A Day in the Life of The Hunter Celebrant
Although celebrants all have the same job, we are all completely different and do things differently. Here is a day in my shoes as a marriage celebrant.
The day has arrived and a lucky couple is getting married today. I have a little remedy for when I first wake up the on day of a wedding, I will have a glass of warm water with a little bit of honey. This relaxes my throat and ensures my voice is good to go for the ceremony.
Next I double check that all the paperwork is in order for later today. I check that my brief case is packed and ready to go, I have the signing table and chair if needed and make sure that all is set to go with my PA system if required.
I am not one to look at the weather in advance as it is out of my control and the couple getting married will still get married rain, hail or shine. Of course we hope for a beautiful day. However on the day I’m performing a wedding I will have a quick check to see what the weather has in stall for us so I can be prepared for plan B if need be.
Just before lunch time I’ll review your ceremony. This is to make sure that I’m happy that it’s going to be beautiful and memorable. There are days where I may change a little bit of it so I know it’s perfect.
Well it’s time for lunch because we don’t want the Celebrant passing out do we. I always tell my couples make sure they have something to eat and drink during the day. Especially if we are expecting hot weather.
Just after lunch I make sure my suit is just right and I pack up the car ready to make my way to the ceremony. Wouldn’t be a good look if I was wearing thongs (UNLESS you have asked me to). My son Kyan who is 3 asks, “Daddy go to work”? Yes little man, daddy is off to work. He is a little sad but then asks, “Daddy do wedding”? I think I have a little celebrant in the making.
Well it’s time to head off to the ceremony. I arrive at the venue about 30 to 40min before the ceremony is scheduled to start. This is to ensure I’m there on time and I can have a look over the venue to make sure all is good to go.
Upon arriving at the venue, I find the wedding coordinator and introduce myself. If it’s a regular venue we like to catch up while getting things ready for the ceremony. It’s really important for me to have a positive and professional relationship with venue coordinators. After all we work together to make sure everything is how the Bride and Groom has asked.
I have a look around at the area and environment of the ceremony location to check it’s clean, tidy and looks beautiful. At this time there is generally no guest’s nor has the groom and groomsmen arrived so I also take the opportunity to do a sound check and test the music, making sure everyone at your wedding will be able to hear.
Now it’s time to zone into celebrant mode and start reflecting on the couple and their ceremony. I prepare the paper work on the table, test the pen works and double check everything is in order again. I have a little skim read over the ceremony one last time.
Photographer and other suppliers start arriving. We have a little catch up and I make sure they know exactly what is going to happen in the ceremony and we work out a game plan. It’s so vital for all your wedding suppliers to work together.
The groom and his lads have arrived. I take a brief moment with the Groom to ensure he is ok and breathing. We have a little catch up, a laugh and I check to see if there is anything I can do for him.
Well we are getting close as guests are starting to arrive. No matter where the ceremony is I love to welcome and greet the guests on arrival and be there on hand to help if need be. I like to introduce myself to immediate family and see if I can do anything for them. If it’s a hot day I will also make sure any elderly people are cool and they are comfortable.
At this stage I gauge how the groom is going with all the family and friends wanting to talk to him. Sometimes it make’s people more nervous. If all is ok I leave him be, if he needs a little time out I’ll take him and the boys a side to have a chat and the photographer will generally take some photos.
I like to take a couple of minutes to myself about now to gather my thoughts and to appreciate what is about to happen. I’m thankful for having the privilege to be part of a special celebration.
Well it’s about 5 to 10 minutes before the beautiful Bride is due to arrive. At this point I start asking guests to take a seat. This takes a little while as they love to catch up with people they may not have seen for a little while. Once everyone is ready, I set the boys up and again make sure the Groom is ok and ready to marry the love of his life. At this time we have a little joke and chat. I find this will help with relaxing the Groom.
The venue coordinator has let me know the Bride has arrived. I advise the guests that the bridal party has arrived and we will be starting shortly, I ask guests to turn their phones on to silent. At this stage I will also advise guests if the wedding is an unplugged wedding or whether we have a ban on social media. This is really important, after all a professional has been paid to capture all the magic moments. If it’s an unplugged wedding I am very mindful and ask and advise in a polite way.
I head off to see the bride and WOW, such an amazing moment seeing the bride all ready and excited or nervous. I check to see how the Bride is feeling and make sure there are no last minute questions. I help set up the bridal party and give last minute instructions to the bridal party.
Once all is ready I head back and start the music. If there is live music we will have already sorted the signals to start.
The Music starts and very soon two hearts will become one.
At this time while the bridal party is walking in, I check to make sure the Groom has a perfect view for that magic moment. I now make sure that the bridesmaids are in their right places and they are ok. Now it’s time for the Bride entry. I take a step to the side and what a memorable moment it is. The Bride and Groom lock eyes, and there is tears, smiles and giggles. I’m not too far away, just in case the groom forgets to head forward to meet the Bride and shakes hands with dad or whomever is giving the bride away.
The music is still playing and we have the Bride and Groom in place, we make sure the dress is fixed and I take care of the bride’s bouquet with the Maid of Honour. I have a quick chat with the couple and I have a couple of little tricks up my sleeve to make sure that the Bride and Groom are relaxed and feel comfortable as the music is faded out.
Now for the moment everyone is waiting for. I now have the great honour of marrying the Bride and Groom with their I Do’s. Tomorrow can bring the greatest of joys, but today is the day where it all starts. I pronounce the couple as husband and wife. WHAT A MOMENT…..Congratulations.
Some time is taken to sign the register, the Bride and Groom signs, the witnesses sign and I will sign. I now invite your photographer to take some photos if they need to. While this is happening some music is playing in the background. You can now breathe and enjoy each other as husband and wife.
I am now ready to introduce the newlyweds to their family and friends as MR and Mrs……….the Bride and Groom walk out and begin the next chapter of their lives. I guide the bridal party out behind the newly Mr and Mrs and then invite family and friends to also head out to show their personal congratulations. Lots of kisses and hugs are had. Everyone is so happy for the special couple.
Well its times to pack up while the couple and guests mingle. Once packed up and ready to go I will check if it’s appropriate to come and congratulate the couple myself and say good bye. Sometimes there are a lots of guests so it might mean ill pop an email off to the couple in a few days’ times. I leave the presentation certificate with the venue coordinator or an immediate family member.
As I am driving home, I reflect on what an amazing job I have. Upon arriving home my little boy Kyan welcomes me home and asks if I have to go back to work. When I tell him I’m finished for the day he is very happy!!!
On the Monday after the wedding, I will ensure that the marriage paper work is finalised and the registration is completed. All paper work is sent to Birth Deaths and Marriages and the lucky couple live happily ever after.
Not everyone has the opportunity to walk in the shoes of a marriage celebrant. But they are wonderful shoes to walk in and I love every day of it.