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JANET SHELL - wedding celebrant

A wedding ceremony

I am a qualified wedding celebrant, based in North Surrey, and am happy to travel throughout the southeast to help you create a memorable day.

Janet in a wedding ceremony

My role begins with a meeting to go through the kind of ceremony you might have in your mind. We talk through the structure of your ceremony, what music you might want and any readings you may have in mind. They can be finalised later; at this stage it is about sifting through some ideas and me gathering some information. I love to hear your story!

My friendly, outgoing, warm personality is ready to greet you, and I hope you will find in me the ideal person to guide and support you from inception right through the ceremony itself. I am a deeply spiritual person with strong respect for other cultures. Whether you want a more traditional look and feel or a pagan inspired ceremony, I can create something that will be right for you.

Whether you are marrying for the first time or one or both of you is re-marrying, you will want your day to be exclusively about YOU!


Anywhere you like! You may already have your ideal venue in mind – this could be a hotel, a stately home, a beautiful garden setting, a barn or a woodland. Each setting will have its unique characteristics and lend itself to different ideas. Some venues are set up for civil ceremonies and these can be used for a celebrant led ceremonies too – so make your choice freely.

Janet showing the ring


For many, it will look and feel like a traditional wedding service, with the couple saying their vows, having a ring exchange and making promises with music and readings, however, it can incorporate all kinds of different elements that make it highly personalised.

I will talk you through the many possibilities; you can alter the order to suit your vision, and as you will see below choose your own music and readings from any genre. Your wedding ceremony will be what YOU want it to be.

In 2022, the law reform society has proposed radical changes to the laws around weddings to offer couples more choice and, most importantly allow celebrants like myself to offer legal ceremonies. While this will take some time to come into law, it will finally bring wedding celebrations into 21st century. I will keep you updated. Meanwhile if you are interested to see the proposals please click here and follow this link.


Everybody loves a love story, and part of a celebrant wedding ceremony, should you choose it, is to reveal the story of YOU. We all love to hear how a couple met, what they first thought of each other, when they realised this was 'it' and what their plans are for the future. Telling your story is a big part of the service and as a published author, I can’t wait to tell yours in a beautifully crafted ceremony!


Depending where you are holding the ceremony, you may be able to have live music or it will be set up for recordings. As a professional classical musician, having sung at many weddings, I am able to suggest a wide range of suitable pieces or ideas. There is something very fitting about classical music that fits the occasion of a wedding and I can chat with you about this. Often this is something people feel unfamiliar with and unsure about. For example, you may like the idea of a harpist or a string quartet or some jazz musicians. This is a speciality of mine and I have many contacts within the music world, if this is something you would enjoy pursuing. On the other hand, you may want your favourite recording or have talented musical friends. I am sometimes asked to sing too and while I am delighted to do this, you need to be aware this will incur a further professional fee.


Your ceremony can include readings of poetry, literature, tributes, favourite sacred texts or words from a song. There are many different options and once you choose me, I share a link where I have placed some readings to help you get started.


Yes! This is my favourite part of the ceremony because it is where we hear your voice, both literally and figuratively. Most of my couples choose this option. I suggest keeping your vows secret from each other, as a surprise. They can then be read by you during the ceremony. If you prefer, I can take the pressure away and create some vows for you which you then repeat during the ceremony. All things are possible and up to you!


You may have had the legal side of your wedding a few days before the ‘main event’ but you can save the exchange of rings for this ceremony. It’s a wonderful personal moment and something that unifies the whole event. It can be nerve wracking but again, it is my job to calm nerves and be there with you, offering, excuse the pun, a helping hand!


Absolutely you can have a certificate. I offer two options. Either I create a celebratory certificate as a memento or you can have a certificate signing as part of the ceremony. When you sign your legal certificate there are no photographs permissible of the actual moment of signing, whereas here, because it is not a legal document, it can provide a lovely moment for pictures! I suggest two witnesses to sign alongside you as a keepsake.

wedding hands
A hand-fasting ceremony


I have officiated a number of celebrations where the couple have specifically requested handfasting or ring warming. Handfasting has appeared in films and on TV and this has increased its popularity. The colours are usually significant for the couple and as you can see from the photograph it can make a beautiful sight. It comes from an ancient custom, and I explain the origins and something about it for guests. It is still something that many people haven’t seen in person, so it is a lovely addition to a ceremony and the couple will speak their vows while their hands are bound together. By the way, you don’t have to memorise the vows! I print them out and we invite a guest to hold them for you while you read them out.

Ring warming is a moment before the service where the rings are ‘blessed’ be each guest as they arrive to send loving thoughts and silent wishes to the couple for their long life together.


Should you decide to ask me to officiate, my background in performance and teaching means I can help support you with the speaking of vows, showing you how to project into the space so your guests hear you. I can help you manage nerves, remind you to speak the lines you want with clarity and at the right speed so that the back row will hear! I give you access to my files online where I have written several documents on how to create your vows, and things to bear in mind when writing and speaking them, There is advice on music choices and as mentioned above, a source of readings.

I offer a helping hand, an infectious smile and a professional and friendly service. I am humbled that all my couples so far have been more than happy with my services. I hope you will be too.
A wedding ceremony

To see Janet's profile on the Hitched website, click on this link - you will find more photographs, and reviews.


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

Weddings fee for 2024: £899

Fee for vow renewals: £699

Janet is very happy for fees to be paid by instalments

A wedding featured on the Guides for Brides website

Janet was the celebrant at Sophia and Dan's wedding at Wooton House:

Guides for Brides profile

To see Janet's profile on the Guides for Brides website, click on this link.



Renewal of vows

Something many of us lucky enough to be in long relationships feel called to do, is to renew our vows. It makes for a beautiful moment to restate that commitment to each other in front of family and friends, some of whom may well have been in attendance at the original ceremony! The vows can contain more personal wording. Maybe you wish to express how blessed you feel still having the love of your companion or want to thank them for their continued support through the rough times as well as good.

However many years you wish to celebrate, vow renewal is a deeply meaningful way to do it.

I work with you on the words/ideas/music choices – exactly as I would if you had approached me as a younger couple  - and we put together something to see you through the next X number of years!


Contact Janet

Email: janetshell@talktalk.net
Phone: 07730409648

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Vowel renewal
A wedding ceremony

Vowel renewal
A private renewal of vows ceremony

Hand fasting
A hand-fasting ceremony

A happy couple!!

Another happy couple

Yet another happy couple


Catching the groom unawares

The truth is told!

Lifting the groom
Lifting the groom