What makes Modern Celebrant so different from other Officiants?
Reflection: Whether your ceremony is small or large, complex or simple, tomorrow or next year, Master Celebrant Michele Davidson has developed a reflective process that is one of the signature elements of collaborating with us. Seemingly simple questions that are designed to help you express what lies within. Not perfect words but real, honest words. Meeting in-person: We offer all our clients a relaxed in-person consultation and/or interview. We listen deeply to you, drawing out the most compelling threads of the experiences and feelings you share. Ceremonial presence: Our gift as ceremonial writers and storytellers is to weave your words and feelings into the tapestry that will be your ceremony. And to present your ceremony in a way that not only captures the heart and mind, but also enthralls!
What do you mean by, “Blowing the ‘Same-Old Same-Old’ out of the Water”?
Modern Celebrant’s ceremonies are the complete opposite of mass-produced. Founder Michele Davidson’s vision is that Modern Celebrant NEVER does cookie cutter or template ceremonies. Whether it’s in the readings we suggest for you, the rituals we research and design for you based on your cultural or faith backgrounds, the stories we share, and how we engage your family and friends in the experience — All of it, every word, written for you. And we are NEVER boring! Guaranteed.
Why do Modern Celebrant’s ceremonies cost more?
We work to an extremely high standard. Even our Short and Sweet wedding ceremony (the shortest ceremony we do) is highly customized, with your own words, hopes, and dreams woven throughout the ceremony. Like the best photographers, designers, and artists… we are committed to the concept of fine craftsmanship. We never do the same ceremony twice. We are always visioning, creating, crafting, and eternally breathing fresh life into our ceremonies. We elevate ceremony for our remarkable clients.
Can we meet Michele or Amanda before making our decision?
Yes! We believe this is incredibly important. Your ceremony should feel sacred and significant in the ways you most yearn for. So you need to feel complete trust with the person standing up there with you! Read what other people say about us. Also check out our Meet Michele and Meet Amanda pages.
How far in advance should we book?
We accept a limited number of ceremonial commissions each year in order to always give clients more than they ever dreamed was possible! For some dates, we are booked a year or two in advance, other dates we’re wide open. Feel very free to check with us! We move mountains to fulfill your ceremonial needs. For instance, Celebrant Michele can work on extremely short notice for Memorials and Ceremonies of Remembrance.
Who does Modern Celebrant work best with?
The people who are drawn our one-of-a-kind ceremonial experiences want to see and feel more deeply at a particular time in their life. And they want their family, friends, and other guests to have a powerful experience too. In essence they commission us to create a personal and collective memory. They are people of ALL orientations who value living and thinking outside the box, and who want to live a deeper and more meaningful life.
How does it work once we make our decision?
To hold your date, we’ll have you sign an Agreement and provide a non-refundable deposit that varies between 40% – 50%, depending on the ceremony. Further payments are by postdated cheque. We do not accept payment the day of a ceremony, as for us the actual ceremonial experience is far beyond a financial transaction. We can accommodate multiple payments if that is easier for you, as well as Paypal or Interac. From there, we get the ball rolling by creating a working schedule so you know what will happen when, with as much padding as possible to allow space for reflection, interviews, visioning and writing, edits, rehearsals etc.
Can you do Religious ceremonies? Cultural Ceremonies? Multi-faith?
Modern Celebrant a wealth of knowledge on the ceremonial customs of many faiths and cultures. This is an area of personal interest to founder and master Celebrant Michele Davidson. In addition to ceremonies where religion and culture play no role at all, Michele has integrated a wide variety of faith-based and cultural customs including but definitely not limited to: Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Armenian Orthodox, Islam, Gaelic, Hinduism, Chinese, Persian, Greek, Scottish, Pagan, Spiritual but not Religious.
How many ceremonies do you do in one day?
Simple answer. 90% of the time: just One. Yep. You are our primary focus on the day of your ceremony. We don’t stack ceremonies and think it is in poor taste to be running from one ceremony to the other. It certainly does not say, “I consider your ceremony to be important!” On occasion we do two ceremonies in one day, but only if there is a huge amount of time between the two ceremonies, and only if both parties give permission.
Does Modern Celebrant come to us?
Yes. We can perform your ceremony wherever you wish. Parks, beaches, mountain tops, and if you want a stunning view of the mountains and conifers with an intimate group, you even have a ceremony at Michele’s place! Michele serves the entire Sea to Sky Corridor from Whiterock to Whistler. Amanda serves Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. Celebrant Michele also performs ceremonies in the US and across Canada… and further afield too. All you have to do is ask!
What attire will you wear for our ceremony?
We are always professionally and appropriately dressed, in keeping with our role as ceremonial speakers. That means modest, stylish, and with a sensitivity to cultural beliefs and in keeping with the tone of your ceremony. For instance, even with the most casual of ceremonies, we would arrive in dressy casual. We deliberately do not wear clothing that will distract in photographs, though let it be said that we have awesome shoes!
What happens on the day of the Ceremony?
Michele and Amanda make a practice of arriving at least 30 minutes before the ceremony. This is a respected experience for us as well, and neither of us likes to rush. We make sure the ceremonial space is set up properly, help welcome guests, test any sound equipment e.g. microphones, speak with musicians to coordinate cues, chat with the photographer about best shots and angles, touch base with any speakers, and just generally put everyone at ease.
Weddings: What about Rehearsals?
For many of our wedding ceremonies, the fee includes the rehearsal. For the Short and Sweet, there is an additional charge. We’re experts at rehearsals. Even with a large wedding party, we can smoothly run through all the logistics of the ceremony in one hour, including entrance (processional), standing positions, readings, vows, ritual, leaving (recessional). We even tell you when you will hold your bouquet and when you won’t. You’ll feel so at ease, you’ll feel like dancing!
Making it Legal: The Marriage Licence
In the province of British Columbia, the couple must apply for their marriage licence. The fee is $100. Only one of you needs to apply; however you must have identification, e.g. passports or birth certificates for both parties. If either of you has been divorced you will be required to provide documentation for this as well. The licence can be obtained in various places around BC. Click here to find out where to apply in your area. At the ceremony, we guide you and your two witnesses in signing the Licence as well as the official Marriage Register (which we bring). Following the ceremony, we file the paperwork with the government.
Can we write our own vows?
Absolutely! We love it when you do. We give you ideas and samples to get you started, and then offer our expert guidance on the editing. Something you may not have thought of is keeping the vows a surprise till the day of (we’ll edit them with you individually then) and also how to ensure the vows are cohesive in tone and length. We help with that too.