Getting married in Leeds – what does a celebrant do?

Yes, you heard me – preparation for a wedding! Which are actually happening. Amazing.

It seems like such an age since I last did a wedding. And it is. Other than a perfect little elopement I squeezed in during the lockdowns it will be over a year by the time my first one comes along at the beginning of June. And I am so excited to get back in there amongst the joy and the excitement.

So as it is now April, I’ve started the real process of writing and thought I’d share how I structure my preparation (although obviously it can vary a little depending on geography etc).

When you book me for your wedding the first thing we do is have an initial meeting. I like to do these face to face as it’s a great way to properly get stuck in and ask lots of questions. Not just mine but yours too. Our first meeting is about me asking you all about your ceremony plans, if you have any yet, what vibe you’re going for, is there anything you definitely don’t want. Who is going to be there and who are the main people in your wedding party. And also of course, how you met, the story of your relationship. What you’re planning for the future. If you’ve got plans of course, you might just be living in the moment (which I wish I could do and you have my absolute RESPECT if that’s the case!).

Its an opportunity for you to ask me questions. Maybe you’re wondering who I am, what I suggest, why I think certain things. Maybe you just want to make sure I’ll be wearing something that blends in with your colours (don’t worry I will – any excuse for a new outfit!).

After that first meeting I’ll come home and write up my notes and any ideas that might be forming in my brain for you both. I write lots of notes, some ideas make it through and others don’t.

Our second meeting is generally a couple of months before your ceremony. Before then I’ll send you both a questionnaire to fill out and send back. I want you to do this alone – no checking each other’s answers and cheating. I vary the questionnaire from couple to couple and your answers inform how I write your service. But don’t panic because I don’t read them out on the day!

At our second meeting its really about getting down to the nitty gritty. Do you want to sign a register? Do your family know about you going to the registry office beforehand? What readings are you thinking about or do you want me to choose? Do you want to see the full ceremony or keep it as a surprise. What vows are you going to say? Has anything changed since the last time we met? Who stands where etc etc.

Then I’m really into overdrive. Again, writing up my notes from our meeting. Constructing and creating the perfect ceremony for you. Researching, speaking to anyone I need to in your wedding party. I love this part, its where I can let my creativity run wild.

Of course, throughout the whole process I’m here at the end of the phone. To hold your hand, answer your questions and bounce ideas off.

And on the day. There you both stand, facing each other, sharing your love with all the people who love you. And I get to be a part of that. The miracle and wonder of love. I’ll never, ever get tired of it.

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