All you need is love and … here’s what a saturday looks like for a celebrant.
So generally Saturday’s are game days for me. That is wedding day for most couples and while a bride is getting herself made up and sipping champagne, and a groom and his boys may be sneaking in a round of golf, this is a run down on how I prepare.
Every Saturday morning starts with a 6.30 session at the gym.
The best celebrants are fuelled by coffee.
Checking that everything is sorted, filling in the date and address of the venue, making sure that I have everything, and then I pack it all into an envelope ready for the ceremony. Checking that I have my pen, incase the couple don’t have a special one they want to use for the signing of the licence.
I always practice every ceremony 4-5 times, running through the entire ceremony, paying special attention to timing, and jokes and pronounication of names. Doing this means that I feel completely comfortable with the ceremony. I also practice with the microphone to make sure I can juggle it and the folder, and rings etc.
Testing the tools
Testing the public address system, making sure it’s charged up, making sure the volume is set correctly (it needs to be changed between inside and outside) checking the batteries in the cordless microphone, running all the songs for the wedding through to make sure the volume is correct and songs are all in the right order on the playlist.
Packing the car
The car gets packed up, with everything I’m going to take. PA System, bag of essentials (paperwork, microphone, water bottle, lollipops etc) The car always gets a bit of a wash the day of the wedding, it is my mobile business card after all.
I pretty much always wear black to weddings. When I meet with a couple in the planning stages I always ask what colour theme they are going with, this determines what I will wear. I wear black so that I don’t stand out, the attention needs to be on the bride and the bridesmaids. If the bridesmaids are wearing black then I will wear another dark colour so I don’t look like I’m part of the bridal party.
Hair and Make-Up
Not the same at the bridal party, but it’s important that I look my best, it is after all a wedding and I will be in a few of the couples wedding photos. I also make sure my toe nails are painted, because I nearly always wear open toed shoes. It’s really important to me that I look my best.
On my way
So after a double check that everything I need is loaded into the car. I’m on my way. I always arrive at least 45 mins before the service. I recommend to the groom and his boys that he arrive at the same sort of time, because guests will always arrive early to a wedding, and it’s nice for him to be there early to greet his guests and make sure everything is spot on. I set up my PA, make sure everything is working properly, brief the MC on using the music system during the ceremony. I set up the licence, on the table where it will be signed, checking to see if the couple needs my pen or they have their own. Then it’s time to check with the groom to see if he needs help with anything, quite often I’m pinning on buttonholes, making sure all the boys look great. I usually get a quick word with the photographer when they arrive to check if they need anything, and to brief them if anything special is happening during the ceremony, sand ceremony, candle of rememberance etc.
Sorry no photos of the ceremony, it was an unplugged ceremony, so I asked the guests to refrain from taking photos during the ceremony.
After the ceremony
After the ceremony the photographer normally tries to get a group shot of all the guests, this is when I make sure all the paperwork is signed correctly, I place the couple’s copy of marriage licence into an envelope containing a copy of their ceremony and the cards that they use when they recite their wedding vows (as a keepsake of the day). I then find the MC and give them this package to keep safe for the day, to give to the couple the next day. I pack everything up, and then have a little mingle with the guests, and go and find the couple to congratulate them and give them a quick hug. I then make my exit, usually I get asked if I want to stay for a drink, but I think that a couple should celebrate with their family and friends, so I quietly leave. Happy that I was able to share a couples special day with them. It truly is a privilege, and I thank my lucky stars every time that I get to do this amazing job.
Mailing the paperwork
The next day the paperwork is placed in the mail box, on it’s way to Wellington, to make the marriage official. I always message the couple the next day to congatulate them to let them know their paperwork has been mailed and to make sure they are happy with everything.
So there’s quite a lot of preparation for me on a wedding day, alot of behind the scenes work that needs to be done to ensure that everything goes off without a hitch.