What do you as a celebrant actually do? Understanding the Celebrants Role in your wedding!

Many people believe a celebrant shows up on the day of the wedding, speaks, signs some paper and that’s it job done.

However behind the scenes there is so much more that happens in the lead up to your special day.

I am hoping that this document will give you an insight into the journey that you take with your celebrant from start through to your Happily Ever After. This process will differ a little bit celebrant to celebrant, but this is the journey that my couples and myself take.

Initial Meeting

I come out to meet you in a location to you feel comfortable, whether it be your home or a local café. During this time, we get to know each other, have a brief overview of the process of preparing to and getting married as well as answering any questions that you may have.

Setting You Up as a Client

Once the booking paperwork is returned to myself I set you up as a client. This includes:

          Invoicing for services.

          Setting up your file both paper and electronically.

          Creating your personalised timeline

This timeline is a guide to help us through our journey together, this will ensure that we are all on the same page and help you pace out our planning so you don’t feel overwhelmed.

          Preparing your Inspirational USB

A USB full of inspiration for you to work through to help give me an idea of the type of ceremony you would like me to create for you. This USB also includes a questionnaire for both parties to the marriage to answer to help me gain a better insight into who you are individually, as a couple.

Creating Your Ceremony

Once you have returned your Inspirational USB and your questionnaires I set to crafting a truly unique ceremony for you both.

Proofing and creating your paperwork

During the early stages of planning I will also send you a copy of the Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM). A NOIM is a document that gives all the details of the two parties intending to marry. All I ask is that you complete page 3 of this document and return it to me.  Once I receive this I will type it up and include all further information that is required to ready it for signing.   The NOIM will also provide me with majority of the information that I require to complete further legal documentation that is required for your marriage to be legally recognised.

NOIM signing, sighting of original documentation and Read through

We will meet and proof read the NOIM. During this time it is great to be able to view your identification documents. These are required as proof of who you are, these documents can be:

          Birth Certificate and photo ID such as drivers licence

          Passport

If you have ever been married I also need to see proof that the marriage is legally over. Proof of this can include:

          Divorce certificate

          Previous spouses death certificate

Other documentation that also may be required:

          Proof of change of name

If any of these are applicable to you and you do not have the original documentation it is favourable that you apply for it as soon as you can as this can take come time to process and send out, especially if you require these documents from another state or country.

* A celebrant does need to see these documents prior to a wedding ceremony, otherwise the ceremony cannot go ahead as planned.

Once we have crossed checked all the information and you are happy that it is all true and accurate you sign off on the NOIM and I witness it. You have officially given notice that you are intended to marry one another!

During this meeting I also read your ceremony to you. I firmly believe there is a difference in reading a ceremony in your own mind and hearing it for the first time. These is nothing in the ceremony that will be spoken on the day that is not approved by you both first.

After our meeting I email you a copy of your draft ceremony to work through at your own pace. You have until we meet again for your rehearsal or logistics meeting (roughly 2 to 3 weeks before your wedding) to make as many changes as you like. I am here to help you with this every step of the way.

Preparation for your Rehearsal/Logistics Meeting and Wedding Day

          I will ready all the certificates for you day and we will proof these at the rehearsal to ensure they are all correct

          I will type  up and print your Declaration of No Legal Impediment to Marry, the last document that you need to sign prior to your wedding, this is usually done at the rehearsal   

          I will also consult with you about your music and if you choose for me to play your music I will send you a worksheet to fill out. Once I receive this back I create your play list. My aim is to have this preferably in time to practice with at your rehearsal.

          Your vows will be typed up and printed for your wedding day, until this time you may practice them but they are to remain a secret from your partner.

          I will contact with venue staff and suppliers as required to make sure that I have all the information that I need, to be able to be fully prepared and also bring all the right equipment on the day.

          Lastly once the final ceremony is locked in,  I will print a special copy of the ceremony and your vows for you to keep on the day.

Declaration and Rehearsal or logistics meeting

During this meeting it is preferable is your bridal party is present, this includes the individual you have chosen to walk you down the aisle if you have chosen someone to do so.

We will go through every aspect of the ceremony including the layout and vision for the day and the role of the party, from walking down the aisle, to standing at the alter and the signing of the document.

This time is also a great opportunity for the bridal party to ask as many questions as they like and to practice their role prior to the big day.

During this meeting I will also take the bride and groom aside and proof all the certificates for the wedding day. We will also discuss, proof and sign off on the declaration of no legal impediment to marry at this point.

Your Wedding Day

The big day has finally arrived!

On the day of your wedding I arrive at least an hour before the ceremony. I will set up the signing area (if one is not already supplied) and ensure all my equipment is tested and in working order for the venue and crowd size.

Once the guests start arriving if I am charged with music this will begin.

I will meet with the groom party and ensure they are all ready, the rings are present and they remember all their duties.

When the bridal party arrives I meet with them and ensure they too remember their duties, I then make sure the two parties to the marriage are both comfortable and ready to go. I will not start a wedding until both of these individuals are ready.

I conduct the ceremony including the signing of the certificates and the bride and groom walk back down the aisle to be congratulated by there guests and then head out for photos/to there reception.

After the ceremony, I congratulate you and grab a quick photo if I can. I hand your decorative certificate, your ceremony and vows to a designated person (as nominated by yourselves). I then discreetly pack my equipment and sneak out.

Sending your Paperwork to BDM

As per guidelines, your paperwork consisting of your certificate, NOIM and Declaration are all collated and submitted through BDM online as well as the original documents sent by registered post to BDM for registration.

For my records I also take a scanned copy of all these documents and a photocopy. I complete all my documentation to complete your electronic and paper records which I maintain.

Post Wedding Support

In the weeks following the wedding you will receive an email from me to let you know that your documents have been sent through to BDM for registration. As part of this email I will also send you the information on how you can apply for your marriage certificate which you will need to be able to change your name. I also attach a document that I have created which will guide you regarding the documents that you need to change your name on and the order, if you choose to do so.

 

Other bits and pieces – Feeling the love along the way:

Constant Contact and Support

I am available nearly 24/7, the longest my client has waited for a response in their inquiry has been 6 hours due to a wedding being out of reception range. I pride myself on being available for my clients when they need me.

I also have a range of information ranging from, guides, the inspirational USB and new blogs that include the latest information that is constantly being update and are available to all my clients. My blogs are available to anyone who wishes to visit my website.

Recommendations

Being a member of such a wide and loving community I can provide a number of recommendations of suppliers if you are struggling to find someone to fit with your vision and dreams.

Vow Writing / Assisting with Vow Writing

Some clients have a lot of trouble writing their vows. I do provide my clients with a  vow inspiration guide to help them work through writing their own vows. However I also offer a range of other options to ensure that your vows are truly what you would like them to be.

          You can write your own vows and send them to me. I will simply add the legal wording in and proof it to make sure it flows

          You can write down as many different thoughts that you have and that you would like to include in your vows and send it through to myself. I can write you a few different options and we can continue this process until we have something which you are happy and proud to read.

          We can also create a time where we can meet and have a one on one workshop to help throw around ideas and help you craft exactly what you would like. Sometime you just need someone to talk it through with

          If you are really stuck you can leave it in my hands and I can send you some options to choose from.

Whatever writing level you are comfortable with, we can work together to achieve the best possible outcome for your day.

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