LOVING LOVE: WHY I BECAME A CELEBRANT
"So you're pretty religious then?" my Uber driver asks me after complaining about the Hummer on our right and the cyclist on our left. "Like one of them happy clappers?"
"Not at all" I answer. "That suits some people, but it's not for me."
"So why are you doing it? I just haven't heard of many blokes doing wedding stuff is all. No offence"
I wasn't offended at all. In fact, it it was now getting to be pretty common to be asked this by anyone who finds out what I do. It's a fair call. Until a few years ago, I didn't realise someone like me would ever be able to help people make something that celebrates their lives coming together. But I would be, and I do.
Why? I love hearing and telling stories. And I LOVE hearing and telling stories about love.
The first story that I remember having a connection to was 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne. My dad gave it to me when I was 7, and I read it cover to cover. I can't tell you much about the plot specifically anymore, but I remember how I felt reading it on the floor of the bookstore while my dad continued to shop. Wonder. Fear. Excitement. Awe. All of these emotions and feelings that I remember vividly, and they came from reading a story that someone had prepared just for me to read. All from words on a page.
Later on when studying Theatre at university, I learned about the rich history of storytelling, our connection to it and how it helps us in our lives - it's natural to think of our own lives as a story, and we should. Rituals are so important in marking those chapters in our lives and recognising that we are growing and changing. This is what I friggin' love about weddings - ceremonies are a package that contain the very best qualities and emotions that make us human. Thankfulness. Reflection. Vulnerability. Openness. Generosity. Joy. Hope. Not to mention that all of your favourite people in the world are there to watch you declare proudly that you think that your partner is the prettiest person, and you've come a long way to get to this point and now you want to hang out with them for a really long time. That, sadly, doesn't happen enough in day to day life. So when it does, it should be celebrated. It doesn't have to be an opera, but it's what you make it.
So that's where I come in. Just like there is a person to help you pick a dress that suits you and represents who you are, and caterers to serve the food that you love and want to share with your best people, I am here to listen to your stories and work with you to make the best ceremony that is you, and celebrates your love, because there is no other like it - and that is pretty amazing.
So that's what brought me to this point, and I love being here. Sadly though, my Uber ride wasn't long enough to explain all of this. So if you're reading this, Sean F the Uber driver, I'll tell you the short answer - I like dressing up fancy.