Sensational Ceremonies with Pete the Celebrant
When we welcomed Pete the Celebrant to our Tribe we were thrilled to have a celebrant that is all about creating magic moments throughout the ceremony process.
From start to finish Pete aims to have fun with his clients and make it a seamless experience, and on the day itself, his delivery will leave your guests laughing, crying and experiencing all the feels a wedding should bring.
We sat down with Pete to get to know him better and explore some hints and tips for your big day.
Pete! You are now officially a celebrant (and a very good one at that) – so how did you fall into this unique career?
My story is a little different to most celebrants. I used to work at a church as a youth pastor which helped me hone my skills as a public communicator speaking to groups of 10 or 100 as well as being an MC in front of thousands. During this time I also got the chance to marry a few couples as part of the church community and I loved it! To be honest, before being part of weddings I used to find attending most wedding ceremonies boring… but then I got the best seat in the house and I had the chance to create an incredible experience for the couple and their guests. After 5 years, when I was ready for a change and after leaving the church, I was in search for a new adventure, when a friend recommended becoming a civil celebrant. I now get to take couples on a brilliant journey of creating an easy wedding ceremony from our very first meeting.
Public speaking seems to come very naturally to you, what are some tips you can give to those couples that are terrified about speaking publicly, especially when it comes to their vows?
Breathe! A good deep breath or two quickly settles the nerves, restores focus and gives you a strong confident voice (regardless of what’s going on in your head).
It also helps to remember that everyone there, even the gatecrashers and +1’s at your wedding, want you to have a great day, they’re not judging how well you do or don’t speak, they want to support you and have a fun time.
It’s worth saying, that it’s ok to cry, many couples are worried about crying, but we’re human! We cry and it adds fantastic emotion, and I’m pretty sure Maybelline has sorted out the mascara runs.
Describe for us your celebrant style?
I’m easy going, pretty natural, add some quirky humour and I want my couples to love the process as much as their wedding day.
When a couple book with you, what can they expect from the process from start to finish?
We meet 4 times; – initial meeting (see if we click and that I’m as friendly as my photos)
– second meeting (paperwork and we go through their story which we craft together),
– rehearsal (I want everyone to feel at ease and smooth out all the little transitions)
– The Big Day!
Couples can expect the whole process to be easy, organised and with plenty of wine, beer and coffee. Not to mention, I’m working on a little home distilled gin gift at the end of it.
What would you say is the one thing you love most about your role as a celebrant?
I love to hear about their story! How they met, who they are, what they like to do, what pisses them off and what they adore about each other etc.
My favourite conversations are when it gets real, which is different for each couple, but connecting with them is important to me because I’m standing with them and representing them on the day.
What are some ways a couple can make their ceremony unique, so they stand out from the crowd?
Be fearless in making it personal. From the invites, to the signs, with the name tags on the table, even the things you don’t include. One couple I married love Wes Anderson movies, so they had a splash of his movies attached to everything! It made sense because that’s the couple and your friends and family get to see the world through your eyes for that day. So don’t be afraid to be outlandish, dorky, traditional…just be you. That will stand out.
To date, what has been one of your favourite wedding locations?
Tough question! I love wedding places with a bit of history to them!
Two that come to mind (I know I’m breaking the rules of ‘one’) is The Old Papermills at Fyansford. It is an incredible bluestone building, little chilly in August, but highly recommend a visit. The other is Churchill in Taradale, an old bluestone (sensing a pattern) church property converted into a wedding venue. Both are exceptional sights!
I’m still waiting on the Greece wedding…maybe I’ll update my answer then.
What has been one of your funniest wedding ceremony experiences?
It’s always the small things, like when a best man brings the rings too early or making light about the grooms emotional sniffles during his vows after he apologises by saying “It’s all good, this is what love sounds like”.
Do you travel for weddings?
I do travel! I’ve been interstate a few times, however most weddings are in Victoria. I predominantly get booked for weddings in Geelong and surrounds, the Yarra Valley, Mornington, Melbourne and Daylesford area. Did I mention I was keen for Greece?