Interview with Wedding Celebrant Joshua Withers

What sets you apart as a celebrant?
Weddings are chock-full of meaning and purpose, but over the years traditions and weird people have clouded the goodness with pretty and meaningless things that are supposed to make the event better, but surveys say it doesn’t.

So I strip back all of the traditions, and peal back the curtains on your marriage and shine a big light on it so your friends and family aren’t celebrating a wikipedia entry on wedding tradition, but instead, they’re celebrating the fact that the two of you don’t hate each other, but you actually adore each other and that means that you have an awesome future ahead of you. Plus I wear wooden bow-ties. In fact, maybe just say I wear wooden bow-ties, that’s simpler :)

Why are you so passionate about what you do?
I’m passionate about what I do because it matters. What I do makes a difference in the world, but more importantly, it makes a difference in individual lives, marriages, homes, and families. How could you not be passionate about that.
I believe that awesome marriages make for awesome families which makes for awesome communities and an awesome world. It’s the small things that affect the big things.
Who trained you?
I learned to become a celebrant under a great man, Richard Nugent, who at the time was the Senior Pastor of SURFCiTY Christian Church. When he passed away earlier this year everyone talked of his love for people and I’m really inspired to carry on that legacy.
What gear do you use, and why?
In my weddings my sound gear is all Sennheiser portable gear simply because no-one else makes portable, all-in-one, battery-powered audio gear like Sennheiser. Their LSP-500 along with three of their wireless 1.8Ghz transmitter/receiver pairs just sounds amazing. Put alongside a MiPro, or a Chiayo competing units and the other two sound like they’re underwater.
I use a handheld microphone for myself, a Sennheiser E865, plus I have a backup E835 for a singer if there is one, and a beltpack transmitter for plugging in a guitar, or a sound desk, a DJ, or an iPhone.
The biggest complaint I hear about celebrants is that no-one could hear them, so I thought I best fix that.
What’s the biggest wastes of a couple’s time?
Arbours. The world arounds us is amazing, let’s stand in front of the world instead of in a poorly constructed wooden thing that is about to fall over. And after eight years in the business I can’t recall a couple that stood in the middle, almost everyone is off-centre which photographers love.
Who is the best wedding supplier you’ve worked with at weddings and why?
My wife, because she works me harder than anyone else! (She runs The Elopement Collective, an elopement planning business) but if I can’t vote for her then I’ve got to say wedding photographer, Michael Briggs. I work with happy people in every wedding on every day, but Briggsy is the happiest bloke holding a camera you’ll ever meet.
I know a bride and groom that want a really boring ceremony, what are the top 3 things to make that happen?
1. Google for “weddings”
2. Get as many people involved as possible. Get as many chefs in the kitchen as you can. Consider it a fun game.
3. Put as much focus on what makes everyone happy. It’s a well proven fact that the more people you can please in your wedding, the more boring it will be. Try not to listen to yourself or your partner and sacrifice everything that makes you you, and instead go as normal and mainstream as possible.
Where do you see weddings themselves changing in 5 years time?
Weddings are getting smaller, more personal, and more intimate. Less and less we’re trying to keep up with the Jones’ and instead we’re uninviting the Jones’.
What behaviour is common between couples who end up having a great wedding experience?
They have a simple and purposeful plan for their event, and they get the best people to make it happen. Simple.

– Interview with Daniel Toop @ Griffin Alliance (Wedding DJs Melbourne)

You can contact Joshua here:

Josh Withers
0411 849 404