Unspoken Conversations are the topics that are often swept under the carpet, whispered amongst the closest of friends and bitched about by many. I want to create awareness about difficult things that people face in life; grief, mental health, money, illnesses, family troubles, relationship difficulties and putting yourself first. I want to tell the truth about things that really matter.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Dont Tell the Guests

Meet Tracy, one of the most AMAZINGLY beautiful people on the inside and out! Yup, she's a youthful generation celebrant!

Who will marry you?

Maybe I shouldn't write that sentence without a few more adjectives.

Here goes.

Who will you honor with the responsibility of creating a unique, personalised ceremony that captures your love and commitment to each other in front of those closest to you? 

Yes, that's far more deserving for the description of a pastor, minister or celebrant that you choose to officiate your marriage.

Sometimes I truly believe that people get caught up in the decorations, guest lists, and  little unimportant pieces to a wedding, spending outrageous amounts of money on these, that they forget about just how important the role of the person who is marrying you is.
When you think about it, the celebrant or pastor rocking up on the day is just as important as the bride and groom showing up! Without them, you wouldn't be able to officially become husband and wife in the eyes of the law.

How much can you expect to pay someone to marry you? Based on my research, it's quite variable. If you are seeking a pastor, then most will perform the ceremony for free if you are holding the ceremony at their church and you are a regular member there. If not, pastors cost roughly $100-$300.

Celebrants seem to cost between $600-$800. This includes the time it takes them to lodge all of the official paperwork, the cost of the marriage certificate, any meetings that you may have with them to discuss how you'd like to create a special service for you, and their time in planning and delivering those super special words on the big day.

Maybe it's just me but we did search far and wide until we found a celebrant who suited our style. By far and wide I mean creating a status on Facebook and seeing who people recommended! Let's face it, peoples own experiences tend to be the most reliable.

That's when I found this amazing lady, Tracy. She's young, fun, genuine and her passion for marrying people shines through.

I couldn't recommend her more! 

Take it away Tracy.

I have the best job in the world.  I really do.  Where else do you get to work, and every contact that you have is completely different and you’re surrounded by love, happiness and celebration?

My name is Tracy Kenny, I am a 30 year old marriage celebrant (and a primary school teacher) from Elliston, South Australia and assisting couples and officiating at their wedding is something that I will never get tired of.

After being married to my farmer husband for 4 years, but being together for over 10 years, I feel very passionate about the sanctity of marriage.  I am extremely lucky because my husband is a great support in whatever I set out to do.  We have great communication that ensures a successful union!  We have 2 children, Layla (2 years) and Elke (5 months) and spending time with my family and friends makes me the happiest.

My family mean the world to me.

I have many interests and hobbies including playing sport such as hockey, netball and all round beach activities (surfing, snorkeling & fishing) and my husband and I enjoy camping and getting outdoors. 

I have always believed that marriage is a lifetime commitment and this has come from the fantastic role models in my life, my parents and grandparents who continue to demonstrate what marriage is: the love, support and commitment between two people. 

I first got into being a marriage celebrant on the advice from my mother.  She had been to a wedding and noticed a gap in the ‘market’, where most wedding celebrants were ‘her age or older’.  Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with the celebrants available, they are all brilliant, hardworking people who do whatever they can for their couples, but mum saw this as an opportunity for me to tap into with my people skills.  It was the perfect profession for someone like me who was young, enthusiastic and could confidently talk in front of crowds (thanks to my teaching experience) to get in to.        

In Vietnam where I got the opportunity to marry 2 friends of mine while there! I am lucky that every wedding is different, every location offers something new and exciting.
So, other than my mother’s encouragement, why did I become a marriage celebrant?  When my mum initially told me about this profession, my initial thoughts were “you have got to be kidding! I am not very religious” and “I am not old enough”, however after thinking about it more, I decided that this was a profession which not only suited me perfectly, but I also saw a number of reasons why I should undertake to study the civil marriage celebrants course.  I felt it would be a great opportunity for me to interact more with the district and to offer a service to the community with dignity, determination and youth.  Being a young marriage celebrant, who is recently married, besides allowing for more selection and choice, I have only recently been in the same situation as the wedding couple, unsure of what to do and what’s required.  Some couples are quite surprised when the meet me and have often heard “You are so young compared to other celebrants”.  

After some convincing, I agreed to study part time (whilst working full time) and completed my marriage celebrants course and attained my accreditation from the Attorney General’s Office in Canberra. I was now ready to begin on a new part time career, and I was sure looking forward to it.
To be a marriage celebrant, I believe it is important to listen to the couples.  And I mean really listen. Sometimes this means reading between the lines and asking them specifically “is this what you want?” because sometimes, they are doing something because of the pressure they feel from others.  That is why, when I meet my couples, we get chatting about what they want, and we come up with a ceremony which is unique and personal to them.  There is no point to me writing a ceremony which has no meaning to them. I understand that a couple’s wedding is a special and sacred day to them.

Being a marriage celebrant allows be to marry great mates of mine and share in their special day. Its such an honour & privilege to marry not only couples, but also my great friends.

Those who know me, know that I am an enthusiastic, punctual, and extremely organised person. I strive to please and ensure that my couples are comfortable with my service.  Fortunately, with my job as a teacher, I have ample experience with public speaking and preparing presentations, so the service delivered is professional, yet friendly and warm.  If there is something that I do not know, then I am able to research for the couples needs.  I have a number of contacts to draw information and ideas from who are of great support to me.  These are qualities which I feel are important to be a successful marriage celebrant.
I absolutely love being a marriage celebrant.  There are so many wondering moments; when the bride steps out of the car and walks down the aisle.  Its like time stands still and everyone (including me) holds their breath.  And the time when the bride and groom meet at the end of the aisle and hold hands, ready to commit to each other before their family and friends, you can feel the love that they have for each other.  Or the moment when the bride and groom have their first kiss as husband and wife and the moment when I get to officially pronounce them husband and wife- these are moments that always fill me with a huge sense of happiness.                                                                                                 
    A light hearted moment shared between the couple. Moments like this makes my job the most happiest and beautiful jobs in the world.

Of course, there is all the legal paperwork and behind the scene organisation that a marriage celebrant does.  Sometimes, it is a thankless job, but despite that, it is a huge honour to be a marriage celebrant.  Each couple is different. Each couple is unique.  To be able to cater for these differences is what I believe is extremely important. 

A wedding is a very special event, and every couple deserves the best possible assistance to make their day perfect. I would like the opportunity to help them with their ceremony, but am also happy to give little tips along the way to make their planning easier. 

I feel that the people on the Eyre Peninsula are extremely lucky, because all the celebrants get along well and support each other so whoever the couple chooses to marry them, they will be professionally looked after.  For me, being a marriage celebrant in Elliston, I rely on word of mouth recommendations.  As Elliston is such a small town, I don’t get a great deal of work here, so most weddings I have to travel to.  However, for me, it is an honour and a privilege to be part of a couple’s special day and after each ceremony is over, I thank my mum for introducing me to the possibility of being a marriage celebrant.  I truly love my job. 

To contact Tracy, please email her at thegroveft@bigpond.com. She's sure to make your special day EXTRA special!

What did you look for in a celebrant/pastor? Do you have any amazing stories to share?

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxx  

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