How to choose a wedding celebrant

Published on 2 March 2012

A wedding blessing is the perfect alternative to church weddings and restrictive civil cermonies. They allow you to have the wedding of your dreams, wherever you want.

Whatever your wedding fantasy you can have it your way with a wedding blessing and for that you will need a good wedding celebrant.

A celebrant will guide you through the creation of your perfect ceremony and help you ensure it all goes exactly the way you wanted. If your short of inspiration then they'll help you see all the possibilties that reflect your personality and your relationship.

Colin Ward, a professional celebrant of Celebrants in France, tells us how to choose the perfect celebrant for you:

How to choose a wedding celebrant

Colin says, "Search out a professional celebrant who has the knowledge and skills to prepare and deliver an outstanding wedding ceremony that reflects your personalities, will delight you and your guests and create a memory that will last a lifetime."

"Experienced celebrants have a wealth of knowledge and resources - built up over time - that they can share with you, to avoid or overcome problems, and help you create your unique and memorable ceremony."

What to look for in a wedding celebrant

Look at their website, view recent testimonials, and ask if you can speak directly with couples who have used their services before. Your celebrant should have good communication skills, in order to work successfully with you in the build up to the day, and with other professionals on the day; wedding planner, photographer, etc.

• From the first contact, you should feel that your celebrant is not just professional in their approach, but also warm and friendly.

• Communicate with a prospective celebrant in writing and on the phone, so that you can assess their demeanour and hear how they express themselves. If possible, meet face to face - or have a webcam chat! Check that the celebrant not only speaks well, but also listens to you, your ideas and your concerns. Personal rapport is so important in this relationship.

What to ask initially

• Ask the celebrant about the extent and breadth of their experience, particularly if you have specific needs, e.g. couples whose marriage crosses cultures or religions.

• Ask what help, information and resources they provide to couples in terms of ceremonies, traditions, readings and most importantly writing personal vows; and if appropriate, ask about equipment such as PA systems for outdoor ceremonies.

• A celebrant should give you clear information about services, fees, booking and payment terms. Consider both the price, and the value of the services provided.

• Ask how they work and what the process will be. A celebrant should explain how they work. Choose someone who will guide you clearly during the process of creating your ceremony, encouraging you to participate in the process, to ensure that you achieve what you want in terms of content, style and tone.

A good celebrant should fill you will confidence, so that you can relax and anticipate your wedding day with excitement.

This is the day on which you will make your vows to the person you love and want to spend the rest of your life with.

Throughout the process of selecting your celebrant, remember this is all about you, your love and your lifetime together.

Why choose a wedding blessing

A wedding blessing does not replace a civil ceremony as it is not legally binding but it does allow you to celebrate your marriage in the most personal and meaningful way.

It's the perfect choice for couples who want to:

If you'd like to get married abroad in a country with restrictions on official weddings that you can't meet. Getting married in France, for example, requires that one half of the intended couple reside there for 40 consecutive days.

Unlike a civil ceremony, a wedding blessing can take place outside, under the stars, on a beach, in your garden. There are no restrictions.

'My husband is half Japanese so we wanted to have elements traditional to a Japanese wedding ceremony', says Cara Williams, 30, 'We included a tea ceremony in our blessing. It was magical.'

A wedding blessing allows you to make your dreams come to life. You can truly have it your way without being a slave to tradition, convention or regulations.

Where to find a wedding celebrant

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