Choosing your Celebrant

Wondering how to choose a celebrant to officiate your wedding?

Don’t make the mistake (as many have done before), of underestimating the significant role played by your Celebrant. The best weddings I’ve attended as a guest are those wherein the Celebrant is, among other things, a masterful Storyteller able to paint a beautiful picture of a couple’s relationship – their love, character, and synergy. 

Everyone is always saying now how it’s important to personalise your wedding… well, it starts with the ceremony because that’s one of the first experiences your guests have on your wedding day, and a great ceremony sets the tone for a fabulous wedding reception and also makes for a great table-talker for your guests.  

If you really want to personalise your wedding, ensure you choose a Celebrant who you believe “gets you” as a couple. 

“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.”

-Peter Duncan

Choose a 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.

What to look for in a Celebrant:

* Check out 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 leading into your ‘Big 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. 

* Make your initial enquiry of any prospective Celebrant via phone or email, so that you can make an initial assessment of their demeanour and hear how they express themselves. Ideally, if you have Skype facilities, ask the Celebrant if they have Skype, and if they do – arrange a mutually convenient time to conduct a Skype call. In absence of a face-to-face meeting, a Skype chat can be the next best thing, and in many cases, a great deal more convenient.

* 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.

“Ask the Celebrant if they Skype. In absence of a face-to-face meeting, a Skype chat can be the next best thing… especially if it’s difficult to schedule a meeting or if you have a young family.”  

– Peter Duncan

* Ask the Celebrant about the extent and breadth of their experience, particularly if you have specific ideas as to how you’d like to approach your ceremony.

* 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. It’s important to state that “cheap isn’t always best”, when it comes to choosing a Celebrant as the price can often be a determinant of the quality, experience, and “value” of a Celebrant.

* 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.    

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

After all, 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 future together.  

One final word of advice…, “Enjoy the journey….as it can certainly be as much fun as the destination!” 

Warmest wedding regards, 
Pete Duncan 
Wedding Coordinator 
VR Rotorua Lake Resort