#weddingadvice

Celebrant Price Point- Uber Vs Uber X

There’s always so much talk in wedding world about price. Price of celebrants in particular.

 

The thing is, like anything in life- you get what you pay for.

 

FACT: The majority of celebrants in Melbourne charge between $800-$1600. In the $800 spot you’ll get yourself a fresh recruit or a mid ranger.

 

At $1500 you’ll get a shiny Uber X with a free bottle of water and a heated seat.

 

It depends what you are looking for.

 

As a celebrant myself, I obviously place a decent amount of worth on what we do.

 

For the record- you can get married in a bog standard ceremony amidst the salubrious surrounds of the Registry Office in the city for between about $400 and $600, depending on what day of the week you want. This means you go to them, there is zero personalisation and it’s purely a stiff legal affair basically. Too easy if that’s all you want.

 

However, if you want something more personal you’re going to have to pay more.

 

If you want someone to absolutely smash it- again- you’ll be paying more.

 

The greatest misconception is that a celebrant is charging you ‘$1200 for 20 minutes work’. That conveniently disregards the meetings, the travel, the document preparation, the research, the use of our audio equipment and yeh, the actual ceremony presentation.

 

For me personally, this encompasses a minimum 15 hours per couple. I put a lot into my ceremonies and into developing relationships with my couples. As such, my service is pretty popular and I’m often booked more than a year out from the wedding date.

 

A really amazing celebrant is a gifted writer and a charismatic presenter. They’re organised, experienced and reliable. They will get to know you, be approachable and available and full of good ideas- and take you into the day calm and ready. Then they’ll smash it. It’s a real talent to be able to engage people on the right level.

 

When all your guests are remarking on the ceremony and you’re all on an absolute high afterwards- you see the value then for sure. But it’s a bit harder to see it when you start your celebrant search. Perhaps you’re not really sure what a celebrant does, what differentiates an average one from a good one- from an absolute weapon.

 

So, when you’re sending out emails to celebrants – can you have a quote etc and you get one for $800 -900 and one for $1400-1500- there’s a reason for that price divide. That cheaper celebrant doesn’t have the same experience/ popularity or dynamic of the dearer one. They may do, in time mind you. But at this point you are getting what you pay for.

 

So, it depends on what you place value on. Call me naïve but if you’re getting married, I’d hope that there’s some importance placed on the actual ceremony itself- not just getting boozed afterwards. That being said, if you’ve never seen a brilliant ceremony then it’s possible you haven’t considered the value of dynamic.

 

I’d love to say the days of cookie cutter dross delivered in a monotone voice are past us. But they’re actually not. There’s still plenty of that that goes on. And plenty of ceremonies that are not written from scratch. Just the same pap rolled out at every single wedding blah blah yawn. You’ll get that cheaper for sure.

 

If you want an absolute banger that is totally you as a couple, that’s been lovingly crafted based on your celebrant’s relationship with you and their excellent writing capabilities- then you pay more. If you want the one where your guests laugh out loud and are totally captivated throughout- it costs more for that level of skill.

 

So, before you compare quotes, first of all, decide what kind of experience you want to have.

 

Then make sure you’re comparing apples with apples.

 

If you receive a quote for $1500, you can be sure that person is at the top of their game and you’ll be bloody lucky to get them.

 

Incidentally, these celebrants are being referred by photographers, venues and previous clients and their guests constantly. What does that say to you?

 

So, if you’re happy with a Camry- then you order standard Uber. If you want something spesh then you order Uber X.

Do we need a videographer for our wedding?

Again- as with DJ’s, I get asked this question a lot.

In short, I would. It’s better to have it than not and regret it.

Before I started as a celebrant I had a second and last baby and juggled the idea of having a labour and birth videographer come and film it for us. As with weddings, having babies is an intense, mind blowing and totally unique experience.

Anyway- I didn’t get the video and basically I really regret it, as I won’t be having any more babes.

 

Wedding video these days is so good. Like amazing. I get them sent to me from my couples and I get such massive feels from them as just their celebrant it’s not even funny. Have shed a few tears, have laughed out loud, have felt very nostalgic.

 

A great videographer captures people’s personalities and interactions as well as all the other ‘big moment’ stuff. And you know why? I had this conversation with awesome videographer Nathan Kaso about this.

 

People don’t really get it- video, that is. As in, they don’t know if they’re being filmed most of the time as the videographer seems to cruise about and is looking down into a lens of a camera that’s often held low. It’s pretty covert.

 

So, what does that mean for you? It means people are in their natural states, not posing or awkward. Which is of course AMAZING for footage. Unless you want them filming your new partner chewing your garter off your leg etc. In that case, there’s def people for that.

 

But you won’t find them on my recommendation list. Soz.

 

Have I sold you yet?

 

Secondly, ask any photographer if they had vid at their weddings or if they recommend it- betcha they do. It’s just a different perspective.

 

But the main reason is this: your day is going to go by in the blink of an eye, of that you can be absolutely sure. You’ll recall snippets mainly. Video will capture all the good bits. And then some.

 

Yeh, you need it.

 

I chatted to some of Melbourne’s best about what videography adds to your wedding day:

 
“The number one thing I hear from people at weddings is ‘We just got married and didn't get a video, that is the only thing we regret!’ It can seem like a bit of a luxury, but video is such a great way to
capture the mood and tone of a wedding, and if done right it can take you right back to how you felt on the day”

Nathan Kaso

 

 “Videography (along with photography) is one of the few things that gain value over time. Flowers wilt, dresses are worn once and memories fade but film is forever. It's not just about getting a video, it's more about investing in moments you want to continue to remember long after the wedding's done.

Sure, you can absolutely rely on a photographer to do that but you'll wind up missing all the wonderful little nuances and moments of the day that even the most experienced photographer misses. (Video is one of the most) invaluable things a couple can invest in on their wedding day. It's a deeply underestimated aspect of any wedding”

 Carlo Peritore  - Lunar Red

  

“Photography and video are very different, even though we work so closely together, the one thing that is special about videography, is we can capture the words that were said and how they were said.

 

This is how your wedding video can instantly transport you back to that moment, when your partner is saying their vows to you, and there's that crack in their voice just before the tears start flowing, the true emotion in that moment that you can relive over and over”

 Jack- Oneheart

 

 “Rather than a single snapshot in time, you get all of the truly intimate moments in a way that is so much easier to engage with.

 Couples get to see moments they would have just otherwise missed as they were wrapped up in the fever of the day. The way that dad looked as he first sees you in that dress, the laughter from the guests as you talk about them during your speeches.

 …re-watching it will give you the feeling of being there every time”

 Michael- Native

 

To wrap this up- watch this banging clip by Nathan Kaso and tell me you don’t want video/ need at your wedding. Sign me uppppp!

https://vimeo.com/212530654

 

GET ‘EM:

(https://www.nathankasoweddings.com/)

(https://www.lunarred.com.au)

(http://oneheartweddings.com.au/)

(https://www.nativemelbourne.com/)


Page image: Anna Taylor

My Wedding

Image: Oliver Yip

Image: Oliver Yip

I get asked a lot about my wedding. We were married back in 2012 in Summer at my in laws in Surrey Hills. It was all about our fave people, amazing food and drinks and mad tunes.

WHAT I WORE: Gave not many f#cks about my dress to be honest. Bought it off the rack at DJs. Charlie Brown. $500. Simple, long, big split, strapless with origami folding. Dry cleaned it and sold it two weeks after my wedding for half what I paid. Happy days. Wore some dark blue satin heels that lasted on my feet for about 31 minutes before being discarded for bare feet. Had my hair up with a rock vibe. Makeup minimal. It’s terrible but I have no idea who I used as vendors.

WHAT NIK WORE: A navy suit from Calibre and Cons. Boutonnierre was handmade- a timber guitar pick and various feathers. Was cool as hell.

GUESTS: 50. This was hard but we were brutal. We wanted our closest people there and I didn’t want to spend my whole time making my way around to 150 guests making small talk. That was wasted d floor time in my opinion. The result: an intimate, relaxed and warm vibe with a strong party crew. Perfect.

BRIDAL PARTY: My two sisters were my bridesmaids and wore strapless pleated crepe dresses in dark blue. Hair up because hot AF. We had three little flowergirls in navy and pink tulle skirts and a page boy in mini version of what Nik wore- navy and Cons. It was fun and relaxed. Nik had his bro as Best Man and he wore what he wanted which ended up being pants and a waistcoat.

CEREMONY: Took place out the front. Business in the front, party in the back. We served heaps of bubbles and cold beers pre. I arrived in a Mustang and walked in to the XX ‘VCR’. Music is massive in our lives and was a big focus.

RINGS: Matt Wynne, Carlton. Support local guys. We had the rings in a vintage tape case- Talking Heads Stop Making Sense: one of our fave albums of all time.

AFTER PARTY: In the backyard. The garden was lush and green and we had a marquee housing one long table. We sat amidst our friends and family. I didn’t want a bridal table. It was either thongs or barefoot. Tunes, lots of good booze and massively chilled vibes.

FOOD: Totally self catered. My entire fam is basically in food and wine and we’re massive foodies so this was a pivotal decision in choosing to have it at home- being able to quality control everything. My father in law ran the kitchen with some hired staff. My brother in law, who is a winemaker chose all our wine. Everything was abundant and top shelf. Incredible bread and cheese, local organic meats, most served cold, whole baked snapper, quiche and tonnes of amazing salads that everyone pitched in to make.

BOOZE: We did Spanish bubbles, three whites, two beers and two reds. At 10pm we had trays of G + T’s come out. When everyone was sweating their bollocks off on the outdoor d floor and that icy blue glow in tall glasses materialised, a cheer went up. Master stroke. We also divided our guest list into ‘Normal Drinkers’, ‘Pissheads’ and ‘Total Units’ to guide the volume we needed. For the record we had 5 total units and got them t shirts printed with that on them which they were pretty proud of haha.

TUNES: Recorded for ceremony. DJ for after party. We had DJ Obliveus from Black Caesar Events and he was the first vendor I booked. I’ve know him forever and he is the business. He just totally got it and rolled out funk, hip hop and 90’s R + B all night. I can still remember him starting up and dropping Close to Me by The Cure and the d floor was pretty much rammed from then on. I still recommend Eric regularly to my couples now.

CAKE: My sister in law made a chocolate cake with textured buttercream and topped it with gorgeous hand made felted birds. It was delish. I ate it in the cab on the way home, extremely drunk. I have a talented fam.

BONBONIERRE: Hate that word. Meaning stuff you give to your guests to take home. We mixed a CD for them of our fave tunes. It’s still a banger to listen to today and was well received. Otherwise I think this B word is kinda a waste of money tbh (Controversial!)

Image: Oliver Yip

Image: Oliver Yip

What I’d do differently knowing what I know now:

Hire an amazing professional photographer: You cannot take it back people. Find your person- love their pics and love their vibe? Lock em in. I’d be all over one of my three fave photogs these days.

Acoustic Duo: For pre ceremony/ ceremony and that interim part before the DJ kicks off. Nothing better than rolling up to a wedding and there’s live tunes and great drinks. Instant vibe. Fidel and Sarah would def be getting a guernsey.

No cake: Look, our cake was beautiful but it was hot at hell and honestly- no one wants to eat cake in that kind of weather. They just don’t. Don’t ever do dessert and cake either. Complete waste of time. If I did it now in January- gelati cart or alcoholic icy pole cart alllll the way. People LOVE that shit and these are the little touches that they remember as being awesome.

Pay for the pack down: If you’re doing your own gig, when they ask you if you want them to dissemble the marquee- say yes. Just pay it. I tell you what- waking up the day after my wedding, boiling hot, extremely hung over- taking down a marquee and cleaning up was the last thing I felt like doing. Pay an event planner to deal with all the shit you don’t want to do.

Our kinda ring receptacle!

Our kinda ring receptacle!

Is your wedding guest list stressing you out? Cut the chaff!

I am asked all the time about guest lists. Usually along the lines of- ‘we wanted 50 people tops but it’s blown out to 92 already’

This happens when partners have to come, whether you like them or not and particularly when you start grudgingly adding people you feel like you should. Parents are great for driving this. ‘Oh, you have to invite your grandma’s neighbour- we’ve known her for years’ or ‘you can’t not invite Uncle Joe etc.

What if Uncle Joe is a creep and you haven’t seen him for ten years? What if the neighbour is just someone you say hello to when you visit your Nan once a quarter?

If you want a small guest list I say stand your ground. Cut the chaff.

What makes this difficult is if the parents are paying for your wedding. They then feel they have some say into your guest list. I’ll leave that to you to figure out but I will say this- there’s two good reasons why small guest lists are awesome:

1. They create a warm and intimate vibe

2. You have less people to ‘get around to’ at your wedding- and this is a stress. Actually a pain in the ass and I see so many brides rolling their eyes and over it by the time they’re halfway through the group photos. They just want to get a drink and have fun. Instead they then spend the evening ensuring they speak to everyone and getting pulled this way and that, which is not fun at all.

Think about who’s on your list- you want people you genuinely want to jump on and hug as you’re so damn happy they’re there- your inner sanctum. You need to be on that d floor, not looking guiltily at old Mavis in the corner thinking you should go and thank her for coming and get stuck in another 20 minute convo. Or hiding from Uncle Joe’s sweaty embrace.

Fuck that.

Keep it tight peeps. Do what is going to make you happy and your day awesome.

Who says you have to invite your entire extended family? Just be clear- it’s a small wedding of close family and friends. The end.

They’ll get over it. And if they don’t well… too bad.

Divide your list into people you are genuinely thrilled to be there and the rest- those you’re kinda ambivalent about, those you feel obligated to invite plus all the random people from the gym, work etc. Do you really want to pay $150+ a head for all these extras?

Be brutal. The other upside is you can have a much better quality wedding with a smaller crew.

And that shit is golden.