I’m not sure if it’s just me, but as a Bride-to-be, I haven’t really taken into consideration the legal ramifications of a wedding. I know I am forever tying myself to another person, but I don’t really relate the romantic proposal and the gorgeous wedding with paperwork required by Births, Deaths and Marriages!
Thankfully, with every Celebrant, comes all of that knowledge… and more!
Celebrants like Kirili, from agirlmeetsaboy in Canberra, take you through the ins and outs of what is required of you on the day, while also asking you a myriad of weird and wonderful questions to get to the bottom of your personalities and how you see the ceremony playing out.
For those of you that don’t know exactly what you’re walking into when planning for your special ceremony, I can guarantee that one meeting with Kirili will alleviate any nerves you have about this wonderful ritual.
Can you tell us a bit about being a celebrant & how you came to become one?
About 6 years ago a good friend of mine asked if I could be their MC at their wedding. Her husband’s friend was the celebrant and afterwards I thought, “I could do totally be a celebrant”. It took another 4 years until I acted on that thought. When I turned 28, I decided to do 28 new things with my life, things I had never done before. A few friends referred to it as my Saturn return and looking back, it was the year that put a lot of wheels in motion. Becoming a celebrant was one of the 28 things I decided to do, along with rollerblading, trapezing and watching star wars (much to the horror of my husband- he couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen it). You’d be surprised at how hard it is to find 28 things! I’ve been a registered celebrant for just over 2 years now and love it. I’m also a fully qualified naturopath, and have just started studying my Masters of Business Administration.
I want couples to look back on their wedding day and actually remember the ceremony, not just refer to it as the legal stuff that happened before the party, it should be part of the party.
I aim to make a ceremony as fun and exciting and genuine as the relationship between the couple. I look for inspiration for writing the ceremony from the couple, their family and their friends (which can at times, make for some interesting discussions).
What do you love most about being a celebrant?
I love being a celebrant. I understand that marriage is different for everyone and their ceremony should be too. Marriage isn’t something that we do based on traditions of yesteryear. Marriage is evolving and so is love, we are experiencing and finding love differently these days, there is no right or wrong.
I love the interaction of meeting people, hearing about their life and being a part of something that isn’t about me, its about two people that have put their trust in me to enable them to continue their journey as a married couple. Its very surreal and also humbling being the one that gets to pronounce couples as Husband and Wife.
My favourite part of a ceremony is at the end, just before I say my last few words and the couple has their first kiss. I always, always get a stream of goose bumps up my neck and I’m sure it happens to others at the ceremony too.
Where are you based and what areas do you service?
I’m based in Canberra and service the Canberra and surrounding regions. I’m more then happy to travel for ceremonies at an additional cost.
Do you have an office for couples to meet you or do you prefer to meet them elsewhere?
I don’t have an office as such. I’m happy to meet with couples wherever they would prefer, most commonly the first meeting is on neutral soil over a coffee or wine. Once a couple has booked me, we meet again either for another coffee or at their place to do the legal paperwork and talk more about the ceremony. I meet a lot of couples over Skype initially as well when they are interstate or even in a different country.
Can you tell us a little bit about the packages you offer and rough pricings?
I have a standard package with the total inclusions. This includes meetings, rehearsals, writing up the ceremony, speaker and microphone for the ceremony, and of course all the legal documentation.
I’m also happy to do elopement style ceremonies, which is essentially just the legal work and a basic standard ceremony.
The packages range from $500 to $850 including GST. I have more information on my website about the ceremony inclusions.
Do you offer customised vow writing services?
I ask that every couple at least thinks about writing their own vows, or a section of their vows. I find that a lot of people are intimidated by the word ‘vow’. I tell couples to think of it as just saying something nice about the other person.
I also provide all couples with a lengthy page of vow examples in which they can base their vows off, or pick one to use. Often couples will ask me to write their vows for them and I’m more then happy to do this as well.
What advice do you have for couples choosing their celebrant?
I suggest that couples meet with a few celebrants and pick the one that they have the most rapport with. Honestly, all the celebrants that I know, and that I have heard of all do a fantastic job and I don’t think that any couple would be disappointed with their choice. I don’t aim to be everyone’s perfect celebrant, and nor should I be. I once read a cute gift card once, it said; I may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I’m someone’s shot of tequila. I think it’s a really good analogy, plus I’m a fan of tequila.
Do you have a favourite love story or ceremony?
I feel like this question is like asking a mother who her favourite child is, or picking between a nutella or salted caramel cronut…it just cant be done. So, with that, I’m going to be biased and say mine.
My husband and I met out of sheer chance while we both lived in different states. Without even being engaged, 3 years later we ran off to New York and tied the knot. We then had a big celebration back home for all our family and friends, including a mandatory petting zoo, jumping castle and about 100 different desserts (OK so maybe not 100, but there was a lot!). There are no typical love stories, or a typical way to get married these days, we need to celebrate the way that we want to, not the way that we think we should.
I have some photos of my celebrations on my website and have also given you some of my favourites.
I love hearing about each couples story and how it has evolved into marriage. Everyone is so vastly different, it’s incredible to think about how this thing we call ‘fate’ works.
How early should couples book with you?
Most couples make contact around 6-12 months out, but due to the large amount of bookings, I suggest they get in contact 12-18 months out, especially in peak season. I take bookings up to 18 months in advance and require a deposit to confirm the date and time. For ease, I have an availability calendar on my website so couples can take a look to see if I am available. Sometimes couples get lucky and make contact 6 weeks beforehand and I am available. It just all depends on the demand.
What do you think are the upcoming trends for 2017/2018 weddings?
I really dislike the word ‘trend’. Your wedding and ceremony do not need to be ‘on trend’, just thinking about couples searching for ideas for their big day makes me anxious and stressed. I feel that social media can sometimes be a hindrance for couples, it can make them feel bombarded and more confused from when they first started. You don’t need to keep up with the jones’ for your wedding, just pick a style that is you.
I’d like to see and be part of more small weddings, I’m thinking pop-up, elopements and surprise weddings. Weddings that have less stress and are more about the commitment that two people are making to each other.
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