A Day in the Life of a Coastal Ceremonies Celebrant

A Day in the Life of a Coastal Ceremonies Celebrant

   “Woke up, fell out of bed,

Dragged a comb across my head

Found my way downstairs and drank a cup………..”

The Beatles, A Day in the Life

Thanks to John Lennon, I found an introduction for this blog piece on A day in the life of a Celebrant. I do make a little more effort with my own hair however, especially on the occasion of a wedding ceremony.

Celebrant Options with Coastal CeremoniesLike Clara and Susan, the start of my day revolves around getting the kids up and out and fed and uniformed. I like to ease my way into my day, not allowing the school run flurry to detract from a few breaths of gratitude (and a quick kiss to himself). My morning might see me do a little bit of writing (better after coffee), with the radio for company. I might touch up a few ceremony scripts or set up a consultation with a couple in advance of their wedding.  Clara might contact me, checking dates and availability, and the wedding she sets up could well be one where I am the Celebrant, and Susan the wedding planner.

Clara set up Coastal Ceremonies to be a member of the Celebrants Collective, and if she is not in the planning stages of her own scripts and ceremonies, she is accessing podcasts, blogs and webinars; networking to seek and share ideas.

Clara and Orla Wedding Celebrants at Coastal CeremoniesMuhammed Ali once famously said that ‘the fight is won or lost far away from witnesses, behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights’. As Celebrants, we may not be floating like butterflies or stinging like bees, but we do have calendars full of plans, groundwork lists, and reams of arrangements, all in preparation for officiating the ceremonies we so love to do.

Weddings at the Cliffs of Moher with Coastal CeremoniesFrom Susan’s experience working in Dromoland Castle as a Wedding Executive , she has vast experience corresponding with couples on a continuum, listening, advising, prepping. Susan should have ‘meticulously planning’ as her middle name. With some wedding itineraries up to ten pages in length, Susan absolutely loves planning weddings and seeing everything come together. Such ‘happy occasions’ leave Susan feeling the ‘honour’ that comes with being an integral part of a wedding ceremony.

 

It’s not all paperwork and keyboard thumping in a Celebrant’s day. Just recently we jetted off on a cool rib with Doolin Ferry Co along the base of the Cliffs of Moher, together with pods of dolphins, birds and basking sharks. All in the name of seeking new, unique experiences for our couples.  Social media is another huge element of the job description, one which Clara performs on a daily basis. Clara posts wedding photographs, favourite readings or song lyrics, as well as various tips we have inevitably picked up along the way. Her dogs Murph and Freddy occasionally feature in among the platforms of posts. Clara loves that her ‘office’ for the day may well just be the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher. In a ‘pinch-me-moment’, she will often post a picture of the stunning Wild Atlantic Way and remind us all to take it in.

We have a team WhatsApp group and we often leave each other funny messages and entertaining pictures. As Independent Celebrants, two of whom are working from home, this connection is lovely.

There was the day we entered a Today FM ‘Beat the Business’ Quiz, the result of which gave us a few moments national airtime, while gifting a lovely couple with our services for their wedding.  There was the Monday morning when Clara joined Dermot and Dave to chat about Elopements and Micro Weddings. There was the day Susan sent us the most beautiful and colourful hand fasting ribbons, offering its use for couples choosing this traditional Celtic enhancement. There was the day we spoke on Clare FM about what we do, and the days our pictures were taken to feature in county and national newspaper articles about independent celebrants. There was the day our beautifully printed business cards arrived and the evenings we met up for a glass of wine and a whole lot of laughing.

All leading up to the ceremony days themselves. Time indeed, to ‘dance under those lights’. Scripts are practiced, the couple in question are in situ and we are ready for camera and action. Getting to the venue early is lovely, as is feeling the splatter of nerves that are bound to visit any Celebrant on the day. We remind ourselves that it is not about us, but the beautiful people who have trusted us to deliver the intimate and important words of love to them and their guests. Pre wedding excitement is sensed when we reunite with the suppliers who we have come to know and love. The wedding business really is a unique and helpful one; we have the pleasure of knowing quite the trusty team of choreographical wizards.

Deep breaths, sips of water, standing tall and confident, proud and welcoming. Here comes the bride or groom. Then the delivery of the ceremony, peppered with carefully chosen music, and family involvement. The vows, the rings, the I do’s. The emotion, the love, the pronouncement. The smiles, the relief, the total and heartfelt buzz.

The offering of a glass of bubbly and saying no because the high you feel outweighs that of any glass of alcohol. The goodbyes, the thank yous, the photos, the job satisfaction. The change out of the dress and the chat to our WhatsApp group on the journey home. The fight is won. What’s on for tomorrow?