What is a Celebrant?
A Celebrant, sometimes referred to as an officiant, is a trained ceremony expert. Our aim is to refresh the place of ritual in people’s lives, to make relevant again in our modern world, a sense of ceremony and meaning. A Celebrant ceremony reflects the individual needs, beliefs, cultural background, values and tastes of those involved. This is what makes every ceremony truly unique. More information on celebrancy can be found at the Celebrant Foundation and Institute .
What makes Celebrant services special or different?
The hallmark of a Celebrant service is its uniqueness and individuality. Each and every ceremony is crafted specifically for the couple involved. There is no limit to the number of re-writes and revisions you are entitled to in creating your ideal ceremony.
What is the process of working with you?
Please begin by emailing me and we’ll arrange an informal, no-obligation meeting. At that time I’ll learn some of your story and get a sense of what you have in mind. If it seems we’re a good fit, we’ll begin the process. I’ll send you away with some ‘homework’ – an in depth questionnaire which will help me understand more about who you are and what you are looking for. The writing process will go from there, with as many drafts as you request.
I’m leaning toward something a bit more traditional. Do you do that?
Absolutely. Together, we can create a ceremony that is as traditional as you would like it to be. If there are specific rites you’d like performed that are the domain of religious or cultural specifications, e.g. reading from the Torah, a sacred blessing, etc., we can easily include people from your community or family to perform them. This is your ceremony.
Are Celebrant services religious?
This is your day and my personal beliefs are separate from my work as a Celebrant. Whatever ceremony we create for you will be a reflection of you and your personal values, beliefs and tastes. It’s my aim to ensure that the uniqueness of every union is revealed through the chosen words, actions and symbols.
Do you perform same sex marriages?
Absolutely! In fact, the celebrant movement was partially born out of precisely this need. I strongly support the LGBTQ community and love creating ceremonies that celebrate and honour same sex unions. We will work together to ensure that an inclusive atmosphere is created for all in attendance.
What is your certification?
I received my training and certification from the Celebrant Foundation and Institute in New Jersey. Completion of my training certified me as a legal marriage officiant in the province of Ontario, meaning I am certified, not only to perform the ceremony, but also to officiate all legal proceedings in the wedding.
Will we still need to get a separate marriage license?
Yes, you will still need to bring a marriage license to the ceremony. You can pick it up at your local municipal office or download it from the Government of Ontario website: ontario.ca/government/get-married-ontario. A marriage license is valid for three months.
Do you handle the legal matters then?
After I perform your wedding ceremony, I’ll send the signed marriage license to Service Ontario where your marriage will be officially registered. Once your marriage is registered, you may apply at ontario.ca/government/get-married-ontario for a marriage certificate, which you will receive within 8 – 12.
Should we write our own vows, or will you do that?
The decision whether or not to write your own vows can be a hard one. As your Celebrant, I have a vast wealth of creative ideas to mark your union and a large resource of writings and poetry to draw upon. I am an expert in the crafting of meaningful and individual vows, so I’m happy to do them for you.
If you wish to write them yourselves, I can guide you toward the crafting of vows which will express your unique union. And of course, if you wish to use traditional vows, I have many excellent resources for those too.
Will you marry us in the location of our choice?
Of course! I am willing and able to perform a ceremony outdoors, on the beach, at the top of the ski hill, at your favourite restaurant or in the remotest wilderness. I have my own personal microphone that will enable me to be heard in most locations so any setting works for me, as long as it works for you.
Do you do rehearsals?
If there are several elements that require coordination in the ceremony, then I usually recommend that I attend the rehearsal. This will also help you and any others to be confident and at ease when the real ceremony occurs.
What will you wear to the ceremony?
I usually wear a neutral, seasonal outfit (jacket and pants, or a dress) fitting to the formality of your wedding. I’ll try to complement the colours chosen for your wedding party without matching them. I do not wear the robes or vestments of clergy.
What are your fees?
Once we’ve determined that we are a good fit, and that our available dates are in alignment, I will require a 50% non-refundable deposit of my fee. My fees are flexible, and are based on the complexity of your service, location, need for rehearsal and a few other factors.
The fee you pay will entitle you to a customized Celebrant ceremony unlike any other ceremony offered today. Together we will craft words, actions and symbols, weaving them together to create a meaningful and memorable event. You will have any number of revisions to the draft of your text and you’ll have absolute authority over the words that will be spoken during your service.
We need to get married immediately. Can you do this?
Sometimes personal circumstances require getting the legal paperwork of a marriage done as quickly as possible. Whatever your reason may be, I can perform a non-custom ceremony for you. The service will include traditional vows, a very short reading and all required legal formalities. It’s similar to a wedding performed by a justice of the peace, or a judge. I have a few standard ceremony options to choose from, and you can preview them via email.
Ceremonies like this usually take ten to fifteen minutes, and can be performed at your home or the location of your choosing. All you’ll need to provide are your marriage license, any rings you wish to use, and two witnesses. I’ll ensure that the formal documentation is properly completed, mailed the next business day, and that your marriage is legally registered with the Province of Ontario.
What other types of ceremonies do you perform?
I delight in creating all types of ceremonies including:
- House Blessings
- New Business Blessings
- Coming of Age Ceremonies
- Quick Weddings
- Mother Blessings
- Divorce Ceremonies
- Retirement Ceremonies
- Baby Naming Ceremonies
- Rites of Passage Ceremonies
- Significant Birthday Ceremonies
- Blessing Ways
- Vow Renewals
Whatever the occasion, I’m happy to perform a ceremony to help you observe it. Contact me to learn more.