What makes Modern Celebrant ceremonies so different?
Having our clients work through a reflective discovery process is one of the signature elements of collaborating with us in ceremony. Seemingly simple questions that are designed to help you express what lies within. Not perfect words but real, honest words. This is a contemporary and inclusive spin on those old marriage prep courses. Meeting in-person: We offer a relaxed in-person consultation and/or interview. We listen deeply to you, drawing out the most compelling threads of the experiences and feelings you share. We also take great care to honour your faith and cultural traditions. Ceremonial presence: Our gift is to weave your words, feelings, and traditions into a ceremony that reflects you and your life. Presented in a way that engages the heart and mind.
Can we meet you before making our decision?
Yes! We believe this is incredibly important. There needs to be a connection between us. And you need to feel complete trust.
How far in advance should we book?
For the ceremonial aspect of our contemporary ministries, we accept a limited number of ceremonial commissions each year. For some dates, we are booked a year in advance, other dates we’re wide open. No rhyme or reason to it. Always a good idea to check with us, even last minute. For instance, we work on extremely short notice for Celebrations of Life and Memorial ceremonies.
Who does Modern Celebrant work best with?
The people who are drawn to our one-of-a-kind ceremonial experiences want to see and feel more deeply at a particular time in their life. And they want their family, friends, and other guests to have a powerful experience too. In essence they commission us to create a personal and collective memory. They are people of ALL orientations, faiths, and backgrounds who want to live meaningful life.
How does it work once we make our decision?
To hold your date, we’ll have you sign an Agreement and provide a retainer that varies between 40% – 50%, depending on the ceremony. Further payments are by postdated cheque or e-transfer. We do not accept payment the day of a ceremony, as for us the actual ceremonial experience is far beyond a financial transaction. We can accommodate multiple payments if that is easier for you. From there, we get the ball rolling with as much padding as possible to allow space for reflection, interviews, visioning and writing, edits, rehearsals etc. A portion of yoru ceremonial fee is directed to our governing bodies. You will receive a tax-receipt for this.
Can you do Religious ceremonies? Cultural Ceremonies? Multi-faith?
In addition to being professionally educated and certified Celebrants, each of us is a recognized Religious Representative authorized by our own governing bodies which are recognized by the Province of BC. We perform a wide variety of interfaith and intercultural ceremonies, as well as serve the community in other ways.
How many ceremonies do you do in one day?
Simple answer. 90% of the time: just One. Yep. You are our primary focus on the day of your ceremony. We consider your ceremony to be important and take the time to ensure we are emotionally present and engaged for it. On occasion we do two ceremonies in one day, but only if there is a huge amount of time between the two ceremonies, and only if both parties give permission.
Does Modern Celebrant come to us?
Yes. We can perform your ceremony wherever you wish. Parks, beaches, mountain tops, and if you want a stunning view of the mountains and conifers with an intimate group, you even have a ceremony at Michele’s place! All you have to do is ask!
What attire will you wear for our ceremony?
We are always professionally and appropriately dressed, in keeping with our role as holders of ceremonial space. That means modest, stylish, sensitive and in keeping with the tone of your ceremony. We do not wear clothing that will distract in photographs, though let it be said that we have awesome shoes!
What happens on the day of the Ceremony?
We arrive at least 30 minutes before the ceremony. This is a respected experience for us as well, and we don’t like to rush. We make sure the ceremonial space is set up properly, help welcome guests, test any sound equipment e.g. microphones, speak with musicians to coordinate cues, chat with the photographer about best shots and angles, touch base with any readers, and just generally put everyone at ease so they can settle into the ceremonial experience.
Weddings: What about Rehearsals?
There is an additional charge for rehearsals because of the time involved. We’re experts at rehearsals. Even with a large wedding party, we can smoothly run through all the logistics of the ceremony in one hour, including entrance (processional), standing positions, readings, vows, rituals, leaving (recessional). We even tell you when you will hold your bouquet and when you won’t… and HOW to hold it. You’ll feel very at ease.
Making it Legal: The Marriage Licence
In the province of British Columbia, the couple must apply for their marriage licence. The fee is $100. Only one of you needs to apply; however you must have identification, e.g. passports or birth certificates for both parties. If either of you has been divorced you will be required to provide documentation for this as well. The licence can be obtained in various places around BC. Click here to find out where to apply in your area. At the ceremony, we guide you and your two witnesses in signing the Licence as well as the official Marriage Register (which we bring). Following the ceremony, we file the paperwork with the government.
Can we write our own vows?
Absolutely! We love it when you do. We give you ideas and samples to get you started, and then offer our expert guidance on the editing. Something you may not have thought of is keeping the vows a surprise till the day of (we’ll edit them with you individually then) and also how to ensure the vows are cohesive in tone and length. We help with that too.