I’d like to introduce everyone to a normal celebrant.

I used to be one.

After all, you have so many options today when you’re deciding to engage in the mystery and wonder of love and marriage, that you need a good starting point.

You need to know what the average is, the mean for my mathematically leaning readers.

A normal celebrant will marry you, that is, before one month before your wedding they would check that you can be married in Australia, sight your identification and take your notice of intended marriage form from you, and then on the day they will tell you what marriage in Australia is, and ask that you both verbally confess that you wish to take each other as husband or wife, your vows. In “the industry” we call that solemnising your marriage.

A normal celebrant will be there 20 minutes before the ceremony and will leave after you’ve kissed your parents.

A normal celebrant will be dressed appropriately for a marriage ceremony, whatever that means, and will act professionally and respectfully.

Your normal, average, run of the mill celebrant will have learnt a ceremony or two in college and will easily adapt (read: put your names into) the ceremony, and even let you choose if it will be “religious” or not.

Normally, a celebrant will ask for a fee and quite possibly a deposit as well.

Since 1961 civil ceremonies have been allowed by law in Australia and since 1961 average has been the norm.

There is an army of wedding professionals working hard at maintaining the status quo, communicating what’s normal, preaching average.

The merchants of average are many, they will push you to fit in, to be normal, to dress alike, use the same tools, to fit the wedding format.

The safest thing you can do, it seems, is to fit in. Total deniability. “Hey, I’m just doing what the masses do.”

Josh Withers is a different celebrant. Not different to be different. Different to be better.