Dr Stephanie Pywell, Senior Lecturer in the OU’s Faculty of Business and Law, has secured a donation to the OU of £6,000 from Civil Ceremonies Ltd, and will explore the work of celebrants who conduct wedding-style ceremonies that are not legally binding.
Her empirical project, which is due to begin in November 2019 and to be completed in June 2020, is being organised in liaison with a number of celebrants’ organisations in England and Wales.
It will investigate the growth in celebrants’ work in recent years, and the cost of their attendance at ceremonies. It will also explore whether couples are always made aware that the ceremonies are not legally binding, and seek celebrants’ views on whether they would like their profession to be formally regulated.
Dr Pywell said: “This important project is the first systematic research into the work of celebrants. I will share my findings with the Law Commission, which is currently reviewing how weddings are celebrated, and hope that it will inform their recommendations for changes to the law of England and Wales.”