Since becoming a wedding photographer I have made some lovely friendships with many celebrants that we've had the pleasure of working with. And one of those awesome celebrants is Megan McKenzie who kindly agreed to a Q&A session for my Bridal Guide Series! Megan is such a fun, relaxed lady and it's always a pleasure to be in her presence with that beautiful smile of hers. It's an incredible honour whenever anyone recommends me as a photographer and since our very first wedding working together Megan has sent a number of couples my way which is so sweet & also lots of fun because we love working alongside one another!
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BE A MARRIAGE CELEBRANT MEGAN?
My mum has been a marriage celebrant for many years so my teenage years were filled of her talking about the wedding ceremonies she had performed and what a privilege it was to be able to help couples make it official. Plus lots of discussion about the details; what the bride wore, how the mother of the bride cried, how beautiful the venue was... it really was quite inevitable that I would follow in her footsteps! Six years ago I applied to become an independent marriage celebrant and here I am nearly 300 weddings late
WHAT IS THE VERY BEST PART OF YOUR JOB?
All of it seriously! I can't pin it down to just one thing. Each ceremony is different but one moment that I just adore is when the bride & groom first see each other as she walks down the aisle - it is pure and utter magic every time! The people I meet through being a marriage celebrant are from every walk of life with a love story that is different each time. To be able to help couples create a ceremony that reflects their story so far is what makes being a marriage celebrant one of the coolest jobs ever - I love it! And it is always so nice to catch up with my couples after their big day is over - to hear how the rest of their wedding day went - perhaps they are expecting a baby together, have just returned from a honeymoon or bought a house. The connections formed are a very big part of what I do.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR COUPLES LOOKING FOR A CELEBRANT?
Do your research. Talk to friends and family, work colleagues, ask your other wedding vendors but remember ultimately the decision is yours. Many of my couples are referrals from other couples I have worked with or I get approached at weddings after the ceremony. A good celebrant should always offer to meet with you (in person or perhaps via Skype if you're planning a destination wedding), so you can have a chat and see if your personalities are compatible. The person you choose will be standing up the front with you so they have to be someone you like and trust. They should make sure you feel well informed while guiding you through the process.
WHEN DO YOU RECOMMEND COUPLES SHOULD BOOK THEIR CELEBRANT?
I have weddings booked through to 2020!!! Each season seems to be busier than the last! My advice to couples is as soon as you have set a wedding date, get on to booking in your celebrant!!!
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE TIPS OR ADVICE FOR PLANNING THE WEDDING CEREMONY?
Keep it fun. Weddings should be light-hearted and full of love. Let your celebrant share some fun stories about you as a couple during the ceremony, your guests will love it. Don’t be afraid to break from tradition. For example, who signs as your witnesses doesn’t have to be a member of the bridal party. You might choose your mum, a sibling, a grandparent or someone else special to you. Make it personal. I love encouraging my couples to write their own vows, it creates such an amazing vibe during the ceremony...tears are highly likely also!
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE 'UNPLUGGED' WEDDING?
This is a totally personal decision for couples on their special day, however 90% of couples I work with will opt for an unplugged ceremony and there are some options around what this can look like which I discuss with my couples prior to the day. You have invested in a professional to photograph your wedding day, so 'unplugged' is definitely a nice way of ensuring your guests are in the moment with you during the ceremony.