Choosing a marriage celebrant
Those in the know like to say “a wedding without a celebrant is just a really expensive party”. And it’s true! A lot of consideration goes into finding and choosing wedding vendors that share your vision and match your style and budget. So, it makes sense to put the same care and thought into choosing the right celebrant for your wedding.
As a wedding photographer, the super talented Sam Wyper sees a lot of celebrants in action and asked me to write a guest blog for him about choosing a marriage celebrant…
Connection Your celebrant stands between you on one of the most significant days of your life – and you don’t want that person to be a crazy cat lady (or maybe you do! There is a unique celebrant for every niche wedding). When I marry people, I want their guests to wonder how long we’ve been friends and that kind of chemistry can’t be created by choosing on price alone. Instagram is an easy way to stalk any wedding supplier and this works for celebrants too. Have a look around, be really clear about the kind of person you are looking for, send out a couple of enquiries and grab a drink with them or give them a quick call. The lead up to your wedding will be that more enjoyable when you know that the celebrant you have chosen shares your vision and can anticipate what you might want or need - during the planning stages and right up to the moment they leave you to party at your wedding reception.
Position There are some HOT celebrants out there with killer style and wardrobe choices BUT it doesn't matter how much effort or $$ we've put into our ensemble, we know you don't want us in your money shot (you know, the one where you pash and the crowd goes wild). When it's time for you to smooch, a savvy celebrant knows how to get out of shot so you can have this moment all to yourselves. My strategy is to just tell the crowd that the next part of the ceremony is my favourite bit and the view is better from over here (and I move past the bridal party to stand on the side), I tell the couple how happy I am for them and remind them of what they want for their future and then announce they are married and can now kiss! The same goes for vows and ring exchange - sometimes it is necessary to stand next to the couple but I always take a moment to step back so your photographer can capture the perfect moment and make it look like I was never there!
Questions Sometimes I meet a couple and they come armed with a bunch of questions taken straight from a bridal mag with no clear idea of what they genuinely want for their ceremony. It’s good to have an idea of what you want to find out but the right celebrant will ask you a bunch of (sometimes nosy) questions too! Questions about who you are as individuals and as a couple and your story, all in an effort to get the juicy bits. And of course questions about what you want for your special day too. A great celebrant will be flexible and willing to experiment to ensure you get the ceremony that you want rather than just offering a prescribed script that is not adaptable to every couple.
Price A common question a celebrant is asked is why A charges more/less than B. Price fixing in any industry is illegal in Australia and celebrants are not exempt from this rule. There are a lot of us out there charging all different amounts for all different reasons (mostly to do with how fabulous we are at our job!). Other reasons might include reputation/demand, who our target market is, the venue, travel fee, how long we’ve been a celebrant, how many weddings we’ve done, and even which state we live in! Of course, budget is very important to couples planning a wedding but that doesn’t mean you should necessarily just get a bunch of quotes and go with the cheapest. The celebrant you choose will have a personality that sparks with yours, a style that reflect who you are, and a unique way of telling your story so it doesn't sound like a boring wikipedia entry.
Getting married in Brisbane or Byron Bay: I’ve worked with Sam Wyper a number of times and I’m always impressed by his images. He has a talent for capturing every tiny moment and detail that make up the story of your wedding. His documentary style photos are my personal favourite. Take a look for yourself.