What is a celebrant?
The Celebrant movement began in the early 1970s in Australia and New Zealand and since then Celebrants have performed over a million ceremonies worldwide. Celebrants officiate at virtually every life event, including weddings and commitment ceremonies, funerals and memorials, baby naming’s, and coming of age celebrations.
Celebrants focus on personalizing each ceremony to reflect the needs, beliefs, and values of their clients. In this process, Celebrants become the voice of their clients, and the Celebrants’ personal belief systems are immaterial in ceremony creation. Celebrants come to the table with no agenda except to listen to and bring to life their clients’ visions for their ceremonies.
Celebrants, people who provide personalized ceremonies and who are educated in ceremony tradition, creation, and performance, are in high demand. The current cultural landscape is so diverse that ceremonies and celebrations need to reflect the blending of traditions, faiths, beliefs, cultures and orientations of all people.
Religious identification statistics are changing all over the US, Canada, and Western Europe to reflect that a growing number of people are unaffiliated with major religions or houses of worship, and more couples are in mixed-faith marriages.
Celebrants are by no means in competition with religion, and are certainly not anti-religion. The Celebrant movement supports meaningful ceremonies for all people. They provide a much-needed alternative for the many who are not affiliated with religious institutions, or for whom religious institutions do not serve their ceremonial needs.
Celebrants serve people of all beliefs and philosophies, whether they are spiritual but not religious, part of a multicultural or interfaith family, secular or, as is the case with divorced Catholics and many same sex couples, their religious institutions will not serve them. Celebrants are inclusive – excluding no one from the dignity of personalized ceremony.
Source: The Celebrant Institute
Why hire a professional when a friend or relative can do it for free?
A professionally trained and experienced wedding officiant makes all the difference in having the wedding ceremony of your dreams. We have a plethora of resources. We have tried and true methods so we know what works and what doesn’t. We have ceremony writing and presentation skills. We know how to plan for and anticipate all manner of logistical issues. We project a quality of steadiness and presence which helps couples feel steady and present during their wedding ceremony. We won’t back out at the last minute the way that friends or family members sometimes do. But most of all, we have a deep and studied understanding about the value of a well executed ceremony to transform couples and carry them powerfully into the next phase of their lives.
What is your pricing philosophy?
I offer pricing relative to the area that I service (Big Sur – Silicon Valley – Half Moon Bay), and relative to the cost of living in Santa Cruz.
I ask that couples take an honest inventory of their wedding expenses (gown, venue, flowers, rings, honeymoon) and make sure that the ceremony – the literal heart of the wedding – is valued as much as everything else when they create their wedding budget.
Couples often go way over budget for various wedding related services and then skimp on their officiant. This reflects a very backward trend in the wedding industry, and distorted priority in our culture, and one that my work as a ceremonialist does not support.
If you’re wondering whether it’s a worthwhile investment, I invite you to read some of the reviews that couples have shared about my wedding services on WeddingWire, The Knot, A Practical Wedding, The Slow Weddings Network and Yelp.
Ceremony pricing depends on a variety of factors including the date, time and location of the ceremony, the number of guests in attendance, the length of the ceremony, the inclusion or omission of a rehearsal, and the level of customization. If you would like a detailed breakdown of my ceremony options and pricing structure please contact me.
What do you mean by “inclusivity”?
While I identify as a cisgender and heterosexual woman, I strive to be an ally to queer, trans and gender-nonconforming individuals. All of the services I offer are sensitive and inclusive to the needs of the LGBTQ+ community.
Are we supposed to tip our officiant?
Tipping is not required, but it is quite common and always appreciated. In my experience, most couples tip between $75-150.
What kinds of ceremonies do you perform?
I perform small wedding ceremonies, budget friendly elopement ceremonies, outdoor elopements in nature (redwoods, state parks, beach bluffs), DIY wedding ceremonies, pop-up wedding ceremonies, and “short & sweet” wedding ceremonies. I perform original, custom wedding ceremonies, luxury wedding ceremonies, high end wedding ceremonies, couture wedding ceremonies, and wedding ceremonies for the 0.01 percent. As well, I perform interfaith and mixed faith wedding ceremonies, nontraditional, nonreligious and nondenominational wedding ceremonies, secular wedding ceremonies, and “spiritual but not religious” wedding ceremonies. I also perform funerals, memorials, and celebration of life ceremonies. Additionally, I perform baby blessing ceremonies, baby naming ceremonies, mother blessing ceremonies, personal healing ceremonies, and other ceremonies that honor the various phases of the life cycle.
Most of the people who seek me out identify as atheist, agnostic, “spiritual but not religious”, pagan, earth-honoring, nontraditional, or secular. I am also asked to stand up for couples, families and communities who identify as inter-faith or multi-faith.
Are there local wedding vendors that you recommend?
Yes! Email me for a list of extraordinary local vendors.
“Naomi was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! We could NOT have chosen someone better to officiate our wedding! Her words were so BEAUTIFUL & MOVING! We really felt like we had known Naomi for many years! She has such a calming energy, peaceful and spiritual presence. Beyond grateful to have found her!” ~Erika, Bride, Seascape Resort