Gosh, I love my job! It truly is a privilege to celebrate weddings as a marriage celebrant I really enjoy the journey that I take with couples as they work towards one of the most important days in their lives.

There are some great perks to the job. I have visited some amazing venues, met some fabulous people, and I always get a chance to frock up! I do love getting to know a couple and tailoring their personalities, beliefs and interests to compose their own individual ceremony.

The compliments that I receive from guests and the couple after the ceremony reinforce that I have achieved my goal in making a couple’s wedding ceremony personal and memorable. No two ceremonies are the same.

Images by Stuart Leishman

Contrary to some belief, many hours have gone in to creating these magical ceremonies – a celebrant’s role goes way beyond the 30 or so minutes of the ceremony’s duration.

Typically, I would have two meetings plus a rehearsal with a couple before I even get to their wedding day. I usually visit the couple in their home or we meet at a cafe to chat and plan their ceremony. There is paperwork to complete as well as ensuring the correct documentation accompanies this paperwork. I gather many details regarding “who’s who” in the couple’s lives. We talk about different ideas and inspiration for their ceremony. We discuss times, various people’s roles in the ceremony and logistics of how and when to ensure every detail is accounted for.

A number of hours are spent writing the ceremony for each couple. I write a story which perhaps involves funny or memorable stories, what they love about each other and things that they have/do not have, in common. Numerous drafts of the wedding ceremony are exchanged with the couple before they give me the “green light” and their ceremony is ready to go!

Usually I conduct a rehearsal on site and we run through the outline and choreography of the ceremony, the bridal party may practice walking down the aisle, we discuss seating arrangements and whereabouts everyone who is involved is going to be.

And then we arrive at the big day. I arrive about 45 minutes before the ceremony begins to ensure everything is set up and ready to go. Last minute nerves are settled and the ceremony begins!

My role isn’t complete without the obligatory glass of champagne, a chat with guests and the happiness that goes with watching the newly married couple basking in their just married bliss.

Ms Polka Dot says:  It’s wonderful to have a peek into the ‘behind the scenes’ of a marriage celebrant’s preparation for a wedding. Maree Livy (Marriage Celebrant) shows us how much work goes into preparing the perfect ceremony for you. Thank you Maree!

Images by Stuart Leishman