- Charli May
Q&A with a Wedding Celebrant
Updated: Apr 13, 2021
If you're considering working with a celebrant to officiate your wedding, then look no further! Here is everything you need to know, from tips for writing your wedding vows, to what you can expect from your celebrant on your wedding day, kindly detailed by Natalie from Rose and Grace bespoke ceremonies.
What is your wedding business and when did you start?
Rose & Grace Ceremonies is our mum and daughter Wedding Celebrant collaboration! Mum became a Celebrant in August 2017 and it wasn’t long until I’d realised what an amazing job she had! So I became her part-time, unofficial apprentice, until qualifying as a Celebrant myself and launching Rose & Grace together in Jan 2020.
What is a celebrant?
A Celebrant is a professional officiant of weddings and other ceremonies such a funerals and baby namings. A Celebrant differs to a Registrar because rather than using one script for all weddings, they help couples to create tailored, unique ceremonies that reflect their personalities and their relationship.
Why are more couples choosing celebrants?
I think, more and more, couples are seeking freedom of choice when it comes to their wedding ceremony. The beauty of what Celebrants offer is the sheer versatility to write a ceremony that is unique to the couple and includes only wording and symbolic gestures that are meaningful to them. Celebrants don’t advocate any one type of ceremony over another; their job is to embrace the practices, traditions and religions that are important to the couple. Aside from the personalisation of the ceremony is the benefit of being able to conduct a wedding ceremony absolutely anywhere that the couple chooses. A Celebrant does not oversee the signing of the legal paperwork and therefore the ceremony needn’t be confined to a licensed venue or overhead structure. A private garden, a sandy cove, a mountaintop – the choices are endless!
What should clients expect from a celebrant on their wedding day?
One of the nice things about having a Celebrant is that the couple will have chosen them themselves and already met them, so there will be no surprises on their big day! Nor will there be any need for formal conversations; their Celebrant will have already gotten to know them and will simply arrive ready and excited to deliver their ceremony. We arrive approximately an hour before the ceremony to help ensure that the ceremony area is ready, music is organised, and that any guests who are involved in the ceremony know what they’re doing and when! It’s also a nice opportunity to mingle with guests and to help calm the awaiting Bride or Groom’s nerves!
Do you have any tips for couples who want to write their own vows?
My tip would be to ask yourself what you want the future to hold and what means the world to you. Let these hopes and feelings guide you and, from them, you can create your promises. Your Celebrant will be more than happy to help you with this so if you 'sort of' know what you want to say but you can't quite put it into words then just scribble down the important bits and your Celebrant will create your vows.
Have you got any tips for couples who are feeling nervous about the ceremony?
Mum and I have both been told that we have a relaxed and calming manner, which fortunately tends to help our couples to feel relaxed about their ceremony. Some nerves are completely natural and a very normal part of the excitement leading up to the big day. It’s usually the reciting of their vows that couples are nervous about initially but once they realise there are different options in terms of how to recite them and have chosen the option that suits them best they do tend to feel a lot more comfortable. The ‘repeat after me’ option is very popular!
Have you got any tips for couples planning a covid/micro/small wedding?
Small, intimate weddings are wonderful and come in many shapes and forms. Small could mean an elopement without any guests, it could mean immediate family only, or it could mean 30 or so guests. Finding the right location is key. For an elopement, a venue isn’t always necessary. Many couples choose to elope at a spot that is meaningful to them such as on a beach or a hilltop with beautiful views. For a wedding with a small number of guests the venue itself needs to be small enough that the day feels intimate and sociable.
Photo by: alisonwonderland.photography
What are the main things you think couples worry about when it comes to their wedding day?
Who to invite and the cost!
What is your favourite thing about weddings?
The mixture of emotions! I can’t think of any other time when a room would be brimming with excitement, nerves, pride, love, happiness, and more!
What are three questions couples should ask a wedding celebrant when enquiring?
Whether they are available on their chosen date
If the Celebrant offers a consultation, either in person or over video call, prior to booking (this is a great way to find out if you click with that particular Celebrant)
What the planning process is and what to expect on the day
How would you describe your business in three words?
Passionate, Creative, Friendly
What is your dream wedding location?
Ooooh I couldn’t name just one! I really love an outdoor wedding and we’re so lucky to be based in Kent because there are some truly beautiful woodland, garden and lakeside venues here and in the surrounding counties. I also love destination weddings – it wouldn’t take long to twist my arm if a couple wanted me to officiate their wedding abroad!
How have you stayed afloat/ sane in the pandemic?
By staying connected with lots of amazing suppliers in our industry! The support amongst us all has been incredible. A huge part of this has been the styled inspo shoots we’ve organised and taken part in. We’ve also visited venues when possible; we’ve stayed active on social media; taken part in zoom networking calls and training sessions; worked on our website and blog; carried out lots of consultations over video call; and of course we’ve been in regular contact with all of our couples who were due to get married in 2020.
We’re so excited about this year!! We’re very passionate about what we do and always happy to chat with couples about what having a Celebrant means for their wedding day if they’re not sure. Give us a bell!
Thank you Charli for having me on your blog. It was such a pleasure to work alongside you last year and I hope I get to do so again soon!
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