What role does the celebrant play in your wedding day?

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Today we are talking with Heather Sorensen, marriage celebrant, about what a marriage celebrant does on your wedding day, selecting the right celebrant for you, and unique unity ceremony ideas.

Wedding planning is such a busy time and full of many lists. There is just so much to consider when planning your special day. Invites, dresses, venue, catering, rings, flowers, photos, drinks, favours, hair, make-up and so on. My question is: have you got Celebrant on your list and where in the order of things does the Celebrant feature?

Why is a wedding celebrant so important?

There are so many things that are optional about a wedding, but having a Celebrant is not! Every wedding must have a registered Celebrant , either independent or organisational, to officiate at the ceremony.

Ensuring that you have the right Celebrant  is so important as they will work with you so that  your ceremony is uniquely yours. They achieve that as they listen to you and get to know you both as individuals and as a couple and then talk with you as they create and craft your ceremony.  As a Celebrant, I would like to share with you how I work so that I know that every couple I work with has a memorable ceremony for all the right reasons.

The relationship between the bridal couple and their Celebrant needs to one where they respect each other, have a belief in each other and where everyone feels comfortable with each other. Working together should be fun as well as thoughtful and meaningful as there is so much to be covered in developing the ceremony that is going to be unforgettable for both the couple and their guests.

There are very few ‘rules’ about what must be in a ceremony but there are endless possibilities and options, including traditions and new ideas that can be part of a ceremony. When you meet with your Celebrant you can talk about your ideas and how they might be used to create your special ceremony. Maybe you are starting out with no ideas of what you are wanting for your ceremony. That should not be a concern as your Celebrant should have many ideas that they can put forward for you to think about. As a Celebrant I want to make sure you are happy with either your own ideas or the suggestions that I can offer.

Picking a wedding celebrant

As a Celebrant I must be a good listener, communicator, writer, planner, speaker and at all times maintain a calm and supportive manner. I need to be responsive to the needs of you, as the couple, as this is your wedding. As a bridal couple you should expect your Celebrant to show that they have listened to you through developing your ceremony that matches your personalities, your ideas and your wishes.

You need to make finding the best Celebrant for you one of the priorities on your planning list and this may mean contacting and meeting  several different Celebrants before you find the one that you know is right for you. Don’t just pick on price! Think about what is important to you for your ceremony and be prepared to talk to any potential Celebrant about this and know that when you do book your Celebrant you are feeling 100% happy about your choice.

I think of myself as a positive memory maker and always feel very honoured to be asked to be the Celebrant of choice by a couple and therefore have a huge responsibility to ensure that the ceremony I deliver is the best it can be.

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Your Celebrant will want to spend some time with you to talk through things like how long you have known each other, your backgrounds, your careers, your interests, your families and most importantly, your expectations for your ceremony.

Your ceremony is a time for you, as a couple, to declare your love and commitment to each other by making vows to each other in front of family and friends. It may be that you would like a traditional ceremony that follows the standard format and that is fine. It may be that you would like to do something quite different and that is fine too. Your Celebrant’s role is to work with you to create the ceremony that matches what you would like and your personalities.

Making your wedding ceremony unique: unity ceremony ideas

You may also like to find out more about some of the optional ‘theme’ ceremonies and while many people may not know too much about these, many of them are very traditional and it is great to revive them in a ceremony today. One that comes to mind for me is the Wine Ceremony that originated in France when families of neighbouring vineyards came together through a marriage and the wines of each vineyard were combined and the couple toasted each other and their marriage with the newly created wine. This is lots of fun and so appropriate in New Zealand where we produce lots of wine.

Other ceremonies that bring together items of significance are the Sand Unity Ceremony and Water Unity Ceremony where the couple create a lasting visual representation of their wedding. There are others such as the Honey Ceremony, Marriage Rocks, Keys to a Successful Marriage and just about anything else that you can think of that is appropriate for you as a couple.

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It’s your wedding, your day, your memories being created and the potential for achieving this is almost limitless, especially if you have chosen the best Celebrant for you. Best wishes in making that match and having the best wedding ceremony for you.

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