Former Mabe Parish Council chairman, Georgie Higgs, has become one of the first people in the county to be fully qualified as an independent civil celebrant.

Her achievement means she is now able to help couples create a celebratory event that is personalised to them. Words, vows and promises can all be individualised – as can the format and the special elements that make a civil ceremony unique and memorable.

Unlike registrars and priests, celebrants like Georgie not restricted by legalities and formality. Their ceremonies can take place anywhere, at any time of the day or night. Nor are they necessarily non–religious, scripture and blessings can be added in if required. Similarly, for those wanting a more secular approach, symbolic elements like the binding of hands, mixing sand or adding messages to a wishes tree can all be introduced.

“Celebrant-led ceremonies are designed around the people they are for, rather than conforming to stereotypical rituals,” said Georgie, a serving justice of the peace who has a masters degree in law. “They are a joy to be part of because they’re deeply meaningful, flexible in their structure and bespoke to the people concerned.

"My role is to work closely with the couple, helping them write what they want to say and providing ideas on how the event should flow. I will never take on more than one ceremony a day so each celebration always gets my total attention.”

Those wanting to get legally married will still need a registrar or religious representative to undertake the formalities but using a civil celebrant allows much more freedom in terms of where, when and how commitments are made. In addition, Georgie, who now lives in Portreath, is also qualified to conduct naming ceremonies as an alternative to christenings.

For more information, visit or call Georgie on 07815 490506 or 01209 842306.