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How to Choose a Marriage Celebrant June 10, 2009

Posted by Damon Taylor in Celebrants, Resources.
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Do you want your wedding ceremony delivered by an experienced, pleasant and knowledgeable celebrant who creates, or helps you create, a unique & happy ceremony to celebrate the special nature of your relationship and your marriage? One who’s interesting, a good public speaker who uses the "tricks of the speaker’s trade" – variety, humour, drama & interest to ensure everyone’s included and really appreciates and enjoys your wedding – and I imagine you don’t want to be embarrassed or ashamed over your celebrant’s performance. If so, this could be the most important article you read.

Selecting a Celebrant to Suit You

To understand celebrants, what they’re like & what to expect, you need to know something about them. Firstly, they’re not all the same (there’s the good the bland & the dreadful!), and secondly, the price they quote doesn’t tell what you really need to know! You want a celebrant to suit you. Not just any old celebrant, but one who understands what you want. One with experience, knowledge and ability who will create & deliver your personal, special wedding ceremony. Not mess it up!

With so many new, part-time, celebrants now (most of whom have done few or no weddings), the chances of your wedding being a disaster are greater than ever! Until 2003 most celebrants were full time professionals with experience and skills refined over many years. They’d gathered extensive knowledge of wedding practices in all traditions, cultures and beliefs. In 2003 the system of appointing marriage celebrants (it had been based on community need), was changed to allow the appointment of anybody who wanted to be a marriage celebrant (regardless of suitability or demand). Now there are thousands of new, part-timers. Many of the new celebrants are nice people, but have little or no experience of ceremony preparation and in too many cases little public speaking experience.

So, how do you find the celebrant you want?

To achieve the wedding you want – be very careful with celebrant selection. If you want a great ceremony, you and your guests will really enjoy, then, be prepared to invest in the services of an experienced, professional celebrant, rather than an amateur quoting a low price. Quite frankly, I suggest don’t worry about meaningless prices. Like most people, I too have selected goods and services on the basis of price and learned, to my horror, the lowest price doesn’t mean the best service.

Whether you choose an experienced celebrant offering top value, service & quality, or an inexperienced poor performer – the difference to your wedding budget is tiny.

If you want wonderful memories to last a lifetime – be sure to ask a prospective celebrant:

  • What do clients say about you? (’Genuine’ Testimonials)
  • How long have you been a celebrant? (Experience is a great teacher)
  • What celebrant qualifications do you have? (Basic training is not enough)
  • How many weddings have you conducted? (More weddings = more ideas, knowing what works, greater knowledge of different wedding traditions & practices)

And most importantly, make a time to meet your prospective celebrant and see how you get on. Is she or he your type of person? Do you “click”? You may need to meet with a few before you feel happy. When you do meet check to see what sort of help they provide in ceremony resources, help and information. Do they have comprehensive material to offer on wedding ceremonies, vows and traditions? Very importantly do they provide an on-site rehearsal? When you’re completely satisfied make your booking quickly. Good celebrants are booked well ahead and you don’t want to miss out on your preferred marriage celebrant.


The author of this article is a marriage celebrant himself with over 15 years experience. Tony Gelme is based in Melbourne, and has conducted weddings in and around Melbourne, in country Victoria and interstate. He is also a lecturer in marriage celebrancy.

Article provided by Tony Gelme, Marriage Celebrant,
website www.WeddingsInMelbourne.com

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