I have a tendency to play 90s playlists on Spotify, I like wearing my PJ’s past midday, and I’m a sucker for a good steak sandwich. And although those oddities (and not so oddities) make me quite the individual, there is one major redeeming feature of the 1981 Josh Withers model that makes me a pretty cool celebrant:
I perform wedding ceremonies without a script
I’ve mentioned this to a few celebrants and they go into crisis mode like I just hit the big red button that you’re not supposed to hit. They’ll often bring up a few important things like, what if you forget their name, how do you know what to say, how do couples check your ceremony?
And I see videos of celebrants looking down, trying to find their place on the page, sounding like they are reading a book, because, well, they’re reading a book.
You see that card in the photo. On that card (designed by the lovely Senna at Senna Jean Designs) are all the notes I need.
What if I forget a name?
For starters I’m doing a personal presentation of a marriage ceremony, so it would be remiss of me to a) not know the couple well enough to know their name, b) to have their names on a flash card in case my brain shuts down (it happens!) and c) I know their names!
How do I know what to say?
Well I’m really super passionate about people enjoying life together, in marriage. I’m that passionate about it that week to week I don’t forget how passionate I am nor do I forget how important it is. I’m talking from my heart. Of course for each ceremony there are unique things that I could forget. But those points are on a card for me to look at in case I forget the run of things.
How do couples check my ceremony?
There’s this odd tradition in celebrant circles that a celebrant would prepare a script for you and then let you check it. I don’t do that. What does it say about me if I’m conducting a bunch of ceremonies a year and require my clients to check my drafts? I do an amazing job, and I create a personal ceremony for everyone and when we meet before the ceremony I’ll take you through what’s going to happen but I won’t bore you with checking my script.
So do I do the same ceremony for everyone?
No. In-fact every ceremony is 100% different because I’m not copying and pasting the same script for every wedding.
What am I getting at?
Life is raw, real, unscripted, and crazy. Wedding ceremonies sit at the pinnacle of that, of all the craziness and awesomeness. Trying to script that real, raw, life moment is a recipe for boredom, and missing the moment. In my humble opinion. Don’t hit me!
So, to my brides and grooms, be prepared for something awesome. And to my fellow celebrants, put down your books and speak from your heart! Life is too short to copy and paste that ceremony again!
The feature image for this blog post is from Ben and Khya’s awesome wedding at Midginbill Hill in the NSW Tweed Valley. Photo is by Love is a Place Photography.