Your wedding should be one of the most special days of your life; however, it can be accompanied by a mammoth ‘to do’ list! Luckily, with a wedding Celebrant at your side, you can reduce that list tenfold.
But, how can you make the most out of your partnership with your Celebrant?
Read on to discover the 15 things your wedding Celebrant wishes you knew (and how to make your entire experience as magical and stress-free as possible).
1. Your wedding ceremony needs to reflect your unique (and beautiful!) story.
Remember; the joy of working with a wedding Celebrant is that you have the freedom to craft your ceremony however you wish. That means you can create a celebration that is as unique as your wonderful relationship.
Try not to be held back by conventions. Use the opportunity to tell your story in a way that truly reflects you as a couple.
This is something that your Celebrant is an expert in. They are there to listen to your story and weave it into a touching, memorable ceremony.
2. Get in touch with your Celebrant as early as possible.
If you have set your heart on a Celebrant, do not assume they will be available on your wedding date!
Celebrants are booked up far in advance, and so avoid any last minute pressure or disappointments by reaching out to them as soon as you can. Even if you aren’t sure who you want to hire, contact any that pique your interest and arrange initial meetings with them so that you are on their radar.
3. It’s okay to be a total blank slate when you meet your Celebrant.
Have no idea what you want out of the ceremony? Don’t worry – this is more common than you might think!
Try not to let a lack of direction stop you from reaching out to a Celebrant. This is what they do; guiding your ceremony is their playground.
Your Celebrant will ask all the right questions and provide relevant prompts to help you land on what you want for your wedding ceremony. Before you even know it, you’ll have a plan in front of you that gives you butterflies.
4. You need to choose the Celebrant that is right for you.
Choosing your Celebrant isn’t a decision to rush into. 10 years from now you want to look back with only the fondest memories of your big day; your Celebrant is a big part of that.
It’s important that you feel a connection with your Celebrant; there should be a spark, and your personalities and energy should align. This could include picking someone who has the same beliefs and values as you, or someone that just gets your humour and has you laughing from the first meeting.
5. You can include traditional and spiritual content in your ceremony.
Although a Celebrant-led wedding is often a deliberate alternative to a church wedding, you can still include traditional, religious or spiritual content in your wedding ceremony.
Essentially, anything goes! There are no rules and restrictions, so if you want to include certain rituals in the ceremony, do not shy away from mentioning this to your Celebrant.
Check out our guide to adding symbolic rituals such as a handfasting into your ceremony.
6. If you are including specific rituals, make sure your Celebrant is experienced in this area.
It’s worth remembering that if you do want to include specific rituals in the ceremony – such as Handfasting, a Sand Ceremony or a Unity Candle Ceremony – then you will want to work with a Celebrant who has experience with these types of ceremony.
As they lean on the more unusual (albeit incredibly popular!) side of the fence, you should be confident that your Celebrant will lead the ritual with the utmost precision and poise. The last thing you want is for this important part of the ceremony to ‘go wrong’ on the big day!
7. Let your Celebrant know if you plan to include religious content in the wedding ceremony.
Likewise, if you plan to include religious content in the wedding ceremony, it is important to let your Celebrant know at the beginning of the process.
Some Celebrants may not be comfortable hosting a religious ceremony; by being upfront from the word go, you can avoid any awkward conversations too far down the line.
8. Don’t be afraid to ask your wedding Celebrant for creative support and guidance.
Although you are hiring a Celebrant to lead your wedding ceremony, you can also turn to them for creative support on your own role for the special day.
Remember… yours is one of many weddings that the Celebrant will have led. They will possess a wealth of knowledge and experience on everything from what makes a powerful reading to what to include in your wedding vows. Pick their brain and use them as a soundboard for your different ideas.
9. It’s okay to write down your wedding vows!
Speaking of vows… it’s okay to write them down!
Let’s face it; as much as weddings are a cause for celebration, they can also be a trigger for serious stress. Eliminate one of those heavy burdens by writing your wedding vows down on paper and having them to hand during the ceremony.
You may not even need them – but knowing they are there when it comes to making your promise to your other half will steady the nerves and ease any panic you may be feeling in the lead up to the day.
10. There is no such thing as a silly question.
Believe us when we say that your Celebrant will never be shocked by a question you ask them.
Even if you think the question niggling away at you might be a silly one… it really isn’t. Just ask. Your Celebrant will always endeavour to answer in as helpful a way as possible. Even if they don’t know the answer themselves, they’ll have a pocketbook of contacts ready to turn to and shine a light on your query.
11. Use your wedding Celebrant to your full advantage.
Your Celebrant will have endless advice and wisdom when it comes to navigating the sometimes tumultuous terrain leading up to the big day.
Any concerns you have in the build up – from family dynamics, to pre-wedding jitters, public speaking nerves and even financial worries – will be understood and acknowledged by your Celebrant. Chances are, they will have experienced the concerns time and time again and can share their thoughts on how to ease your worry.
12. Consider including your guests in the wedding ceremony.
When planning the ceremony, why not include guests in the proceedings?
They aren’t just spectators; they’re there to share your joy and love. This makes them a perfect candidate for a role in your ceremony.
Chat to your Celebrant about the many ways you can involve your guests on the big day to personalise your ceremony further.
13. Be as open as possible about your relationship with your wedding Celebrant.
The ultimate role of your Celebrant is to take your relationship and transform it into a beautiful ceremony. You can make their job easier – and your ceremony even better – by being as open as you can with them about your relationship.
What do you love about one another? What quirks does your partner have? What funny stories have you shared? What do you know about them that no one else does?
A good Celebrant will ask you the questions to pull out this information. Allow yourself to be honest and let the answers flow freely.
14. Remember – a Celebrant led wedding may not be legal.
If you are getting married in England or Wales, your Celebrant-led wedding will not be legally binding and you will need to do the legal signing with a register either beforehand or after the ceremony.
However, in Scotland and Northern Ireland you can have a legal celebrant-led wedding if you use a humanist celebrant or part of a faith based organisation.
In Australia, New Zealand and the USA, qualified independent celebrants or officiants can legally perform a marriage or civil union.
But watch this space – The Wedding Celebrant Commission and Humanists UK are lobbying to extend the rights of celebrants in the UK and Wales. We may see some changes very soon…
You can read our blog for more advice on how to legally marry with a Celebrant.
15. Make the most of every moment!
The final thing your Celebrants wants you to know? Enjoy every second of your special day!
Weddings pass in the blink of an eye – do everything you can to brush off any stress or anxiety you may be feeling so that you can embrace the magic of every moment.
Choose the perfect Celebrant for you by browsing our Celebrant Directory.
Photographer Credit: Amber Varghese, Alisa Roberts
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