What is a 'Celebrant?
You're what sorry?!
"I'M A CELEBRANT"
Choosing to work with a Celebrant for your ceremony will start conversations....I've been having them for six years, and they go like this...I have to repeat myself A LOT
"I've never heard of it before, what was it again? Celebrant...? What does that mean?"
"'Celebrant', it means someone who 'Celebrates', it isn't a very helpful title really, but no one has thought of anything better..."
"Oh, thats a lot more expensive thought...it's an awful lot for someone to just come and stand there and say the vows, they're only there for half an hour! I suppose I just thought it would cost about £200. I wish I earned that much for an hours work...." I could do that! Your Auntie Margaret reads in Church, can't she do it instead?"
If someone says this to you, ask this question in return: "Why do you think that?".
But the simple answer to "it seems an awful lot!" is that it takes a lot more than standing 'at the front' for half an hour....20 hours of work, excluding travel, in fact.
So, it's like a Wedding Planner? an Event Planner...organising the whole thing, flowers, cakes and all that?
No, a Celebrant only works on the Ceremony or 'Service' and no other aspect of the Wedding.
So, what does that involve exactly?
"Is it a 'Proper Wedding'?"
It all depends upon what a 'Proper Wedding' means to you. Usually it means 'The Real Thing", which means different things to different people. If you are asking if it is a 'legal' ceremony, or a Church wedding, then it isn't that, although the legal part is usually completed anyway before the day. So in a sense it is already 'proper'. If you are asking about emotional significance, transformation, transition new beginnings, meaning, healing... and public declaration...absolutely. For my families their back-garden Wedding Ceremony IS The Proper Wedding. Rarely does anything feel so 'REAL'.
"Don't you just 'stand there and say the vows instead of the Vicar?" Yes and no...95% of my work is preparatory. Standing at the front and saying "You may Kiss the Bride" is a very small part of my role, but I do sometimes refer to myself as 'The Vicar who isn't a Vicar'.
"So, how many of these do you do each year, on average?" it varies, but I value quality of relationship over quantity of ceremonies. I never do more than one ceremony per day. It means I get to know you really well and stay in touch. Because I often work locally, I often bump into my families ...this is Hannah and Rachel, I see Rachel every time I visit our local bakery, where I buy a loaf of her home-made sour-dough bread. Many of my couples and families come to the Arts Centre where I work, so I catch up with them there too. I like having the time with which to build that kind of connection.
"So, you do the Legal Bit? you're a Registrar?
"No, I'm not a Registrar....they do the formal bit and I do the fun bit"