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JM

What to expect from
your celebrant

29/10/17

When I mention ‘I’m a wedding celebrant’, no lie the majority of people who ask what I do then go onto to ask: “So what do you actually do?”

It’s common for people to think that we only work a couple of hours a week on the weekend. That we turn up to a wedding, read a generic ceremony script, pronounce you married, pack up quickly and go…That’s not at all true.

A celebrant spends a fair amount of time preparing in lead up as well as before and during the actual ceremony. I thought it would be handy to jot down what your celebrant should do and how to make the most out of them. All of the below will equal you having an awesome wedding ceremony:

  • Provide advice and help to complete your Notice of Intended Marriage form (NOIM)
  • Sight your original ID docs to make sure you’re you
  • Witness the legal documents
  • Listen and take onboard your wedding ideas
  • Create a wedding ceremony structure with meaningful elements
  • Get to know you in a short amount of time
  • Ask fun questions about you as a couple
  • Have as many meetings or phone chats as we need, accompanied with coffee/wine/beer makes it all the more fun
  • Learn about your families and friends involved in your wedding
  • Provide ceremony ideas created just for you
  • Help you write your own personalised vows
  • Suggest ways to involve important people in the ceremony
  • Collaborate with you on getting your ceremony just right
  • Recommend other awesome wedding vendors
  • Help suggest a back-up plan if you’re having an outdoor wedding
  • Organise a rehearsal so that everyone is relaxed and super ready on the day
  • Arrive early to your ceremony location, meet and greet anyone involved (wedding party, key family, photographer, videographer, musicians, wedding planner, readers etc), set up a PA system, arrange the legal documents securely on the signing table, and ensure everything is in place and to guide anyone if they have any questions
  • Be on hand to help the wedding party feel comfortable, calm and collected
  • Cue for the music to begin, faded out and repeat
  • Ensure everyone can hear loud and clear
  • Deliver the ceremony with personality. For me I like to be light-hearted, relaxed and engaging
  • Be quick to improvise during the ceremony if something pops up, for example: handing out tissues, potentially handling funny comments from guests, or maybe a sudden turn in the weather if outdoors
  • Make sure all legal documents are accurate and ready for signing
  • Help the photographer and videographer get their shots by giving them space and getting out of the way during the big moments
  • Give a you huge congratulations hug
  • Stick around for a short while to mingle with family and guests
  • Securely package up all of the marriage legal docs and register the marriage soon after.

And if you’re not quite sure what to ask your celebrant, here’s some questions that you might consider asking them:

  • Do you have an agreement that I can review before we go ahead?
  • How would you describe your ceremony style?
  • What time will you arrive on the day?
  • What do you do during set up?
  • Do you include jokes or keep to no jokes?
  • Will you be asking our guests if they have any objections?
  • How can we involve our most important people?
  • Can we involve our children or pet/s?
  • Can we incorporate a poem, reading or music lyrics?
  • Can you help write our vows?
  • Can you include some of our stories into the script?
  • Please tell us that you don’t speak gushingly??
  • Will you be reading from a folder, notepad, iPad, kindle or no notes?
  • What will you be wearing?
  • Do you drink champagne? YES!!
  • Can our guest have a drink during the ceremony? Depends on the venue but I like that idea 🙂
  • Can our photographer move freely around to get different shots?
  • Can we make it short & sweet?

I could talk weddings for hours and I’ve realised that majority of people are very happy to rattle on with me. It’s always a feel-good conversation starter. I guess it’s because a wedding is all about celebrating love, coming together and having a great party!  What’s better than that!

Just get in touch & I would love to talk weddings with you 🙂

Jacqueline

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