Choosing your wedding celebrant

One of standup comedian Jerry Seinfeld’s most famous jokes goes like this:

DavidClossv2One of standup comedian Jerry Seinfeld’s most famous jokes goes like this:

“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy!”

It certainly rings true for the majority of us who find taking the stage in front of a crowd a daunting prospect.

On no other occasion are you more in the spotlight though than on your wedding day. You’re photographed, take to the dance floor with your bride or groom for the first dance and most nerve-racking of all – recite your vows as your guests look on raptly.

This is why having a celebrant who understands your nervousness, can help put you at ease and is a public speaking pro is a must!

Authorised marriage celebrant David Closs has been a public speaker for over 34 years and has been a wedding celebrant for the past five.

For couples penning their own vows – a practice which has become much more common – a celebrant that can help guide you through the process is invaluable.

Here, David shares some of his sage advice for brides- and grooms-to-be.

What are some of the things couples should consider when they’re choosing a marriage celebrant?

  • Public speaking ability
  • Willingness to empower and support the couple
  • Appropriate personal presentation
  • Approachability and personality
  • Reputation and testimonials

How can a bride and groom maximise their time spent when meeting with their marriage celebrant?

Make a list of what you want and what questions to ask. Not sure what to ask? Talk to your friends to get advice. Attend others weddings and decide what does and does not appeal about the celebrants you see. Then ask the celebrant.

Do you recommend couples write their own vows?

Absolutely. Some couples struggle to find the right words. I offer to take the time to work with them individually or as a couple to help find the words that are meaningful and appropriate for the couple.

What’s your advice for couples that choose to do so?

Keep your vows short and concise. Your wedding vows are very personal and heartfelt. If you have a lot to read out, you may find yourself choking with emotion halfway through. I make things as easy as possible for you and there are a number of ways you can express your love for each other without making things hard for yourselves.

What is your favourite part about your job?

I like people. Being a catalyst that creates something that is wonderful for each couple is my reward for what I do. This day is pivotal in their lives and my job is to ensure this day is memorable for all the right reasons.

What advice would you give to brides and grooms to ensure their wedding day runs more smoothly?

Please don’t try and do this all on your own. Treat this day as your personal project and involve your bridal party (and maybe your family) in every way. You are the team leaders and your bridesmaids and groomsmen are your team. They aren’t just there to help you look good on the day. Get together over a few wines. Brainstorm ideas and give them jobs to do and make sure they do them. Do everything early. By one week prior to the wedding it should be all done, so you can relax, have fun and look forward to the best day of your lives.

Any other extra tips?

Your wedding day is something that most of you will have looked forward to for a long time. Make sure that in everyway and at every stage, you both have ownership over it. Your wedding should not be about traditions or other people’s expectations. It should be about the two of you and the start of an amazing, exciting journey together for the rest of your lives.

My job is to help you create the day you want as well as to meet the legal requirements.

For a limited time, readers of Bride Tasmania will receive a 5% discount off the base price when booking David as their celebrant. Visit his website here or follow him on Facebook here.
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