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➳ CLARAH LUXFORD WEDDING CELEBRANT | HEARTFELT WEDDING CEREMONIES Q&A {TERRANORA}

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"Wedding trends come and go, and this is the same for ceremonies. I'm a huge romantic, so my ceremonies are more personal and heartfelt." Clarah - Clarah Luxford Wedding Celebrant

➳ Take us back to the beginning of it all for you - How and when did you decide to become a marriage Celebrant? There was no real defining moment, just a series of events. I studied communication at university and have always enjoyed writing and editing. I worked in jobs where I presented to groups of professionals and had to be super confident. I have a background in sales, marketing and public relations so creating a business was easy. Friends asked me to speak on their behalf, be master of ceremony at their events, or write their resumes and business briefs so I knew that a job writing was always meant to be.
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➳ What can you offer to a couple for their Wedding day? Experience - I've officiated 1,500 ceremonies. I'm a confident speaker and writer, I know how to connect with an audience and I can think on my feet. I have a modern approach and I'm well-presented.

Reputation - my couples know I’ll respect their privacy, value their beliefs and never say or do anything offensive. I won't sour the moment with expletives or ill-placed attempts to be funny!

Friendship - I want my couples to be comfortable. I'll always offer my friendship—it's who I am. It's super important that my couples feel like they have an old friend standing with them, reassuring and guiding them through one the most important events in their life.

➳ Did you always know that you wanted to be a Celebrant? Bahahaha.... never! I was always going to be a journalist and just got a little side-tracked.

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➳ What keeps you inspired along the way? Knowing I've done the best job I could, the couple are happy and felt comfortable and I met their brief. Also helping my couples write their vows, offering suggestions to make those special words more personal, easier to say, and a similar length and theme.

➳ Do you have any stories that you would like to share from your experiences? There are so many great stories after 1,500 ceremonies.

One of my best memories is my 1000th wedding. It was a big wedding with 120+ guests. The couple were fun, relaxed and easy going, and when I told them their wedding would be my 1000th they were just as excited as me.

I got through the entire ceremony without a hitch. I'm good at snapping into business-mode and not allowing myself to get too emotional but that day, when I presented them as Mr & Mrs, I had a lump in my throat, a tweak in my voice and a tear in my eye. To reach such a milestone, I cried tears of joy all the way home!
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➳ What advice would you offer to a couple who are just starting out on their search for the perfect Wedding Celebrant? Do your research – ask suppliers for recommendations, search for reviews, read what others are saying, ask how many weddings they’ve officiated, check out their social media accounts and website, find out what makes them unique.

Make sure the celebrant is experienced and authorised to conduct a legal ceremony - check the date of their appointment on the Attorney-General’s website https://marriage.ag.gov.au/marriagecelebrants/civil

Get a detailed quote - one with lots of information to help you build a picture of them from the outset. Make sure they're well organised and have a plan so you can relax knowing things are going to be taken care of.

Think about what’s important to you both – what kind of ceremony you’d like and if the celebrant will be able to meet your expectations. Ask if they’re a trained writer and professional speaker? Can they help you write your vows?

Be flexible – if the celebrant you really want isn’t available, look at different dates. Remember, a great wedding starts with an amazing ceremony and a great celebrant can help you achieve it.

FIGTREE PICTURES NORTHERN NSW MARRIAGE CELEBRANT GOLD COAST BYRON BAY TERRANORA
➳ Do you have a personal favourite style of ceremony? I'm a huge romantic, so my ceremonies are more personal and heartfelt. There are many celebrants trying to be all jokey and cool - that's okay - but in my heart-of-hearts I feel the day is a celebration of love and long-term commitment. Sure, we can all have a laugh, but it must be well-executed. There will be fun times in a marriage but it's a serious commitment.

My style isn’t overly-traditional either. You'll never hear me say 'dearly beloved we are gathered here today'! Wedding trends come and go, and this is the same for ceremonies. It's important for me to stay on top of what's on trend, offer suggestions and options but it's not about what I want. Respecting my couple's values, beliefs and individuality is always at the forefront.

➳ What is the best part about what you do: Making every bride and groom feel comfortable and more relaxed than they ever expected. After the ceremony, even the most nervous person tells me they enjoyed the experience and that makes my heart sing.

Also staying in touch after my couple’s weddings. They'll share holiday experiences, send family photos, catch up at their friend's weddings, meet for coffee, connect on social media, even send messages, cards and gifts thanking me years later. It’s truly amazing and I love it.
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