Ask A Celebrant - CCN Blog
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My career change to become a celebrant
Becoming a celebrant has generally been a second, third or even fourth career change for some people. Most celebrants you speak to describe their work as 'a vocation', 'a calling', or 'a real labour of love', but once you've arrived at your destination of becoming a celebrant, it's hard to turn away. In today's blog we're introducing you to two CCN Members - Karen Dearing from Cobbitty, NSW and Katherine Sessions from Bendigo, Vic, who are sharing the stories of how they transitioned into the the world of celebrancy...
The first perspective is written by CCN Celebrant, Karen Dearing -Endearing Ceremonies- from Cobbitty, NSW.
Having come from a background as a hairdresser and a front line receptionist for approximately 30 years where I met people from all walks of life and management levels it was time for me to have a complete change of pace, but what at my age was there for me that I could really put my heart and soul into and make use of the skills I had learnt over the years in my previous roles?
Then a friend of mine, also a celebrant, suggested that I should become a celebrant myself. That with my personality and love of meeting people, along with my office skills, it would be the perfect role for me.
So, I commenced the Certificate IV in Celebrancy course while I was still working full time, but eventually retiring from my full time job to concentrate on finishing the course and then awaiting approval from the Attorney Generals Dept. I commenced setting up my office, then one day that long awaited email come through from the Attorney Generals Dept. with my registration number... a new celebrant was born.
From there, I can honestly say I have not looked back, it was the best thing I ever did, I am so fortunate to meet lovely people and travel to new places and venues and to be apart of their special day. I consider it a privilege and an honour when chosen to join a couple in marriage or perform a baby naming or even a renewal of vows. Every aspect of the role is not only important but exciting and I am always learning new ways to create and personalise ceremonies.
I have never considered this role as a job or hobby but a position of love and trust and one that requires pride in every facet of ones appearance and character and most importantly listening and learning about your couple and how they want their ceremony to be on the day.
Every day I strive to be the best celebrant I can be, I am not in the role for the money but for the love of what I do, couples put their trust in you so it is important to communicate and be available for them in order to build a good working relationship and to make sure that you live up to their expectations, after all they have chosen you for the most important day of their life.
Karen's contact details:
Now for our second perpective, written by CCN Celebrant, Katherine Sessions from Bendigo, Victoria.
So, you want to be a celebrant?
The reasons for doing so are wide and varied and are for discussion another time. I’m going to look at the reality of becoming a celebrant in terms of cost and what it took me to start a career as a celebrant.
To get to the point of being an authorised celebrant a significant financial outlay has already been expended. In my case that was the course fee, living away from home expenses and the Attorney General registration fee.
I had the certificate and a registration number – now what?
I was lucky coming from a business background and knew the steps to be undertaken and what costs were likely. I have seen some of my fellow training counterparts stumble at this stage as the ‘where to now?’ was not that easy. Knowledge, time and financial limitations can define how some celebrants start their careers.
One of the first questions I asked myself was ‘how are potential clients going to find me?’ What will be my social media plan? How will I advertise?
Before I went down that path, I needed a business name, an image, logo and identity that would be uniform across all my advertising. With the assistance of my accountant I registered a business name and acquired an ABN.
From there I decided to employ a professional to build my webpage as I had no idea about the intricacies of the land of google and the pitfalls of how to navigate domain hosting and domain names. He also set up my Facebook & Instagram so that all are linked, and the imagery and branding is the same across all mediums. For me this was a major outlay that has been worth every cent in terms of new clients.
As part building my profile, I employed the services of a professional photographer to supply images for my marketing. I was very surprised of how economical this was as many photographers offer a portfolio of shots expressly for this purpose.
Other jobs on my list included – business cards, Yellow Pages (did you know it is free to get an online listing?) & purchase a PA system. I did not actually purchase a PA system until I had some bookings.
The other great kick start booster for me was doing a local bridal expo. Again, there are many pro’s and cons about this as your demographic and geographic location will play a major part in the viability to do so. My outlay was approx. $600 plus costs I spent in styling props for my space. The day resulted in 6 bookings. Brilliant result!
Everyone will have a different journey in the start of their celebrant career. It is not something that you take on as a whim. To be a celebrant takes dedication and commitment and a healthy bank account helps!
Katherine's contact details: