Listen to my radio show and you’ll hear a mellifluous speaking voice, you’ll hear a few wry gags and you’ll hear a lot of flippancy. I drop the flippant stuff for weddings as, needless to say, they are incredibly important occasions. That’s not to say my ceremonies aren’t without a joke or two. I’m forever striving to get that perfect balance between entertainment and solemnity. And I get pretty close.
I've been a registered celebrant since December '03 and know what I'm doing now. I've worked out now what works and what doesn't. Yet I haven't been doing the job long enough to be jack of it. I still get a big kick out of doing weddings - the theatre, the emotion and dealing with people when they’re so incredibly happy.
Conducting a good ceremony that sets the mood for a whalloping good reception means that I’ve played a big part in helping shape a day that people will never forget.
I like to personalise weddings by listening to couples’ stories and introducing the wedding accordingly, focussing on the people rather than the institution. Marriage means different things to different people, it’s not my job to preach. Churches are available if you want that. I do funerals also, no preaching – all focus is on the life of the recently deceased.
There are new ways of doing weddings and funerals. Freed up from the constraints of religious practice and tradition we are able to conduct these ceremonies in ways that reflect the way we live and think. I’ll do pretty much what anyone wants. If you don’t know what you want I’ll tell you what you can do.
* Patrick Donovan - married by JvG Dec '03
© 2010 G. Lee/Jon von Goes