Photo by Keyhole Studios Photography and Film
I am so excited to share this wedding celebrant spotlight interview, having had the awesome pleasure of spending two days with Wedding Celebrant Lorraine in November 2018 at a Celebrants retreat that I organised and being able to personally attest to how bloody wonderful she is.
Things I love about Liverpool Celebrant, Lorraine Hull. Her smile (gorgeous). Her sense of humour (hilarious), her heart (massive) and her wisdom (vast). But don’t listen to me. Read on and see for yourself, then wait for me to say, I told you so. You’re welcome.
What has been the highlight of your wedding career so far?
That’s a mean question! There have been so many, and I know that there will be many more. How can I choose one? Is it cheating to say it is every time that a couple has actually ‘chosen and entrusted’ me with one of the most significant events in their lives? That’s always humbling, awesome and exciting – definitely a highlight.
What has being a wedding Celebrant taught you about life and people?
Love stories are the best stories and they are all different. Not everyone wants their love story told as part of their wedding ceremony, and I get that, but everyone does have a story that took them from where they were to where they are and where they hope to go. Even if that story isn’t told out loud, it matters and it is at the heart of every wedding.
What advice would you give to couples getting married now? What mistakes could they do with avoiding?
Remember the ‘why’. Talk to each other about why you are getting married, write it down in BIG letters and put it somewhere that you will see it. Most of the other stuff is just that: stuff. Set a budget and keep to it. Some things will be discarded and instantly forgotten by you and/or your guests – it’s for you to decide if they are worth spending your money on. I would say invest in the people who will create and record happy memories for you, and your guests, to look back on and say “that was the best wedding EVER!” Choose your suppliers well – not just on price – research them: read their reviews, stalk them on Social Media, ask them loads of questions, feel a connection with them, make sure they are right for you.
What do you love about being a wedding Celebrant?
I love the complete journey between the first enquiry and the aftermath of the ceremony. I love discovering what has brought the couple together and listening to them express their love and their hopes and dreams. I love my role in curating, creating and conducting their ceremony and I love looking at the photographs and films afterwards. Seeing all of the magical moments gives me goose-pimples on my arms all over again.
What aspect of your job as a wedding Celebrant gives you the most satisfaction?
That I know I am empowering and enabling people to have exactly the ceremony that they want, where and when they want it. I love the relationship that builds between me and the couple and the ‘I’m ok, you’ve got this’ look that I often get from a bride or groom, just before the ceremony starts.
What are your favourite types of wedding ceremonies?
As a registrar, for too many years, at too many weddings, I had to use the same generic, cookie-cutter script, with prescribed words, no personalisation apart from an approved reading or two, and the couple’s names on a Post-it note. I love it when a couple is completely invested in their ceremony and they work with me to ensure that their ceremony reflects what’s important to them and their relationship. When the couple wants their vows, and their commitment, to be the focal point of their big day and they want the ceremony to be about them and their commitment and shine with their personalities – and no Post-it notes!
If you had to sum yourself up in three words, what would they be?
Listener – Creator – Storyteller
What’s your favourite symbolic ritual, and why?
We had a unity cocktail mixing ritual at a wedding, it fitted that couple perfectly and it was fantastic (the ritual and the cocktail). The couple had really put a lot of thought into the ingredients and their symbolism. It contained: Dark Rum, to represent taking time to improve with age, and becoming bolder, and more confident, as a couple; Gin, to represent the strength in their marriage; a dash of lime, because life gives us bitter moments but within a strong marriage they are easily absorbed; pineapple, to represent sweetness and warmth; Grenadine, to represent the passion that flows, and grows, thorough the marriage, just like the tiny seeds that can grow into giant pomegranates. They mixed enough for them to drink (and me to try) during the ceremony and made a keg full for their guests to drink afterwards. I even got to announce the name that they had chosen for it: Dilophosaurus Venom! (did I mention that the ceremony started with the Jurassic Park theme tune?)
How would you say the wedding industry has changed in the last fifteen years?
There are many more things that people can include – there seem to be walls of everything imaginable: doughnuts, cheese, flowers and even pies and people are queuing up to tell you what this years ‘must have’ is. I’m not saying that this is bad, it provides options and choice, but I also think it’s worth reiterating what I said earlier about remembering the ‘why’ – because lots of what’s on offer is perishable or insignificant ‘stuff’ rather than elements that make memorable moments that ‘spark joy’.
What kind of couples do you enjoy working with?
Bright, chilled-out, fun-loving couples who don’t take themselves too seriously; couples who love each other to bits and want the world to know it! Couples who want their ceremony to be the most important part of their day and who appreciate that if they want it to be remembered as being perfect for them, they need to let me get to know them.
Tell us about a funny/hair-raising/near-miss wedding experience that you’ve had as a Celebrant
A very long time ago, one Valentine’s Day, when I was working for the Register Office, a bride was walking down the aisle and stopped halfway, stamped her feet, and screamed “LOOK AT ME!!” at her partner. I don’t think that the14th February has ever passed without me wondering if they are still together.
What are your favourite types of venues/spaces for weddings?
I really like weddings at private houses. The ceremonies can take place inside or out; the houses and gardens don’t need to be vast. It can be at the couple’s home, or a relative or friend’s – or somewhere rented on Airbnb. Every wedding that I have done, in one of these venues, has been extra-special.
When you’re not busy being a Celebrant what do you love doing?
I love spending time with my family and friends. I love watching football and I love drinking tea – alcohol I could give up tomorrow, but please don’t ever take my tea away! I still really love travelling and learning and I have developed a huge love of being creative with arts and crafts.
Lorraine is ACE, right? So of course you will want her to write and conduct an amazing wedding ceremony for you. If that’s the case, you can contact her here.
Main photo image by Keyhole Studios