09 Jul CHOOSING THE RIGHT CELEBRANT
Having the right celebrant can make a huge difference to your wedding day. The celebrant can set the tone for the whole day. A great celebrant needs to be able to engage with the guests, inviting them into the bubble of love and then continue captivating, all while performing a genuine and loving ceremony, which really makes the couple feel embraced. Most importantly though, you as a couple, need to feel confident that your celebrant is a professional who knows what they are doing, someone who instills trust, enabling you to let go and to be guided expertly and effortlessly through the process.
It is important that you choose someone who is aligned with your style, who takes the time to listen deeply, who has had enough life experience to understand the nuances of family dynamics and someone who is a good communicator.
Not all celebrants are roses!
There are a multitude of Celebrants, each of them eager to have the opportunity to marry you but it is you who have the luxury of choice.
This choice can be overwhelming so I have put together a few pointers on where to begin when selecting the best celebrant for you.
FINDING A CELEBRANT.
Personal recommendations are a good start. Ask around, friends and relatives but don’t just expect that their suggestion will be the right person for you, just because Aunty Kay was married by her doesn’t mean that celebrant will meet your needs. Find out what Aunty Kay liked or disliked about her celebrant and ask whether she would recommend her.
The Attorney General’s website which has a register of all currently active celebrants. http://marriage.ag.gov.au/marriagecelebrants/civil
This could be a helpful reference if you want to know how long a celebrant has been registered.
The internet is a great source for finding a celebrant. Just type in ‘marriage celebrant (location) ‘ and a pages of celebrants will be listed. Some websites are actually like a catalogues of celebrants who have posted a profile of themselves and their service.
Celebrant websites Take time to look at the websites created by the celebrants, as this will give you a really good idea of their style. Many celebrants neglect to tell you their fee (in the website) and encourage you to call for a quote; personally I think it best to be transparent and I make clear on my site, the fee I charge and the service I provide for that fee.
Your chosen venue may be able to offer recommendations.
The Yellow Pages or community newspapers or bridal magazines will all have advertisements placed by Celebrants.
CONTACTING A CELEBRANT
If you have done your research you can narrow down your selection to about 3 whom you feel could meet your needs.
Contact your top choice either by phone or email. Initial reactions are a good measure of the person so take note of how responsive they are to your enquiry.
Naturally if you don’t warm to this celebrant try the next person on the list.
If everything meets your expectations then you can arrange to have an informal face to face chat, perhaps over coffee at a neutral location. This meeting should go well because you have had the confidence to make time to meet. However, back to the drawing board if the meeting feels awkward or uncomfortable. My tip is to only line up one interview at a time as it will become too confusing if you like all the celebrants you have met, or if you have met and liked the first one but have made promises to meet others, then you feel obligated to meet them or advise them that you have chosen someone else…..see what I mean, awkward. No one likes rejection so use common sense, work through one selection at a time.
If you are happy with the celebrant you can then choose to book her, she will probably request a booking fee and then you can relax that you have secured her service for your wedding date.
QUESTIONS TO ASK ON YOUR INITIAL ENQUIRY
Introduce yourself and ask if the celebrant is available for your wedding date.
If yes then proceed, naturally if she is not, there is no reason to continue the conversation.
- If the celebrant services the area where you plan to hold the ceremony.
- About the service she offers.
- Is the celebrant, fulltime, part-time or just a hobbyist (this will give you an indication of how practiced they are).
- How many weddings they have done and how regularly are they now performing them (an active celebrant will be very highly skilled)
- Is your celebrant part of an association (this indicates a professionalism)
- What equipment is provided.
- Will they support you in the style of wedding you would like.
- To describe their style in three words.
- How much do they charge TIP this should be your last consideration and should only contribute in a small way to your final choice.
- Would they consider providing testimonials or phone numbers from previously married couples.
I hope that this simple guide has been helpful in someway and if you would like me to develop further, these suggestions, please email me and I will be happy to help.
I, Mary Ord from marrymemary, am a Sydney based Marriage Celebrant and just for the record I describe my ceremony design style and delivery as;
CHARMING,ENGAGING and REJOICING