While your wedding day has many aspects to organise and plan for, at the centre of it all is the ceremony where you are officially joined together and pronounced “Husband and Wife”. Unfortunately, many of us can remember at least one wedding ceremony where the Celebrant who made this announcement was dithery, was inappropriately dressed or forgot to change the names from the last couple they married. Having the right Celebrant is important to make sure that your ceremony is memorable (for the right reasons), romantic and representative of you as a couple. This article will give you some tips for making sure you have the right Celebrant.

Book Your Celebrant Early

One indication of a good Celebrant is that are booked well in advance. Don’t wait until the last minute and book your Celebrant around the same time you book your venue and other professional services.

Finding a Celebrant

The first step in finding the right Celebrant is knowing who are Celebrants in your area.  In New Zealand you can visit a Court House to obtain a list of Celebrants, however, this will only give you a list of names and not much idea of what the person is like. Another way is to do some research on the Internet. There are many websites such as www.nzweddingdirectory.co.nz or try Yellow.co.nz for information about Celebrants for different areas. Lastly, ask around. Local knowledge is a great way of discovering who is good and who is not.

Meet the Celebrant

Choosing a celebrant is a little like a job interview. You need to be sure you are comfortable with the celebrant and believe they will be able to create a ceremony that reflects your wishes. You can get an impression of someone on the phone or from pictures, but it is not until you meet them that you get a good sense of whether they are the right person. If you don’t feel comfortable with a Celebrant after meeting them, you don’t have to book them. There is nothing wrong with meeting a number of Celebrants until you find the right one.

Spot the Difference

There are Celebrants who do the occasional wedding and there are Celebrants who are professionals.  It can be easy to spot the difference! A professional Celebrant will listen carefully to your wishes and help you with ideas. They will help ensure your ceremony is personal, well planned and will have considered things like sound and wet weather options (if outside). They will ask you about your wedding colours so that they can match their clothing. They will take you through a rehearsal and make sure that the paperwork is correctly carried out. Even though a ceremony can be short, there are many aspects to consider which a professional and experienced Celebrant will make sure are covered. Don’t be afraid to ask how many weddings your Celebrant has done. If they seem unsure of things or aren’t very helpful you may want to meet with some other Celebrants before making your decision!

What Do They Charge?

Most Celebrants will charge a fee for their services to help cover their time and expenses for preparing and officiating your wedding ceremony. The prices they charge will vary according to their experience and professionalism. The old saying “you pay for what you get” can be true in the case of Celebrants and you may want to consider putting aside a reasonable budget to make sure you get the right person. When talking about price, make sure you know the full cost. If you are having a wedding out-of-town, talk about any mileage or travel costs. Is the rehearsal included in the price? Are there any extra charges for phone calls, completing the legal papers, etc? Most Celebrants will charge one flat fee for everything, but it is better to be sure.

Your wedding ceremony is the centre of your day and marks the start of your life together. Having the right Celebrant will help ensure your ceremony will go smoothly and will truly represent you as a couple.

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