‘My Celebrant’ guides you through your ceremony planning process, in a way that allows you to relax and focus your attention on being ready for the most incredible celebration of your life. With a wealth of Celebrants in the palm of your hand, ceremony planning needn’t be stressful, but rather fun and light-hearted.
We speak to Victoria Thomas of how ‘My Celebrant’ came to fruition…
Tell us how My Celebrant came to be?
Balance, health and wellbeing are essential for me and I have chosen to cultivate my mahi in a way that fits into my dream lifestyle and allows flexibility – I currently work in a range of roles that I love, while also enjoying whānau time and time for myself. I have the world’s best husband, and our sassy two year old, Maia, is our greatest joy. We can’t wait to meet Pēpi #2 very soon (due August!). I have a sea soul (I think I was a mermaid in a past life), love yoga, and a good book with a cup of tea.
I’m a primary school teacher by trade, something I absolutely love – when I’m in the classroom once or twice a week. I have worked across a range of year levels over the past 10 years, in a variety of roles (full-time, part-time, relieving, learning support). One of my greatest passions is capturing people’s stories and I have now had the privilege of officiating nearly 100 weddings as an independent marriage celebrant based in Ōtautahi Christchurch. I have VCANZ accreditation which means I have completed professional development and have been approved to officiate both registry and personalised ceremonies.
Shortly after becoming a marriage celebrant nearly 5 years ago, I quickly identified that there must be a more efficient way of managing my business. You’re looking at someone who is exceptionally organised and loves improving systems. I wanted my business to get where I wanted it to be FASTER… I wanted to save TIME, and bring in more MONEY. Most importantly though, I wanted to have SPACE to feel present in my life. I couldn’t find a platform that met all of my needs, so I decided to design one. I spent hours talking about the concept with friends and family (and brainstorming, wire-framing etc while breastfeeding in the middle of the night!)… and then, I received a marriage licence for one of the couples I was officiating for. The groom’s occupation was listed as ‘software developer.’ I thought ‘Ooo! Would you like to work on this project with me!?’ Being recently engaged, he went through the process of planning a wedding while developing ‘My Celebrant’, so had a really good understanding of what is needed from a couple’s perspective. We trialled the platform initially with friends and family, couples who had booked with me, and then brought a group of Christchurch based celebrants on board – before launching to the public in September 2022.
Explain how ‘My Celebrant’ works?
It is important to us that couples are able to plan their dream ceremony with ease. Wedding planning can be overwhelming – there’s a lot to think about! ‘My Celebrant’ has been designed to eliminate the stress of ceremony planning. ‘My Celebrant’ is free for couples who want to book a celebrant. They can browse a wide range of profiles on our steadily growing directory, using filtering options such as the celebrant’s availability and location, to easily make contact and book directly through the app. The best part of the app for couples is then having a shared platform with their celebrant to plan their wedding together – they’ve got access to their contract, invoice, to-do list, ceremony script, and resources (like vow guides) provided by their celebrant. They can also use the chat box to communicate with each other whenever they need to. It’s so easy!
From a celebrant’s perspective, ‘My Celebrant’ is the ultimate mobile app and web platform with everything we need to run our business in one place. The platform helps celebrants connect and communicate with couples, manage bookings with invoicing, contracts and payments, track and write ceremonies (including customised step-by-step to-do lists and questionnaires), and automate tasks… a true game changer in the industry. Using ‘My Celebrant’ is also an awesome selling point when chatting to potential clients – as celebrants can say that as an added bonus for working with them, couples will have access to an incredible planning platform for FREE. As ‘My Celebrant’ continues to grow, I have no doubt that clients will be actively looking for celebrants that are using this platform.
Being on board ‘My Celebrant’ means being part of a special network of celebrants and clients based all around the country. With approx. 20 celebrants and over 350 couples who have planned their special day through ‘My Celebrant’, I can confidently say that it is becoming the place to be.
Something I am really proud of is our 5 star rating on Google! I’d love to share some of the key words and phrases that are coming up in reviews over and over again from both celebrants and their clients. • No stress, super easy, saves so much time • Useful to have everything in one place • Love the to-do lists to keep us on track • Connection and collaboration, straight-forward communication
Any advice for couples in the throws of planning a wedding?
Consider what makes YOU happy? Not your Mum, not your extended family, not your mates.
Invest in vendors that you vibe with. We will work with you to make your day look and feel like you. ‘My Celebrant’ is an incredible, FREE tool to ease the stress of ceremony planning – check it out!
Be present 🙂 enjoy the magic.
Favourite style of wedding?
One that feels like the couple – where their unique love story shines through.
Advice for couples nervous about their vows? Advice for couples writing their own vows?
Legally, each person must say “I, AB, take you, CD, to be my…” (or words to that effect) in front of the celebrant and their two witnesses. It is the couple’s choice if they would like to make additional personalised promises as they begin the next chapter of their lives. Couples may choose to use traditional vows, write their vows together, or write them independently as a surprise on the day. Some couples like to share their vows privately, and others choose to read them aloud during the ceremony. There’s no right or wrong – your celebrant is here to support you in the way that feels best for you… You’ve got this!
As a celebrant, I have created a step-by-step guide on ‘My Celebrant’ to help my couples write their vows. I’ve included some real examples from weddings I have officiated, a template to follow (if the couple wants to!), and some pre-written vows that couples are welcome to use if they get stuck.
How long does a ceremony usually go for?
‘My Celebrant’ makes it super easy to personalise ceremonies so that they suit a couple’s needs. Modern-day ceremonies are usually short and sweet – no more than 20-30 minutes – with a balance of romance and light-hearted fun.
How much do your services cost?
‘My Celebrant’ is completely free for couples!
There is a monthly ($39.99) or annual ($439.99 – 12 months for the price of 11!) subscription available for celebrants, including a 30 day free trial.
What’s next for you in 2023 and beyond…
Keep an eye out for our one-year anniversary celebrations (Sept 2023)!
Looking ahead, we hope to make our way across the ditch… 🙂 watch this space.
For more visit ‘My Celebrant’ on the Wild Hearts Vendor Collection here