Top Ten Tips for choosing your Wedding Celebrant
I feel couples should be able to taste test their marriage celebrants, just like cake tasting and menu sampling. That is why your first meeting with me is obligation free.
How do you know you have found the one?
Often you will just know but like Pat and his lovely partner they met two very similar celebrants who they connected with and could easily have chosen either Celebrant.
Thank you for the interview the other day. We greatly appreciate the time you have taken to speak with us.
We have spoken to another celebrant and now Pat and I are both stuck on who to choose!
Both of you are very alike and show some amazing qualities that really suit us well. I think the best thing for us to do is take the weekend to really consider our choice, which has been made incredibly hard! Pat"
and then after the weekend...
So after a few days of really considering our choices, Pat and I have decided we would love for you to marry us!
It was honestly the hardest decision to make because both of you lovely ladies were just so nice, relaxed, laid back and had buzzing personalities! Patrick loves your red glasses though, says it has a Dame Edna look about them and that’s a big part of what won him over lol. Who doesn’t love Dame Edna though right? She is such a strong, positive household name, so please take that as a compliment!"
Ok, my Dame Edna look helped me book this couple but for you, it may not be that simple or you are looking for something else.
1. Find out what the celebrant offers and what is included.
Are there any additional charges?
Is all legal paperwork completed by the Celebrant and submitted to Births, Deaths, and Marriages in the state the wedding has taken place? (this is an absolute no brainer – they have to do this)
2. Is the celebrant available to answer questions when you have them?
I always offer unlimited time for my couples, naturally within reasonable hours. No question is every silly or dumb. I will communicate with my couples in any form of communication that suits them best – txt, pm, emails, phone call.
3. Does the celebrant supply a PA system to ensure your guests can hear all the words of love during the ceremony?
A requirment of the Marriage Act is your guest and your witnesses must be able to hear the ceremony. Your witnesses must hear the legal words.
I also think it's important to have a PA system for the ceremony and for couples to have access to it for their music during the Ceremony, that is why I supply a PA system.
4. Does the celebrant offer a rehearsal?
This is something that I feel is really important to help the couple and their bridal party feel comfortable, and for them to know how the day will flow. The rehearsal is a dry run! Everyone will know where they need to stand. The timing of the music, when it’s played. How to move to the signing table. Allowing space around the table for “the dress”. This is a must. Also, is there a cost for a rehearsal? My fee is all-inclusive, so no I don’t charge for a rehearsal.
5. Can your celebrant assist you with your vows?
Writing your wedding vows is daunting, I would have to say 99% of my couples write their own. Some have had my assistance and a few I have written their vows for them. Every couple is different and I treat each as individuals and work with them when needed. I am always collecting resources of poems, words of love, vows, music. My couples are welcome to any of these resources.
6. Does the celebrant work closely with your chosen venue and other wedding vendors?
I am thrilled to be a preferred Celebrant with many of the venues on Tamborine Mountain. I work closely with them and keep them updated with my bookings as a Celebrant for their venue. I ask for all the vendors from my couples and make contact with them prior to the wedding. This ensures we are all on the same page for a stress-free day. We are your team! I am the Vice President of the Tamborine Mountain Wedding Group. We are 60 vendors strong who work in our local area together. Visit them here http://www.tamborinemountainweddings.net/ We hold 2 wedding expos a year to celebrate and showcase our wonderful area – Tamborine Mountain Gold Coast Hinterland.
7. Should your celebrant have public liability insurance?
Having any sort of equipment at the ceremony can create an issue if someone hurts themselves on your equipment. Thus all celebrants/vendors should have coverage. I am a member of the largest Celebrant association in Australia and my annual subscription includes public liability insurance for me.
8. Does your celebrant belong to an association and keep up with changes within the marriage act and industry.
All Celebrants are required to an OPD – ongoing professional day training each year. This ensures we are all up to date with changes that may affect couples being able to marry. Belonging to a professional association offers support and sharing of knowledge within the group, enhancing a celebrants knowledge that passes onto clients. I am a member of AFCC. Australian Federation of Civil Celebrants ( https://www.afcc.com.au/ )
Take a peek at the Celebrants you are interested in by a little fun stalking!! Check them out on their Facebook Page, their reviews and Instagram page. Check out some of my recent reviews here: https://web.facebook.com/pg/tamborineandgoldcoastcelebrant/reviews/?ref=page_interna
9. Is the Celebrant registered in the state you are marrying to register your marriage online?
Some states in Australia offer online while others don’t. Civil Celebrants of Australia are authorised to officiate weddings anywhere within Australia
10. Most importantly, how do they make you feel?
Did you like them?! Did you have a connection with them? Where they fun, bright and can you see them sharing in your special day? You need someone that will share in your joy, your happiness and celebrate the day with you.
At the end of the day, I will spend as much time as we need talking wedding ceremonies, rituals, choices of entry etc... there is never a dumb question. I am here to answer them in our first meeting and ongoing throughout your wedding planning.
I have written a booklet on the in’s and out’s of wedding ceremony planning, and I use this as my guide at our first meeting. The booklet is yours to take home regardless of your decision.
I am always delighted when couples book me on the spot. It’s a wonderful feeling being able to connect with so many people.
I hope this has helped you pick the perfect celebrant for your special day.