The Marriage Celebrant’s Role: Step 2: Writing the Celebrant
The celebrant’s role
Most of the celebrant’s role happens behind the scenes, with wedding guests only seeing that half an hour of ceremony time.
The celebrant’s role can be broken down into four categories:
2/ Writing the ceremony
3/ The rehearsal
4/ The ceremony
Today, I’ll tell you a little more about Step 2: Writing the Ceremony
When do I start writing the ceremony? Whenever you are ready to send me your choices. Sometimes this is a year before the wedding, and other times it might be a month before the wedding. But I like this to be an unhurried process, so the you have time to read the first draft and let it settle. Probably the ideal time to start writing the first draft would be three to six months before the wedding.
What kind of input is needed to write the ceremony? I do like to have some contribution from you in order to make the ceremony more personalised to the two of you. But this shouldn’t feel like homework. And not everyone wants to have a personalised ceremony – some are happy with something more standard.
Where do clients find information for their ceremony? My resources handout has lots of suggestions, ideas, and vow samples. You can choose from three ways of creating the ceremony:
1/ let me create the ceremony for you without needing to provide input
2/ choose options from the resources folder. Eg #3 for the asking, #7 for the vows, #2 for the wedding ring exchange
3/ draw inspiration from the samples to create your own vows
How long does it take to write a marriage ceremony? On average, probably one to two hours would have the first draft covered.
How many edits can couples make? As many as you like. We can email back and forth until the ceremony is just the way you want it. Some couples are satisfied with the first draft – no changes required. Others will add ideas or change things around – that’s no problem!
The story of you is my favourite part of the ceremony. I love this to be a little sweet and a little funny – the kind of humour that will have your Nanna chuckling. From a questionnaire, I’ll gather together your story points and weave them into a wedding highlight.
Sometimes as I’m writing, the words pour out of my brain, and I can scarcely type fast enough. At other times, I’ll sit and agonise over a word or phrase for ten minutes, right clicking through the options of synonyms and not finding the one which is quite right.
As inspiration, I like to listen to the songs which you’ve chosen for the ceremony as I write – it helps to create the atmosphere that we’re aiming for.
There are some celebrants who outsource the writing of their ceremonies, but this is one of my favourite steps in the wedding process, and I often find myself smiling to myself as I write and feel quite accomplished when I receive a grateful reply from the couple -now they can actually visualise their ceremony coming together.