Frequently asked questions


How much does it cost to have a Celebrant officiate at a funeral?

The current fee is around £175 and the fee is normally added to your final invoice. The Funeral Director will pay the Celebrant on your behalf.

If I want to use a Celebrant and not a Minister, how do I organise this?

When the Funeral Director visits you, tell them you want a Celebrant and not a Minister and they will contact me and I will contact you.

Where will the Celebrant meet the family to discuss putting the ceremony together?

The Celebrant normally comes to your home at a mutually convenient time although the meeting can take places in other venues such as hotels and funeral directors offices if the family wish. The visit will normally last an hour.

Who organises the music for the funeral?

Normally the Celebrant does this but families can do it themselves if they so wish.

Can I have any music I want?

Yes you can and most funerals ceremonies will have 3 pieces of music throughout the service; one at the beginning, one at the closing of the curtain and a piece at the end.

What if I do not want a standard funeral?

Speak to your Funeral Director and the Celebrant and we will both ensure you have a bespoke service that best fits the needs of your family making sure the service is exactly as you want it.

How long does a funeral service normally last at a crematorium?

Most crematoriums in Scotland allow a family 20-25 minutes to conduct the entire service. There is no time fixed time limit for funeral parlour or graveside services. Timings for these services would be agreed with the Funeral Director.

Can I have additional speakers and tributes at a funeral?

Yes you can. If you would like one additional tribute this can be accommodated within the standard service time, however if you wish to have 2 or 3 additional tributes we would advise you to book a double time slot at the crematorium.

What is the difference between a Funeral Celebrant and a Humanist Officiant?

Human are strictly non religious. At a Humanist funeral you can not have a hymn, or a prayer and you cannot have any reference to “your mum now being reunited with your dad” and song popular songs, like Robbie Williams ‘Angels’ would not be allowed due to the link to religion. A Funeral Celebrant has no such restrictions and your wishes, needs and beliefs will always be respected and brought into the ceremony if that is what you want.

Is there anything I should think about before I meet the Celebrant
You may want to think about:

-Where the deceased was born and grew up
-Siblings and family members they grew up with
-School days and teenage memories
-Jobs children, grandchildren and other family members
-Hobbies and interests
-Groups and clubs belonged to
-Interests and achievements
-Favourite memories
-Significant events
-Sayings and stories
-What you are most proud of the deceased for
-What will you miss most
-What have they taught you


Baby Naming Ceremonies

How much does it cost to have a Celebrant officiate at a Baby Naming?

The current fee is around £175 and you will obviously have other expenses when you organise the venue and catering

What happens at a baby naming ceremony? And how long do they last?

They normally last 20-25 minutes and consist of readings, reflections about the new baby. The central aspect of the service is when the parents (and sponsors) share their wishes, hopes and dreams for the child. The Celebrant will help you write personalised wishes, hopes and dreams

Do you always visit the family in advance?

Normally the Celebrant comes to visit you in your home but this could be done by other means such as Skype or by telephone.

Is it more expensive if there are 2 babies?

No it would be the same fee

Can we include an older child within the ceremony, such as older children who have never had a baby naming?

Yes the ceremony can incorporate this should you wish

Wedding Ceremonies and Renewal of Vows Ceremonies

How much does it cost to have a celebrant officiate at my wedding/ renewal of vows?

The current cost is £195

Will the celebrant help us to write our vows and promises?

Yes the Celebrant will chat with you and your partner and guide you.



How do I became a Funeral Celebrant

Bespoke Civil Ceremonies runs a 3 day course leading to a ‘Certificate in Funeral Celebrancy’, a qualification that would generally be recognised by all Funeral Directors


What does the course cover?

You will receive a full training pack and book. The course will cover every aspect of the profession and equip you with every tool, tip and technique you need to be a competent Celebrant.


What happens after the training, is there on-going support?

Our training course does not ‘abandon’ you after the 3 days and there is follow up support. There will be personal 1-1 written feedback for each student after the course. There will be an opportunity to spend a half day with Neil for a shadow family interview and further coaching and telephone support for the remainder of your professional career



What are your skills as a trainer?

Neil has been running in Scotland and the UK for over 8 years and has trained a substantial number of the UK’s most respected funeral celebrants.


Many training courses are an “IQ” experience, a course book you work through; things you learn. While you will undoubtedly learn tons on this training course, you will be invited to connect to emotional intelligence and the deeper skills needed to connect to people’s hearts at a funeral. It is the only training course in the UK that incorporates the necessity for emotional intelligence.


Neil is the only Scottish training provider in the UK and has a unique insight into how the profession operates in Scotland.


Neil was one of the first Funeral Celebrants in the UK and has been doing the job for 12 years


Neil is one of a handful of people in the UK to be awarded a Diploma in Funeral Celebrancy by the International College of Celebrancy (Australia)


Neil wrote the first book on the subject of civil Funeral called “The Guide to a Dead Brilliant Funeral Speech”


This course will touch you and may even change you


What are the costs?

The cost is £795


Can I pay the cost of the course in Instalments?

Yes you may pay in instalments by arrangement.  The final balance being due before the commencement of the course.



What else is included in the course?

The course will include Baby Naming training.  Refreshments and lunches are provided during the 3 days


What is not included?

Over night accommodation.

You must meet your own transport needs and costs.