Family and friends can take each other for granted.
Having an independent celebrant/emcee can make all the difference!
Find one who is skilled at:
- public speaking
- designing and organising ceremonies
- looking for the uniqueness of each person
- families can make assumptions about common characterisitcs of all "mothers", husbands" etc
- encouraging and assisting family and friends to participate with speeches, music, poetry/prose, dancing
- researching and creating symbolism and other content for ceremony
See our CCN Directory of Celebrants
A celebrant/ emceee organising a really special ceremony or event:
- requires a lot of preparation time and planning with family members prior to the day, so
- the ceremony is the tip of the iceberg.
- Of course it does depend upon what your family wants prepared for the occasion.
If it’s just a simple ceremony:
- where the celebrant simply comes to congratulate the couple on staying married for X years
- including some readings and poetry etc. and
- presents a single certificate
then the fee would be matched to the time, skill, resources and travel required.
However an extra special ceremony could include:
- organising family members and friends to participate in the ceremony and/ or some or all of the following -
- interviewing the couple for a ‘family history and life story” approach
- making up a book with text and photos as a record
- making or organising a DVD of photos and music
- organising an Appreciation Album for the Guests to complete immediately after the ceremony as a record of the day
- organising a recording, editing as a record of the ceremony
then ask for a quote for the fee that would be matched to the time, skill, resources and travel required.
Read more here: How to give a ceremony as a group gift
Steps to plan a “Party with a purpose”
- Decide what occasion is suitable for your Special Celebration (e.g. Birthday, Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Wedding Anniversary) – preferably with 6 months or more for detailed planning
- Choose your professional celebrant – an independent celebrant brings a fresh perspective to your gathering. Families and friends can take so much for granted and so not think to highlight things others would find interesting.
- Choose an appropriate date and time e.g. Sunday morning followed by lunch, Saturday or Sunday followed by afternoon tea, Friday or Saturday late afternoon followed by dinner.
- Choose an appropriate venue – see some options as for memorials above.
- Send out a Save the Date – note this does not need to be the surprise – most people are happy to attend a family occasion where the food and drinks together is expected to be the main event, perhaps with the odd speech thrown in towards the end.
- Nominate Celebrant Contact i.e. the person in the family who will be the main contact person between the family and myself as the celebrant, and the person giving the final approvals for the style, content and cost of the celebrant's work.
- Nominate the Funds Collector i.e. the person who will be responsible for and how the individual contributions for the occasion are to be collect – to cover the celebrant's fees, flowers and professional photography if desired, the catering/venue costs (if this is not self-catered and held in a private home) ?
Note: People may need to make some partial payments, so best that a schedule is set for most payments to be made early.
- Nominate the “Reception” Organiser. i.e. the person who will be responsible for organising of the venue and catering to other family members, as appropriate. Even if the event is self-catered there is some organising to be done.
- Nominate the “Guest of Honour” Organiser. i.e. the person who will be responsible for preparing the person/s for the occasion and ensuring they get there as appropriate.
- Make a Plan and Review Progress - i.e. when and how your 4 key organisers will keep the planning on track and follow-up afterwards – in person, by phone, email etc.
- Celebrate & Enjoy – make the most of your gift! It is a gift to yourselves, your family and friends as well as your loved one/s who are the reason why you have chosen to have a Party With A Purpose.
- Make sure you all get home safely and follow-up (with those thank-you notes and other tasks like sharing photos etc).
Read more: Celebrating every stage of life.