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8 Things I've Learned Over 11 Years of Being a Celebrant
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Here are some things I’ve learned over 11 years of being a celebrant.

It’s never to early to book your celebrant
There are only 52 weekends in the Year…. And therefore it is never too early to book your celebrant - or your photographer, or your venue! It is tough having to tell lovely couples who really, really want to book me that I’m fully booked that day, and have been for some time.

The most common question asked about the ceremony is – “how long will it take”
The answer, of course, depends on what sort of ceremony you have chosen to have, but all of the following answers apply, regardless
  • Definitely more than 5 miinutes (that’s a registry office ceremony)
  • Definitely more than 20 minutes (that’s the time allotted at some venues, and by some celebrants)
  • “How long” includes not just the words of the ceremony, but pauses while everyone laughs and then settles down again, time taken to sign the certificates and register (and have photos taken doing so), time taken for readers to come forward, rings to be presented, walking in, and walking out (processional and recessional – for bigger, more formal weddings)

The most common fear expressed by marrying parties is that they will get emotional
Don’t worry about it. Your guests will love the moment, and love you for it
  • Don’t be surprised if it is the groom who gets emotional. Can be a stress-release after waiting for the bride to arrive! Or with two grooms and two brides if both get emotional!
  • Have hankies at the ready

Next most common fear is that of being the centre of attention and/or speaking in public
  • A well-crafted ceremony is so inclusive that it is not like being on stage
  • There is no public speaking involved (unless you want to) – it is repeat after me, so you could call it public parroting! There is nothing to learn, and at that point you are facing one another and speaking to one another

Your ceremony sets the tone for your entire wedding day
Which is why I ask you to do some homework. A teeny bit of effort on your part, and a lot on mine, will elevate your wedding from something lovely to something extraordinary and absolutely unique.
If you
  • spend some time thinking about the ceremony
  • make an effort with the questionnaires
  • Think through who to involve in your ceremony and how to involve them
You will be amazed what happens….

Late arrivals create disgruntled guests

(refer to the above, your ceremony sets the tone for your entire wedding day).
In Queensland it is hot for most of the year, and here are the facts about that
  • Groom, groomsmen, and guests, to say nothing of celebrant and musicians all arrive well before the bride in a heterosexual wedding, so get to hang around in the heat (and often full sun) for quite some time before the bride
  • The only person who is not inconvenienced (or made downright hot and uncomfortable, sometimes to the point of feeling sick) is the bride. Everything starts when she arrives.
  • With same-sex couples, who often arrive together, (and increasing more common, opposite sex couples who arrive together) it is everyone else who is inconvenienced!

Bridezillas/Groomzillas are rare
Crazy and controlling bridesmaids/groomsmen, and mums and aunties who “know” how a “proper” wedding should be (think traditional, patriarchal, etc) not so rare!

Choosing anything for your wedding based on price alone, is never successful
A cheap price may not be a bargain! If that is your first question it is pretty useless information unless you also ask what the price includes. Basically, the wedding industry is pretty unregulated. A good camera does not a professional photographer make, nor does authorisation as a celebrant guarantee legal knowledge or ceremonial skill. Ask lots of questions and compare like with like to ensure value for money.