Your marriage celebrant plays a huge role in your wedding day. As the person who is the first to officially announce you husband and wife, you really want to be sure that you build a good relationship with your marriage celebrant.
When you meet with your potential marriage celebrants, take this list of 10 questions along. Through asking the right questions, you’ll be able to gauge who best fits your preferences.
Are you available on our wedding date?
Seems like an obvious question, we know, but all too often couples get into long discussions with potential marriage celebrants only to find they’re not available on their planned wedding date.
Ask this question before going any further!
What qualifications do you have?
Becoming a marriage celebrant requires certification. First things first, you want to be sure that when your wedding ceremony is over, you are legally married by an official celebrant.
Do take the time to check that your potential marriage celebrant is certified to officiate at weddings in the country in which you are getting married. This is a very significant detail to cover.
How long have you been a marriage celebrant?
A good celebrant will be confident and clearly-spoken but, above all, they’ll know how important your wedding day is to you. The length of time that a celebrant has been performing weddings doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to be the perfect fit for you, but it does give you an indication that they have been tried and tested.
That being said, if you feel an instant connection with an up and coming celebrant, go with your gut instinct – it’s always right!
How many meetings will we need before the wedding?
A professional celebrant will only need about two or three meetings prior to the wedding. If they request any more than that, it may be a sign that they’re not completely confident in their position.
Your first meeting will cover all your burning questions (like these ones here!). After that, you should simply be discussing the finer details of the wedding, working on vows and finalising the day’s timings.
What paperwork is required and when?
Your celebrant should be able to give you all the advice you need on when and where to acquire your marriage license. They should also be responsible for handling this before and after your wedding to keep the document safe. Some celebrants will then send the document on to be officially registered but make sure you get a clear idea of who exactly will be responsible for this part.
Will you give us guidance while writing vows?
Some couples consider writing vows to be one of the most difficult parts of preparing for a wedding. As we’re not all blessed with poetic writing skills, it can be hard for many people to transfer their feelings onto paper.
Your marriage celebrant should provide you with enough guidance to write these yourself. If you don’t feel comfortable writing your own vows, ask your celebrant to write a set that you can share as a couple on the day.
Will you require a rehearsal?
Even for the most laid-back wedding couples, a rehearsal is always a good idea. Chances are, everything will run smoothly and everyone will know where they need to be and when they need to be there.
But, every so often, something you discover in the wedding rehearsal could indicate a potential disaster on the day. Just like you, your marriage celebrant will want a short practice run to ensure everything will go to plan.
Do you have a backup marriage celebrant?
Your marriage celebrant is not super-human. There is always a possibility that they could get sick or be held up on the day. It is vital that you have a backup plan and most celebrants will have one on standby. If not, it will be up to you to have a plan B in place so make sure you ask if you or your celebrant will be responsible for this.
How early will you arrive at the wedding and how long will you stay?
Like all weddings, timing is everything. You need to confirm that your marriage celebrant knows exactly what time the wedding starts so they can be at the altar, alongside the groomsmen, long before the bride arrives.
Ensure your celebrant has a copy of your run sheet. Have them confirm what time they will be at your wedding. As well as this, ask them if they have any other weddings scheduled that same day. If it looks as though they’ll be rushing off to catch the next wedding, perhaps you should consider a difference celebrant. You don’t want your ceremony to feel rushed and your celebrant to disappear moments later.
Will I need to provide a PA system?
Large weddings and outdoor weddings will require a PA system, no matter how loud your marriage celebrant claims they can speak.
Don’t assume that your celebrant will provide a PA system because there’s a possibility they could be assuming the same about you. The last thing you want is to find yourself without something that was so simple to organise, had you just asked.
The importance of your marriage celebrant shouldn’t be overlooked and a fair amount of preparation needs to go into choosing who is right for you. With so many celebrants out there to choose from, ask for recommendations from one of your suppliers who will, no doubt, have seen many celebrants over their time in the wedding industry.
Here at Markovina Vineyard Estate, we have had hundreds of celebrants pass through our venue.
We are happy to suggest some fan-favourites for our future wedding couples.