01 Feb 2013
How to Choose a Civil Celebrant
Selecting the person to legally bind you in
the sacred tradition of marriage is a very personal process.
Your family priest or clergy member may be
the obvious choice; maybe a representative of the church, who has known your
family and has been involved in family events for years?
If a church wedding is not part of your
plan, you will require a Licensed Civil Celebrant to perform your ceremony.
When selecting someone to perform this duty, personal taste is generally the deciding
factor. Male or female? Older or younger? Traditional vows or modern
Celebrants are changing and becoming more
modern to suit the needs of modern day couples.
gorgeous, blonde, vibrant girl friend Alisa Melhuish decided
at the age of 31, that she would become a civil celebrant. She is now booked 35
weekends of the year.
Her couples are very diverse. Young couples
dating since high school, long term relationships finally saying ‘I do’, and
second marriages surrounded by best friends and their adult children in the
backyard of the family home.
Wedding themes will vary too; a great
celebrant will be prepared to get into your theme. Recently, Alisa was asked by
a fellow celebrant if she would dress up as a ringmaster of a Carnival themed
wedding celebration. Wedding guests came dressed as carnival folk, complete
with a ‘bearded lady’ (a truck driver with an impressive beard and his mum’s
best church frock).
The bride and groom laughed and cried together
throughout the ceremony and expressed their unquestionable love for each other
in a unique and memorable manner.
Alisa’s advice to couples when selecting a
celebrant is to find someone who respects your idea of a perfect wedding: “Generally couples are all looking for a
ceremony that is beautiful and a little traditional but still fun and enjoyable
and true to who they are as individuals and as a couple”.
It is important to remember when planning
your ceremony theme that there are certain legal requirements that need to be
met in order to legally perform your ceremony.
The ‘Monitum’ must be performed by a
licensed Celebrant or Church representative as part of your ceremony; it is a
legal requirement and cannot be changed. Your celebrant should advise you on
what exactly is required and what areas you can personalise.
Personally, I had some major celebrant
issues (Alisa had not yet chosen this career path) as I seriously struggled
with the idea that this person didn’t know me or my fiancé.
How could a stranger address my loved ones in
a heartfelt and personal context about our love, the future we wish to share
together and detail my emotions? I took
control of our nuptials and put in place my own ‘Grand Plan’.
My sister and sister in-law ‘to be’
conducted our marriage ceremony, with a celebrant on site to conduct the Monitum
and sign the legal documents. These two loved ones truly spoke from their hearts.
They told our guests how we felt about each other, made everyone laugh with
personal jokes and stories, and shed tears with us when talking about our
future together. It was perfect. Our ceremony is one of fondest memories I
have of our wedding day, and apart from marrying my husband, definitely one of
Your ceremony theme, content and flow are
your decision. Don’t let your celebrant pressure you to say or read what they personally
think is important, the right celebrant will respect your ideas and simply
enhance them to create the perfect ceremony for you. Gather their
recommendations and review your information well in advance.
It’s your day, and you have control.
I am Kathie
Bolitho – February’s guest blogger of the month for hitched.com.au
Chief Inspiration Artist at Tough Cookie Marketing www.toughcookiemarketing.com
I also contribute to I do I do Creations Magazine www.idoidocreations.com.au