When trying to find a wedding celebrant for your special day, you probably need to meet with a few to find out about what style of ceremony and types of services they offer. The questions you’ll need to ask your marriage celebrant will vary from couple to couple but there are at least seven basic questions that all couples should ask. Not all marriage celebrants are created equal, which is why you should ask these questions before making an informed decision.
- What Style of Wedding Ceremony Do You Perform?
This is a question that will help you get to know which types of weddings they’ve performed, as well as which types they can perform. Ask them to give you an idea of what styles of ceremonies they’ve done in the past. After you’ve heard more about their experience, you can share your vision for the style of your own wedding. If you’re looking for a more traditional wedding, you may want a celebrant who can fit this style while more relaxed couples may want an easy-going style for their celebrant. Most celebrants can adapt to a certain extent but always ask about this before making your decision.
Gazza: I create a fun, relaxed ceremony for all to enjoy, that surfs the fine line between sentimental and funny. There will be tears, laughter, celebration, and a whole lot of love.
- How Will You Adapt If Things Don’t Go To Plan?
Ask this question to get an idea of how they’ve adapted to things going wrong in the past. From fainting guests to interruptions during the ceremony, a good celebrant will be able to navigate these events and make sure that they don’t disrupt the ceremony. An experienced celebrant will be able to give you a few examples of when things didn’t go as planned and how they managed to be professional, even with these challenges.
Gazza: I am a NIDA graduate and an actor by profession, so warming up a crowd is what I love to do. I can tailor a ceremony to suit any venue or request. I also offer an MC service, if you want to continue the good times into the night. Woo hoo!
- What Equipment Does a Marriage Celebrant Provide?
This may seem like a silly question, but most celebrants should provide their own PA system. This may not always be needed for a small wedding, but make sure to ask in advance. For larger weddings, you want to ensure that there is a PA system available for the ceremony and that it will be in good working order. Most celebrants provide a battery operated PA system with wireless microphone, which can be used for music as well as to capture everything that is said during the ceremony.
Gazza: I will bring a cranking Wireless Professional Bose PA System with wireless Sennheiser microphone and stand. This system is good for 200 people and your videographer is more than welcome to hook into so they can capture everything that is said.
- Can You Help Us With Our Vows?
This question is often asked by couples who are writing their own vows but may understandably be nervous about them. A celebrant may or may not offer these services, or may offer them for an additional fee. Do you want to write your own but aren’t sure where to start? Ask the celebrant for some examples of vows or if they can help you with some guidance. Since they perform multiple ceremonies a year, they can provide expert guidance in this area which can be a big help.
Gazza: Absolutely! I’ll send you some great articles on vow writing, and you can send them to me separately for feedback. I’ll let you know about tone and length, and I’ll even print them off on a nice card for you to have on the day. This looks nicer in your photos than an old napkin from the night before!
- Can We Rehearse The Ceremony?
This will definitely vary with every celebrant. Full-time celebrants usually won’t need a rehearsal but recommend that the couple go through the motions with their bridal party in the space the day before the wedding. Most celebrants don’t offer a rehearsal to reduce travel time and related costs to the couple. Other Celebrants may offer a full rehearsal at the venue or a quick run through at their office.
Gazza: I believe in spontaneity on the day, so I don’t offer a rehearsal. We will prepare everything in the lead up to the day so you feel super confident in whats going to happen. All you have to do is make it to the the venue on the day, and I’ve got the rest covered.
- How Do You Personalise The Ceremony?
A talented wedding celebrant can be a great way to personalize your special day. A tailored or bespoke wedding ceremony will focus on your story, which makes each ceremony unique. Be sure to ask this question, so you don’t end up with a generic ceremony where all the celebrant has done is changed the names in the script. Usually the cheaper the celebrant, the less tailored the ceremony.
Gazza: Every ceremony I do is completely tailored and personalised to the couple. There’s no generic scripts from me. I write your ceremony from the information I gather from our meeting, and a short fun questionnaire I send each member of the couple individually. No two ceremonies are the same, so let’s create your dream ceremony.
- What Happens If The Celebrant Is Sick?
This also is a question you might not think to ask but everyone gets sick after all! Ask them who will stand in for them and if that person has the experience to make sure that there won’t be any problems. The chances of this happening are fairly low but you’ll feel better if you know that there is another person as backup just in case.
Gazza: I am part of a Celebrant Society with over 400 members. If I come down with something, I will find a few like minded celebrants who are available for you to choose from. They will deliver the script we have agreed on, and I will transfer my fee and paperwork to them so there will be no extra cost to you.