Weddings are celebrations and they’re incredibly important occasions. They should be happy and serious. A little more happy than serious, but not too frivolous. Laughter and tears. I’m forever striving to get that perfect balance between entertainment and solemnity. And I get pretty close. At the end of one of my ceremonies the guests will have been well entertained and they’ll have also been made patently aware of why they’re there. They need to know that the couple aren’t fooling around. They need to know that the couple couldn’t be more serious about what they’re doing. That’s what it’s all about.
I’ve been a registered celebrant since December ’03 and I know what I’m doing now. I’ve worked out now what works and what doesn’t. Yet I haven’t been doing the job long enough to be jack of it. I still get a big kick out of doing weddings – the theatre, the emotion and dealing with people when they’re so incredibly happy.
A good ceremony will set the mood for a walloping good party. That’s my job.
I like to personalise weddings by listening to couples’ stories and introducing the wedding accordingly, focussing on the people rather than the institution. Marriage means different things to different people, you don’t want to listen to me preach. Churches are available if you want that.
I do funerals too, no preaching – focussing on the life of the recently deceased.
There are new ways of doing weddings and funerals. Freed up from the constraints of religious practice and tradition I’m able to conduct ceremonies in a way that reflects how we live.