From Toastmaster to Civil Celebrant

A lot of people have asked me from time to time what made you decide to become a Civil Celebrant.

My reply is simple. I was a toastmaster for fifteen years and it seemed only natural from “Toastmaster” to “Master of Ceremonies”. I love to write and deliver a service that mirrors that couple that are getting married. They are all individuals and while I am meeting them for the first time, I naturally start writing in my head a service that will suit their personalities and one they will enjoy. This is the rewarding part of my job.

It is really very similar writing a speech and writing a service.  After you have met the couple you are going to marry and talked with them a little, you can weave a story and then present a wedding service according to their set of criteria. Helping a couple to define their story is what I enjoy – to capture their unique essence as a couple and what they value in their relationship. You then reflect their values and their special memories into a service – designed just for them.


My couples (as I like to call them) have come from many different backgrounds and age groups. So, they are all unique. I love to sit with them and just talk and get to know how they met and what has brought them to the decision of getting married. Soon, general themes of friendship, similar interests and backgrounds, or the classic boy meets girl scenario begins to emerge.

I then ask them to look at some sample services and we develop one that is personal and unique to them and sits well with how they want their service to be performed.


If readings are selected, they are poems, verses or psalms, which also have meaning to the marrying couple and their family and friends. As for the big day, the celebrant service is delivered with precision and timed just like a speech with timed and practiced pauses. The service ends with a kiss when you pronounce the couple husband and wife. I just love being a Celebrant!
~ Carleen



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