A few people I know who have got engaged recently (congrats guys!) have asked me the same question: How did we choose a celebrant?
Firstly, you (generally) have to have a date and location before you choose a celebrant. This can vary, but the main reason is because you can't ask if someone is available on your wedding day if you don't know where and when it is.
Some celebrants may travel, but generally you'll choose one either close to where you live or close to the venue location.
Once we'd picked our date and venue, we started talking amongst our family, just casually, if anyone knew someone who was a celebrant.
Mr Greer's little brother knew someone who was perfect for us - a local school principal who knows the community we got married in and my in-laws, etc.
We really liked this link as we knew it would be such a personal day and the thought of a stranger standing up there and talking about us just sat a bit weird. I also (and I don't know WHY?) really wanted a woman celebrant so it worked out well for us.
When you don't know anyone who could be your celebrant, start asking around. Word of mouth recommendations are often always the best.
Was there a wedding you've been to where you liked the celebrant? Have your friends and family used anyone who would suit?
There are also official ways of finding a celebrant. Unlike on F.R.I.E.N.D.S, you can't go online like Joey Tribbiani and get 'ordained' to become a celebrant. In fact the whole process is a bit of a mish - blog readers will remember my attempt to come a celebrant (I'm going to try again by the way, and I need letters of support from people who want me to marry them, so if this is you, email me here. I'm serious!).
So getting someone official from The Gazette means you'll be getting someone who has the right credentials so you'll 'officially' be married! (That's quite crucial).
There's also a list of celebrants in the YellowPages (*Snort!* remember those?).
Things to take into consideration:
Male or female celebrant - do you prefer one or the other or are you not fussed? Make sure you ask your partner too! Sometimes you just 'assume' they'll want the same as you, but don't ever assume!
Style - does the celebrant have a certain thing they do at every wedding (i.e release butterflies, dress up like a pirate, I dunno!) that you're not in to? Worth asking!
Religion - does the celebrant need to represent or have knowledge in certain religions or customs?
Experience - Most celebrants will show you copies of previous ceremonies that they've done and/or photos too. This is great for getting an idea at how they like to conduct their ceremonies.
Vibe - does this person 'fit' into your wedding? Do you get on with them and generally like them?
Look - One thing which is often overlooked and is a completely and utterly superficial - do you like the look of the celebrant? What I mean by this is that you're going to be photographed a LOT on your wedding, especially when you're saying your vows and going in for the big kiss. Think of what the face in the background is going to look like! (p.s. our celebrant was lovely looking! I love how she genuinely was so happy for us and laughing along at our little things we did!)
Cost - According to this, celebrants charge between $350-850 for their services. Some don't charge at all or are on a koha system and just "do it for the love", naaaw. There are no 'set' fees though, so make sure you check with your celebrant! You don't want another 'surprise' bill!
How did you or do you plan on choosing your celebrant? Any advice, ideas or tips?
You can also email Greer here and share your wedding woes, feedback or questions