Celebrant led ceremonies are becoming more and more common as couples take the lead on choosing how they want their weddings, and parents take ownership over celebrating their baby’s arrival. Here are some expert tips to ask your prospective celebrant and make sure they’re the right one for you.
Their training, experience and background
Of course you’ll want to know about their training and how long they’ve been officiating ceremonies for. But being a good Celebrant involves a wide range of skills. So crossover expertise gained from other areas of life are great. Being able to manage and direct people, public speaking skills and being able to think on one’s feet are all useful.
When it comes to marriage and civil partnerships, there are different legalities covering Celebrant Ceremonies in different parts of the UK. So do ask if you’ll need to very easily get the legal paperwork done just prior to your Celebrant Ceremony, or whether your celebrant can cover this.
Who designs the ceremony?
This includes writing the ceremony, the running order, length, choosing readings, and incorporating other ideas. You may be happy for your celebrant to write and design the whole thing. Alternatively, you may like to write the majority or all of it, just having your Celebrant deliver it on the day. Others view it as a collaboration, where you and your Celebrant work together to create an order, words and content which suits you best as a couple or family. Think about what approach works for you and if a potential Celebrant has a different way of working, see if they’re able or willing to match the approach you’re looking for.
Meet with them informally
Prior to deciding whether they’re the right Celebrant for you, ask to meet with them and check if there’s a fee for this or not. Aside from practical knowledge, you both want to get a sense that this is someone you can see yourself working with, someone you connect with and who “gets” your vision for your ceremony. In short, it’s an opportunity to see if there’s a match. The Celebrant you choose will officiate a very important ceremony in your lives, and you want to make sure it’s the right person. This is difficult to do by email or even just a telephone call. So feel free to suggest meeting up over coffee, or virtually via video call, if they don’t suggest it first.
If they’re unwell on the day, do they have a back-up plan?
Although this very rarely happens, there’s enough stress in making sure everything else goes smoothly, the last thing you want is for the Celebrant not to make it on the day. Ask what their back up plan for this is. Many Celebrants know others from their training or other circles, who can competently and professionally take over if needed.
So those are some top tips to ask. Just remember, it’s your ceremony, so make it count by having the best and most memorable ceremony you can imagine.
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My above article originally appeared as a post on Stephanie and Nicole