What I Have Learned As A Wedding Celebrant

I have been working as a life cycle celebrant for two years now. I have had the privilege of officiating many weddings, three memorial services and other threshold crossings, such as leaving ones home  and releasing relationships.

The more I give myself to this work the more it gives to me. I am humbled and often feel like a child of spirits work, or an apprentice to the great mystery.

I had an experience recently that was very clarifying for me. I had been asked to do an elopement wedding for a couple from abroad.

Since this experience I wonder about the choice to elope, with no community or witnessing container holding a couple accountable to their commitment.

After working on their ceremony for a month, the day before the wedding, I received an email asking…“I was wondering if would be okay if we shorten the ceremony? It would be great to just exchange rings and sign the papers.”

I felt like I was a gourmet restaurant being asked to be a drive through take out service.

“No” I said, “It is not ok.”

” A marriage is a rite of passage and whether it is an hour long ceremony with 500 people or a 10 minute ceremony with 2 people, the content carries the same importance.

It is important to know what your vows are really saying, what the exchange of rings really means and what the signing and declaration is doing.

I am here to fully support you in your marriage, and to just exchange rings and sign papers would not be that for me.”

This was a strong and potent statement for me and clarified in that moment what I stood for. I am grateful to this couple for assisting me in clarifying my purpose as a Celebrant.

As it turned out this couple cancelled as I was driving out to marry them in the mountains.

Perhaps my honesty was clarifying for them as well, perhaps they will choose to get married at home within the support of their family and friends.

The words we speak, the actions we take, and the witnessing community that surround us are an important part of any ceremony, they are our dialogue to the universe, and the universe is listening.

Thank you for reading.

Lisa Gilmour

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