When most couples meet a celebrant they have very little idea about what’s involved in creating a personalised and memorable ceremony. There are many aspects to be covered when planning your ceremony and just as many in the delivery. Here are 10 helpful hints about your ceremony with me!
PACKAGE OF OPTIONS, IDEAS, HINTS AND TIPS
Celebrants will give you a package of information to help you plan your ceremony. Mine is extensive, but not exhaustive and is available through a website login given to couples who book me. Many couples choose suggestions from the info, others utilise use google as well, some write their own and some get me to write bits. It’s up to you!
Your celebrant will look after most of the legal components for you, however, you need to prove your identity. This can be done by a passport or a birth certificate and photo identification or a Commonwealth Statutory Declaration should there be no records of your birth. If you have been married before, you need to provide the divorce paper of your last marriage or a death certificate of a widower or widow. It’s NOT up to you!
CHOOSE AND CREATE WHAT YOU WANT
On one day I performed two very different ceremonies; one was 13 minutes and the other 30 minutes, all based on the same principle. This is the beauty of a civil ceremony, you can dictate the content and the length. It’s up to you!
THREE LEGAL COMPONENTS
You must have these in a ceremony to be legally married. The first is me stating the Monitum (Warning!) from the Marriage Act of Australia, the second is the legal component of your vows and the third is having 2 witnesses 18 years of age or over to sign. It’s NOT up to you this bit!
I have a simple phrase of advice for my couples…keep it real! You know who you are and how comfortable you are sharing sentiments in front of others. Choose, put together or let me help you write something that reflects you. You can repeat after me, read them or memorise them (be careful though!) Ultimately, stay authentic and be true to yourself. It’s up to you!
INCLUDING OTHERS IN YOUR CEREMONY
There are so many options here! Bridal party, walking you down the aisle, giving away, readings, rituals, dedications, ring bearers, witnesses, ushers, help deliver the ceremony and memorial candles to name a few. Again, it’s up to you!
WHERE DO I STAND TO DELIVER THE CEREMONY?
You will see very few photos of me in between a couple as I choose to stand next to the couple or bridal party for much of the ceremony. I feel it allows me to engage with both bridal party and the guests and have a real connection. It’s just as much ‘how’ you deliver the ceremony as about ‘what’ is said. Of course, we can’t really ‘place’ all of the bridal party into position until anyone who is wearing a dress is sorted out; then we can all work around them!
YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE TO REMEMBER A THING DURING YOUR CEREMONY!
The way I choose to run the ceremony is one where I consider that everyone might forget what they have to do; you just follow my lead and everything will be ok. No expectations to remember, just to enjoy the ceremony and let me guide you. Look good, feel great!
REHEARSE AT MY HOME
When I meet with couples for the second time we run through everything about the day. This includes a walk through of the ceremony in my home in Mt Evelyn with the couple and a 3 page document detailing all the organisation that will occur before the ceremony (I am not just there for a 20 minute ceremony!) Also, I meet with everyone included in the ceremony to check they’re okay with their roles (at that stage at least!) and I come to the car or room to meet all the bridesmaids/parents. Once all is in order, away we go!
A FOLLOW UP EMAIL AFTER YOUR CEREMONY
Just a little email to see how your day finished up, detailing how to obtain your marriage certificate, the online confirmation number, how to change your name, if you wish, and to remind you I do naming ceremonies if you’re interested!
So, if you do choose to use me as your celebrant, expect a constant smile, maybe some chat about footy, fashion and kids and a relaxed process with a few laughs on the day. Stay calm, have fun and enjoy the process. It should be one of the most memorable days (and ceremonies!) of your life.