Some people crave an office job at a desk with a swivel chair. Others cringe at the thought. If what gets your juices flowing is a fun, outdoorsy, people-centered job, marriage celebrancy is definitely worth considering. Especially if you find attending wedding ceremonies joyful and touching, why not try a career in a profession that contributes to bringing people together on the most important day of their life. You earn for a living by making people happy.
A marriage celebrant is a person authorized by the state to perform matrimonial ceremonies. However, this must not be mixed with the same ceremonies performed by the priests, as the celebrants are not including religious rites into the ceremony they perform. Aside for being authorized to perform weddings, a celebrant can also facilitate other ceremonies, such as renewing vows.
Naturally, you must be keen on finding out as much as possible regarding this line of work. Here is a compilation of the critical things you should know if you want to become a marriage celebrant.
1. You Must Comply With the Law
Marriage laws may vary from one country to the next. It helps to review what local laws dictate before committing to getting marriage celebrancy training. Lucky for you, in this distance learning era, you are able to choose from a variety of options when it comes to obtaining your celebrant authorization. You can choose to undergo the whole course online, combine online via different platforms with classes in person or do the whole course in person. It all depends on your time, location and other preferences.
You can find the different training courses listed here. It might also be essential to have an understanding of marriage laws in other countries if you are interested in officiating marriages across borders. Apart from completing the marriage celebrant course and learning the marriage law, you will have to meet some other criteria, such as to fulfill the necessary paperwork, pay a fee and pass a personality test.
Aside from this, familiarize yourself with the legal requirements to be fulfilled by the wedding couple. Your clients will often rely on you for direction on these as well because you will not be authorized to file papers in their name. Your job, as already mentioned will be to direct them what to do, to finish the paperwork on time.
2. Reputation is Key
Word of mouth can make or break your career. This makes it important to cultivate your brand and reputation diligently. Give each couple your utmost attention and ensure to deliver beyond expectations. This is how you will earn referrals from past and existing clients.
Becoming a celebrant is where your journey only begins. The quantity of your work will depend on the quality of the services you will provide to your clients. So, taking care of your physical appearance and “on stage” performance is of great importance. One key skill every celebrant should have is eloquence. If you are skillful enough to find good words to use, that will describe the importance and beauty of marriage, you will inspire all the attendees of the ceremony to feel emotional and ensure the client’s experience will be to remember.
Since you are leading the highlight of the whole wedding, it is on you to contribute to making it the wedding of the century. If you manage to pull this off, it will guarantee your reputation and further assignments.
You can build yourself a good reputation through fair pricing, accessibility, stellar customer experiences, punctuality, and delivering the client’s vision.
3. Work Pressure is Expected
Weddings and marriages are anxious moments for couples. They expect perfection in how you will execute the process. As the celebrant, you are likely going to experience some high-pressure situations from time to time. But also, it is up to you to control the situation and make sure your clients feel as everything is going the right way.
Do not take the pressure personally. Instead, understand that this is more about the wedding and pending marriage than you as a marriage celebrant.
4. It’s Exciting
If you hate routine, you will likely enjoy marriage celebrancy. Marriage celebrant-officiated weddings have a lot of flexibility. Your clients could hold their weddings in the unlikeliest of places and at the strangest of hours. This will make your job unpredictable but in a good way.
Couples that opt for marriage celebrants often do it because they want less traditional settings. This allows them to showcase their personalities, what they like, and what their relationships stand for. Expect some strange, quirky, or unexpected venues.
5. Communication is Key
You will require good communication skills to thrive in this business.
Your clients will articulate their vision for their big day, and it will be your job to accommodate their wishes. This will be impossible to do without good active listening skills. Further, you will need to explain procedures and provide feedback as the day nears.
Failure to do this and you might rob your clients of the wedding of their dreams. Such outcomes can also be disastrous to your reputation.
6. Open-Mindedness Goes a Long Way
You will undoubtedly officiate weddings and marriages that might be different from your idea of what these ceremonies should be. These will be anything from dressing, location, and religious views. In the past couple of decades, traditional weddings are less and less desirable by the clients, now most of them want to have a wedding that will reflect who they are, their lifestyle, especially in cases of same-sex marriages. This is the reason why fewer and fewer people are organizing weddings with religious rituals.
At the end of the day, your job will be to implement your client’s needs and not nudge them or try to change their mindsets. This will require a high degree of open-mindedness. Your goal is to join two people in the “holy matrimony”, without judging in any way.
Marriage celebrants are becoming more popular as more people seek to have ceremonies that depict who they are instead of following traditions. There are some statistics that show the majority of wedding ceremonies were performed by a state-authorized celebrant, instead of a priest. So, you can say that secular, non-traditional weddings are now a trend.
If you market your services well and deliver quality services every time, you will find this to be a highly rewarding career.