So what does a celebrant do, exactly? In a nutshell, five things:
* may not involve actual rubber stamps
If you choose me as your celebrant (and I hope you do!), my approach to the job would look a little something like this...
First impressions are important! A phone call's good, but meeting face-to-face is always better if possible. I want you to get a good idea of who I am, so you can make an informed decision about whether I'm going to be a good fit for you.
If we've got this far, it means you've given me the royal nod of approval. Great! Now, let's get down to work. Most of the back-and-forth tends to be via email, but the odd meeting is a really good way to touch base too. We can meet as much as you need to (within reason), but usually 2 or 3 catch-ups between booking me and the wedding day seems to do the trick.
First and foremost it's your day, and my most important job here is to listen. I want to really get to know you two, so that I can bring to life the ceremony that you want, and that best reflects who you are.
And when we're not catching up over a coffee or vigorously typing emails, I'll be quietly pottering away, writing your ceremony. This is one of the biggest parts of my job, and my goal is always to construct a ceremony that is unique to you the couple, allowing your personalities to shine through.
(* "Officiants" is what we're called in some countries - I'm just not sure if "celebranting" is a word.)
First up, if you're having a rehearsal, I'll be there. No need to run things line-by-line I reckon; it's more about getting comfortable with the venue, stepping through the key points (who stands where, who speaks when, etc.), and calming those nerves.
And now, the day has arrived! Okay, so this is the 10% of the celebrant iceberg above the water that everyone sees. I'll arrive nice and early (about an hour prior to kick-off time), and just quietly get myself prepared. Last-minute questions? Fire them my way. I can even help with double windsor knots.
For the ceremony, think of me like the conductor of an orchestra - I'm in control, directing the progress and the rhythm of proceedings, but I am never the focus of the ceremony. Why? Because it's all about you guys. My job here is to use my magical celebrant-fu to reflect all the love and awesomeness onto you two, a.k.a. the stars of the show.
(NOTE: Most venues have their own PA gear available for weddings, but if that's not on offer at the place you're doing the knot-tying, no worries! I can offer my own portable PA speaker and microphone to use for the ceremony at no extra cost, to make sure every word is clearly heard in the cheap seats. (It also works a treat for musicking that pre-ceremony playlist, or for amplifying that live musician who needs a bit of a volume boost.))
Love is pretty great, but the legal stuff's quite important too. Backing up a bit, I'll nag you to make sure you get the licence sorted in time. And on the day, I'll ensure everything is tickety-boo paperwork-wise. By the time we're done, you'll be so married that the eyes of the law will need to wear sunglasses.
SURE, BUT HOW MUCH?
My fee is $600, which (as outlined above) includes all correspondence (emails, calls, texts, Skype, carrier pigeon, etc.), as many face-to-face meetings with you as are required (geography permitting), the writing of the ceremony, attendance at the rehearsal, use of my portable speaker and microphone for the ceremony should you need them, and of course the conducting of the ceremony itself. I will also advise and assist with all the paperwork that needs to be done.
I am based in Christchurch, New Zealand, and travel costs for any venue within an hour's drive of the city are included. Outside of that, there may be additional costs for petrol and/or flights, but no worries, we can sit down and figure all that stuff out together.
OKAY, I'M INTERESTED... NOW WHAT?
Email me! Call me! How, you ask? Well, just click that nice, inviting CONTACT button up there at the top of the page. And even if you're still umming and erring, get in touch anyway. I'm passionate about this stuff, and I'm always up for a chat. :)