We recently had a chat with Tracey O’Connor about Celebrant life –
• How did you get into being a celebrant?
I was kind of pushed into it, to be honest! Haha, best thing ever though. I found I was often asked by family and friends to be the one to stand up and deliver speeches on their behalf at birthday celebrations and other functions; until my mum (and number 1 fan) told me I should become a celebrant – she knew something I didn’t at the time I guess.
When I became licensed as a marriage celebrant, I was already running my own fairly successful Interior Design Consultancy, and figured I’d enjoy ‘marrying’ people as a wonderful hobby on the side! However, I found that by my 3rd year as a celebrant, wedding business was booming just through word of mouth/referrals and I couldn’t ignore the fact that I’d truly found my calling, so to speak; and have never once looked back.
• Why do you enjoy what you do?
I genuinely love to help create meaningful moments in people’s lives, and to celebrate those milestones with them. From meeting couples and getting to understand them and their ‘story’; then having the opportunity to re-tell their unique story in a fresh, fun and engaging way among their closest; followed then by the thanks and appreciation that comes from knowing you’ve just made their wedding ‘next level’ special, is the best feeling ever! And because each and every couple I meet is different, my job is always interesting!
• What’s the biggest mistakes and myths about wedding celebrants?
Sometimes I hear people say, “what a great gig – just show up and deliver, and you’re outta there”, when referring to a celebrant’s job. There is SO much more to it than that, just come along to one of my weddings, and you’ll understand! To confidently ‘show up and deliver’ a great story with the level of detail and content required to make it especially memorable, takes a great deal of time, focus and skill. Luckily my couples see full value in what I give them in terms of service and peace of mind that they’ll have an amazing ceremony.
• What do you believe about the wedding industry that no one else believes?
Before I became a celebrant and understood the wedding industry, I had the same belief as many couples do – thinking that the moment you mention the word ‘wedding’, the cost of any product or service you’re considering using immediately increases in price…. I’ve since come to appreciate the great amount of care, time and effort my fellow industry professionals invest in their businesses, giving nothing but full value back to their clients.
• In the lead up to a wedding, what have you noticed your clients doing that ensures a great wedding experience?
Reading through the wedding pack I give them! I love to share lots of helpful tips and inspiration based around my own experience in getting married; as well as the eight-plus years of professional experience I now have in celebrancy. As I’m always looking for new and fresh ways to ensure the wedding pack I offer is helpful to my couples, those who take it all in really gain from it.
When it comes to their actual wedding day, I find that my couples place full trust in my ability to give them and their guests a great ceremony experience, so they can simply relax and let the day unfold. If the celebration starts with the ceremony, the rest of the event is sure to follow on a high.
• What is the disaster that you closely averted, that the client never even knew about?
One time a mother-of-the-bride had a considerable wardrobe malfunction; and we spent around 15 minutes in the bathroom getting to know one another whilst I assisted her; and at the exact same time I was on the phone to the limo company, asking the driver to take a scenic route with the bride and her dad until the issue was sorted. I’m not sure if the bride was told by her mum later, but she certainly knew nothing of it at the time.
• What trends have you noticed over the last 12 months?
Lots of Navy and Nude! A stunning colour scheme that always looks classy.
• What trends do you see developing over the next few years?
With the new Laws of marriage equality, I see far less of the traditional ceremonial elements happening, and scope for even more amazingly unique ideas to be shared in the industry. Exciting times!
• What kinds of wedding ceremonies are you not good at?
I’d sound conceited if I said I was good at everything – though at the same time I can’t think of anything I suck at… So let’s settle with saying that I give my best performance when I’m asked to deliver a relaxed, friendly, fun and engaging ceremony. I do easy-going really well :-)
• How can people get in contact with you?
Any which way it suits, I can be contacted. I’m always happy to chat over the phone, or if email works better for people, then that works for me too. It’s my job to make your wedding planning easy; let’s start there….. xx