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If you’re thinking about being a Celebrant, and wondering what it’s really like, then this blog post is for you!

I’ve been working as a Celebrant since 2011, and so I know there are a few challenges, but the benefits definitely outweigh these. However, it’s good to know what it’s really like out there in Celebrant-Land, and although not everyone experiences the challenges below, I know I have. Fortunately I’ve learnt ways to counteract almost all of them, and hopefully my experiences can help you with your Celebrant career.

It can be lonely

Celebrancy can be a lonely business. When you’re with your couples, whether at a meeting or on the day of their wedding, you have to be ‘on’. Interaction with other vendors is minimal on the day as everyone is busy doing their job. And so, as a sole-trader, it can feel pretty isolating at times. My suggestions to counteract this?

  • Join a membership organisation. I (obviously) suggest The Celebrant Society – the members are definitely ‘my people’ and I can speak freely within the group without fear of judgement.
  • Invite a photographer, stylist, florist or anyone else you admire in the industry for a coffee. It might be challenging to put yourself out there, but if I met a vendor who I think aligns with me, chances are they’re feeling a bit lonely too. The joys of being self-employed, right!
  • Attend networking events. Check on Instagram for local industry events in your area. Ask other vendors if they know of any happening. Reach out and contact organisers. And if there aren’t any happening in your area, why not try organising some drinks with some local vendors and celebrants?
  • Reach out to other Celebrants in your area and invite them to join you for an administration day. This could be in a coffee shop, your home, a library, or a co-working space.

Making Mistakes Can Feel Overwhelming

Mistakes happen. I have a long list of the amount of times I’ve thought ‘This is it – my career is over’. Sometimes it might be a mistake on the paperwork. Sometimes it might be a slipup of a name during the ceremony. And sometimes it’s something that there’s no way I could have predicted happening. If it’s a mistake which is noticeable to the couple, and I’ve apologised to them for it, nine point nine times out of ten, they aren’t in any way grumpy, annoyed or mad with me (phew!).

My very first wedding I did in Australia, I did a monumental stuff up with the legal paperwork. It was incredibly upsetting for me, but when I spoke to Births, Deaths and Marriages, they reassured me that mistakes happen and almost all can be rectified.

Sometimes technology lets us down, and I’ve had an ipad overheat (I now use a Kindle), and my microphones cut out.

I have found ways to decrease the chances of mistakes and these include:

  • I send the legal paperwork to the couple beforehand so they can check everything is correct. FYI – even though I do this, some couples still miss something because they are human too!
  • If someone has a name which is tricky for me to pronounce, I ask them to do a voice memo and send it to me beforehand.
  • I always read my script the day before a ceremony, and again when I arrive at the venue so it’s super fresh in my head and therefore I can ad lib if need be.
  • I’ve purchased a tried and tested PA System, and have a back up plug in mic if, for some reason, my wireless one doesn’t work.
  • I have my script on my Kindle and on my phone, as well as a printed out version to give to the couple afterwards.

There are Droughts of Work

Wedding season in South East Queensland, where I’m based, is not linear. I’ve learnt to do my administration during the down time so I’m prepared for those months where I’m busy delivering ceremonies.

I also have diversified my business so Marriage Celebrancy isn’t my only form of income, such as Funeral Celebrancy, mentoring, running workshops, and other Celebrant adjacent roles.

Within The Celebrant Society, many of our members have other jobs they have to see them through the dry months – teacher aides, care workers, virtual assistants, performers… so many different ways to keep those bills paid.

It’s Not All Fun and Games

Like any sole-trader or small business owner, there’s a lot of administrative stuff that has to happen to keep the wheels rolling. And although I enjoy a bit of administration, I absolutely hate anything to do with finance. However, there’s lots of tools out there which can help, and I gladly utilise anything I can to help things run smoothly, and to reduce the amount of administration (and especially book-keeping/accounting) I have to do.

Some of my favourite tools are:

However, Don’t Forget…

For me, Celebrancy is the very best career I’ve ever had. Like I said, the good outweigh the bad, and the most important thing is to ask for support when you need it.

Roxy x

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