In the past few months, we’ve had some good chats with Jacqueline Majer – a vibrant, Sydney wedding celebrant, mother and wife – and cross our hearts, we think she is awesome (both as a celebrant and a human being).
Here we chat to her about what exactly a celebrant does, her most commonly asked questions and some of the pre-conceptions around what it means to be a wedding celebrant.
Hey Jac, tell us a bit about what you do.
I get to perform the lovely deed of making husbands and wives, spouses and partners for life.
And what would you say is the main advantage for couples who work with you?
Couples get genuine, fun catch-ups; they get lots of ideas on how we make their wedding ceremony amazing; they get a thorough run-through of everything that they need to know so they feel relaxed and in the moment, on the day.
Can you share some of the things that go on behind the scenes?
Quite a lot of stuff. There’s time spent doing admin and the legal paperwork but mostly thinking about the best way to represent them at their ceremony. This includes writing ‘their story’, knowing everyone’s names, suggesting little ways to involve important family members and guests. I have a number of checklists along the way to make sure that all the finer details are attended to.
Do you think there are any preconceptions about the wedding industry?
Particularly when it comes to wedding celebrants, there is a certain stereotype that celebrants do their role as a hobby or side job; that they are boring, traditional and pretty much like a religious minister.
What I love about celebrants is that we are all so very different, from one extreme to the next. Some of us are traditional, non-traditional, older or young and everything in-between. Some are full-time, others part-time. This diversity in celebrants mimics society and couples, which is ideal. It allows couples to find the celebrant that they connect with the most; the right celebrant to represent them as a couple on their wedding day.
What are some of the main questions couples ask you? And what are the answers?
For first-timers, I love this question: “We’ve never done this before so where do we begin?”
To answer, it’s good for us to get to know each other first then I’ll run through my approach, the full process – both the legal stuff and creating their ceremony with them.
Another question is: “How long will the ceremony go for?”
Most couples are afraid it will go for an hour and bore all their guests. I say the sweet spot is 20ish minutes.
I’m into fashion so another one I love is: “What do you wear?”
I think it’s particularly important to match the attire for the occasion. I always check what style has been chosen by the couple and for the bridal party, then wear something that blends in.
Can you describe what sets your business apart?
I’m young, creative, easy-going, friendly, stylish, organised and absolutely love spending time with couples as they plan their wedding and then seeing it all come together on THEIR DAY.
What’s your next predicted wedding trend?
As couples become less traditional, more mature and more international, I’m seeing couples choose intimate weddings or elopements held on any day other than a Saturday. I also feel that couples are more time-poor these days with work and family responsibilities, so high quality all-inclusive wedding packages are quite appealing.
What would you love to see more couples do at weddings?
I love seeing couples invite close friends or family up to say a few words during the ceremony. This is different to the traditional speeches held during the reception. It’s usually someone who knows the couple very well, perhaps they played a part in the couple’s first meet; or sometimes it’s the mothers or grown-up children who come up.
And finally, what the best piece of advice you can share with anyone planning their wedding?
If you are having your wedding on Saturday, make sure you book your celebrant as soon as possible. In the peak wedding months (Spring and Autumn), the popular ones are booked up over a year in advance. Also overall, to remain as a ‘bridechilla’ I think it’s important to be flexible and re-assess your plans as you go along. What you originally pictured in your mind as your dream wedding may not always be the best option and best way to celebrate your marriage.