How To Choose A Wedding Celebrant That Is Right For You
Choosing your marriage celebrant may not be an exciting task, but it is a very important one. Amid all the excitement of choosing outfits, venues, themes and colour schemes, it’s easy to pay scant attention to choosing a celebrant - never mind figuring out how to choose the wedding celebrant that is right for you. After all, a Celebrant is a Celebrant. Right?
Well, not quite!
While any registered Marriage Celebrant can steer you through the marriage process and conduct your wedding ceremony, only the Wedding Celebrant that is right for you can make your ceremony the most memorable part of your day. Your Celebrant will be standing right there beside you as you make one of the most important commitments in your life; so, it makes sense to choose someone you like and someone you can trust with your once-in-a-lifetime ceremony.
Why do you need a Civil Celebrant?
Having decided on a civil wedding, you must employ a registered Wedding Celebrant to conduct your marriage ceremony. All Civil Celebrants are appointed and registered by the Attorney-General’s Department after receiving the relevant training and qualifications. There are a number of legal responsibilities that come with the job. There include ensuring;
- Couples correctly register their intent to marry,
- Ceremonies are conducted correctly,
- That all marriages are properly registered.
You can find more useful information on getting married in Australia here
How soon should you get in touch with prospective Marriage Celebrants?
This should really be right at the top of your ‘to-do’ list. As a guide, the Wedding Celebrant you choose needs to receive your completed Notice of Intended Marriage form from you a maximum of 18 months and a minimum of one month before you tie the knot. When you’re completely satisfied in your choice of Marriage Celebrant make your booking quickly. Good Celebrants are booked well in advance. Having done all the hard work, why take the chance of missing out on the Wedding Celebrant that is just right for you? The early bird, as they say...
How do you choose the right Wedding Celebrant?
Ultimately you will want an experienced and professional Celebrant. One with all the knowledge and skills to prepare and deliver a unique wedding ceremony that reflects your personalities, that will delight both you and your guests and create a magical, meaningful, memory that will last for a lifetime.
Start by looking at their websites. Review their testimonials. How many are there? How recent are they? How expansive are the comments? Request to speak directly with couples who have used their services.
Your Celebrant should have good communication skills. Make contact with prospective Celebrants both in writing and by phone so that you can get a good feel for how well they express themselves.
It is essential that you develop a personal rapport with your Celebrant. The relationship between you and your Celebrant is going to be crucial to the success of your big day. It is important to feel comfortable that your Celebrant is not only professional but also warm and friendly in their approach; so, it is well worth investing your time in an initial face-to-face chat with potential Wedding Celebrants.
Most Celebrants offer an obligation-free first meeting. This initial chat gives you a chance to, not only hear how well the Celebrant speaks, but to also experience how well he, or she, listens to your ideas, your needs and your concerns and gives you the chance to see if the ‘fit’ between you is right.
What should you ask at the initial meeting with your prospective Wedding Celebrant?
When you meet with your Celebrant for the first time, it is a good idea to be prepared. Have a list of questions that you want answered. The last thing you want is to leave this meeting with your most important issues and concerns being left unaddressed.
Here are some questions you may wish to consider including:-
What is your fee and what does it include?
Pricing can be confusing. Ask your prospective Celebrants for clear pricing information on their services, fees, booking and payment terms. It is important to consider both the price, and the value of the services being offered. One Celebrant may, at first glance, appear to offering a great deal but have “add-on” charges that are not clearly stated. For example, there may be additional charges for travelling to the venue, for attending rehearsals, for supplying a signing table, etc. Remember, what appears to be cheapest is not always best! Make sure you are comparing ‘apples with apples’ as they say.
What is your philosophy as a Wedding Celebrant?
You are looking for someone to entrust with your once-in-a-lifetime ceremony; so, it is important that you have a clear understanding of their philosophy as a Marriage Celebrant.
My personal philosophy is simple:
Deliver great service, exceptional value for money, and a magical, meaningful and memorable experience for my clients and their guests. Always!
I do this by giving you;
- More Time
- More Attention
- More Input
- More Inspiration
- More Creativity
That way I can ensure that every ceremony I deliver will be unique, heartfelt and truly personal.
How do you create your ceremonies?
Not all ceremonies are created equal. Sadly, many celebrants continue to churn out 5-minute ‘boilerplate’ ceremonies using prewritten material that is inserted into a standard ceremony template. I do not subscribe to this one-price-fits-all approach. I am very fussy! I take great pride in the fact that all the ceremonies I craft are as unique as the couples I am creating them for. But, although each of my ceremonies is unique, they are all created following my 7-step process.
Do you perform wedding rituals?
Not every Celebrant is comfortable with performing rituals.
But I love rituals! I have an extensive list that I love to perform. It is so beautiful to perform a ritual that holds some special meaning to the Bride and Groom.
Take the Hand-fasting Ceremony for example; this is a beautiful ritual for those people with a Scottish or Celtic background; or, the Sand Ceremony - a perfect ritual for a blended family; and, the wine box and letter ritual that offers something a little more personal to the Bride and Groom. The list is endless.
Do you provide a PA system?
For a wedding ceremony with 20, or more, guests, I believe it is important that the Celebrant’s voice is projected to ensure it can be heard; so, a powerful and reliable PA system is a must. I, personally, use a fantastic system that is compact and unobtrusive and yet capable of projecting my voice over the throng of 200 people!
Can music be broadcast through your PA system?
If you intend using pre-recorded music during your ceremony, you must ask your Celebrant if their PA system is capable of broadcasting it. Some PA systems offer one, or more, audio inputs for pre-recorded music stored on either a USB memory stick, a smartphone, a tablet or a laptop computer. Please note, however, that it is not the Celebrant’s responsibility to organise or play the music. You will need to have someone willing and able to carry out this duty on the day.
Will you hold a rehearsal of our ceremony?
Not every wedding ceremony requires a rehearsal. But, for those that do, they can be of enormous benefit. Rehearsals can help the Bride and Groom get their head around each individual step in the Ceremony, such as how far they have to walk to the “Arbour” and where they will stand. Being given the opportunity to practice the vows and rituals can greatly reduce the stress of the event. Rehearsals are also a great photo-opportunity for the pre-wedding album!
What will you wear on the day?
This may seem like an odd question but, believe me, some Celebrants are not blessed with the greatest gift of style! Remember your Celebrant will be in your wedding photos, so it is important that you can be confident that he or she will come coordinated with your wedding party.
My personal dress style is elegant and understated… I never under-dress! I go to great lengths to ensure that, on the day, my outfit will reflect the type of ceremony you have chosen in colours that will coordinate and not clash with the bridal party.
Is it really possible to have the wedding of your dreams?
Yes it is! Whatever your wedding fantasy, you can have it exactly the way you want it; but if, and only if, you choose the right wedding celebrant. The celebrant that will create your perfect ceremony and help you ensure it all goes exactly as you dreamed it would.
So it stands to reason that you must know how to choose a wedding celebrant that is right for you. And you must choose wisely!
I wish you all the best in your quest for the Marriage Celebrant that is perfect for you and your significant other! If you feel that Marriage Celebrant might just be me, then please don't hesitate to get in touch. I would be delighted to meet over tea or coffee so we can chat about your ceremony and find out if we are a good fit for each other.