You’ll notice I never use the word “joke” in describing what I do.
Because I don’t tell jokes at your wedding.
There’s an important difference between humor and “a joke.” I love to laugh, and I think you and your guests want to, too. But I steer away from “jokes” that can be said of any couple anywhere, anytime. And I find that gender-based or honeymoon jokes (for example) are almost always cringe-inducing at best and offensive at worst.
Any of the humor in your ceremony will be about a funny memory in your own story from your first impressions of each other, your first date, or your proposal, and it will be something that you told me about. I don’t tell jokes. What I do is find those lighthearted and contrasting occasions in your love story that make us laugh. And those are the moments captured in all those photos.
I became a certified Life-Cycle Celebrant®, with a focus on weddings, through the Celebrant Foundation and Institute. This is a program that prepares people to create personal ceremonies for couples in a way that honors and celebrates all varieties of cultural beliefs, spiritual beliefs, and worldviews. I learned the art of storytelling, ritual, and cultural diplomacy. Celebrants are trained to bring people of the world together through marriage. The program takes seven months to complete and is one of the most rewarding things I've ever done.
Besides being a trained ceremony professional, I am an ordained non-denominational minister. My ordination allows me to legally wed couples in NC and in many other states as well. However, I come with no religious agenda. I honor and respect all philosophies, beliefs and traditions - secular, spiritual, Jewish, Christian, Hindu, Muslim, agnostic, interfaith, atheist, wicken, earthy, artistic, cultural, or totally avant-garde. I also welcome the LGBTQ community.
I recommend and gently insist on a rehearsal – that’s why it’s included in my services! If your venue is not available for a rehearsal, don’t fret! We just need a space where we can imagine a “front area” and practice walking down a mock aisle and standing in a line. I’ve done rehearsals in city parks, living rooms, condo party rooms, and restaurants.
We want to do everything we can to make sure everyone is as relaxed as possible on your wedding day. A rehearsal – anywhere – goes a long way towards that.
This has never happened, but fortunately I have a deep bench of several licensed and experienced colleagues who I know would knock your ceremony out of the park as well as I would. Your ceremony will already be completely written by me, of course, and I would call on one of my colleagues to seamlessly step in and read and perform what you and I have created together.
After we meet and you decide to hire me, I will prepare a contract and invoice. I will send them to you in an email with a link to an online payment portal. You can pay by check or credit card online. After you have signed the contract and paid the invoice, your date will be reserved for you.
Serving the Raleigh / Durham, North Carolina area and beyond!
Video Credit: Will Greene Photography & Videography
Copyright © 2019 Celebrant Gwen Downs