“Jill was phenomenal! She was a dream to work with and made our ceremony something more special than it was going to be. After our first meeting with Jill, it felt as though we knew her for years leading up to our big day. She took the time to understand our story and explain it in the best possible way. People are STILL TALKING about how amazing she was during our ceremony and how much they enjoyed it! Thank you, Jill, for making our night so memorable!”
–Samantha and Mike
What is a Life Cycle Celebrant?
Life-Cycle Celebrants are people in your community who are trained to officiate at, compose, and perform the highest quality personalized ceremonies for couples, individuals, and organizations. The Celebrant’s mission is to create a ceremony that reflects your needs, beliefs, cultural background, values, and tastes.
Celebrancy is an established and flourishing movement that began in Australia and New Zealand in the 1970s, where over one million ceremonies have been officiated at by Celebrants. The Celebrant Foundation and Institute educates Certified Life-Cycle Celebrants™ in the art of celebration, symbolism and tradition to offer personalized ceremonies to mark the milestones in people’s lives and reflect the needs, beliefs and values of the couple, individual or family. Celebrants are trained to officiate at virtually every life event, including: weddings, engagements, funerals and memorials and end-of life tributes, baby welcomings and blessings, parenting ceremonies, home and dwelling ceremonies, adoptions, dedications, anniversaries, birthdays, civic/community/non-profit ceremonies, survival-healing and transition ceremonies including divorce, recovery and job loss. The Celebrant Foundation & Institute has been featured in: NPR, CBS Nightly News, Wall Street Journal, NY Times, Wall Street Journal, BBC News and voted #3 for Top Ten Careers on CNN News & Money Magazine. For more information about the Celebrant Foundation visit: http://celebrantinstitute.org/.
Is a wedding by a Celebrant legally recognized?
Yes, I am a real ordained minister. Each Life Cycle Celebrant trained by the Celebrant Foundation in Weddings and Other Ceremonies for Couples has to meet the requirements of their state in order to receive certification. I have met the requirements of all 50 states through my ordination with the Universal Brotherhood Movement, Inc. I do not preach beliefs from any specific religion. I use my ministry as a vehicle to perform weddings. In addition, I hold regular meetings for those looking to explore life’s issues.
Can you perform civil unions and same sex weddings?
Yes! Performing a wedding is my honor for any loving couple. The process is the same for all of my weddings. I will work with you to be inclusive and welcoming to all your guests. I am particularly mindful of any areas that might be of a sensitive nature.
How does the process work?
After we meet for a no-obligation consultation, and you book me by signing the contract and sending me a 50% deposit, I start the process of really getting to know you as a couple. I learn what is important to you, how you met, and what you want your guests to walk away with after your ceremony. I do this by interviewing you in our conversations and with a well thought out questionnaire that you each complete as your assignment. I do my best to make the experience fun for you. This is the best part, while the day-of-experience will likely be less than 30 minutes; you get to be-in-the-experience throughout the process.
From what I learn, I create a first draft of your love story and the ritual elements you desire to be included in your ceremony. I have an arsenal of resources to suggest based on your cultural, spiritual, ethnic and life interests. I also spend time researching options for you to consider. The tone of the ceremony is reflected as well. Whether you are looking for a light, high spirited, serious, or all-of-the-above feeling ceremony, you and your guests will be caught up in the mood you want to create. No two ceremonies are the same. Yours is yours alone. You then have full editorial rights. Sometimes I get it right the first time. Often we will go back and forth until it feels right for your ceremony.
I am available for your rehearsal prior to the wedding and I will coordinate with your other wedding vendors to help assure that your ceremony is smooth, well coordinated and that you enjoy your day. Throughout the process, you have unlimited access to me through emails and phone calls. Good communication is essential to the process and I pride myself in my openness and attentiveness to your contacts.
Can we write our own vows?
Absolutely! Your words from your heart are more than welcomed. If writing scares you and you are interested in trying, I am here to guide you. I have many resources to inspire you. If you don’t want to write your own, I will still create your own vows for just the two of you.
How can we personalize our ceremony?
This is your ceremony and almost anything goes! You can choose your own readings, vows, rituals, music and wedding choreography. You can incorporate traditions and customs from your ethnic or religious heritages, as well borrow and re-invent traditions that you find meaningful. You can include your guests, your family and even your beloved pet if the venue allows.
How long is the ceremony?
The ceremony that we co-create is usually 20-25 minutes depending on the rituals and special elements included. Most venues allow for 30 minute ceremonies. A meaningful ceremony can be as short as 10-15 minutes. It’s not about the length, it’s about the substance and thought that goes into the ceremony.
How far in advance should we book our Celebrant?
It is best to book six months to a year in advance to assure that your date and time are available. If I have an opening, and there is some flexibility, weddings can be scheduled with short notice. Just ask, I do my best to be available.
Should we have a rehearsal prior to the day of the ceremony?
This is totally optional. If there are multiple rituals, readings & participants involved, it is beneficial to do a walk through prior to the day of. If this is not practical or not needed, I can do an informal rehearsal with the bridal party, minus the bride, if you like, just prior to the guests arriving.
What will you wear to perform the ceremony?
I dress in clothes appropriate to the feeling and theme of your ceremony. Most likely I will wear black slacks and black dress top and blend into the background. The focus should be on the two of you. If you have a special request for me to wear, this can be discussed in our planning.
Should we invite our Celebrant to the reception?
While I love a good party, and I know yours will be, it is absolutely not necessary to invite me to your reception or rehearsal dinner. It would be my honor if you choose to invite me, however I most likely will decline, but would love to stay for the cocktail hour to personally congratulate you and meet your family and friends.
What other services do you provide?
If you already have an Officiant, or you are really far out of town, but would like to have a custom ceremony performed by another Officiant, I can write your ceremony script for you. You will get all the benefits of working with a Celebrant, just not the performing of the ceremony. Contact me for the fees for this service.
In addition to being a Life Cycle Celebrant, I am also a Certified Professional Life Coach. Coaching is a true partnership between a coach and a client (individual, group or organization) designed to assist with discovering and achieving goals in all areas of the client’s life. I help to provide clarity, accountability and inspiration so clients can successfully accelerate achievement of their personal and professional goals.
I have been specially trained to be a relationship coach. I offer pre and post wedding coaching to help the bride and groom transition to wife and husband and reach their maximum potential as a married couple.
How far will you travel?
I love to travel and I believe that all weddings are actually Destination Weddings since it is your destination for your wedding. There may be additional fees for travel beyond my general location. Generally any location that is within a 30-45 minute commute is included in my fees.
Is there a contract that we have to sign?
Yes. After we meet and you decide to book me for your wedding, I have a simple contract that protects us both and spells out the agreements between us. When this is signed and a 50% deposit is received, your date is secured and our real planning officially begins.
What are your fees?
There are so many things that go into the determination of my fees. I have a set fee, however, I take into consideration rehearsal requirements, travel and the complexity of the ceremony. I also offer simple ceremonies, elopement ceremonies and last-minute ceremonies. I always try to work with any couple who wishes to have me as their celebrant but has limited resources. Off season and non-weekend rates are also available upon request. To secure the date, a non-refundable 50% of the agreed fee is due upon signing of the Agreement/contract. The balance is due in cash at the rehearsal or prior to the ceremony.