6 questions you’ve always wanted to ask a marriage celebrant

We put a few questions to local celebrant Jonny Rudduck about what makes or breaks a wedding ceremony and whether he can predict a successful relationship.

What’s the worst song you’ve heard someone walk down the aisle to? And the best? The ‘Wedding March’ is usually perfect but I’ve heard so many good ones. My favourite is still the first wedding I ever officiated — The Beatles ‘Here Comes The Sun’. Once I was a guest at a wedding and the bride danced down the aisle to ‘Goin’ to the Chapel’. It could have been a disaster, but everyone joined in and it was actually really fun.

Have you ever witnessed any awkward vow moments? No, but one of my grooms asked me a couple of years after his wedding had ended miserably if I had noticed that he couldn’t look his bride in the eye saying his vows. He knew it wasn’t right but had passed the point of no return.

What is the biggest thing you’ve learnt from being a celebrant? Understanding how important ceremonies and rituals are. The four biggest events in our lives are our birth, our marriage, the birth of our children, and our death. These should be celebrated with a ceremony. And, how to predict whether a marriage will last.

So, can you predict a successful marriage from the wedding? A wedding is stressful and can bring out the best and worst in people. Predicting a successful marriage is more about a feeling — there’s no science behind it. It’s about eye contact, body language and how a couple interacts and communicates with each other. Thankfully, I have a very high success rate and most of my couples have babies really quickly and live happily ever after.

Any pet peeves around wedding etiquette? Wedding ceremonies are all about etiquette and tradition which I love and encourage. They’re also a wonderful opportunity to honour important people in your life. But, please don’t make decisions just to please your parents. It’s not their wedding, it’s yours and should reflect you as a couple. Unless, of course, Daddy’s paying.

What advice would you give a couple planning their wedding? Invite fewer guests and spend more money on them. That said, some of the best weddings I’ve attended have been pulled together on a shoestring budget with lots of help from friends and family. Whatever you choose to do just make sure it reflects you as a couple and is an occasion that will never be forgotten. And don’t worry about the weather, it’s the one thing you have no control over. Hope for the best, plan for the worst.

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