The Importance of Celebrants by Tim Manger
A wedding ceremony is both a legal and commemorative event, that requires precision sequencing and integration of several key elements.
The first element is the building of the ceremony, incorporating a combination of several sub-elements; music, the couple’s story, readings, personal vows, and rituals. These sub-elements are often a combination of what the couple wants, what the celebrant is able to deliver, and what will realistically and logistically work.
The next element is the location, and the idea of incorporating the characteristics of the ceremonial space into the event, using the sub-elements mentioned above. For example; a beach wedding may lend itself to the inclusion of a sand ceremony, where as a rustic setting may lend itself to the incorporation of a Pagan Handfasting ritual.
The third element is the guests, and how they will witness the ceremony. It is critical that guests are seen as inclusionary, rather than just onlookers, whilst their age, ethnicity, age, and relationship to the bride and groom should be elementary. The great ceremonies are about people, and weddings are about the interactions between those people.
A competent celebrant should possess the ability to string each of the above elements together seamlessly, whilst being prepared to remodel the ceremony real time, given that the unexpected may arise, ie; changes in weather, equipment that malfunctions, rituals that fail, bridesmaids that faint, children that become unsettled, noise that emanates from an expected source plus more.
A celebrant should possess the ability to be empathetic, and open to the idea of delivering a short, meaningful, professional ceremony. These points seem to be the resounding and basic ingredients requested by many modern couples.
Tim Manger (Civil Celebrant)