Last weekend, I exhibited at the Grand Wedding Show at Sky City, Auckland. It was a chance for potential clients to meet me, and a wonderful opportunity for me to discover what brides-and-grooms-to-be want in their ceremonies.
Just as every couple is so different, so is every celebrant. Each of us comes to the profession with different values, life experience and philosophy. The interview process is always a two way street, and my motto is that you need to “click” with your celebrant to know that they will be right for you. I definitely connected with a number of people on Sunday, and am excited about working with them in the months ahead!
My byline on my advertising material (including this website) is “personalised ceremonies with spirit, beauty [and] style”. A couple of times at the Show, I was asked what I meant by “spirit”. The B2B confessed she was concerned I might be a clairvoyant with crystals, ouija boards and ghostly mists… I am not kidding!
Be assured, I am not a clairvoyant.
One dictionary definition of “spirit” is: “the non-physical part of a person which is the seat of emotions and character; the soul; the prevailing mood or typical quality, mood or attitude of a person… motivating force, animating principle, [or] essence.”
When I am working as your celebrant, it is that spirit that you will see!
In other words, you can be assured that you are getting the real me – my energy and personality, my sense of humour, my passion for creativity and beautiful words, my ability to connect with people and tell their stories. I don’t put on a mask or adopt a persona when I officiate a ceremony – I am myself, natural, authentic, honest and sincere.
Interestingly this explanation led to another question, about whether it is appropriate for a celebrant “to be emotional” when conducting a ceremony. That is to say, do I cry when I see a stunning bride walk down the aisle to her breathless groom? Do I get choked up when the groom cries during his vows, or when asked to bless the couple’s unborn baby during the ceremony?
Yes – sometimes, I do! A wedding is a sacred and profound event which guarantees a good strong tug on the heartstrings of all present – including me! While I guarantee to be professional and polished, I will also be myself. This may mean a tear is shed, and more often than not we will also share a giggle at some stage too!
I always ask my couples when we first meet, to describe the style of ceremony they want, and believe me, the list of adjectives I have collated over the past few years is long and varied. Usually, it is a combination of two quite varied approaches. For instance, I have been asked to write ceremonies that are “traditional but relaxed”, “sophisticated but fun”, “not religious but with Christian values”, “with some religion, but modern”, “fun but not flippant”, “spiritual but not hippy”, “cultural and contemporary”, and “pagan”.
The fabulous thing about all these requests is that in order to accomodate them, I will draw on my experience, training and professional contacts, as well as researching new material more widely, and talking in depth with the couple so that I can truly deliver the ceremony they require, in words that are authentic and beautiful.
This is the spirit, beauty and style that I bring to a marriage ceremony – and if you feel it is right for you, please get in touch!
PS: Spotted at the Grand Wedding Show – a life sized cut out of Channing Tatum. That’s a whole other angle on beauty and style, I reckon!