Booking a celebrant might be one of the first things you do, this could be up to 2 years before your wedding, so what happens between then and the day of your ceremony?
Your Love Story
The celebrant needs to find out all about you, your love story, your vibe, what you like or dislike about weddings you’ve been to and much more!
The ceremony script should tell your story; how you met and fell in love, your first impressions of each other, what you like about each other, your quirks, shared values, and future hopes.
Your celebrant will have face-to-face meetings with you, phone calls, email conversations, and possibly give you a questionnaire.
I start to gather information from the initial meeting even before you book me, then I send out 2 questionnaires. The first is about the logistics of the ceremony such as date, time, number of guests, number of bridesmaids/groomsmen, I also ask for example about style of ceremony required, vows and what style of dress and colour of outfit you would prefer me to wear.
It’s important that I don’t clash with any clothing colours of the couple or bridesmaids, and that my tone of dress matches the formality of the ceremony. The second questionnaire is much more fun and asks about how you met, what you love about each other and so on.
I start to draft the initial script and then arrange to meet the couple, during this time I will be researching all the details finding readings, music, poems that reflect you as a couple. Sometimes I will create and write a poem or reading that is personal to you. We will have decided on your style of vows and if you want to write your own, I can help you with this.
Writing a First Draft
Once the first draft is completed, I send it to the couple. I will often involve a choice of readings or vows but not so many that you are overwhelmed. Once I know you and know what you want it’s relatively easy to choose a few examples from the many I have in my resources.
You can now make any changes or amendments and we make sure the ceremony is exactly as you want it. There are no limitations in terms of the number of changes or amendments to the script. However, the processes I follow generally mean few tweaks are needed.
At this stage we will also have discussed your ceremony enhancement and I will be buying the necessary equipment. So, for example if you have a sand ceremony, I will have helped you chose a vase/bottles and colours of sand and will order them for you. We will also have made choices about your certificate in terms of card selection and wording, and I will have contacted my calligrapher with your details.
Preparing for the Ceremony
Once the ceremony script is finalised, you have a copy and I print mine off and start to rehearse reading it. I do this regularly in the lead up to the ceremony, so I know the script and don’t have to constantly be looking down at it during the actual ceremony. We will have discussed all aspects and most importantly how you say your vows, how they are broken up, where the pauses come before you repeat after me, unless you are reading your own vows to each other of course.
I like to do a rehearsal or at least a read through with you so everyone knows how things will go. It adds to the fun and the excitement, where possible it’s great to do this at the venue with all the key players in the ceremony, bridesmaids, best man, parents etc.
Meeting you on the day
On the day I arrive at least an hour before the ceremony but generally earlier as I try and arrive the same time as you. I make sure you and your partner are calm and have everything you need, liaise with the venue, photographers/videographers and ensure the ceremony set up is perfect. I then speak with the bridesmaids, best man, father of the bride and any readers so everyone knows what is happening and is excited but calm. I help if there are any issues and mingle with the guests and answer any questions.
I only do one ceremony a day so am totally focussed on you and your day. If there are any delays or we want to wait for the rain to stop if the ceremony is outdoors, it’s never a problem. I never need to rush away, and your happiness is the only thing that matters to me. Generally, after the ceremony we have a photo together and I mingle with the guests for maybe 20 minutes or so and then discretely leave unless you have asked me to stay for longer.
About the Author
I’m Amanda a modern celebrant who helps couples have the ceremony they deserve with real freedom of choice and personalisation. As a friendly award-winning celebrant, you’ll be guaranteed of a professional and stress-free approach to your big day. I have been featured in several newspapers and regularly write/blog for wedding magazines. To find out more check out my website https://www.amandasceremonies.com/