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ASK AN EXPERT: Chris Johnson

June 9, 2017

Chris, tell us about yourself! How long have you been a celebrant & what made you want to become one?

I’ve been a celebrant for about a year and a half now. Time flies when you are doing something you love! There was a combination of reasons that led me into this. I was excited to work for myself, and build a business that would provide flexibility and variety to life. I do this on top of my full time job, so while it can be a juggle, it means that what can sometimes feel like a daily grind (I know I’m not alone here) can be made less of a ‘grind’ knowing that I have something new and exciting to do later, a couple to meet, and potential for personal and professional growth. I’m also a bit of a softie, and love meeting new and diverse people. It’s such an honour to be involved in someone’s wedding, especially as the person conducting the ceremony. You are tasked with telling the story of their lives, their dreams for the future and verbalising their love (usually in under half an hour). It’s awesome! To always meet new people, see them happy and excited about the next phase of life is pretty cool.

 

What is the best thing about being a celebrant?

Photo bombing everyone’s wedding photos!

Mostly it’s being involved in a couple’s life, feeling welcome as a part of their important day and taking the time to listen to, and value, their story and dreams, and then weave it into a ceremony for their closest friends and family. A pretty unique job I’d say.

 

 

How far in advance should you book in your celebrant?

As soon as you know your wedding date and time, you should book in your celebrant. If you know your date and time that most likely means you have locked down your ceremony venue (sometimes that’s the same place as the reception, sometimes not). Celebrants book out faster than you may expect, and while they can sometimes fit in more than one wedding a day, you don’t want to be disappointed by researching and chatting with a celebrant that you really end up connecting with, only to find out they are booked out. So basically – ASAP!

 

What are the current ceremony trends?

I would say that wedding ceremonies are filled with more and more fun, relaxed vibes and personality. Traditional ceremonies, often about the significance of marriage and quite serious, are now interlaced with jokes and joy, as couples want the ceremony to reflect themselves. That being said, I am seeing a rise in popularity of more unique traditions, like hand-tying ceremonies and other symbolic gestures that also help demonstrate the distinctiveness of the couple.

 

What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen happen on the job?

The most unpredictable thing you can have in a wedding is a small child, or an animal. They can be so cute, but also the biggest wildcard. The great thing is that even when they don’t go to plan, it’s funny and everyone enjoys it. I loved watching a funny little girl, about 3 (who clearly didn’t appreciate my ceremony), decide that the aisle was a perfect spot to make a nap area for her and her bear, and settle herself down for a rest. I am honestly not sure if anyone heard what I said, or they just watched her performance. Cute as!

 

CJ x

 

 

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