When choosing your wedding vendors you want to be sure you really ‘connect’ with them and that you’re all on the same page when it comes to the role they will be playing on your big day.
This is particularly important when it comes to choosing a Celebrant.
Your ceremony should be thoroughly enjoyable, for both of you and all your guests. In the same way, the DJ or band entertains the crowd and helps create a rocking vibe at your reception, the Celebrant is pivotal in creating the atmosphere at your ceremony and setting the tone for the rest of the day.
The good news is there really is a Celebrant to suit every kind of wedding, personality and style. Finding the perfect Celebrant for you and your partner is invaluable so we’ve put together our top ten ‘must ask’ questions to use in the search for your perfect Celebrant.
If you are tempted to shop on price when it comes to choosing a Celebrant, the good news is you are likely only looking at a few hundred dollars difference between a new inexperienced Celebrant that is still learning and ‘finding their feet’ and a highly experienced Celebrant with a wealth of knowledge, expertise and ideas, equipped to make your ceremony a highlight of your day for you and all your guests.
So splurging just a little on an experienced and highly sought after Celebrant is easily do-able and highly recommended given the Celebrant can make or break your ceremony.
Before contacting your potential Celebrant, do your research and read reviews (Google Reviews and Facebook Reviews are a great place to read reviews and comments). No one will describe the service you can expect to receive better than each Celebrants former clients.
These questions should help mitigate the risk of any unwanted surprises and allow to your truly relax, knowing that you’re in the best of hands with your chosen Celebrant.
1. Will I get to proof my ceremony wording before the wedding day, and if so when?
It’s so important for couples to see, proof, edit and contribute to their ceremony wording for a number of reasons:
- You know exactly what to expect on the day, in terms of how the ceremony flows, putting you at ease and allowing you to totally relax, connect with your partner and enjoy the timelessness of the moment.
- You have the opportunity to make any changes and edits, ensuring the ceremony is reflective of you as a couple, has the right tone, tells your story in the right way and simply ‘feels right’.
- There will be no unwanted or awkward ‘surprises’ on the day.
- You can confirm or edit any pre or post wedding announcements that you need the Celebrant to make.
- Last but certainly not least you can be assured that the Celebrant hasn’t got you mixed up with another couple and gets both your love story and your names correct!
TOP TIP: Ask your Celebrant to email a draft of your ceremony for your review and ask them when you can expect to receive this.
If possible, try and avoid having a Celebrant send you through your ceremony to review close to your wedding date. During the weeks and days leading up to your wedding, you will be busy getting all the little details finalised, and you could do without the extra task of confirming details and making edits, sat the last minute, so the earlier into the planning phase you can confirm and finalise your ceremony wording the better.
2. I want to write my own vows but I don’t know where to start, how can you help?
If writing special vows to each other is important to you, ask what assistance your celebrate can provide to help you write your own unique and highly personal vows to each other.
3. Tell me about your PA System?
One of the most common pet peeves you hear from guests is that they couldn’t hear the Celebrant or the beautiful vows the couples shared, so trust us when we say that a good quality PA system is an absolute must-have!
DO ASK: Is it cordless? This will create a more seamless ceremony experience as well as eliminate any potential tripping hazards!
DO ASK: Is it battery operated? A battery-operated PA system doesn’t require access to a power point and is ideal for an outdoor, park, garden or beach wedding where no power supply is available.
There is so much to be said for a quality PA system, the leading brands used by Celebrants tend to be Mipro, Chiayo and Roland, and a good indication is its’ size.
A small handbag sized PA system probably won’t project sound very far, particularly if you are planning on having an outdoor ceremony on a potentially windy day, e.g. a beach wedding, whereas a good size professional system on a stand will be a whole lot more effective.
TOP TIP: Videographers and cinematographers also greatly appreciate a quality PA system that they can plug their recording device into and clearly capture all the audio of the ceremony.
4.Can I use your PA System for my ceremony music?
Many Celebrants will offer you the use of their PA system for your ceremony music. If so, check who will be responsible for taking care of the music on the day and what format you need to provide your chosen tracks on (Smartphone, iPod, MP3 etc.).
TOP TIP: Save money on live ceremony music by utilising your Celebrants PA System for your ceremony music.
5. What kind of insurance do you have?
A fully compliant Celebrant will usually have:
- Public Liability and Professional Indemnity insurance
- Hold a copyright licence (to avoid breaching copyright when including printed readings or poems in ceremonies, even if the author is acknowledged)
- Have a PA system that meets the legal requirements of the 2015 bandwidth changes
6. In the event that you have an accident or become ill and are unable to perform the wedding, what arrangements do you have in place?
Do they have a backup Celebrant in place in case of any unexpected emergencies that may prevent them from performing your ceremony on the day?
7. What kind of outfit do you usually wear on the wedding day?
Before you meet your potential Celebrant you can check their website and take a quick glance through their social media pages to get an idea of their usual wedding attire and outfit colours and see how well this suits your wedding.
If your wedding has a black-tie dress code, let them know, or alternatively if it’s a casual and relaxed wedding without suit jackets also let them know so they can dress appropriately.
8. Do you have any videos of you performing ceremonies that I can see?
If the Celebrant has any video clips of them performing a ceremony, these are gold when it comes to doing your research, so we absolutely recommend watching them! They will give you a really great indication of what to expect.
It is also a great way to not only see how they present themselves for a ceremony, but if they have the couple perfectly centred without their backs to the guests, if they appear to coordinate a smooth and seamless ceremony, if the couple look comfortable and if the tone that they present throughout the ceremony is appropriate and reflective of the exciting and happy celebration of love that a wedding is.
9. Do you step to the side and out of camera shot for the all-important ‘first kiss as a married couple’?
Occasionally this potentially-epic shot can be compromised by a ‘photo bombing’ Celebrant, so a little research (again on social media or website photos) or politely checking with them will ensure this special moment is captured perfectly.
10. Do you provide vow cards and signing pens?
These little details will be captured in your wedding photos, so ask them how they present the vows, are these printed on quality keepsake card and/ or presented on vow cards? What kind of signing pens do they offer? Again a little stalking of their website/ social media should reveal this for you and it’s a good opportunity to see if their style aligns with the style of your wedding.
Guest blog written by Jamie & Cara – Brisbane City Celebrants http://www.brisbanecitycelebrants.com.au Founders of Brisbane Celebrants Directory & Blog