Celebrant in Sickness and In Health

When you book your Celebrant, the last thing you’d ever expect is that they’d miss your wedding. You paid a deposit, reserved their services, spent a small fortune on dress, shoes, hair and here you are standing at the end of the aisle with no one to officiate. John Lennon famously said “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans“. I’m here to tell you that even for Celebrants ‘life‘ can muck up the very best intentions and wedding plans. I know, because it happened to me….twice!

I consider myself to be very professional. I take my job seriously as a Marriage Celebrant and I always try to offer the best possible service to my couples. Part of being a professional Celebrant includes having contingency strategies in place should there be an unforeseen reason why I can’t be the person standing at the front delivering the ceremony. All paperwork is prepared well in advance of the wedding date and filed electronically to allow for seamless transfer between Celebrants. My husband knows where files are kept and if I am unavailable, he can get documents to the replacement Celebrant. Call it overkill, but I also keep a list of local Celebrants available to contact in case of emergency.

Fortunately in December, I had these strategies in place when we had an horrendous family emergency with my son. Without going into too much detail, I have provided a visual representation of the sudden and unexpected disruption to my ‘life‘.

Before I became a Celebrant I had worked for many years as a Critical Care Nurse. I can tell you that no one EVER wants to be in one of these places, nor do they want to have one of their loved ones there. I would much rather be at a wedding, sharing the happiness with a newly-wed couple than doing a bedside vigil…anyday!

When I was faced with this situation, I had 2 weddings in my immediate future. Both couples were incredibly considerate and understanding (thanks Clint & Cheryl and Mark & Kim). I had a wonderful support network who assisted me to ensure these weddings proceeded without so much as a hiccup. These people, as well as the staff at John Hunter Hospital are my heroes and I would like to thank them.

Here are some lovely people who helped me:

  • My husband Paul. He delivered paperwork to Celebrants on my behalf as well as supplying cuddles when required. ♥
  • My wonderful daughter-in-law (ish) Rhyanna… just because she’s such a strong, mature, funny lovely person. ♥
  • Robyn Pattison CMC – I emailed her at 3am and was greeted at 6am with the response “Send me the list and leave it to me“… No wonder she is the ABIA NSW Celebrant of the Year! ♥
    Robyn also tweeted me the results from the ABIA awards dinner, as she knew I too was a finalist and had been booked to attend the special night. She barely had time to step off the podium before she told me my result!
  • Kerryn Tippett CMC – Another colleague that I emailed at 3am, that was responded to with “No problems, I’ll call them” ♥
  • Julie Smith CMC – Julez officiated for one of the wedding for me. She stepped in calmly and graciously and took over when I needed her too. Thanks Julez ♥
  • Suzanne Brodie CMC – Suzanne officiated for the second wedding for me. Thanks Suzanne for helping when I needed it ♥

If you are considering booking a Vows Now wedding, you can feel confident that I will always do my utmost to be there for your wedding, and if I can’t be there, I will make sure that you will be well looked after.

Life’s isn’t always a fairytale, but I’m delighted to report that my son is now home from hospital, and improving day by day. Plus two couples got married on the same day they’d booked, at the same time…just by another face… I hope they all live happily ever after?

Kiss your kids (even big ones) and realise that in an instant life can change forever. Matching chair sashes and covers are not important. Health and happiness trump everything!

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