Wedding Celebrants Celebrate! Marriage Officers Officiate!

December 7, 2023   | 

When people discuss wedding planning, they usually enquire about the venue, dress, number of guests and honeymoon plans! The ceremony itself is an afterthought, or likely not given a thought at all!  It is seen as a box to tick before getting to the ‘good part’ of the day.  Flowers and menus are chosen months, even years prior, and the ceremony style or choice of marriage officer comes behind the aesthetic details.

Sound familiar?

Until fairly recently wedding ceremonies followed a typical pattern, and were usually led by a religious minister according to the structures and traditions of their or your particular religious affiliation. It’s no surprise that little thought is put into a process where couples don’t have much say in the tone, theme or what is included. But, times they are a changin’ and modern nearly-weds are looking for modern ceremonies that resonate more with their modern love stories.  

Enter the Civil Union Marriage Officer or the much friendlier title: Wedding Celebrant!

Civil Union Marriage Officer in the South African context. 

The simplified explanation! A legally qualified, non-religious marriage officer, licensed to perform ceremonies and register marriages of both heterosexual and same sex couples.  A Wedding Celebrant is a sub-set of  Marriage Officers.   It is a title not often used in South Africa, but it’s the most accurate descriptor of my ceremony style so I’m claiming it! Celebrants focus on delivering totally personalised and creative wedding ceremonies.  We do not deliver cookie cutter ceremonies and are violently allergic to cliche!

My bespoke ceremonies are totally personalised and hugely meaningful.  Instead of focusing on the religious or legal aspects of the wedding ceremony (though we do need to do the legals), celebrant led ceremonies land the focus squarely on you and your particular love story.  By gathering anecdotes and some relationship history and understanding your future goals a ceremony is crafted that invokes feelings of joy, authenticity, and celebration. When done well, your ceremony will set the tone for the party that follows.  Cheers to that!

All Marriage Officer styles are different.  My aim is to tell your story in a manner that invokes the funnies AND the warm and fuzzies!  My style is calm, but fun, and genuine. I am honestly curious about people and adore meeting my couples and hearing about their love stories.  I love writing and delivering ceremonies in equal measure and think that my obvious enjoyment inspires good vibes from your guests from the get go!  

The Process:

We’ll have a Zoom to confirm we like each other! I’ll get an idea of the mood you would like to set at your wedding, and you can decide if you think I can deliver it! Or you can skip this and go straight to my google reviews! 

I’ll pop you a short contract and invoice, both required to secure your date.

A few months out from your date you’ll need to complete a questionnaire, separately, no peeking at each others’! And to submit it to me, separately! It asks for a little background about yourselves, and asks some quirky questions and some a little more serious. You will also need to complete a form providing details for the legal registration of the marriage.  It’s a teensy onerous, but must be done.

Then we’ll meet. In IRL in Sandton over wine or water.  I don’t drink coffee! Or on Zoom.  This meeting helps to fill any informational gaps that may be left after your form filling exercises, and it’s always good to see my couples interact with each other prior to the big day . During this meeting we’ll also talk about what you’d like to include in your ceremony, your options around vows. I will make suggestions of rituals or ‘moments’ to include that I think will resonate with you.

Then, armed with all the information I’ve gathered, I’ll write you a totally bespoke, original wedding ceremony. Boom!

Then roll on the big day!  You can expect me to arrive about 30 mins before your ceremony, ready with all the feels to get you happily and legally hitched!

Marriage Officer - JHB


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