1. How long have you been a wedding celebrant?
I started in 2008 in Melbourne where I did my first training, I can’t believe it’s my 16th year already! Time flies when you’re having fun…When I first started off I eased into weddings very slowly. I did a couple in my first year and every year I increased a little bit more while juggling the demands of working full time. In 2015 when I moved back to Perth that was when I really decided I would give it a red hot crack and go full time with weddings and funerals.
2. What inspired you to become a celebrant?
My sister actually initially suggested I should get into it. It kind of made sense to me in a way. I have a background in communications, TV and film, school theatre and productions in general so I am very comfortable with public speaking.
Back then I also noticed there was a bit of a gap in the market. Weddings were a bit different back then…more traditional with a lot of mature celebrants. People were wanting something different, more modern weddings that were personable with celebrants that were younger, maybe a bit more cooler and funky.
I think I got in at the right time when that demand for change was happening.
3. How would you describe your style and approach to officiating ceremonies?
I would say my ceremonies are a mix of professional, personal and light-hearted
with a sprinkle of fun and humour while balancing strong emotion, sincerity and light-heartedness.
Even though I do believe I do a great job of engaging and capturing the crowd the focus of the ceremony and their attention is always on the couple, it’s not a comedy show where I am the focus of attention.
Based on all my years of experience I have figured out what works and doesn’t work and created a structure and format that compliments my style. My approach to ceremonies follows a similar format even though each is customised and unique just like my couples.
By having a specific approach that is still personal and focused on story-telling; I take away all the stress and decision making from couples as they have a solid understanding of what we are doing and why we are doing it a specific way.
4. How do you tailor the ceremony to reflect the couple’s personalities and preferences?
By taking the time to meet up in person twice and asking a series of questions (in person and in a questionnaire) about who they are, their relationship, their past and their story I get a great sense of who they are individually and as a couple. I weave their story into the ceremony based on my approach.
5. Can we incorporate our own cultural or other types of wedding traditions into the ceremony?
Absolutely! I don’t typically perform many weddings with cultural or unique wedding traditions but absolutely love learning and incorporating them when I do for my couples. In these instances my couples will generally share with me their ideas based on their backgrounds or any other weddings they have seen.
Some examples I have seen or facilitated have been an acknowledgement to country, Greek crowning ceremonies, Sri-Lankan traditions such as giving one another jewellery, candle lighting (which is relevant for a number of different cultures and traditions). Jewish traditions where one is Jewish and the other isn’t converting, so there might be a breaking of the glass.
6. Do you conduct a rehearsal before the wedding day?
Personally I do not do a rehearsal where we physically meet at the venue beforehand. Based on my process of having two in person meetings at my home office with one being just before the wedding, I find has been enough and perfect for helping couples understand how their ceremony will flow.
7. Do you offer additional services in addition to officiating the wedding?
I do, I offer MC services too for the reception. I only offer MC services to a limited number of couples a year though. I do find that the flow of the day is lovely between ceremony and reception when there is a continuation of the celebrant as the MC speaker.
DJ’s do also provide this service that is usually included however I do think having that continuity of me guiding as well as the connection I have with my couple, their family and guests at this point does make it a bit more personable.
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10. Do you have a favourite testimonial you’d like to share with us?