So, you’ve decided on having a Celebrant to perform your ceremony. Where do you go first? What do you need to know?
In the UK there is no requirement for formal training to become a practising Celebrant. This will probably change as the use of Celebrants in the UK increases, as it is rapidly doing!
Your first question I would suggest should therefore be “Who did you train with?”. I trained with The UK Society of Celebrants and received first class tuition. This resulted in a Diploma and a membership card being issued. My advice, no training? No booking.
How busy is your chosen Celebrant? A good indication is that they are very busy and booked well in advance. Hopefully not too busy to fit you in though. Book your Celebrant at the same time that you book your venue and other professional services.
So where do you find your Celebrant? If you search the Internet with something like “(your town) celebrant” you should get some results. Many of the better Celebrant training companies have directories of Celebrants to make it easier for you to find one. Ask family, friends and colleagues, they may have used a Celebrant’s services and be able to recommend someone.
Once you have made contact get to meet the Celebrant face to face. You may get an impression over the phone or the Internet but meeting in person is always preferable. Skype or a similar video calling facility may be a suitable alternative if distance is an issue.
As I mentioned earlier there are Celebrants and there are Celebrants. Doctors, Dentists, Builders, Plumbers. you name the trade or profession, there are good and bad in all of them, Celebrants are no different.
Some Celebrants do the job as a ‘filler’ and work full time in an office or factory. Will they give you the time and attention you need? Some are not formally trained. Will they be up for the job? Very often these two scenarios are found together.
You need a Celebrant who is trained, focused on the job and prepared and able to meticulously plan and produce your event faultlessly.
They will help ensure your ceremony is personal, well planned and will have considered things all options and eventualities.
Even though a ceremony can be short, there are many aspects to consider which a professional and experienced Celebrant will make sure are covered.
Don’t be afraid to ask how many ceremonies your Celebrant has done. If they seem unsure of things or aren’t very helpful you may want to meet with some other Celebrants before making your decision!
Some specialise in Weddings. Namings and Renewal of Vows Usually referred to as Family Celebrancy. Other specialise in Funeral Celebrancy.
Some, like myself are training in both family and funeral Celebrancy and can cover all ceremonies.
If you don’t like the Celebrant you have contacted, then don’t book them. There are enough around to give you a choice and it is critical that you enjoy a close and pleasant professional relationship. You will be working very closely together so you need to get on.
Most Celebrants will charge a fee for their services in preparing and presenting your ceremony. The prices they charge will vary according to their experience and professionalism. The old saying “you pay for what you get” can be very true in the case of Celebrants and you may want to consider putting aside a reasonable budget to make sure you get the right person. When talking about price, make sure you know the full cost including any extras you choose.
Having the right Celebrant will help ensure your ceremony will go smoothly and become a memorable day whatever the occasion, happy or sad.
My advice? Book a full time, professionally trained one.