TIP 1 – ENJOY YOURSELVES
First and foremost – HAVE FUN. Yes, it is a serious commitment, and yes there does need to be a degree of formality and gravitas around the legal components of the marriage ceremony, but that doesn’t mean you have to be all buttoned up and serious. This is a huge day in your life as a couple – make the most of it and enjoy every second. Way too many couples worry about stuffing up; getting emotional; making an idiot of themselves. All I can say is so what if you get emotional – it just adds to the loveliness of the ceremony and you can bet your boots you won’t be the only one crying! And who cares if you get your vows mixed up – your celebrant will gently guide you if you’re having trouble remembering your vows (you can always read or repeat after the celebrant, so it’s a no brainer that you’ll get it mostly right). And as for making an idiot of yourself – it just won’t happen. Everybody there is on your side, and a good celebrant will leave nothing to chance. So go ahead – relax and soak up all the love and good will. AND don’t shy away from including funny aspects to your ceremony – a good laugh and a good cry make for a perfect wedding ceremony. Quirky and self-effacing humour is always great, but stay away from crassness – it lowers the tone. Also, don’t let your celebrant tell corny jokes – it’s not about them!!
TIP 2 – CHOOSE THE RIGHT CELEBRANT
First and foremost, make sure you have a real connection with your celebrant. For the celebrant, a close connection usually means a ceremony that reflects the couple perfectly. One that is memorable for all the right reasons! From the couple’s point of view, a great celebrant will make them feel like a good friend is guiding them through the ceremony – one who knows them, really likes them, takes all the stress out of the ceremony, leaving nothing to chance. A great celebrant will also make a point of including your guests so that they feel part of the whole shebang. This testament from one of my couples says it all: ‘Felicity, we truly cannot thank you enough for all your incredible work making our wedding so special. I am so so glad we found you! Thank you for taking so much time to get all the details right, to revise and carefully draft the ceremony for us, and to really get to know us before the wedding. On the day it truly felt as if a dear friend was performing the ceremony for us. Thank you so much! You were amazing! Thanks again so so much and please do keep in touch! Lucy and Gordy xxxx’
TIP 3 – THE IMPORTANCE OF A GREAT PLAN B
Always, always, always, have an indoor Plan B that not only can you live with, but that you love almost as much as your Plan A. Things can go wrong, and they do go wrong. And not just with the weather. Recently, I was the celebrant at a wedding in Docklands – the preference was for the ceremony to occur outdoors overlooking the city. Perfect weather – no problems. On arrival, to my horror, I was greeted by an extremely loud outdoor kids movie being screened just below us. Great!! I couldn’t contact the bride and groom so the venue coordinator and I had a stressful period hastily organising a Plan B. Long story short – it was an amazing, fabulous wedding ceremony – it really couldn’t have been better. And in case you’re wondering, this was not a disorganised couple who left things to chance – the bride was super organised and had covered all bases on all aspects of the ceremony – just not the likelihood of a noisy outdoor cinema!
And just another funny story about the need for a Plan B: A fellow celebrant told me about officiating at an outdoor wedding ceremony. Part way through, the skies opened up and all the guests took off to find shelter, leaving the wedding party and the celebrant to continue in the wet, alone!
– Felicity Johnston Marriage Celebrant Melbourne, Dandenong Ranges, Mornington Peninsula & Yarra Valley
Your ceremony should absolutely reflect you. And if this means your guests are moved to cheer, whoop and holler; cry through your vows; laugh uproariously at your more quirky characteristics; perhaps even stand up and talk about you – then all the better. Whatever your thing, your guests deserve to be entertained and enthralled during your ceremony, and for you… well it really does need to be something you absolutely love from beginning to end. That’s where I come in… and I promise that we’ll have heaps of fun along the way!