Your ceremony sets the scene for your party and indeed your marriage to follow – so connecting with your celebrant on a level that resonates with your personalities is so important. If you aren’t into ‘fluffy or soppy ceremonies’, then Kitty of My Wedding Celebrant might be just the right person to start you off on your married life together. That doesn’t mean that there is no fun and laughter, or tears and emotion during your ceremony – there is – but your ceremony will be delivered just the way you want it to be, reflecting your personalities and style. Warm, friendly and outgoing, Kitty crafts each ceremony with care, taking care of the legal details as well as including the couple’s story into each and every ceremony that she delivers. Kitty comes highly recommended for her professionalism and support, and and her approachable and friendly manner, and when guests comment on a great ceremony – then you know that you’ve chosen a winner! Here’s Kitty’s story.
What or who influenced your decision to become a marriage celebrant?
I got to attend a destination wedding in Palm Cove QLD and had never really thought much about what went into a wedding. The celebrant mentioned the amount of work she had and I never realised you could actually be a celebrant for a living! Back to reality at work I began to wonder if there was more to life than just the 9-5. I should point out I didn’t have any kids at this stage, and I had no appreciation for what busy was! I wanted to use my love of public speaking and have more of a creative outlet and thought about the celebrant I had watched in QLD. I looked up how to become a celebrant and it turned out there was quite a bit of work and official things to do. I signed up to a course starting the next day and there started my journey to becoming a celebrant.
Image by Kitty Kulman
Image by Olguin Photography
How long have you been a celebrant?
Nearly ten years!!
Where are your based?
I am based in Ringwood and happy to travel around Melbourne and Yarra Valley areas. Actually I am happy to travel full stop. The beauty about being a celebrant is that I can marry people on the land, on the sea and even in the air of Australia. I was invited to marry friends in Exmouth last year and will be back in Perth in 2019 for another wedding.
Image by Sandra Minchero
What are the personal qualities and style you have that attracts couples to you (or that couples remark upon)?
I am pretty relaxed and friendly. I put people at ease. I take the stress out of the ceremony planning. I offer a few ceremony options so that I can suit the couples’ styles and personalities. Above all I am a professional and proud of being able to marry people.
What questions should couples ask when they are choosing their celebrant?
Ah good question. A good quality in a celebrant is their ability to listen so they should take on board all of your plans and ideas without telling you how it should be done. I guess that’s not really a question but if you are trying to find a celebrant who will be the right fit then that’s such an important attribute for the celebrant to have.
Celebrants should have their own sound systems and complete all the legal paperwork as standard, so these shouldn’t be questions you need to ask.
I would ask:
- What would happen if you can’t attend our ceremony?
- How is the ceremony personalized – if the couple want personalization
- Do I have to have a rehearsal – some couples are very happy to go with the flow
- You might want to know what the celebrant will wear.
Image by Sheehan Studios
Do most couples request a standard ceremony or are they more inclined to want an individually tailored celebration from you?
I offer both! Couples can choose which option suits them best. Once a couple has booked me in I send them an example of a personalized ceremony and one that is more standard (although I don’t like that word as every wedding is different!). Then they can decide on what they think will suit them for their wedding.
How do you start to write the ceremony vows – what is the starting point?
Vows is not something I feel I can truly write to reflect how much a couple love each other and the promises they will make to each other. I have had couples with super serious vows and then funny as vows.
I definitely guide my couples if they want help. They must include the legal line which I make sure they do. I can also keep their vows secret from each other, so it is a nice surprise on the day.
If the couple would like a personlised ceremony I give them some questions to answer in their own time. I have had mates answer them over a few glasses of wine (and then edit them the next day to send to me!!). I use their answers to craft their ceremony. Then I send the couple the draft which they can change to make sure they have the ceremony they want.
Otherwise I give the couple my ’standard’ ceremony and let them go to town on it. Basically I make sure it is legal and let them have full control.
Image by Olguin Photography
Image by Olguin Photography
What inspires you? How do you keep your ideas fresh for each wedding?
I am truly lucky to know quite a few celebrants and we sometimes swap ideas, ask for advice or even attend each other’s ceremonies. Couples in Melbourne are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing a wedding celebrant, so you need to have that something that makes you stand apart. I guess that inspires me – to be the best that I can be and keep marrying couples in the way that they want to be married.
How can couples personalize their wedding ceremony? Do you have resources/guides to assist with this?
If a couple decides to select my personalized ceremony option I set them some homework – although I have stopped calling it that as it freaks some people out! It is a list of questions that the couple can answer together or on their own. I use their answers to craft the ceremony – it is their words that becomes the ceremony.
I also send all of my couples a link to a drop box location that has heaps of poems, readings and other ceremony elements to help them add, if they want to, something extra to their ceremony.
I am always at the end of an email, text or phone call if they want help.
Image by Pierre Curry
You offer different packages at different price points (you’ve thought of everyone with your packages!). What is your most popular package?
I would have to say it is my simpler ceremony. Some people are terrified of the thought of being the center of attention and just want to crack on to that big party afterwards. Other couples have been together a long time, everyone knows their history and they just want something beautiful and meaningful but not necessarily about them.
Can you describe a typical wedding day in your life as a celebrant?
I am a super organized person – with my crazy life I have to be! I always have all the paperwork printed and ready to go the night before the ceremony. I make sure I know how to get to the ceremony location and how long it will take me – that is always my biggest stress. I HATE being late anywhere! I always arrive a least thirty minutes prior to the ceremony so I can calmly set up, test my equipment and have another read through of the ceremony. Then it is mostly keeping the relevant parties calm!! I like to have a chat to the other vendors involved, especially the photographer and let them know if there is anything a bit different with the ceremony. I always greet the bride, or the party making an entrance, and just help with any of those last-minute nerves. Then once the couple are married, I say a quick good bye and go home on my wedding high!
Image by Paul Stevens Photographer
What special things do you do for the bride and groom to assist them to feel calm and present?
I always have a chat to the groom and a bit of a joke around with the wedding party to help dissolve any nerves or at least make them a little more manageable! I always greet and chat to the bride and explain what is about to happen so that everyone feels in control. I try to make a lot of eye contact during the relevant parts of the ceremony to the couple, to really show I am talking to them and not just about them.
Image by Memory Box Studios
Are you looking forward to conducting wedding ceremonies for same sex couples when marriage becomes legal for everyone in Australia?
YES!!! I am especially happy for the same sex couples that I was already performing love ceremonies for and now being able to make these into legal ceremonies.
Do you travel away from Melbourne to perform wedding ceremonies?
Yes, I do. I have lived all over Australia and have friends spread everywhere. It is always such a privilege that friends would love to have me as their celebrant and be part of their special day. Then I get to party with them afterwards!! Perfect. Last year I was lucky enough to go to Exmouth to perform a wedding. I have a Perth one booked for 2019.
Do you have a favorite place outside the city that you escape to?
I am so lucky to live right on the doorstep to the Yarra Valley – escape to a glass of wine at one of the vineyards!
Image by Paw Focus Photography
What is the book that you have most enjoyed reading this year?
Gosh did I read a book this year? Not an adult one. I love reading to my children and we have some favorites. My daughter loves the Spot books at the moment and my son loves Where’s Wally!
What do you like to do in your free time?
Free time?!! LOL. I am a mum to two little people and I also work four days a week as an Application Specialist as well as being a celebrant. Life can be pretty hectic. But I love enjoying time with my partner and children. We make sure we always have family time but equally as important to take time out for ourselves. I enjoy heading to the gym (occasionally), catching up with friends and family and zoning out on the couch with a movie!
Thank you Kitty for sharing your story. Choosing a celebrant that fits with your personalities is so important – the ceremony starts of your whole married life together so what is more important than that! To find out more about My Wedding Celebrant visit the website.
Headshot image by Paw Focus Photography