“Having the opportunity to be a part of someone’s special day is a wonderful experience”
Are you a people person with tip top public speaking skills? Then you might be interested in joining us as a Ceremony Officer. We spoke to Chloe, who works in our Bridgwater team to get the full lowdown on the role.
So, what does a Ceremony Officer do?
You’ll travel to a number of beautiful and historic licenced venues, including a number owned and operated by Somerset County Council, to conduct ceremonies. You’ll be assigned one of two roles, which you’ll be trained up individually for – speaking (Deputy Superintendent Registrar) and writing (Deputy Registrar). Both are equally important, and each role supports the other in making sure you are giving the couple the best experience on their special day.
Talk us through a Ceremony
Firstly, you’ll contact the colleague you will be working with, to decide who will be taking on which role for the ceremony. If you’re writing, you’ll travel to your office base and prepare the documents required including the authorities and notices of marriage, and check they are valid, prepare the certificate of marriage and collect the register – the ceremony can’t go ahead without these documents! If you’re speaking, you will prepare your script for the ceremony with the correct location, names and choices of vows.
You’re needed at the venue before the ceremony to interview the bride and groom. If you’re writing, you’ll go through the information the couple gave at the time of notice to make sure it is all up to date and spelt correctly. And if you are speaking, you’ll talk the couple through their wedding and generally reassure them.
During the ceremony, it is the responsibility of both Ceremony Officers to make sure the couple are saying their chosen vows correctly and clearly. Only after they have said the vows can the colleague writing begin to fill out the register, creating the written legal document. The married couple and witnesses, and both Ceremony Officers will sign the register. The certificate is then filled out with the printed signatures, and handed over to the bride – as traditionally this is her legal property.
After the ceremony concludes, you will travel back to the office and enter the details into our online system.
And what attributes do you need to be a Ceremony Officer?
You’ll need be personable and create an atmosphere that makes the bride, groom and others who will be part of the ceremony feel comfortable. You’ll also need to be adaptive and present a face of certainty and calm in case things don’t go according to plan!
Legible handwriting and accurate spelling are required for writing certificates and the register. And a clear speaking voice and ability to feel comfortable speaking to large groups is needed for conducting our wedding ceremonies.
A lot of the work is computer based, as our preparations for weddings are completed through Outlook, SharePoint, Word and Excel, so a basic understanding of Office applications is needed.
The best part of your job?
Having the opportunity to be a part of someone’s important day is a wonderful experience! The role allows you to work closely with people and build positive relationships with venues. If you enjoy public speaking but can follow a script, conducting weddings gives you the opportunity to be a part of something that will be remembered. If you enjoy the responsibility of creating documents and your handwriting is fluid and clear, you can create certificates that can solidify the marital bonds between new couples.
Interested in applying for one of our Ceremony Officer roles? Take a look at our current vacancies here: https://www.somerset.gov.uk/jobs-and-careers/job-search/job/?jobId=1764