INSPIRATION February 22, 2019

The Hitched List: 5 Celebrants guaranteed to make your wedding ceremony all kinds of awesome

AM Marriage Celebrant
Andrew Michael

Photo: Wanderer and the Wild.

How would you describe your style?
My style is pretty unique in that I’m cool, calm and relaxed when it comes to telling a love story and being surrounded by emotion BUT I give a lot of positive energy and confidence to couples and encourage them to stay true to themselves, to try to relax and not sweat the small things. I try to get my couples to stay focused on their own wedding goals and ceremony style so they can just be themselves which helps me deliver a ceremony which best represents them as a couple.

How do you connect with your couples? 
Great question. In person with real life communication and interactions. The best way to connect with someone is by being in their presence, hearing them speak, looking at them and actively taking in what they say, how they say it and engaging with them. It’s also important that the couple hear me speak too, how I respond to them and experience how they feel with me. After all, I am the guy who is connecting with their guests, setting the tone and bringing their story to life in front of their nearest and dearest. It’s super important that I feel connected to the couple too so I can give them an authentic and memorable experience. I also give my couples a pretty cool questionnaire to fill out and complete so I get to hear about their history, their life, their journey and what makes them so in love and complete!

Do you write the ceremony wording with your couples?
Not with them, but I use the responses to their questionnaire, email, Skype and phone communication to really get an understanding  of the couple so I get to know their journey together and whats important to them, and how they want to get married. The words and ceremony style are all written about the couple to the couple and my delivery and pitch is gauged on the vibe they want for their wedding. Every ceremony is different which means my script is and that’s is why I love my job so much!

Do you provide all equipment?
YEP! 100% – Wireless PA + mic with back up power lead + batteries in case…

Is your equipment battery operated or do you require power?
Battery (I can use power too if needed).

Are you happy for music to be played through your PA?
100% – I often cue the music so the timing is spot on when the bride is about to walk down that aisle (if there’s no live musician).

Do you charge travel fees?
No – I live at Casuarina, and my fee includes travel.

Do you do multiple weddings on one day?
Yes, if the timing is right. Sometimes I do sunrise elopements, lunchtime, evening OR sunset ceremonies. If the time allows it and I can do two ceremonies in one day.

Celebrant Lady Love
Annie Molenaar

Photo: Figtree Pictures.

How would you describe your style?
Warm, relaxed, fun, and genuine. I like to make people laugh and I like help my couples and their guests relax into the ceremony so that it feels like an authentic, naturally unfolding conversation, rather than a staged production.

How do you connect with your couples? 
Whenever possible, I simply spend time with them. Obviously this isn’t always possible as some of my couples live in other states/countries so, in those situations I organise FaceTime/Skype meetings with them. My favourite part about this entire process is finding out who my couples are, how they met and fell in love, as well as all of the other little quirks that exist between them… and then using this info to write their story.

Do you write the ceremony wording with your couples?
In a way, I guess I do. I mean, everything I write into their ceremony has essentially come from them. Throughout our conversations I take notes, and I also get my couples to fill out a questionnaire, then I cherry pick the very best parts and weave it all together to write their story. This becomes the main body of the ceremony so, I think it’s fair to say that my ceremonies are co-constructed and fairly nontraditional. I still use pillars of tradition – exchanging rings, the first kiss, etc. – but I really encourage couples to put their own stamp on things and create their own traditions too.

Do you provide all equipment?
I provide everything you need to get married which is essentially me and the legal paperwork. I also have a high quality PA system that I bring along so everyone can hear what’s going on.

Is your equipment battery operated or do you require power?
It’s battery operated! Can/does go/run anywhere and everywhere!

Are you happy for music to be played through your PA?
Yes, totally fine. I even create playlists for my couples and control the music myself so they can totally relax and know that I got this.

Do you charge travel fees?
Not within the Tweed/Gold Coast region. But anywhere outside of my home turf does incur a fee. If you’re unsure, shoot me an email. I’m always happy to supply a travel quote.

Do you do multiple weddings on one day?
On the rare occasion, yes I do. But only if there is ample time between the two and they are close enough in proximity. For example, I’m happy to do a sunrise ceremony on the Gold Coast then an afternoon ceremony in Byron.

Married by Josh
Josh Withers

Photo: The Elopement Collective.

How would you describe your style?
I’m an honest and real personality who creates fun and meaningful ceremonies, void of BS and tradition, jam packed with purpose and joy.

How do you connect with your couples?
Over coffee, beer, stories and food. I’m a human, my couples are human, and their ceremony is a reflection of their relationship and my craftsmanship, so I just spend time with you. Then when it comes to your wedding I talk about you and your marriage like we’re old friends, not because I’m a good actor (I’m not) but because I actually know you and care about your marriage.

Do you write the ceremony wording with your couples?
Most celebrants write a ceremony script, ask the couple to check it, then just read it back to them on their wedding day. To me, that seems weird. It’s like when I catch up with elderly family and they recount the last month’s of my Facebook posts back to me. Instead, I get to know my couples, learn about them, their family, relationship, and on their wedding day I talk with them and their crowd about their marriage. It’s an inclusive, enjoyable, fun, and meaningful ceremony experience and it’s what makes me different. If you’d like someone to read a script to you and your closest friends and family about how you met, I’m not the celebrant for you.

Do you provide all equipment?
I provide everything I need to be your celebrant, it’s kind of my job! I hear about some celebrants not thinking they need a microphone and PA system because their voice is loud enough, and I’m sure if you asked the people at the back of the ceremony they would disagree.

Is your equipment battery operated or do you require power?
100% of my audio gear is wireless and battery operated, at the ceremony, and even at the reception and when I’m DJ’ing. I use quality Bose and Sennheiser professional audio equipment.

Are you happy for music to be played through your PA?
I am totally okay with it, in fact I encourage it. Most portable PA systems are very quiet so most bands and DJ’s hook into my gear for ceremonies.

Do you charge travel fees?
I don’t charge a fee for travelling sake, but if it costs me to travel then I do ask those costs be covered. Things like flights, accommodation, rental cars, whisky tasting tours. Okay, maybe not the whisky.

Do you do multiple weddings on one day?
I generally don’t do more than one wedding on a day, but this year for example there are two days where I am because the timing works out and the couples really wanted me to be their celebrant. Being your celebrant is my number one priority behind Britt and Luna so I like to dedicate my day to being an awesome celebrant at your wedding.

Modern Love Ceremonies
Cara Gallagher

How would you describe your style? Relaxed, natural, authentic, heartfelt, funny and fun.

How do you connect with your couples? I connect with my couples by having a chat. Where possible, I catch up with my couples for a one hour meeting to plan the ceremony, and at that meeting I have a series of very simple questions I ask (how did you meet, will you have a bridal party, is there a live musician etc).  The questions are all simple to answer, I don’t put people on the spot and ask, “what’s the best thing your partner does…?”.  I’m not great at answering emotional questions off the cuff, so I don’t put other people in that position!  I collect all my logistical information which gives me a very clear idea of the type of ceremony they want, and then I go away and write the first draft and then I set some task for them to get some emotional content which gets added in later.

Do you write the ceremony wording with your couples? Yes. I write the ceremony, send them a draft and we edit together.

Do you provide all equipment? I provide a PA and a mic which suits an outdoor ceremony for at least 130. Larger weddings need to supply their own PA.

Is your equipment battery operated or do you require power? Battery.

Are you happy for music to be played through your PA? Yes.

Do you charge travel fees? I generally only perform ceremonies in Byron Bay. Travel fees are calculated per mileage if I do take on a wedding outside of Byron.

Do you do multiple weddings on one day? Yes. But not often, as I don’t like to. I always negotiate with the couple who booked first if I do.

Life Celebrations
Chiquita Mitchell

How would you describe your style? My style is warm, friendly and adaptable to my couples ceremony preferences.

How do you connect with your couples? Initial meeting is over Skype or in person, which is a great way for the couple to feel whether I am right for them and vice versa!  A second meeting is at rehearsal stage and then again of course on the day of the wedding.  Unlimited phone and email conversations happen to ensure any questions can be answered quickly.

Do you write the ceremony wording with your couples? I gather information just by spending time at the initial planning meeting.  I don’t offer ceremonies that are pre-written – I develop a bespoke ceremony for each couple after meeting with them to ensure it reflects their personality and relationship.

Do you provide all equipment? A PA system, stand, wireless microphone, Swarovsky crystal signing pen and cable to connect ceremony music is all provided.  A wind sock is also always used to ensure the PA system is loud and clear no matter the weather or wind!

Is your equipment battery operated or do you require power? Battery operated – no need for leads and my PA will work anywhere, even on the beach.  The microphone is fitted with a wind sock to ensure the PA system is loud and clear no matter the weather or wind!

Are you happy for music to be played through your PA? Yes, of course!

Do you charge travel fees? No.

Do you do multiple weddings on one day? Only on the odd occasion.  For example a sunrise wedding and then a 3pm wedding on the same day would be something I would consider.  Otherwise I no longer accept a second wedding if I am booked for a date.

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