I figured it was about time I let you in on a couple of secrets. Now, before I go any further, these aren't life changing secrets or anything, I just thought you might find them interesting. I'll stop building this up and get on with it! My first secret is that I do a substantial amount of my ceremony preparation in the bathroom. Now, I know what you're thinking, that's a bit bizarre. But, actually it's probably the most convinient place for me to go. Whenever I conduct a ceremony I always arrive at least one hour before the ceremony start time. This is so I can set up, and it also allows me to meet and greet any guests as they arrive. I do like having a chat with people, saying hello and finding out how they know the couple or family who is hosting the special day. I then like to pop to the loo to do my vocal warm up. Although the ceremony room is usually empty when I first arrive, I wouldn't want to scare anyone off or make a fool of myself! The acoustics in toilets are usually pretty good too, so for a moment I can pretend I'm Adele or Beyoncé! You might be thinking at this point, why is SJ doing a vocal warm up in the first place, she isn't a singer! But during a ceremony I can be talking pretty much non stop for 30 minutes, and I want everything to run nice and smoothly for all my clients without me having to stop and cough, or clear my throat. It's also important for me to do a vocal warm up as it allows me to make sure I'm sounding clear, it helps prevent stumbling over words and it gets me focused and in the zone, ready to give you the best ceremony ever!
My second secret is that I cry. Lots. But don't worry, it's not during your ceremony, it's afterwards in the car just before I set off home. Again, like my vocal warm up's in the toilet, I'm probably not selling myself well here. Let me explain. I cry because I've given my everything, I cry because I am moved by the ceremony and the people that are taking part in it. No matter the celebration there is always tonnes and tonnes of love. When you write your own vows for your wedding day everything that you say is true to you and your partner. It's real, it's emotional, it's super special. Same goes for a vow renewal, they might be the vows you said when you got married, or you may have incorporated something totally different, but it's wholeheartedly yours. Every word said, every moment shared, an incredible unique moment. At naming days I have seen a parent hold a child whilst reading them a poem and they have cried tears of joy. They feel so, so lucky to have been blessed with a little person that they can call their own.
So, that's why I cry in my car, because I feel really honoured to have witnessed such special, once in a lifetime moments.
Thank you to all the amazing families and couples that continue to let me be part of your ceremonies. It blows my mind to think that I have this job. I know I'm incredibly lucky to do what I do.
I'll bring you some more celebrant secrets in the coming months!