Hands down, the most important element of your wedding is your celebrant – I mean, there’s not even a legal marriage without these lovely folks being part of our big day, and I truly believe it’s a very personal decision as to who you go with. The celebrant sets the scene for the day and will be there to help create your dream wedding ceremony, so it’s important to choose someone who is a great fit for you as a couple. With this in mind, we get to know a little more about one of our lovely Melbourne-based marriage celebrants, Katie from Happily Ever After Celebrant Services.
Share with us how you came to become a celebrant?
When I was planning my wedding, I spoke with many different celebrants. I learned what celebrants did and met many celebrants who had different personalities and different ways of creating ceremonies.
I thought, what an amazing job; you get to help people during one of the happiest times of their lives. I knew that it would be a lot of work, becoming and being a celebrant, running your own business, but it was weirdly something I felt drawn to, something that I couldn’t walk away from. I think that this was the job that I was meant to do.
What areas do you service for ceremonies, and what services do you offer?
Love has no boundaries, so why should I? I service Victoria wide and am happy to travel. I am based in the Kurunjang area in the Western Suburbs of Melbourne.
I specialize in weddings and vow renewals and offer other services, including naming ceremonies and life celebrations. All love should be celebrated; I am a firm supporter of marriage equality.
How would you describe your celebrant style?
I believe that all ceremonies should be unique to the couple. I am very laid back, and I would say my writing style is narrative in that I like to tell a couple’s love story, their likes and dislikes, their dreams, their ambitions and above all else, why they truly love each other.
What inspires you when it comes to creating unique vows for your couples?
I have a vow inspiration guide that I provide to all my clients. I believe at this stage; it is at around 11 pages. There is a range of different ways couples can create their vows.
- They can highlight the bits and pieces that they like from my inspiration guide, and I will put them together to create vows.
- Couples can write their own vows or statements that they would like to make in their vows and send them to me for tweaking.
- I can sit with each partner individually and talk them through the creation of vows, get their ideas, and form them as a team.
I love writing vows and am happy to do so, but I always encourage my couples to give it a go first; this ensures that their vows are partly or fully from the heart.
If I create vows for one or both of the partners to the marriage, I have questions called lets to get to know the bride and groom. I use these to help construct the wedding ceremony, but I can also use these to write vows.
What would be your favorite ceremony you have officiated so far, and why?
I have had so many amazing weddings, but I do have to say the Mr. and Mrs. Botha wedding last year pulled at my heartstrings. Lindsay and Debbie are an absolutely stunning couple and have the cutest little son Declan.
Lindsay and Debbie wrote their own vows, and when they spoke them, you could see the love radiating from the words they spoke and their body language.
I also love how they included Declan in the ceremony by having him walk down the aisle and made it incredibly fun but having him walk to ‘If you’re happy and you know it’. The audience got involved, and we clapped along and stamped their feet. It was just truly an incredibly beautiful moment.
Can you provide for us a bit of an indication of price ranges for your packages?
I have packages ranging from $300 to $750.
What advice do you have for couples when they are choosing the perfect celebrant?
Picking a celebrant can be difficult, but there are a few things you can keep in mind to help choose the celebrant that is best for you. The two most important points I would recommend you keep in mind are:
- Have some questions that you would like to ask the celebrant to help understand how they work and what is involved with planning a wedding with them.
- Can you talk to them? Do you feel comfortable? You need to be able to open up to a celebrant; the more information you can give them, the more personalized and detailed your ceremony will be, the more relaxed you will be on the day and the more you will truly trust your celebrant to create the best ceremony.
Do you have a limit of how many ceremonies you perform each month? How far out from a wedding should couples be booking in to have their ceremony performed by you?
I don’t limit how many ceremonies I complete in a month. However, I do limit my ceremonies to one a day, so the whole day is dedicated to one couple.
When you have your date, it is great to start shopping around for a celebrant that meets your needs when booking time frames. The more time you and your celebrant have to create your ceremony and complete the necessary legal paperwork, the better; however, I have developed a great timeline that allows all requirements to be fulfilled within a four-month window.
It is great for all couples to be aware that legally you need to lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage with your celebrant a minimum of 30 days out from your wedding.
So realistically, you can book a celebrant anywhere from 30 days to years away from your wedding. The earlier you book, the more likely your chosen celebrant will have the availability to accommodate.
It is dependent on the time of year your wedding date falls on to my availability, but popular wedding months (the summer months) can book a year in advance in some instances. Never the less it is always worth contacting me to see if your date is available; you never know your luck!
When you’re not holding gorgeous, heartfelt ceremonies, what do you love to spend your time doing?
When I am not conducting weddings, I am watching sci-fi tv; I am a huge Dr. Who fan. I also enjoy cross-stitching and hanging out with my husband and our gorgeous dog Buffy.
I also write, being a published author, contributing to three books in the last two years, as well as writing several blogs which have been featured on wedding directory websites and my website.
For 2018/2019, what sort of trends do you think there will be with weddings?
Trends for 2018/2019. I see a very big influence on eco weddings – recycling or hiring items for weddings, using environmentally friendly products.
I have also seen a trend in small elopement-style weddings followed by a big party.
Photo booths and naked wedding cakes are also peaking in their popularity.