How do I find an amazing wedding celebrant?
A wedding celebrant or marriage officiant is the person who officiates at a marriage ceremony – a very dry definition – the grey is all in the detail. (Wedding celebrants and marriage officiants are the same thing – we are just called different things in different countries).
Marriage ceremonies and traditions are different all over the world. Here I’m going to focus on more western style weddings (is that PC?) That’s where wedding celebrants and marriage officiants exist. I’ve come to learn – sadly - many couples view the ceremony as “something they have to do, in between the dressing up and the party.” My passion is proving them wrong.
A great celebrant can make a marriage ceremony the most memorable part of the day. Amazing celebrants can make the ceremony pop and sparkle. The best celebrants get to know their couples – their personalities - what makes them spark – and weaves that story into a meaningful, personal ceremony that captures the couple and their marriage commitment in their style - while leaving guests smiling - leaning in - looking for more.
We all know about a typical western wedding – often celebrated in church. The church sets the tone and words for the ceremony - possibly the reason wedding ceremonies have developed a “rep” as “something to be endured” before the party. (Not that there’s anything wrong with a church wedding!).
It’s usually the day guests frock up, congregate somewhere special, eat some food and drink some drink. Then the glorious couple - coiffed and cuffed - present themselves before their nearest and dearest to get married – possibly after walking down an aisle. Then the wedding ceremony takes place and is sealed with a kiss. Everyone then gathers for the obligatory photos, more food and more drinks, dinner, speeches and possibly a first dance and a cake –it’s one great big celebratory party.
Couples are now choosing wedding celebrants and marriage officiants to lead their wedding more and more. Every wedding is different. Sometimes it’s only the couple and other times it’s hundreds of people. Regardless of your plans,the one constant is it is a celebration: a celebration of two people lucky enough to have found each other. Their marriage solidifies their commitment to be together forever.
Tips on how to find a great wedding celebrant:
Look for someone with a personality you actually like. Sounds odd – but you need to be confident and comfortable with your wedding celebrant. A great wedding celebrant will be the reason you can relax, let your shoulders down and enjoy your wedding. So if you don’t actually relate to them and have confidence with them - it will make it difficult. Get to know them before you decide. When you have found the right celebrant you will know.
Just as you want to really like your celebrant – they should really like you as well. This means they are interested in you and genuinely take the time to actually get to know you and what makes you tick. If feels routine, move on.
This is just me – the best celebrants are romantics at heart and believe in the idea of marriage. In fact – they don’t just believe in marriage – they are passionate about marriage. If they believe in it - It will show in your ceremony. They should be as excited as you about your decision to get married.
A great celebrant will make suggestions and guide you through what you may want in your ceremony. We don’t get married every day. A great celebrant understands you probably don’t have much of an idea about your wedding ceremony – it’s their role to get to know you – join the dots – and bring it all to life.
Couples will say great things about them. Check their testimonials, reviews and experience. How many wedding ceremonies have they performed? What have other couples said about them?
A fantastic celebrant will be calm, adaptable and confident. Not all weddings go to plan. A super celebrant will give you confidence they can respond to challenges and still make magic. Do you feel you can trust them if something goes wrong – just in case it does.
Is it a collaborative relationship or cookie cutter? Are they responsive and adaptable? Willing to explore unfamiliar traditions and cultural nuances? One of the most amazing benefits of being a destination wedding celebrant is learning about marriage traditions and experiences from all over the world. Will your wedding ceremony be one of a kind – belonging only to you and your story?
A great celebrant will be there for you. In the months, weeks and days leading to the wedding (and generally after!). Do you feel like you can contact your celebrant any time and know they will respond as soon as possible?
A great celebrant will recommend a rehearsal to help calm the pre-wedding nerves. Not only for your benefit – also for people playing a role in the ceremony: attendants etc. Trust me – the people you have asked to help during the ceremony will be anxious about “getting it right”. They will be worried about where they should stand – how they should walk – and what their role is – most importantly – getting it right for you. A rehearsal helps everyone relax – and breathe – and offers a safe place for everyone to ask all their questions: where do I put my hands? Where do I keep the rings? When do I sing? It’s also a great place for a great wedding celebrant to dish out tips and hints about the ceremony itself!
Most importantly, the best celebrant for you will look forward to your wedding as much as you do. They will truly believe the marriage They will want to be at the top of their game – for you. They will want it to be perfect – for you. They will be as excited – as you. And they will be there – for you.
Leanne Summers is an Australian wedding celebrant living in Vietnam. Please feel free to contact me for a chat: Leanne@weddingcelebrantvietnam.com or whatsapp +84702734291