I think that everyone was happy when learning that Sir Paul McCartney was “tying the knot” with American businesswoman Nancy Shevell. McCartney’s love affair with his late wife Linda is the stuff of legends. After his sadly bitter divorce in recent years, we hope that the third time is a charm for him. On the heels of the Royal wedding, this announcement was another bit of welcome romantic news from across the pond. My only disappointment was learning that Shevell and McCartney were seeking a small, civil ceremony—in short order.
I certainly understand why distinguished individuals of a “certain age” might wish to avoid the media spotlight that inevitably accompanies a large, spectacular wedding. However, there is no need to rush off to the judge’s chamber! As a life-cycle Celebrant and wedding officiant, I am here to say that there is a most wonderful, extraordinary option for all couples, including those who wish to have an intimate, private affair.
Throughout my various websites and blogs, I often mention that I am a “Celebrant,” as well as a wedding officiant. Status as an officiant gives me the legal credential to marry people. Celebrancy is all about training and approach. As part of an ever expanding international association, Celebrants are educated in creating specialized ceremonies for major life events and transitions including weddings, funerals, baby blessings, and much more. And this I can guarantee—the principles of our approach work beautifully for weddings with any number of guests—20 or 200. From over the top Manhattan venues to little patches of paradise in Central Park, finely crafted ceremonies offer the happiness and emotional gravity that every marriage partnership deserves.
I won’t recite chapter and verse about what makes our approach so special. When meeting new clients, I underscore that from a philosophical and religious point of view, a Celebrant will come to the process making every effort to learn their view on life’s most important questions. Through conversations and the written word, I (and other Celebrants) get to know what makes brides and grooms, as individuals and as a couple, “tick.” A Celebrant-led ceremony will tell the story of the couple—from lighthearted stories of the early courtship to the deepest words describing their love for each other—in a special narrative portion of the ceremony script. Finally, a Celebrant will offer interesting options for every part of a traditional ceremony format from readings, vows, rituals, inclusion of guests, and more!
A good wedding ceremony is rather difficult to describe—but as with many things, “You know it when you see (and hear) it.” In trying to articulate the indescribable, I suggest to clients that a rich ceremony feels three dimensional, whereas a “cookie cutter” ceremony is, literally, flat. A standard issue wedding script, like a clear broth, will provide nutrition and will “get the job done.” But wouldn’t you rather have a rich stew, filled with interesting tastes and textures? (Of course, in my case, it would be a Goulash….out of respect for my Hungarian boyfriend!)
So Sir McCartney and Ms. Shevell, let’s respect your desire to have a small, private ceremony. But, please, realize that this preference should not preclude a spectacular, personalized script that you will never forget, a ready gift that a Celebrant will happily provide. Call me to schedule your special day!