So, what is it you do?

Probably one of the first questions I get asked is what exactly it is that a Celebrant does.
Especially when it comes to funerals. The next question is usually “but you do weddings too right?” Well of course I do, and as you will have seen on my Home Page I do a lot more. Baby Namings, Renewal of Vows and Commitment Ceremonies to name just a couple (or three).
So, in case you are wondering, here’s what I do.

For a wedding I meet with the Bride and Groom and literally plan, compose and put together the script for the ceremony that is their wedding. I also take care of all the legal paperwork and submit it to the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registry in the State the wedding was held in. I am answerable to the Attorney General’s Office and it’s actually quite serious the responsibility I have in getting the legal aspect of the wedding right. A stint in gaol can be a penalty if we do things wrong! So we Celebrants take our roles very seriously in the lead up to the wedding and in conducting the wedding. It’s also our job to make it fun, light and memorable and exactly what our couples want if we possibly can.

When it comes to Funerals I find the best answer to the question is - “well, I am the ‘we are gathered here’ person”.
It’s still a fairly new concept that with Funerals we have the choice between employing the services of a Minister of Religion or a Civil Celebrant to conduct the service for our dearly departed.
Again, I meet with the family or closest to the departed and together we discuss the script of the service, music choices, poetry and readings and I help with putting the Eulogy or Life Story together if the family need help with that too. I then deliver the service, co-ordinate speakers and readers and cue the music and Visual Presentations liaising with the Funeral Arrangers the whole way through.
Friends often ask me if I get caught up in the grief and sadness that comes with funerals and I have to say mostly I don’t. I say mostly because I am only human and some situations are just heart wrenching, but I know that my role is to guide these grieving people through the preparation of a fitting and proper service or tribute to their loved one. Many now adopt the view of celebrating a life and giving them a good send off.

It’s not what people like to talk about but I am very aware that when people find out what I do they have so many questions they want to ask. So I hope this has given you a little insight into what I do, and love to do.

Until next week, keep smiling and go the blues!!!