How to Choose a Celebrant

How to Choose a Celebrant

How do you choose a marriage celebrant?  With so many around, how do you decide how to choose?

What qualities would you look for in a five star celebrant?

Here is a guide to help you choose your marriage celebrant.

On a scale of 1 to 5 Diamonds, how will your Celebrant rate?

There are no published standards of performance criteria for Celebrants.

However, Dally Messenger, one of Australia’s first celebrants and author of several valuable celebrant texts, wrote the following as a guideline when considering your choice of celebrant:

The No diamond celebrant.

They only have a legal view of marriage. The ceremony is not very important. Ceremonies are very short (2-3 minutes). Talks about the law and the forms they have to fill in. — very cheap. Not worth anything really. You’d have to be desperate to book one of these, but, unfortunately, there are plenty of these around.

The One diamond celebrant.

A little bit more humane. Has been known to smile. Does not give clients a real choice (pretends to). Dismisses rehearsals as unnecessary – “waste of your time and mine”. May have one small verse of poetry in a ceremony. Really loves people who say they want something “short and informal” or who start off by saying – “How much do you charge for a wedding?” Many of these are good salesmen and have enough personality to convince you that being one of six weddings in a weekend is fine. When they arrive late and dash out in a mad hurry once the ceremony is over, you become sorry that you hired a cheapie, but then it is too late. There is only one bite at this cherry.

The Two Diamond Celebrant.

Some of my best friends are two diamond celebrants and in certain suburbs they are very popular. They give people a choice (limited). They give a rehearsal of sorts in their lounge room in a quick sort of way. Often they are full of jokes and reassuring banter. They are reasonably interested in the job, but think in terms of numbers i.e how many marriages can they get through in a weekend. If you are not very interested in your wedding ceremony, they are probably good value.

The Three Diamond Celebrant.

They basically have the same mentality as the Two Diamond but provide a better service because they have a PA System. This means that guests hear all the words of the ceremony – a big plus even if the readers are too fast. Music is given some attention but these celebrants do not consider the music to be their responsibility. But you are given a fair choice of ceremony, and a reasonable amount of attention. This celebrant does two or three each weekend.

The Four Diamond Celebrant.

You are now among the professionals. This person has gained qualifications. They take responsibility for all aspects of the ceremony. You have a full choice of ceremony. You get resources and suggestions. There is a productive dialogue about all aspects of your ceremony. They have the attitude that they don’t know it all, and learn something new every ceremony. The onsite rehearsal (unhurried) is a must. Attention is given to readers and slowing them down and making sure they practise. Liaises with musicians and photographers. Musicians are organised close to the wedding party. If CD music is the go, they make sure that a decent CD player with good sound quality is organised. The personal story and the introductions to the readings are well written and personal. You get the full eleven point standard wedding done well. The celebrant is well equipped with good quality PA system. They are impeccably and appropriately dressed. Would never dream of doing more than two weddings in a weekend – but usually one. They make you feel (and can make you feel) that yours is the most important wedding ever.

The Five Diamond Celebrant.

This is getting hard now. This is about being everything the 4 Diamond status requires. But it is also about being an incurable romantic and loving the job. It is about extra attention to that level of detail, which makes all the difference. It is about the X factor, natural flair, ceremonial skills, sense of humour, sense of dramatic pause. It is about personality AND skill. It’s about beauty in creative writing for speaking, and yes, it is about education – a deep and wide knowledge of what to suggest to you about poetry, music, choreography, ritual and symbolism. Fee? This celebrant is priceless.

A Final note

PS. Some celebrants are good at friendly personality, some are good at marketing, the one you are after may have these qualities – but the one you want should be good at ceremony. A bit like choosing a doctor – the good bedside manner or the one who is expert at diagnosis and operating. It is good if you can find both.

Dally Messenger

International College of Celebrancy

Contact Kari for a 5 diamond celebrant service with care and attention to details, but more importantly for nurturing you towards the best possible ceremony for you.

With this ring I thee wed

With this ring I thee wed

“With this ring I thee wed…..”

a wedding ring is considered to be a circle with no end, a symbol of the wedding vows.

Many a wedding is not complete without an exchange of wedding rings.

“With this ring I thee wed.”

Do we recall this phrase from old movies?  Many a wedding is not complete without an exchange of wedding rings.  A ring is not technically part of the legal aspect of a wedding ceremony. However, in my celebrant experience 98% of couples choose to enact this traditional ritual, and place a ring on each other’s fingers.  Although, I have had one Bridegroom who chose an earring in his left ear rather than a wedding band on his left hand!  And one couple made their rings from woven fibres.

BUT none that I know, have elected for a ring on the nose like the one chosen from the Piggy-wig by The Owl and the Pussycat.  You can look up that famous poem.

wedding ring with clusters of diamondsdiamond ring by John Bexon
 

a circle with no end…

A ring, as we know is a circle with no end, symbolic of a completeness, or a union with no end, a marriage to last forever; the unbroken circle of love between a husband and wife.   Worn as a reminder of wedding vows made by one to the other, the wedding band holds great importance to most wedded couples.

It can be said at a wedding, “A circle is the symbol of the sun and the earth and the universe. In these rings it is the symbol of unity, in which your lives are now joined in one unbroken circle.  Wherever you go, you will always return to one another and to your togetherness.”

The ring may or may not have enormous resale value but becomes absolutely precious to the wearer, an enduring and valuable symbol of promises made on their wedding day.  It takes but a moment to say I love you, it takes a second to place a ring on the finger, but marriage is the promise of forever, and that is why most couples choose a precious metal – gold or platinum, reflective of the preciousness of their rings in their married lives.

Unusual wedding ring with triangle shape and pearl feature

ring by Bold in Gold

I know of many women of my mother’s generation who have never taken their rings off. Their husband first placed them on their third finger of the left hand at the marriage altar.

Some modern women may take their ring off now and again whilst doing jobs that may scratch of damage their wedding ring.  But always it is a ring that one would wear constantly.  Other jewellery may come and go.  Some is  worn for special occasions. However, the wedding ring endures as a timeless treasure.

So given it is something to cherish for many many years, most couples will take their time to choose the perfect ring.  Some even have them custom made.

very unusual wedding ring featuring topaz stone in a gold basket

design by Loretta Bexon

finding the perfect wedding ring…

I’d like to introduce some ideas of where to go to find your perfect wedding ring.

a local jeweller…

Shop local, it is the thing to do. Embrace the idea of the personal touch.  Here on the Sunshine Coast we have several fine jewellers who make bespoke products to fulfil your design wishes.

Take in your inherited jewellery and have it remodelled for your own wedding.  You could have Great Grandmas rings remodelled in a modern style.  Something old, something new? Perhaps you’d prefer order a set of wedding rings to a custom design.  Bring your local craftsperson an idea or a picture and they can make it a reality for you.  Watch them work your piece for you and bask in the warmth of something made locally AND professionally.

close up of jewellers hands filing a wedding ring

His and hers matching pair of wedding rings, hers with a blue stone

Funky modern wedding ring with pearl feature

classic engagement ring with large diamond

Unusual wedding ring with clusters of blue stones

rings by Bexon Jewellers

finding the perfect wedding ring…

A meaningful alternative to mass production, is to have your wedding rings made for you by a local craftsman. These artisans are practising a craft centuries old.  They dedicate their lives to a particular craft, and the skills required to keep their craft up to date.  In an age where we are often disconnected to how our daily things are made, having your wedding ring designed for you especially is a memorable gift, a lasting reminder of your wedding day.  You can even visit your rings and watch their progress.

There are so many wedding venues in and around Montville on the Hinterland Range above the Sunshine Coast.  If this area is your dream wedding location, you may like to visit Bold In Gold in Montville, while you’re planning your wedding day.

Bold in Gold offer you the chance to have your wedding rings individually designed and handcrafted by a team of highly skilled designer-goldsmiths. Their designers ensure your finished  wedding rings represent your individuality in beautifully finished rings in the materials of your choice.

If  you have no firm  idea on your wedding rings, don’t be too concerned,  you can first view many different designs to get the feel for your likes and dislikes and then use the ideas this generates to design your very own unique wedding rings, even unusual, yet always exquisitely hand-crafted.  

The work of Bold in Gold is often different to classic styles, featuring unusual shapes and settings, or a mix of precious metals.  Get a matching pair made. 

Modern engagement ring with long rectangular green stone

matched pair of wedding rings, engagement with large stone, wedding band with row of small diamonds

His and hers wedding rings with two tone gold and diamond features

Unusual wedding band with two tone gold and captured diamond

modern wedding ring with captured pearl and inset diamonds

rings by Bold in Gold

Awwwwhhh it makes want to get married again, just to rediscover the joy of choosing my wedding ring.

Check out some local suppliers that I have worked with.

But wait there’s more. 

If you want to do something really unusual, you can take it a step further and even make your own Wedding Rings!  There are a few artisans who run make your own wedding ring workshops.  These come and go, so search in your locality for a specialist jeweller. Now that would be a truly romantic  experience, spending a day in a goldsmiths workshop making your rings together.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column]

Now what to say?

Here’s 8 things to say when exchanging wedding rings

A joke to celebrate the art of celebration

A joke to celebrate the art of celebration

Let me celebrate by sharing a joke with you

wedding celebration in a heart of fire torches

Let’s celebrate

I’d love to celebrate your marriage with you.

Today my local paper, Sunshine Valley News, printed a joke, reminding me that in my profession as a marriage celebrant, one is very careful to introduce oneself with care.

A young monk arrived at a monastery eager to begin his life’s work.  He was assigned the task of copying by hand the old canons and laws of the church.  He noticed that the older monks were copying from copies, not an original manuscript.

Thoughtfully, he approached the head abbot and pointed out that if someone had even made a small error in the original copy then that error would continue in all of the subsequent copies. The head monk says that they had been doing this for centuries, “These manuscripts are very precious, we must care for them, but you make a good point, my son”.

So, the head monk goes down to the dark caves beneath the monastery, where the original scripts are held as archives in a locked vault, unopened for hundreds of years.  Hours go by, and no-one has seen the old abbot.  

The young monk gets worried and goes to look for him.  Finding him banging his head against the wall and wailing, the young monk is quite distressed.  “We missed the ‘r’! We missed the ‘r’!  We missed the ‘r’! ”  

His forehead is bloody and bruised; he is crying uncontrollably.  

“What’s wrong, asks the young monk.  With a choking voice, the old man replies, “The word is ‘celebrate!‘”

celebrate your wedding with fire

How do you want to celebrate your special day?

I would love to hear your ideas, stories and visions and help weave it into your perfect fit wedding ceremony.

Contact me to chat about options.  I’d love to be your celebrant and “celebrate” with you.

Photos by Marion Jonkers Photography

Yandina Station wedding

Yandina Station wedding

Bride and groom with their dear little son in arms

Married at Yandina Station

Congratulations Adele and Paul, married at Yandina Station between Yandina and Coolum.

Vintage Theme wedding

Using a vintage wedding theme, Adele decorated the homestead with a table of old cameras, old books tied with string, bottles of old fashioned sweets and a vintage typewriter for writing messages.

Historic Yandina Station

Yandina Station was perfect for their theme.  The old homestead still has the original hardwood weather boards, delightfully aged to silver.  The gardens reflect a time gone by, yet retain a relaxed and homely feel, with herbs and flowers.  Old worldy games on the grass were very welcoming, and the sunny day was perfect.

Kids at a wedding

Their son Mac was a star, carrying the rings on a string around his neck.

Their wedding ceremony

Adele and Paul’s wedding ceremony began: “Unions have been made in this area for millennia.  Today Adele and Paul join the natural scheme of things and wed in this sacred place between Mount Ninderry and Mount Coolum close to Maroochy River.  For 10’s of thousands of years these mountains have been revered and blessed, and honoured for their significance and power.  It is a healing place, a happy place.  In the shadow of these mountains people feel safe and warm and blessed.  To be able to see both Ninderry and Coolum from here makes this place very special.  No wonder Adele and Paul chose this historic property for their special day.  Yandina Station homestead, well over 100 yrs old, and now lovingly restored is the oldest continuously lived in and working farm in the region.  Many pages of history reside here.  And today we add to those pages with a love story.”

Photos by Andrea Sproxton

Woodford Festival celebrant

Woodford Festival celebrant

Woodford Festival wedding celebrant

Considering getting married at the Woodford Folk Festival? Many couples do.  They all need a wedding celebrant.

Imagine having an extraordinary, and I mean….Extra Ordinary, array of options for wedding ceremony location, restaurant reception options AND even entertainment options for your celebration afterwards.

The festival is a place of ritual and celebration.  It is the energetic home of these things.  A more unique place to marry, exists not on this earth!

A Marriage Celebrant at the Woodford Folk Festival

get married at Woodford copyEvery wedding needs a marriage celebrant. Kari has years of experience, both in weddings AND at the festival.  Having conducted numerous weddings at Woodfordia, both at festival time and otherwise, she knows the Woodfordia site like a second home.
Whats more …… Kari will be at the festival.  No need to pay for entry or travel or even accommodation.
However you will need to lodge paperwork with your celebrant at least one month prior to your wedding date.
Contact Kari for more information.

Woodfordia – A place to marry

There are many pathways to your wedding. Spiritual pathways, emotional journeys, long roads, short stays…..

There are many places to marry. Festival streets, hilltop grassy glades, shady trees, cosy corners, outrageous outdoors.

A heart gateway to the sacred labyrinth at WoodfordiaThe Sacred Labyrinth

The Sacred Labyrinth is a magical space where anyone can walk a path to the heart and connect more deeply with themselves.  It can also be a place for your own wedding.

The Labyrinth is especially designed for couples to celebrate their connection through a marriage ceremony, a hand fasting or a special ritual of honouring.  There are also other ceremonies that take place in the Labyrinth. In any of these rituals the woman enters on the left and the man on the right. The couple meets at the top after making their solo journey and setting whatever intention is appropriate. They can then walk together into the centre for the ceremony.  Ceremony engages some moments in deep connection or exchange.  At the completion of the rituals they leave through the archways together and out into the world to celebrate with friends and family.


Woodfordia sacred Labyrinth for weddings

Woodford Festival Installations

Installations of art and lighting abound in the festival streets, creating wonderlands of locations to have your festival wedding.

Woodfordia candlelit creek

Woodfordia umbrella venue
woodfordia woven caveMusic and fun

The choice of music is endless. Simply approach your favourite band for the perfect music at your wedding.

Or here’s some ideas for your festival wedding…..

Find a ritual dancer.

Have your hands decorated with henna.

Order a wreath of flowers for your hair.

Find an original steam punk costume or festive hat.

Go Woodfordian.

Wedding-henna-hands at Woodfordia

Woodfordia wedding couple

Woodfordia ritual bubbles

A winning wedding in Maleny

A winning wedding in Maleny

Maleny Wedding

Congratulations to Karla and Matt. Theirs was a winning Maleny wedding.
This wedding was nominated as one of only five weddings shortlisted for “Wedding of the Year” by Junebug Weddings.

A story

Most importantly, their day appeared as if out of a storybook. It was a fairytale come true at Maleny Retreat, which is one of Australia’s most breath taking wedding locations. Maleny Retreat offers you freedom. That is to say, you get to design your own wedding.  You are free to create your own style on a blank canvas. For a wedding in Maleny area, it is delightful choice.

Maleny Retreat is a sumptuous canvas to which you can add your detailing and style.

Looking out over the Glass House Mountains, Karla and Matt’s wedding ceremony looked picture perfect. The vista takes in the serene Tibrogargan, and his family of mountain peeks. Guests arrived to drop their gear in luxury tent style accommodation. The party began before the wedding even started!

A sultry sky provided an awesome and dreamy backdrop for the photos taken by the awesome Bec of Ash and Stone Photography.

Take a peek at the storyboard of their ceremony:

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