Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Anna Richards - Featured Marriage Celebrant

I wasn’t always going to be a Celebrant. In fact, when I was growing up and I used to sneak around the house when my father was preparing his Sunday sermon, it couldn’t have been further from my thoughts that I would one day be officiating at similar ceremonies myself. I spent the first forty odd years of my career being a nurse, still am a nurse! 

Anna Richards, CMC with Julie & Joe
Funnily enough, one day I went to watch a marriage ceremony because my daughter was one of the bridesmaids and I came to see her looking beautiful. That ceremony changed my life. I kept thinking of myself being the Celebrant and how I would have conducted the ceremony. The thought wouldn’t leave me and even though my husband thought I was nuts and definitely didn’t think I was serious I went ahead and did the course. It was one of those short crash courses and, as I didn’t even know how to use a computer then, it was the most difficult week of my life.

Anna Richards, CMC with Helen & Pasquale
I spent weeks pre-reading and preparing for the course. Most of the others just went home and Googled what they needed to know! I plodded on regardless and got through (teacher was very happy). The problem was the Government decided we had far too many celebrants at this time and I had to wait two years before I was registered even though I was qualified. Finally registration came through! Now for a booking!  Being a rather shy person I didn’t mention to anyone that I was a celebrant so needless to say, I didn’t get many bookings. 
That was 10 years ago and I haven’t looked back. I love my work and only nurse two days a week so I can spend time expanding my Celebrancy business. In 2012 I updated my qualification to Certificate IV in Celebrancy at The Gordon Institute of TAFE in Geelong to be able to provide my couples with even more resources and to give them the best ceremony possible and something they will always remember because it was just as they imagined it.

I like to think of myself as the friendly Celebrant with a professional image who really cares about and listens to what my couples want. It is their day and it should be all about them. I give them a 20 page comprehensive Celebrant resource booklet which covers everything from the legalities to examples of vows, readings, music, writing your own vows and how to apply for an official marriage certificate.

I have learnt how to use the computer by the way, and my computer guru son is quite impressed how I now manage my own blog, website and various other forms of social media.
I love performing marriages for couples from overseas and have helped many couples obtain their prospective spouse visas.

My most memorable ceremony was in a suburban backyard where the groom decided, after having first said the legal vows, to sing his own vows to his bride.  I was a little apprehensive but she loved it and it was amazing how he kept it all together. We were all in stitches!

Anna Richards, CMC with Annie & Ben