Who is the best celebrant in Melbourne?

Great question. Stick with me whilst I give you a short summary and then a convoluted answer..

The answer is: It depends what you want!

If you want fun, relaxed and a bit loose- or demure, classy and sincere or funny as in telling jokes and putting on a performance. Maybe you just want safe, middle of the road, a little of column A, a little of column B.

Do you want someone to hold the show because you’re not limelight people?

Want to be really involved and to share the space with your guests and bridal party with your celebrant leading the way?

Perhaps you want someone a bit cheeky who will take the piss a bit and have everyone in stitches?

Someone quirky and cool, a little left of centre?

Or you want a nurturer- someone warm and lovely, perhaps a little bit older?

Someone confident and experienced who can handle a crowd? If your wedding is going to be rowdy and full of big personalities you want someone who can roll with that and allow some looseness but not let things get out of control.

See where I’m going here? Some of these qualities will cross over in each celebrant of course and that’s rad.

Me personally, I’m never going to be the celebrant doing fancy elaborate weddings south of the river- it’s just not my jam. But there are plenty of celebrants who fit that bill perfectly and are awesome at it.

I’m a local venue/ bar/ warehouse/ backyard/ winery kinda girl. Anything a bit different that attracts people like me: people who love good food, great booze and mad tunes, I’m in.

Think about what you want and then stalk the shit out of us on Insta and see who you think is the best fit for you.

I'll let you in on a secret: celebrants do the stalk too. We want to see if you might be a good fit for us also before we get to meeting stage.

Narrow it down to a few heads you like the vibe of and then meet up.

Don’t sleep on it though. Great celebrants are booked at least a year ahead. Tick tock!

Finding (and choosing) the right celebrant for you- 6 TIPS

How to find and choose the right celebrant for you

Ah, here’s an area that’s fraught with confusion. There are a LOT of celebrants in Victoria and just quietly, there’s a lot of pretty ordinary ones too.

How, in this big pool of different people, personalities and price ranges do you find the one who is right for you?

Word of Mouth

Ask your mates who they had or take note at weddings you attend- what is it you like or don’t like about their ceremony? Your photographer is often a good person to ask also as they work with us all the time. As far as venues recommending celebrants- that’s all well and good but you are still entitled to seek one from elsewhere if the ‘preferred suppliers’ don’t float your boat.

 Directories

Hello May, Ivory Tribe, Easy Weddings etc. Scroll and find heads you like the look of, read their bios and narrow it down to a contact list

Instagram

Instagram is a goldmine for finding the right wedding suppliers! You can totally stalk someone and get a great feel for their vibe just from their Insta page. You can often hear them speak in Stories and vids also which is invaluable. A good Insta profile will tell you exactly who that celebrant is and how they roll. Look at the type of weddings/ types of clients they have, the way they speak, dress and their personality should shine through the photos.

Reviews

Read reviews on directory listings, Facebook biz pages or Google. You will find reviews tucked into Insta pages also, perhaps pinned as stories at the top or throughout the feed. These give you a great idea of the experience you could get from this person.

Google/ Hashtag search

What are you looking for? A funny celebrant, a funky celebrant, a quirky celebrant or a fun celebrant? We often tag our pics with these descriptors to make it easy for you to find us. We’re all different but there’s pockets of celebrants within our networks that roll a similar way. We talk to each other, refer to each other and know that if we can’t do the wedding, the person we’re passing it on to has a similar vibe and style and will bring the goods.

Final Words

I often say to my couples when I meet them- choose someone you could drop into your reception with your guests and they’d fit right in and have a good time. It’s a fairly intimate relationship- you’re sharing a lot of stuff about your relationship so you want to feel comfortable about it. Also, you want to head to your meetings looking forward to seeing your celebrant. You should be able to have a chat and a laugh with them (and a wine too in my case). You should feel you can rely on them and that their presence is calming.

Prices vary widely but as a guide, any celebrant worth their salt in Melbourne currently is charging $800-$1600. Which is still a very small percentage of your wedding budget- for the only thing you legally require to be married. Don’t be governed by your pocket. Choose the person you click with, who you can see standing up there and owning it for your big day.

It feels awesome for me when I'm mobbed post ceremony by guests telling me they loved it. It's going to feel the same for you too, knowing you chose well. 

Is it wrong that I'm singing 'You're Welcome' like Maui from Moana now?

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.

 

 

Wedding Planning- Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

Getting overwhelmed by all the wedding stuff?

Take a load off.  Honestly. Just keep it simple. Don’t get stuck in a Pinterest vortex. No one is going to notice the type of paper on your invites or whether you have a perspex seating plan. 

Worried your 3 yr old nephew might not walk down the aisle and might create a scene?

Who cares? They probably will and if you want to get them to play that part you have to suck the risk up. One of the best wedding photos I’ve ever seen is of a 3 yr old girl standing up with her Mum and Dad who are getting married lifting her dress up above her head. Absolute gold. Totally real. And probs the most Insta-worthy pic of the entire wedding to be honest.

The thing is- social media can be awesome for inspiration and ideas but it can also be a complete head fuck. So many different options/ choices etc.

Breathe.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret.

There is one thing you require legally to get married. A celebrant. But I’ll come back to that.

Secondly- the other three things that make for a cracking wedding are:

1.     Good food

2.     Lots of booze

3.     Good tunes

Simples.

I promise.

Everything you research/ commit to/ purchase- ask yourself, do you need it to make your day awesome? There is so much waste with weddings. Can you lessen that waste and reduce the impact of your brain and your wallet also?

For example-

Can you use potted plants in lieu of cut flowers on arbours and chairs? They can then go in your house afterwards. Or gift them to people who have really helped you.

Choose what’s in season in terms of flowers. Cheaper. Easier. Don’t be a diva.

Can you hire some stuff?

Why can’t people wear their own versions and choices of bridesmaids dresses within a colour theme? They’ll wear it again and get value out of it if they’re comfortable in it and they may not mind paying for it themselves if they’re not up for $500 for a dress they’d never wear otherwise. Forget those bridal shops. Forever New and Sheike and the likes have heaps of good stuff for less than $150. 

Buy the suits in the mid year sales and have them tailored so they're totally schmick. I hate poorly fitted suits. Big no no. Go for blue or grey that is classic and can be kept over the years and worn again.

Put tags on wine glasses and give them out with bottled beers so guests know which is theirs when they leave it and go to the toilet/ d floor etc. Otherwise they forget which is theirs and just get another one. So wasteful. We used guitar picks for our wedding with our fave band names written on them. People loved them!

In regards to a celebrant- they are the one thing you cannot get married without.  A good one is worth every cent as they set the vibe for the reception and will entertain you guests. Gone are the days of old aunties in their sensible shoes monotone-ing out the same corny dialogue. There's a new breed of celebrants in town.

A great celebrant in Melbourne will set you back between $850-1600. If you want a goodie- get in early. They book out a year in advance and you’ll be left with the aunties and the dodgies off Gumtree quoting three hunge for your ceremony. Would you cheap out on airbags? This is one make or break purchase. I always say guests will always remember a great ceremony and never forget a bad one.

Now- food and booze… no brainer. If you’re not a-la-carte people then don’t have a fancy sit down meal. Do burgers or pizza or mac and cheese or whatever it is that you love. There’s no rules! One of the easiest crowd pleasers to do is multiple roasted meats and a couple of quiches plus a shit load of amazing salads and condiments. Some great bread. Let them serve themselves. Done.

With booze, you will need lots of it. Don't go Gossips chardonnay but don't go Penfolds Reserve either. There's a lot of decent stuff in between. Get someone in the know to help out. Don't give people too much choice either- 1-2 whites, a red, a pilsner/ lager and a pale and bubbles. Shitloads of bubbles.

Now.. tunes..

Non negotiable in my opinion. You need either live or recorded music happening from the get go. From before the guests even arrive and people are setting up and your celebrant is doing a sound check. It creates a vibe and an energy and you cannot quantify that value. Two songs for ceremony- one to walk in to, one to walk out to, one for your signing if you're doing it in the ceremony. Tunes should continue after the ceremony also. Only turn them off if you want guests to go somewhere ie start moving to reception.

Tunes should then go all night. A great DJ who plays old skool hip hop, funk and up tempo rock will satisfy everyone. You want a full d floor of happy sweaty faces. The best fun happens on the d floor and you want the kind of music that entices even the non dancers up for a boogie.

The rest is all noise people. Let it go.

Remember- food, booze, tunes. And a cracking celebrant

 

X nat