Congratulations to you first if you are reading this, I assume you are planning a special occasion. Be it your wedding, vow renewal, naming day or any other milestone in your life you are looking to mark, I am glad you have found me. I am going to talk you through the process of choosing a Celebrant from my own point of view. This of course applies to choosing any Celebrant, not just me.
So, where to start? Usually, it is a quick google search or scroll online. Which is like searching for any other resource or supplier near you – you’re going to find tons of options! It can be really confusing to go from there, with different names over so many Celebrants – from Minster to Rev. to layperson – depending on which organisation, if any, they are affiliated with. Try not to get overwhelmed at this stage. It’s quite simple really. I’ve divided it up into three easy questions:
1. Who are you looking for?
This depends on you and your wishes firstly and some particularly important questions. Are you looking for a ceremony that is fully inclusive and flexible? Are you looking for a ceremony that speaks to one or no particular faith path? What is important you as a couple, a family and as an individual? Where is this person based and how far will they travel? Are you looking for a Solemniser, someone who can complete your legal marriage paperwork on the day? Does this person’s values and beliefs line up with yours? Once you have answered these questions your results pool will narrow down considerably and hopefully reveal a handful of contenders.
My own ceremonies are open to all faiths and none. I am fortunate to be a member of a wonderful organisation, Entheos Ireland, whose core beliefs are inclusivity and choice. I am an incredibly open minded individual so you can trust me with your own ideas and visions. I have identified a gap in society – and I am there to offer a meaningful alternative to ceremonies usually steeped in religious settings. I am here to work with you to deliver a ceremony that captures your personality and wishes while still upholding the core of the ceremony in question. I am also offering a ceremony style that is modern, fresh, and energising – trust me your guests will not be watching the clock thinking of the “fun” part of the day – they will be enthralled and entertained! I welcome all faiths and none and do not place any restrictions on the form or content of my ceremonies.
My biggest recommendation is that you sit down and talk with any Celebrant that speaks to your soul via Instagram, google, reviews or word of mouth. You really can’t judge a connection based off an initial hit from a search result. It is essential that you meet the individual and see how well you gel with them. Much like with your partner – when you know you know. And us Celebrants are very upfront about who we are and what we are about so you should already have a clear indication and are simply confirming the person at the end of the screen marries up. If you are looking for a Celebrant who will deliver your ceremony in a Star Wars suit trust me, they are there. There really is a Celebrant for everyone and it is so much fun to find the right one. And after speaking with the potential Celebrant, you should come away knowing they are definitely for you or definitely not.
2. Why would you choose a Celebrant?
The way we celebrate life is changing. Celebrations that were once tied up in religious associations and very rigid are evolving to reflect our modern and diverse society. There is no one size fits all and we recognise that. There are other options now. There is a beautiful way to celebrate life, love, and death and in accordance with your own point of view, values, beliefs and self. You no longer have to compromise – you can choose to celebrate your occasion in a way that is meaningful to you, that is bespoke to you. If you have sat through other generic cookie cutter ceremonies and known it wouldn’t be for you, then you are looking for a Celebrant.
People choosing to have a Celebrant usually are looking for a more modern and diverse take on their special occasion. You do not have to be non-religious to have a Celebrant led ceremony. We are not anti-religion at all, as I said I am happy to incorporate your religious beliefs into any ceremony I perform if that is what you wish. I offer this because I only want to deliver something that is truly reflective of you. You do not have to compromise with me and you shouldn’t have too either. For many of my clients they no longer feel very loyal to the church, and while they may have been raised in a particular faith and still hold some belief, they are not looking to associate their special occasion with the church. This is where a Celebrant can come in to create the bridge between the church and state. There is an official element of most ceremonies in the registering of a birth, death or marriage and there is usually a religious equivalent too – Celebrants are the group in the middle offering you a choice on how you would like to celebrate.
After the last two years of cancelled events and milestones missed, you would like an opportunity to celebrate a new arrival, a lost loved one, a life joined together or all those other celebrations that were scaled right back. You could have a Celebrant led ceremony after the special event itself to recognise it and celebrate it with your family and friends.
There are also practical reasons to choose a Celebrant like myself. Celebrants offer much more freedom in terms of form and content as mentioned. I also operate a one ceremony per day policy so you will always have my undivided attention and flexibility. I can work any date or time and, in any location, – so again you do not have to compromise on anything.
3. How to choose a Celebrant?
Having answered question one and two you will have a clear picture of the Celebrant you are looking for. As I said, there really is a Celebrant for everyone. You should have a good look at their social media and website – does it speak to you? Do you feel excited by this initial contact? Then you need to get them in a meeting. Most Celebrants will offer meetings in advance of booking and you absolutely need to do this. Be it a phone call or Zoom, you can tell so much about someone from the way they speak to you. I offer Discovery Calls on my website which you can book here. I lead my calls on Zoom so we can both face each other and start to forge that connection. If the conversation is good and natural and they tick all your specific boxes, and if they are available, then I think you have found your Celebrant.