Looking for the right civil celebrant to officiate at your wedding? Here’s where to start.
So you’ve said “yes” to a dress, booked your venue, ordered your cake, hired a photographer… but have you left yourself enough time to find the perfect civil celebrant to officiate at your wedding? If you’re not getting married at an official marriage registry (such as City Hall Marriage Registry or Cotton Tree Drive Marriage Registry) or licensed place of worship, this is where a celebrant would step in. Civil celebrants play no small role in weddings, so it’s important you take some time to find the the right one for you.
Not only do civil celebrants officiate your marriage, but most will also offer advice on how to write your vows, calm your nerves on the day and take care of all the legal documents that need to be signed, amongst other things. Selecting your celebrant is a highly personal decision and it helps to do a little research and have a clear idea of what sort of personality you’re looking for before you start your search. Here’s everything you need to know.
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How Do You Pick The Right Civil Celebrant?
It’s important to find a celebrant that you are comfortable with and matches your vision for the big day, so make sure you meet with them before signing any contracts. This will give you the opportunity to discuss how you want your day to play out and what you expect of them.
Ask your married friends and relatives for recommendations (see below for ours!), look online and read testimonies, and attend wedding fairs to chat with celebrants in person. Your photographer, caterer or wedding planner might have come across some memorable civil celebrants from other weddings they’ve been involved in, so don’t forget to ask them too!
What Does A Civil Celebrant Actually Do?
Once you’ve found “the one”, you can begin to work together on the wording of your ceremony. Most celebrants will try and get to know you and your partner better (including how you met, what you love about each other, how he/she proposed, etc.) at this point so that they can tailor your wedding ceremony to be more personal. Your celebrant will have likely performed many different type of ceremonies and should be capable of taking on a range of tones, so don’t be afraid to ask if you’re after something more serious, sentimental or humorous.
It doesn’t end there! Many civil celebrants can also assist you in writing your vows. This is great when you want to know what tone your partner is aiming for, without finding out exactly what the other person has written.
Yours will not be the first wedding ceremony they’ve been involved in – and civil celebrants are usually involved throughout the entire process – so they will have plenty of useful tips and advice to share with you. This is especially handy if you don’t have a wedding planner or if you’re the first in your friendship group to get married. At the end of the day, your chosen celebrant’s most important job is to make sure you are legally wedded to your partner, and that all the required paperwork is taken care of.
As you can see, a celebrant plays a hugely important role in your wedding, which is why it is so crucial to find the right one. Don’t leave it to the last minute because the best civil celebrants are in high demand.
Not sure where to begin? Here are some civil celebrants in Hong Kong who we think are worth meeting.
Civil Celebrants In Hong Kong
Amy Pan of HK Marriage Celebrant
Looking for a skilled and friendly officiant? Meet Amy Pan. Highly sought after by international couples, Amy can fluently switch between English, Cantonese and Mandarin while fully appreciating cultural preferences. She is passionate about creating personalised ceremonies that incorporate the special moments of a couple’s journey together, bringing laughs and happy tears all around. She will navigate you through the entire process by providing tips, reminders and rehearsals, and assisting you in writing your vows. Clients love that she donates a portion of her fee in their name to a charity of their choice, and her flexibility and creativity also ensures that “pandemic weddings” can still be fabulous.
For Sassy couples who confirm their booking with Amy by Monday, 31 January, 2022, she will happily donate an additional 10% of her fee to your preferred charity.
Irene Lee of BLISS 悅 ‧ 囍 Civil Celebrant of Marriages services
Irene Lee has been a civil celebrant for over 10 years, providing heartfelt, tailor-made wedding ceremonies conducted in either English, Cantonese or Mandarin. From handling all the necessary legal documents to guiding you through your rehearsal, Irene provides a stress-free wedding service. She will go the extra mile to meet with you before the big day, helping you with wedding vows and making sure you’re happy with the overall feel of the ceremony. You can count on Irene to take care of all the little details so that you and your partner can enjoy your big day without having to worry about a thing!
Quote “Sassy 21” to enjoy 10% off Irene’s services. Offer valid until Monday, 31 October, 2022.
Celebration of Love
Whether you’re tying the knot or renewing your vows, Celebration of Love has got you covered. Many couples were not able to get married before all of their loved ones due to the pandemic, and might plan a larger ceremony when the situation improves. Celebration of Love is here to help with that, conducting the perfect ceremony for you and your guests in English, Cantonese or Mandarin. If you’re from overseas and wish to get married in Hong Kong, Celebration of Love will not only gladly officiate your wedding, but can also help you through the tricky legal application process, making it easier than ever to celebrate love.
Sassy Tip: Book before Thursday, 31 March 2022 to enjoy 10% off Celebration of Love’s Civil Celebrant of Marriages services or Renewal of Vows services.
Francis Au Yeung of Civil Celebrant Service (Hong Kong)
Chief celebrant and chief wedding planner Francis Au Yeung has officiated over 450 local and overseas weddings (he even officiated a baron’s wedding this year!). Bilingual and UK-trained, Francis has experience in both Western and Chinese-style weddings, writing couple’s stories and officiating different wedding styles, including civil weddings, church-style weddings and renewal of vows. Making weddings his business, his profession has taken him high in the sky on a helicopter, sailing on a yacht and even underwater (talk about dedication!). Being well known for his fun, loving, organised and bespoke wedding ceremonies, you can certainly rely on Francis to also bring a bright and joyful energy to your special day.
Book early to enjoy a 10% discount on Civil Wedding Services and Wedding Assistant Services in 2022 by using the promo code 2022sassyhk10. Early Bird Offer valid until Monday, 28 February, 2022.
Anthony Lam and Cana Cheng of Messrs MK Lam & Co
Power couple Anthony Lam and Cana Cheng take their services as civil celebrants to the next level and help in any way they can so that you can have the stress-free wedding of your dreams. Having been solicitors and public notaries for over 20 years, the husband and wife team take special pride in their wedding services. They make it a point to meet with their clients at least a month before the big day to go through every little detail. From karaoke rooms to helicopters, wherever and however you wish to get married, the duo will be by your side every step of the way.
YIP, TSE & TANG Solicitors, Notaries, Civil Celebrants of Marriages
If you’re looking for a quick, no-fuss, low-cost wedding ceremony, choose YIP, TSE & TANG. This law firm has over 20 licensed civil celebrants and officiated more than 20,000 marriages. You can choose to solemnise your marriage at one of its 11 decorated wedding halls which are dotted around the city, including an outdoor Sky Garden in Mong Kok. What’s more, your marriage certificate or license will be issued by the firm immediately after your wedding ceremony, so you there will be no waiting required.
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Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in October, 2020 and was most recently updated in November, 2021.
Our “Featured” sticker indicates a paid partnership.
Featured image courtesy of JenAphotographer via Getty, image 1 courtesy of DGLimages via Getty, image 2 courtesy of Emma Bauso via Pexels, image 3 courtesy of Civil Celebrant Service (Hong Kong), image 4 courtesy of HK Marriage Celebrant, image 5 courtesy of Celebration of Love, image 6 courtesy of BLISS (Civil Celebrant of Marriages Services), image 7 courtesy of Messrs MK Lam & Co via Facebook, image 8 courtesy of YIP, TSE & TANG Solicitors, Notaries, Civil Celebrants of Marriages.