You’ll notice I never use the word “joke” in describing what I do. Because I don’t tell jokes at your wedding. 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. Celebrants are prepared to work with people of any belief – secular, religious or people for whom religious institutions do not serve their ceremonial needs. They are experts in composing ceremonies, managing rehearsals and performing life-cycle ceremonies. Celebrants are also experienced in the art of ceremonial public speaking. Using what I have learned, I will design a unique and memorable wedding ceremony reflecting your personalities, love story, beliefs, values and cultural backgrounds.
Besides being a trained ceremony professional, I am an ordained interfaith 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 if you are having a custom ceremony – 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 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 PayPal or credit card online. After you have signed your contract and paid your invoice, your date will be reserved for you.
Serving the Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill North Carolina area and beyond!
Photo Credits: Live View Studios ~ El pictures ~ Brunson Photography ~ Amelya Jane Photography ~ Southern Rose Photography ~ Images by Amber Robinson ~ Christina Minnish Visuals ~ Carolina MediaStar ~ Azul Photography
Video Credit: Will Greene Photography & Videography
Copyright © 2021 Gwen Downs, Celebrant