We still can’t believe Summer is over and we’re back in the sandpit. After spending a couple of beautiful weeks in Austria, we’re back in planning mode and already had our first few weddings in the new season.
One massive supporter during this time has been a truly beautiful soul and friend: Kerrie from The Birds & The Bees, Celebrant Services. If I’d have to describe her, I’d say she’s sunshine mixed with a little hurricane, a free spirit, a ray of sunshine even on the darkest of days, in brief: a rare gem!
If you’d like to know more about her exciting job as a celebrant and why you should definitely hire her, read on…
Let’s start at the beginning: tell us a bit more about what a wedding celebrant is and what role you play in someone’s wedding.
A Celebrant can help couples create the wording and flow of not only their Wedding Ceremony but also Vow Renewals, Baby Naming, and Grief/Funeral Ceremonies. In fact, any life event that someone wants to recognize by means of celebration or right of passage.
My role currently here in the UAE is to help people who are engaged to be married or already legally married on paper and want to have their Ceremony created on an intimate basis for a small gathering or to invite all their friends and family to celebrate with them at one of the many fabulous venues we have here in the UAE.
What made you decide to become a wedding celebrant?
In all honesty, my journey began when I started to explore Ceremonies created for funerals. My family suffered the loss of many family members in a short period of time due to many different circumstances. Due to constant traveling and supporting my husband with his work, my goals seemed unachievable at that time. During my events work here in the UAE, I have been extremely fortunate to work alongside, and become good friends with an event manager who is also a Celebrant. She mentored and encouraged me to take the leap and follow my dream so I booked myself onto a UK training course with the Fellowship of Professional Celebrants and realized that my ‘happy place’ would be to work in the Marriage Celebrancy side and so I focused on this and set about creating my brand ‘The Birds & The Bees’.
What do you love most about your job?
Every single person on this planet is unique and every couple has a unique story to tell. From the moment I receive an inquiry I always feel a flutter myself and feel excited to meet a potential couple to see if we connect. I believe if the connection is not there then I would not accept the role as the words and the feelings delivered during their Ceremony should create a feeling never to be forgotten by the couple and their guests. The delivery is the most special part of this job for sure – you are ‘in the moment’ with your clients and it is a very special feeling for me.
Why should a couple consider hiring a wedding celebrant?
Hiring a Celebrant isn’t for everyone. However, for those that feel they want a bespoke Ceremony, created just for them from scratch then this is a great way to bring a Love Story to life. We live in a globalized world and people are falling in love from very mixed backgrounds and there is no right or wrong ‘way’ to celebrate your marriage. A Celebrant can help you create the right tone of your Ceremony and help you with a variety of ideas to involve friends and family for example.
A Celebrant is there with you, like a friend to lean on – keeping any anxiety about remembering your vows, etc.. at bay.
What would be your dream wedding ceremony?
This is such a difficult question. Whenever I am asked this I struggle to answer because so far, my clients have all brought something new to me. As long as their dream has been achieved then my dream has been achieved too.
How would you describe your ideal “Bird & Bee” aka your ideal couple?
An ideal couple to me is their Buzz! When that Bird looks at their Bee and you just see/feel the chemistry between them, that is an ideal couple to me. Someone that is confident and proud to have their Ceremony created the way they want it and not necessarily to ‘fit’ or ‘please’ outside factors.
Any piece of advice you’d like to give any couple out there preparing their wedding at the moment?
Book your Celebrant early! Often it is the hunt for the perfect dress, venue, cake, etc.. that come first and I completely understand those are the exciting, tangible elements however having the right person, thinking about your Ceremony wording, getting to know you and your style as early as possible ensures extremely personalized service. We get booked up early so best to get the date in the diary then you can relax in your mind and enjoy all the other elements of your wedding celebration.
You’ve been married for 24 years yourself. What’s your secret to a happy and successful marriage?
Well, there is a little bit more to this story but I save that for a client coffee! There is no secret – it’s just knowing you do love that person. At the end of the day, life throws all kinds of things at you, the journey changes daily and as long as you still look at each other through the hard times and feel that ‘yes’, I want to be here with you then the good times will roll!! And Kindness
Can you run us through a typical wedding day for you?
Often, I will have met my clients 2 or 3 times before the day itself. Sometimes there is a rehearsal for the larger weddings which is very useful from a choreography point of view as a venue can be completely transformed by the wedding planners and will look/feel very different from what you might be used to.
On the day itself, I always start my day with a message or a call to my Bride and Groom and to the planner if there is one.
I will ensure my own outfit is prepared the night before and that the couple is happy with what I am wearing. I like to involve them in that choice too so that I fit with their style as best I can.
I will re-read the script and check if any last-minute changes need made with a couple although I do like to have this completed and printed off 48 hrs before If possible
Hydrate – once I arrive on site this can be overlooked.
I like to visit my Bride as she is getting ready if she is happy with this. This can be so much fun and I have been known to come in quite useful running up and down a corridor delivering things to the Groom and his party or the Father of the Bride etc….
Then, I go get myself acquainted with the Ceremony area, test the mic and start getting in my zone before the wedding party arrives.
How do you come up with the ceremony/how do you choreograph a tailor-made ceremony?
This is all drawn up after I have met with the couple. If they would like a traditional format, then I create it in this way. However, a Ceremony can literally be created in any way they wish. Celebrant led ceremonies give you total freedom over your celebration of marriage which is the beauty behind my role. If you want to jump out of an airplane, celebrate on a sandy beach, your garden, in a stunning hotel – you really can celebrate your marriage how you wish. I will chat over symbolic elements and how they could include family members and we will discuss things like the delivery and positioning to create the atmosphere they are looking for.
As soon as I start chatting with a couple, the creation starts in my head and we go from there.
What inspires you when creating the ceremony for a couple?
Their story of how they met, why they are choosing to marry, the venue they are choosing and why they are choosing me. I also draw inspiration from the planner they have chosen as we need to work in line with each other.
How can couples get married in Dubai (ceremonial vs official)?
This very much depends upon each Nationality and it is best to check the legal requirements with the necessary embassy/church/courts etc….
A Celebrant cannot legally marry a couple – we create and deliver the Ceremony to celebrate the marriage. All legal aspects are the couple’s responsibility.
What would you love to see more within the UAE wedding industry?
Personally, I would love to see a more simplistic approach and lot more upcycling/recycling, natural approach. Perhaps, more glamping style weddings and even a ‘sustainable wedding show’ that is affordable to exhibit.
However, I do believe that a wedding is a reflection of your personality which is why choosing your planner and your celebrant is vitally important so they can help you create this.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Life is a journey and I work very hard – like the Birds & the Bees of our planet. I love that I have chosen this role or this role has chosen me and as long as I am adding to that loving feeling and bringing a smile, even a tear to my couples then I am a very ‘Happy Celebrant’ .