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Paying for a Civil Celebrant
Paying for a Civil Celebrant

11 November 2019

People sometimes think the civil celebrant cost for a ceremony is not justified. Uncle John can do that just as well – and for free!

But will Uncle John be able to put together – let alone present – a ceremony that is memorable (for the right reasons)? Does he have the writing and presentation skills, for example?

A lot of people think that all a civil celebrant has to do is to rock up at the ‘gig’ and deliver a few well-chosen words and then go home. Money for old rope, as they say.

However, it’s actually a lot more than that for me.

The ideal

My mission is to cultivate a relationship between myself and the client. I want them to trust me and feel there’s rapport. That’s especially important if I’m going to be conducting their ceremony on the most important day of their lives!

I make it my goal when we meet to ask the right questions and actually listen to the responses. Then I can understand the clients’ vision and be in a position to help them realise it.

I compile a ceremony that reflects their personalities and beliefs and which is everything they want.

I take pride in conducting an impeccable ceremony.

Finally, I appreciate that I am privileged to be part of the couple’s excitement and joy.

How do I achieve that?

Firstly, cultivating a close relationship takes time, as well as patience and tact. (I do not end up working with every person who enquires about my services.)

I don’t assume I know the clients’ wishes better than they do. I will advise them, if I feel, from my considerable experience, that something might, or might not, work; however, it is their big day, and I never forget that.

I am happy to give advice, if the clients are unsure what to do. The goal is to draw up a unique, personalised ceremony that fulfils the clients’ dreams.

Either way, we normally exchange drafts until the clients are happy with every word.

I always bear in mind that it’s not about me, but the clients. I present clearly and beautifully. I won’t accept second best.

The bottom line

I trained both as a funeral celebrant and as a celebratory celebrant, and that training was not cheap.

I have considerable experience – I graduated as a celebrant in late 2012 and have now conducted over 150 ceremonies (including weddings (same-sex and heterosexual), vow renewals, handfastings, namings and funerals). It’s difficult to put a price on such experience.

My many testimonials demonstrate that I am professional but friendly, and focussed on achieving my clients’ goals.

On the day, I will normally arrive an hour early. I check everything is in place at the venue and reassure the groom! I am a calming influence at a frenetic time.

When I conduct the ceremony, I use my considerable presentation skills. I foster a warm atmosphere and make the guests feel included too. Such skills come at a price.

All this is why I charge a fee. if you try me, I hope you’ll agree that I do earn it!

Author:

Michael Gordon can help prepare and conduct a tailor-made civil ceremony in or around London or, indeed, in Europe. Telephone me now on +44 (0)7931 538487 or contact me directly by e-mail.

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