With answers to help you in your journey down the aisle
What is the Life-Cycle Celebrant distinction?®
This distinction means the individual has been certified in fundamentals of ceremony and ritual along with a specialty certificate in a seven-month rigorous course of study. These professional ceremonialists understand and specialize in integrating personal story and history into ceremony and ritual. Life-Cycle Celebrants® adhere to CF&I's gold standard of practice and ethics and practice without judgment or agenda. In addition they have undergone several hours of ceremony writing as well as being tested in regard to their own ability to officiate ceremony and understand the nuances of personal ceremony.
What is Certified Life-Cycle Celebrant®?
Life-Cycle Celebrants® are graduates of the Celebrant Foundation & Institute (CF&I). Life-Cycle Celebrants® are highly trained professionals who officiate life milestones, rites of passage and transition events including weddings, funerals and baby blessings for individuals, families and communities. Life-cycle Celebrants® create and perform one-of-a-kind, personalized ceremonies that can include customized rituals and reflect the clients' beliefs, philosophy of life and personalities -- not those of the Celebrant's.
What is a Celebrant ceremony?
A well written custom ceremony which reflects the personality, beliefs, values, traditions of the client(s) while weaving in the client's personal story and history. The Celebrant ceremony also takes into account the ceremony guests or community making certain that they feel a part of it all in whatever way that matters to the ceremonial honorees. The client has complete approval and reviews the ceremony script and has the right to make revisions before the ceremony is officiated by the Celebrant.
Is Celebrant ceremony based on the structure/framework of traditional ceremony?
Yes, Celebrants have studied rites of passage, mythology, Jungian philosophy and ancient and world traditions. Celebrant ceremony is unique because the personal story, history, or reference to family ancestors is fundamental to the ceremony along with paying attention to tone, lyricism and story arc.
Why are rituals important in life?
Rituals connect us to something larger than ourselves; they are the portals we pass through in our journey through life. They create a pause outside of regular space and time that allows us to focus our intentions. Robert Fulghum wrote, “Rituals are cairns marking the path behind us and ahead of us. Without them we lose our way.” For many, rituals offer an opening and a way to connect body, mind and soul.
Is a celebrant wedding ceremony legal?
Yes. All celebrants are individually responsible for acquiring what they would need and fulfilling their regions requirements to legally solemnize weddings in their state, province in their country. Many are ordained as a non-denominational minister by an organization of their choosing. New Jersey registered certified civil celebrants are legal to officiate and sign the marriage license as NJ civil celebrants as of May 2014 when the NJ State legislature passed a law which included Civil Celebrants in their marriage act and was signed by NJ Governor Christie. NJ Civil Celebrants are required to register with the New Jersey Secretary of State and receive their official certificate and registration number.
Are wedding Celebrants legally allowed to solemnize vows and sign the marriage license in all states?
Each Life-Cycle Celebrant® is individually responsible to make certain that they comply with the marriage laws of their state/province/country or region, or the state in which they have been contracted to conduct a ceremony. Most wedding Celebrants are ordained (by another organization that complies and meets all regulations) as a non-denominational minister and sign the license as such. New Jersey is the only state where certified civil celebrants are legal if they have registered with the Secretary of State.
My family is interfaith (or secular, atheist, agnostic, spiritual but unaffiliated). Will the Celebrant create the ceremony to reflect our beliefs and values without judgment?
Celebrants specialize in creating personalized ceremonies that reflect your philosophy of life. You will see every word beforehand thus assuring that the accuracy, tone and beliefs are represented as you wish. You are encouraged to revise the ceremony in collaboration with the Celebrant. The Celebrant does not interject personal agenda or judgment or belief into your ceremony. Your ceremony is just the way you want it and nothing less. The Celebrant can make it as religious, spiritual or secular as you want. It is your call and something you will not get if you are married in a particular house of worship.
Where did the Celebrant movement originate?
In the 1960s the movement was founded and established by the late Australian attorney general, Mr. Lionel Murphy. Celebrant ceremonies are widespread in Australia and other places and are also becoming much more common in the United States.
What is your fee for a Celebrant ceremony service?
While fees may vary depending on the type of ceremony, location and client needs, my standard fee starts at $550. I spend anywhere from 10 to 20 hours on each individual ceremony and make myself available every step of the way to answer questions, coordinate with other vendors and more. When compared to the cost of flowers, a dress, music, photos and most venues, the Celebrant fee is well worth having a ceremony you and your guests will always remember.
What are some of the services the celebrant provides?
A no-obligation initial in-person meeting (or phone or Skype); extensive consultation and collaboration; customized research of readings, rituals and blessings for your particular ceremony; ongoing communication via email, phone, Skype or text; liaison with other ceremony vendors and/or venue; individual questionnaires to learn all about your story; ceremony outlines and complete ceremony scripts authored by Celebrant for review; ceremony cue sheets; supervision of rehearsal when applicable; ceremonial officiant performance skills; filing your wedding license after the ceremony if needed; and keepsake final ceremony script.
Will my Celebrant provide me with a final script version before my ceremony for me to approve and/or revise? Do I have final say?
Yes, your Celebrant will provide you with a complete, edited ceremony script version for your review, feedback, revisions and ultimate approval.