Tips & Advice

As is often said, "If you think hiring a professional is expensive, you should try hiring an amateur."


We truly did not appreciate, until we went through this entire process, the incredibly important/invaluable role of a Celebrant [...]. — Wedding Wire Review of Anita Vaughn, Certified Life-Cycle® Celebrant, Chicago 


When you hire me, you are hiring a Certified Life-Cycle Celebrant: the Lexus of wedding officiants. — Christopher Shelley, Certified Life-Cycle® Celebrant, NYC

 

We got so lucky on our wedding officiant search! I was initially hesitant to contact our guy because he was "expensive," so I contacted two other people I'd found on craigslist (and who were cheaper). The first one stood us up when we were supposed to meet, and then didn't follow up with us until two weeks later — with some lame excuse. The second guy responded to my inquiry email with DJ recommendations (which I didn't ask for) and then proceeded to tell me about his gastrointestinal troubles, amongst other stuff. Pamela commenting on APW 


We went to meet our [Life-Cycle®] Celebrant, Tim, and he talked through some ideas with us.Then he set us homework which was to write why we love each other, the story of how we met and what marriage means to us. With him, from this [homework], we will design our ceremony, which will be personal to us. It's all tailored to what the couple want. Alizon commenting on APW 

This sounds brilliant people! Look into this. Totally the best of both worlds. Yay! — APW editor-in-chief Meg Keene’s comment to Alizon (above) 


It certainly changes everything with regard to wedding planning, totally and completely. Wedding planning too often had almost nothing to do with the act of actually becoming married. I just had no idea what it would mean to go through that ceremony and be married on the other side.

 margiemive commenting on APW 


I can credit a great deal of this to our officiant who at no time pressured us to accept anything into the ceremony that didn't feel organic and real to us. Nothing was forced or fake, and that truly shined through and made the day what it was. Chan commenting on APW 


Can I add one more tip? Write/use a slightly longer ceremony than you think you want. [....] Once you have that foundation, I think we can all agree that the main thing is to find a great officiant. And “great officiant” can mean many things [...]. If writing is not your bag and you have no clue what to do, that’s when you need an experienced officiant to guide you. Something I think is universally applicable: the person who performs your ceremony should be a person you trust to do what you’ve asked them to do (whether they are a hired officiant or a friend/family member); someone who is fully on board with the type of ceremony you want, who will guide you and help you stay present through the service; and someone who will not take this opportunity to promote their own agenda to your captive audience. Pamela (again) commenting on APW 


Officiants

Find the right officiant! Interview a few candidates....

But more than all that, here is what you want to know for sure: do you like your officiant? If you think it’s important to like your photographer, you should multiply that by a thousand for your officiant. Spend some time chatting with them. See if you’re philosophically more-or-less on the same page. See if they are socially comfortable enough to make small talk (because yes, you need this skill if you’re leading a wedding). See if they are a warm person. [....] See if they’ll take the time to get to know you. See if you LIKE them. This person is presiding over an important moment of your life, you should trust them on a gut level. — from “Secular Ceremony Round Up,” A Practical Wedding (APW) 


Today I wanted to tackle the same problem from the opposite direction — how do you create a meaningful and truly secular service? Because let’s be realistic: it can be effing hard to create a secular service from scratch. — Meg Keene, APW editor-in-chief 


As you probably know, the whole point of a humanist wedding is that it gives you the chance to say in your own words why you're getting married, so humanist celebrants don't tell you what to think: instead we ask you to think for yourselves, and the results are always amazing. http://humanistweddingsinscotland.blogspot.com/