• John Carey - Celebrant

Words and how many are needed to wed!

Every couple I meet up with to help marry write a new chapter in my life's memoirs.

Marrying people though, is never about me as the celebrant, it's about the couple and their decision to unite their lives together. Even on the coldest of days!


How does a celebrant work with couples "who just want the basics" and do not want any personalised content in their ceremony? It may seem incompatible to most of imaginations about how a wedding ceremony should be. I take responsibility for respecting each person's world view and their preferences seriously and remind myself that creating an atmosphere where they are comfortable to be themselves is key. After all only a few words, 125 or so, are needed to make it all legal. The rest can be considered "nice to say"!

One of my endeavours when meeting people is to understand their feelings for each other! Quite often, the challenge for some couples is that one or both may find it hard to locate the words to describe their feelings about each other. Is silence a word?


In my experience, yes it is, because more often than not, those hard to find words are expressed through body language, that glance down or that watery eye! It's so important to listen to people, to understand them, rather than listen to promote myself in ways that make a couple uncomfortable.

As a celebrant it is more important that I "stop talking" and become more of a question asker and a quiet observer . So much of people's stories is told through actions, funny experiences, things they disagree on and how they would describe each other to a person who has never met the other! It is in there I find the real story of love and respect and why they are making themselves awkward in front of others to "make it all legal".


Standing up in front of people is not often a sought after life experience!

It's a journey I have loved being part of for the last 22 years, and one I will continue to enjoy exploring into the future. One that I hope I make easier and more enjoyable for all!

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