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JANET SHELL - celebrancy

Janet talks about her role as a celebrant

I am a qualified wedding and funeral celebrant, based in Surrey, however I am very happy to travel throughout the southeast. I also offer naming and vow renewal ceremonies. Here you will find a little more detail about what I offer. I am pleased you are here, whether it is for a sad moment in your life or a happy one.

Janet Shell, celebrant

As an experienced and highly skilled professional performer, writer and broadcaster, with many years’ experience, I am able to collaborate with you and help you to find the right tone for your ceremony. You can contribute as much or as little as you wish. My job is to bring everything together and seamlessly deliver and manage the moment when it comes. There is nothing more satisfying for me than knowing I have helped you speak the words you wanted in a moment where you thought emotion might get the better of you.

Please select the appropriate page for you:

What is a celebrant?

About 20-30 years ago, if you said you were having a celebrant to officiate at your wedding, usually this meant having a Humanist ceremony, and the legacy of that is that it is still assumed that a celebrant works within that framework.

I am here to tell you that the role of an independent celebrant is much wider than that and whereas a Humanist avoids any religious suggestion in the slightest, an independent celebrant can allow religious texts for readings and music in both settings.

The main advantage of a celebrant ceremony is the personalised nature of it. It is a bespoke, individual service and I work with you to create something meaningful for you and your loved ones.

In short, a celebrant can officiate at both wedding ceremonies and funerals and deliver an intensely personal moment for you with no restrictions on setting or time for weddings and the possibility of a deeply individual remembrance for a funeral.

What is the difference between a Registrar and a Celebrant?

At the moment in the UK, a celebrant cannot legally marry a couple. (A Humanist does have that legal right). A Registrar can operate the legalities, however, as you may have experienced, a Registrar has to complete the ceremony in 15 minutes. There are certain buildings that are designated for services and there can be no hint of religious text in the readings, poetry or any song that may be sung.

A Celebrant will usually suggest that the couple complete the legal parts of the wedding (which doesn’t have to include the exchange of rings) a day or two before their Celebrant led ceremony where they can then enjoy an extended ceremony and create personal vows, exchange rings and involve other family members.

There are also some lovely symbolic rituals that can be attached to this ceremony such as hand-fasting, sand ceremonies and ring warming/blessings.

In a funeral service, the Celebrant will work alongside the Funeral Director and deliver the ceremony at the crematorium or the graveside. The Celebrant guides the family through this incredibly difficult time and creates a loving tribute with poems, music and tributes from family members and friends. The funeral service has to adhere to the timings of the Crematorium which is usually between 30-40 minutes. Double slots can be booked.

Visiting a venue


All my fees are inclusive of travel, so what you see is what you pay. No hidden extras.

Weddings fee: £899

Fee for vow renewals: £699

Fee for naming ceremonies: £450

Fee for funeral ceremonies: £400

Janet is very happy for fees to be paid by instalments


I operate an inclusive and respectful policy around other cultures and spiritual ideas. If I am not comfortable with your requests, I will gracefully decline and suggest a more appropriate celebrant for your needs.


Contact Janet

Email: janetshell@talktalk.net
Phone: 07730409648

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