

  • Encourage all FOIC Celebrants to high standards of ceremony.
  • Believe in providing ceremony to acknowledge all life celebrations and significant events.
  • Believe in preserving the right of personal choice and decision in ceremonies.
  • Believe in maintaining the highest standards of business, professional and personal conduct reflecting the training provided by FOIC.
  • Believe in maintaining truth, accuracy, dignity and integrity.
  • Believe in serving every client with respect, sensitivity and professionalism.
  • Believe in meeting our client for a no-obligation interview to discuss services prior to engagement.
  • Believe in providing a service that recognises the unique personalities of our clients, being sensitive to their needs, wishes, values, philosophical and spiritual beliefs and cultural backgrounds.
  • Believe in providing unlimited consultation to our clients while creating their ceremony.
  • Believe in maintaining cultural awareness with our ceremonies and services.
  • Believe not to discriminate on the basis of gender, race, and religion, philosophy of life, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, or sexual orientation.
  • Believe in preserving the ‘trade mark’ of FOIC Celebrants and will not use business names of fellow FOIC Celebrants.

Mission Statement

  • FOIC’s objective is to strive to offer the best quality training possible.
  • FOIC’s intention is to develop an organisation of quality and integrity that offers our students nationally endorsed qualifications in a flexible learning environment.
  • FOIC’s goal is to develop an organisation with a level of excellence. We want to develop new and innovative ways to market and implement our training, and be at the cutting edge of the celebrant industry.
  • FOIC is dedicated to training professional Independent Celebrants to officiate at personalised ceremonies marking the milestones and transitions in the lives of individuals, couples and families.
  • FOIC desire to be known for delivering superb heartfelt ceremonies such as weddings, renewal of vows, commitments, coming of age, child naming’s and adoptions, end of life celebrations and special occasions.
  • FOIC’s mission is for their Celebrants to work closely with clients in creating a ceremony that reflects their tastes and values.
  • FOIC Celebrants are happy to assist in advising various aspects of the ceremony such as location, music and rituals.
  • FOIC Celebrants encourage clients to draw on any traditions, non-religious or religious, which are meaningful to them.
  • The FOIC Web site is designed to help you learn more about our Celebrants and the ceremonies they offer.
wedding with confetti

in love...

The joy of choosing Jon to create your bespoke ceremony, is that it will be uniquely personal to you alone, he has the freedom to deliver the ceremony of your dreams. On a beach, in woodlands or beautiful gardens, at sunset or sunrise, the choice is yours…

in life...

Naming ceremonies, anniversaries, retirements, birthdays and other milestones, are worthy of marking with a celebration, are worth sharing with friends, family and the ones you love. Let them be a part of this very special day.

in memory...

Jon would like to express his sincere condolences on the passing of your loved one. He would be humbled to create a service that truly honours their memory, reflects their spirit and celebrates their life.

Kind Words About Eternal Ceremonies


“Right from the moment we contacted Jon about having a wedding ceremony he was fantastic. Coming over to meet us and getting an understanding of what would suit us as a couple and family, including our two boys in everything.


He had so many ideas, from poem’s to readings and so much more. He helped us incorporate Laura’s friends readings into the ceremony and made sure as a family, we were completely happy with everything … The end product was a truly fantastic ceremony, so perfectly personal and special, all the guests were truly amazed at how beautifully it was done. We felt Jon went above and beyond any expectations we’d had”.


“Thank you Jon, for delivering the perfect ceremony and creating wonderful memories. I could not recommend Eternal Ceremonies enough.!”


Mark & Laura, Elston
Read more testimonials

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Eternal Ceremonies

Eternal Ceremonies
13 The Spinney, Elston, Nottinghamshire, NG23 5PE

Tel: 07305 929423