Wedding planning can be an overwhelming experience at the best of times, especially cultural ones (speaking from first hand experience!). Couples often get so involved in planning the aesthetical side of weddings that they tend to forget the smaller details – saying your vows.
It’s the all important part of the day, saying ‘I do’ and making your marriage official. And finding the right person to officiate your wedding can be a daunting task. Actually, lets rewind - did you know you could choose your own celebrant? Personally, when we got married, I didn’t even know this was an option and met my registrar on the actual day of our wedding (the smaller details I neglected to research on!)
Ceremonies are often a part of the wedding that most couples don’t know how to personalise (or didn’t know they could personalise). In the case of Hindu weddings, or cultural weddings, ceremonies are normally performed by a priest and dictated by traditional rituals, which you can’t really personalise. But taking your civil vows, opens up possibilities to bring in your personality and uniqueness.
A few weeks ago, I finally made it to ‘The Wedding Experts’ monthly networking morning. As a new time mummy, I’ve found it difficult to attend networking events as most aren’t baby friendly. But I was so happy to be greeted by a group of amazingly talented ladies and some of their babies! I got to catch up with fellow business mum Tamsin McGarry and her gorgeous girl Elouise (who was coincidently born on the same day as Noah!)
Tamsin, mum of three, a sucker for romance and a novice writer, became a celebrant three years ago. Her favourite part of being a celebrant is having the honour of pronouncing a couple as married – now that’s a lady who loves her job! Celebrants play a vital role in your big day and I wanted to share some of Tamsins expert advice in helping with your wedding planning.
1. Lodge your Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) form. This can be done between 30 days and 18 months in advance.
2. When choosing a celebrant, it's important to find someone who you feel comfortable with. Someone who listens to what you want in your ceremony rather than someone who tries to dictate how the ceremony 'should' be. Tamsin always aims to create a ceremony that reflects the bride and groom as both individuals and celebrates them as a couple.
3. Chat to your celebrant about the style/length of the ceremony you would like to have and whether you want to include a particular ritual, reading or person.
4. Tamsin encourages couples to write their own vows. It’s a wonderful way to ensure their wedding ceremony is personal and heartfelt. However, some couples know they will be far too emotional and prefer to stick to shorter vows that they repeat after the celebrant. Even if they choose this option, these shorter vows can still be personalised! Couples should be aware that there are legals vows that must be included in the ceremony regardless of any personalised vows they also wish to say.
5. Ask your celebrant what they are going to wear to the ceremony! One of Tamsin’s stories during our catch up made me realise that there is nothing worse than a celebrants outfit clashing with your wedding styling. A celebrant shouldn’t be memorable for the wrong reasons. If you have a theme to your wedding, kindly ask your celebrant, to maybe wear something neutral or in keeping with your wedding.
Keep these little tips in mind during your planning, to help you have a wedding ceremony that will be personal, and memorable for you and your guests. And most of all remember to enjoy the experience of planning your big day and have fun!
If you want to book this amazing lady to be a part of your special day, get in touch with Tamsin via firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to keep up to date with her stories on Facebook and Instagram.