Couple / Family ceremonies? Funerals, or both?

It is a big decision to become any sort of celebrant and some people know right from the start that they want to just conduct funerals, or just couple and family ceremonies. But we speak to many people who are undecided and are trying to work out which role will suit them best and whether they can manage to do both. We always point out the following factors to consider:

The main differences

The obvious difference is the nature of the work. Funeral celebrants work with bereaved families,couple and family celebrants work with people arranging happier events, not of course that all funerals are desperately unhappy, but the fundamental nature of the event is totally different.

·         One big difference is that you are engaged with couple and family clients a lot longer, years even if a wedding is planned well in advance.

·         Another is your fee. You will charge more and take the payment directly from the client with a couple or a family. In London a wedding celebrant might easily charge £1,000 or more for a wedding, in the shire counties maybe around £600-700. The fees are generally less for naming ceremonies. Funeral Celebrants usually receive around £200 depending on geographic area.

·         Although increasing numbers of wedding ceremonies are held on weekdays, most are still held at weekends, so they do work well around funeral celebrancy.  It is possible to combine working full time with celebrancy for couples and families, but you can’t do this with funerals, which mainly happen during the week. Other flexible, part time work can work around funeral celebrancy too.

·         It takes a while to build up a business, whichever type of celebrancy you offer, but possibly longer to build the wedding side, due to long lead times.

·         There are more deaths than marriages, about twice the number in a year. There were 229,169 marriages in 2018 as opposed to 541, 589 deaths. Therefore you would expect to conduct more funerals than weddings.

Increasingly funeral celebrants are approached to conduct weddings!

It seems to us at Civil Ceremonies that lots of funeral celebrants get asked if they will conduct weddings. Not so much the other way around however, we don’t hear of wedding celebrants being asked often to conduct funerals. However, we are seeing many of the funeral celebrants we have trained coming back to us to train for the national qualification to create and deliver wedding celebrations, naming ceremonies, commitment ceremonies and renewal of marriage vows. The course is great fun and of course – hard work! The entire course was relaunched in July this year and we are delighted with the results of all our hard work.

The course covers all aspects of establishing your celebrancy business and finding your clients. Unlike the funeral industry, you attract clients to you yourself and deal with them directly right from the start. This includes asking the client for money and dealing directly with payments, which funeral directors of course usually manage for funeral celebrants.

Many celebrants are now offering all ceremonies and becoming the ‘go to’ celebrant for families, who contact them for all and every family event.

If you are interested in adding a different string to your bow, then look at the link on our website and give us a call.