About to start planning your wedding? Head starting to spin?
Planning a wedding is exciting, fun, tiring and full on! So many decisions to make including "how do we choose our celebrant". Good question and bottom line, not every celebrant will be your perfect match.
Did you know there are hundreds of marriage celebrants in WA, yep, hundreds in fact over 800. They'll all offer you similar things - beautiful ceremonies and help with the legal process. But think about it. The celebrant you choose is going to be your new 'friend' for the next few months maybe longer. They'll also be the person standing up front on the day with you and your partner - so you want to know that they're going to be fabulous.
First things first. Book a meet and greet to see if you all 'click'. Yes, believe it or not, the celebrant might decide that they're not the right one for you. If after your meeting you're not sure if they are 'THE ONE'... try another but don't go overboard - two or three, no more.
Ask how many weddings they've performed and check reviews from couples they've married. Stalk them on Facebook. Reviews on a business Facebook page can't be blocked or forged, so have faith in what's been written.
Read their reviews to see if they highlight what you're looking for in your celebrant - organised, fun, well-spoken, will travel, professional, friendly... If you are a gay or lesbian couple, ask if they have officiated any same-sex marriage ceremonies.
If you have kids or will become a blended family, ask if they will include wording in your ceremony to recognise the coming together of your two families.
Are they okay if you want your dog to be the ring bearer, or someone to read a poem or light candles to remember those no longer here? If you're having a completely out-of-the-box ceremony...jumping out of a plane to say I do, or standing in the ocean waves at sunset, or dare I say - butt naked in the bush - are they okay to go with your ideas?
Make sure you select someone who realises the day is all about you and doesn't write a ceremony with a whole lot of blah blah blah that means nothing to you. Celebrants are providing you with a service, one of which is to write a ceremony that you want - your day, your way, is my rule of thumb.
Ask how long the ceremony will be? Wedding days usually run to a tight schedule and if your photographer is booked by the hour, you need your celebrant to be a good 'time keeper' and honour their word on the length of the ceremony. Most ceremonies last around 20 to 30 minutes from walking down the aisle to being pronounced as 'hitched'!
Are they confident and well spoken? You want someone who will run your ceremony smoothly and engage your guests not mumbling and talking into a book. Can they show you any videos of them performing a ceremony? Do they have a sound system and mic - your guests want to hear what's being said or they'll quickly lose interest.
Are they able to explain the legal process to you? Bottom line - if they don't get the legal stuff right - you've just paid for a very expensive party!
What do they charge and what does it include? Don't be surprised if the fees you're quoted are very different. There's no set fee for celebrants. Some will be quite inexpensive, which doesn't mean they aren't good. Others will be OTT, which doesn't mean they are amazing. To give you an idea, a quick ceremony at the registry office costs $390 which doesn't include the extract of your marriage certificate - so add on another $50.
If the celebrant you've found ticks all of the boxes and more, then you might have just found the right one.