No two couples are the same, and neither should wedding ceremonies be. In my role as celebrant, I strive to create truly individual ceremonies that are perfectly tailored to a couple’s unique tastes and personalities.
Some clients prefer a very traditional ceremony, whilst others are looking for something a lot more fun and playful; in my personal opinion, the quirkier and more unique, the better. Secular wedding celebrations come with a freedom that allows dreams to be realized and imaginative ceremonies to be created.
Typically, couples that chose a celebrant-led wedding hold a small legal ceremony elsewhere, and then take the opportunity to create a memorable occasion by curating a bespoke, symbolic ceremony that is truly of their own design in surroundings of great beauty or personal significance.
I do like to encourage the couple to think about ways to involve their guests in the day and give them opportunities to interact with the ceremony. This can be in the form of readings, or vows given by the guests, or the taking part in rituals such as unity candle lighting or sand ceremonies, especially for children or other close family members who appreciate an active role to play.
I also like to put a lot of effort into the written ceremony to create something that will have a lasting resonance rather than be throwaway. If I can’t find a particular reading or blessing that rings true to the couple, I will take the time to write something original myself.
On the wedding day, it’s my job to hold the ceremony together, to guide the bride and groom and their guests in a supportive way that gives them the confidence and encouragement to really relax and shine on their big day.
The celebrant’s words and presentation help to set the stage for the couple, but when that magic time comes for them to declare their love and commitment, the outside world should melt away, leaving them totally relaxed, being themselves and owning the moment together, focused only on one another.
When a couple chooses to work with a celebrant, they are opening a privileged window into their personal world, of which I am always mindful. I like to repay this trust with a ceremony that’s true to their vision, emotionally, stylistically and culturally, be it traditional, romantic, or something entirely unconventional.
It’s been very enriching to mix with so many different cultures over the years and learn from their life experiences. It reminds me that wherever we’re from, we share so many common values: love, companionship, family, and the rituals of belonging.