Our founder Sam sat down with same-sex wedding celebrant Karen Brown from A Timeless Love. Karen, a 2016 ABIA Finalist, believes that every person should celebrate their love, their relationship, their way.
How did you get into the wedding industry and how long have you been practising?
After my son’s wedding, I knew I had procrastinated way too long as I had wanted to be a Celebrant for years, so I signed up for the Certificate IV course and I was officially appointed as a Celebrant in September 2014.
What do you enjoy most about being a marriage celebrant?
It is a privilege to be embraced by a couple and share in such a momentous time in their lives. I absolutely love getting to know them and working with them to create a bespoke ceremony that reflects their love, hopes and dreams for their wonderful future.
Every couple and ceremony is different, and the joy of officiating their ceremony is such a delightful experience that I truly value. Every ceremony I have conducted, I have received praise and compliments from my couples, and importantly from their family and friends. It gives me much happiness when they come up to me after the ceremony and say things like, “That was the best ceremony I have ever been to”, “You made the ceremony so personal and about the couple; it captured their love and their story beautifully”.
There are so many wonderful ways to enhance the ceremony to make it special and different. Wherever the ceremony location is and the style of same-sex ceremony the couple are seeking, it gives me a great deal of pleasure suggestion options and then designing their ceremony just how they dreamt it to be.
All my couples are special to me, and I take care to get to know them and listen to their thoughts. I give them the draft ceremony that can be edited, so that on the day, they know what I will say, and how their ceremony will be presented. I delight in giving them a keepsake copy of their ceremony including their photo on the front, so they can cherish the ceremony, and reflect on it in years to come, or use their same vows again if they renew their vows at a later stage.
Do you have any tips for couples looking to get married?
Choose your Celebrant by talking to them, and get to know the person you are entrusting such a milestone event with! A great Celebrant should be able to show you how experienced and professional they are and what they will do for you, from day one through to the biggest day of your life when you wed.
Don’t select a Celebrant on low prices – you don’t want a dull, cut and paste ceremony which everyone wants to be over so that they can head to the reception. You deserve a bespoke ceremony that is all about you and one that engages your family and friends from start to finish. The celebration starts at a beautiful and heartfelt ceremony!
Lastly, on the day, don’t be late! Once you set the time for your ceremony and invite your guests, please arrive on time. Unfortunately I have had a few very late arrivals (the worst was 2 hours late) and it is unsettling for everyone, and it makes your partner very uncomfortable!
What process do you follow when a couple makes an inquiry with you?
I give them a good overview of my services and always suggest we have a relaxed and no-obligation meeting so they get to know me, and I explain how I work with my couples to deliver their sensational ceremony and support them every step of the way.
I am happy to answer any questions and show them examples of my ceremonies, and once they engage me, I support them with my Marriage Manual which contains sample ceremonies, extensive vows and ring exchange suggestions, beautiful rituals, readings and poems that can be incorporated into the ceremony.
Tell us about your most memorable ceremony that you have officiated.
There have been two ceremonies that have stood out for me.
I was very privileged to officiate a ceremony for a transgender bride. She openly shared her story with me, and what she went through to legally change from a man to a woman. I have maintained the confidentiality entrusted to me. When the bride and groom married, it was a truly wonderful celebration and I was delighted to solemnise their beautiful relationship.
The other was a beach commitment ceremonies for two wonderful lesbian women very much in love and wanting to formalise their union. Their family and friends were so very happy for them, and we had happy tears and laughter during the ceremony, as they publicly declared their love and happiness to share their future together.
What is the most important thing you've learnt about weddings and marriage?
I strongly believe every couple deserves their love to be celebrated their way.
Why do you support marriage equality?
Every loving relationship should be recognised and celebrated, so that same-sex couples have the same rights as heterosexual couples in Australia. It would be an honour to design their bespoke ceremony, and ensure their special day is just how they wanted it to be, to start the celebration of their loving future together.
Check out Karen's Her Bride His Groom profile here for contact and booking details.