Your West Midlands Wedding - December/January 2023/2024 (Issue 89)

CHOOSING A PHOTOGRAPHER Pick a photographer whose work you love and whose images speak to you both as a couple. After all, the photos will be around long after the party is over. Have a good chat with your potential photographer; you’re going to be spending a lot of time with them on your special day, so it’s important that you get along with each other. Ask to see a full gallery before booking. Everyone puts their best work on their website, whereas a full gallery will give you a true feel for how they will capture your day. James Whittaker FINDING THE RIGHT CELEBRANT Selecting the right celebrant is a crucial decision when planning a wedding, commitment ceremony, or vow renewal. A celebrant will play a pivotal role in making your special day unique and memorable. Here’s a guide to help you choose the perfect celebrant to ensure your celebration is everything you’ve dreamed of: Determine your needs: Before you start your search, it’s essential to understand your specific needs and expectations. Consider the type of event you’re having, the style you envision, and any cultural or religious elements you want to incorporate. Do you want to include a unity ceremony? Do they have any additional services to offer, such as acting as your master of ceremonies? Knowing your requirements will help you narrow down your options. Research and recommendations: Ask for recommendations from friends, family, or event planners. Create a shortlist of potential celebrants based on these recommendations. Interview prospective celebrants: Set up interviews or meetings with your shortlisted celebrants. This is your chance to get to know them better and assess their personality, style, and experience. Ask questions about their approach, previous ceremonies, and their ability to customise the ceremony to your preferences. Personality and compatibility: It’s important to choose a celebrant whose personality fits well with yours. They will be playing a significant role in your special day, and you want someone who is warm, empathetic, and easy to work with. A good celebrant should be a good listener and be able to connect with you on a personal level. Customisation and personalisation: What’s their own personal style? Does it suit yours? A great celebrant should be able to create a ceremony that reflects your values, beliefs, tastes, themes, venue, and story. Discuss your ideas and expectations, and ensure the celebrant is willing and able to tailor the ceremony to your preferences. Communication and responsiveness: Reliable communication is essential when planning any event. Ensure that your celebrant is responsive to your enquiries and is willing to work closely with you throughout the planning process. This can make a significant difference in the overall experience. Pricing and contracts: Discuss the celebrant’s fees and any additional costs. Make sure you understand what’s included in the package, such as rehearsal time and travel expenses. It’s also important to have a signed contract that outlines all the details to avoid any misunderstandings. Reviews and references: Ask for references from past clients to get a better sense of their performance and professionalism. Reading reviews and testimonials can provide insight into the celebrant’s reputation and the experiences of others. Gut feeling: Ultimately, trust your instincts. After considering all the practical aspects, go with the celebrant who makes you feel most comfortable and confident. Your intuition can be a powerful guide in making the right choice. Take your time, do your research, and trust your instincts to find the celebrant who’s the perfect fit for your event. Louise Goode 44