How to work with your celebrant to craft your wedding ceremony

How to work with your celebrant to craft your wedding ceremony

The weirdest wedding moment in my 12 year career as a celebrant so far would have been the wedding where I met with the couple getting married a number of times before the wedding, we even did a rehearsal (and I hate rehearsals), so when I arrived 60 minutes before their ceremony and this happened, I was so surprised.

The groom hands me a 10 page printout of a wedding ceremony template they had found online.

“Last night we started Googling and found this and we’d like you to read it at our wedding ceremony,” he said.

Mind blown, for three reasons:

  • there’s almost definitely nothing personal, special, or unique for your wedding on Google. By definition Google is giving you the top 10 web pages in the world, the most average results for “wedding ceremony,”
  • we have literally met and talked at length about how your ceremony would feel,
  • what did they think I was going to read if they didn’t give me a printout.

After that experience I vowed to always make sure that my couples felt like they had crafted their wedding ceremony with me, because it’s a moment that is supposed to wholly represent and celebrate you.

Your wedding ceremony should feel like you, smell like you, sound like you, be so you that if someone else picked it up and tried it on, it would just look weird, because your marriage is a marriage unlike any other, and your ceremony is the creation and celebration of that marriage.

So here’s six things you should do to make sure your celebrant knows about the two of you and how people like you get married!

  1. Make sure your celebrant knows your worldview, how the two of you see the world, and how you see yourselves in it. This is a catch-all kind of topic that includes religion, faith, philosophy, belief, pop culture, and just generally what you like and dislike.
  2. Tell your celebrant what you don’t know about weddings. We don’t expect you to walk in like you’re a wedding planner, we understand that you’ve not planned a wedding, or a wedding ceremony, but luckily for you – we have. So be honest about what you don’t know and be prepared to talk around those topics.
  3. Communicate with your celebrant about what your fears or anxieties are about the ceremony. Nine times out of ten we can create a ceremony that would calm or minimise those nerves.
  4. Explain to your celebrant what you’ve seen at other weddings, in person, or online, and what you thought about them. It’s a good starting conversation to have before we figure out how to craft your ceremony.
  5. Be brutally honest. This isn’t one of those moments to be polite, this is us planning your wedding ceremony, there’s no chance to do it better the next time. Tell us what you loved or hated, get in the dirt with us and let is know what you’re vining with. I’d rather have hurt feelings today and an awesome wedding ceremony, instead of you hating your ceremony.
  6. Your ceremony is the beginning of your marriage, not the end of your single life, so let your celebrant know what your life looks like in the future, what are you planning for. I feel like so many wedding ceremonies ignore the fact that you’ve invited your friends and family who love you, they don’t need to hear the story of how you met and proposed again (they already know don’t they) but what they do want to hear is about your future, because we’re all so excited for it!