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Your Ceremony

When you work with a Life-Cycle or Family Celebrant what you have to say is important. It’s your beliefs and values that matter. There is never any need to stand on ceremony.

My responsibility as your celebrant is to bring expression, understanding and sincerity to your personal rite of passage. I work with you by listening deeply to learn what is truly important to you. I will create a one-of-a-kind ceremony that embraces your individuality and respects your beliefs.

Whether celebrating a wedding, a baby blessing, arranging a funeral or any life-time ceremony; each event is a custom mosaic—thoughtfully composed with readings, music, poetry or prose, traditions and rituals that are meaningful to you -assuring that your ceremony script is original and the experience of your ceremony is momentous and memorable.

 

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The Collaborative Process

I offer active listening, research, in-depth ceremony writing and officiating, detailed follow-up, care and personal attention throughout.

  • Our collaboration begins with our first phone call or email communication. This provides an opportunity for me to learn about your vision for your ceremony and share with you some of the nuances of celebrant ceremony. At this point, I can usually advise you of the fee for my services based on your specific ceremony and needs. I know budget is an important consideration in your decision, and I am committed to providing you with that information once we speak.
  • Then, we schedule a meeting at no obligation to you. I give you a packet of information about your ceremony with possible readings and rituals. During this relaxed time together; I learn about you, your vision and your ceremony in detail. We begin to sketch the outline of your ceremony. If you decide to hire me I’ll send you my celebrant work agreement for your signature, request for 50% deposit (with a self-addressed stamped envelope) along with the payment schedule for the balance.
  • Next, I forward you an individual questionnaire so I can learn about your story in detail. I’ll spend hours crafting your one-of-a kind ceremony. I pour over my resources in order to select the most personal, significant and meaningful readings for your ceremony and discern if an overarching theme is appropriate. If called for I’ll speak with your family and friends if they will participate in the ceremony in some way. I write the complete ceremony (which includes revising, editing and re-editing. Simply, I marinate in your story. I find I can’t forward it to you until I feel it’s all that you have expressed you want for the occasion). I email the draft to you for your review and so you can check for accuracy and detail. You implement your changes and/or we discuss any suggestions or concerns you might have, and/or discuss if there’s any portion you wish to give me new direction for. A revised final draft is then forwarded to you.
  • We remain in touch via phone, skype or email before the rehearsal and ceremony. I dress appropriately for the occasion and check to see if you have any preferences regarding my attire. I arrive at your ceremony (and rehearsal if applicable) in advance so that I may check the room and introduce myself to any of the respective vendors that will be involved, along with any family members that will be participating in the ceremony.
  • For weddings I create a custom ceremony cue sheet that I forward to you and all your vendors a week before your wedding so we can be certain everyone’s ‘on the same page’. For funerals, I make certain to check with the funeral home, restaurant or venue involved so all expectations and details are skillfully managed.
  • As the ceremony begins and for the duration, I read from a beautiful binder that I hold open as I speak. The script is not memorized but well-rehearsed which imparts a natural and comfortable speaking style. A celebrant seldom hides behind an overbearing podium; and therefore facilitates an intimate setting for you and your guests even when attendance is large. I usually place my binder on my own decorative iron music stand at most of the ceremonies I officiate.
  • Dress: I do not wear robes or shawls with religious symbols. I dress in muted tones, often navy or black – usually in a dress or skirt and blouse. Sometimes I wear a shawl. I do not look to ‘stand out’ at your ceremony.
  • When officiating at your wedding, I make certain to file your license as per the marriage laws of the state within the allotted time. I always return your signed license to the clerk’s office via registered, certified mail so they can process accordingly with the state and provide you with your certified official documented license which you will need for tax purposes and all legal matters.
  • Writing services (of your story and other needs) are available also. I can collaborate with you to write any portion of your ceremony; ghost-write the eulogy for a loved one, write your ethical will, and of course also write a celebratory speech for a special occasion you are attending, etc…. Reach out to me – I am happy to discuss.

Fees

Your budget is an important consideration when planning your lifetime event. Since all of my services are tailored specifically to your occasion or milestone event, I will quote you my fee once we speak on the phone and I learn more about your specific event and what you want and envision.

I work on a flat fee. All my services and full attention are included. I’m not on the ‘clock’. I don’t overbook myself.

It is very rare that I conduct more than one ceremony a day – thus focusing entirely on you. Usually, the least amount of time I dedicate to any client is
20 hours – often it is much more.

Family Celebrant

I serve many of my clients as their ‘family celebrant’; collaborating and working with them through all family life-cycle events from welcoming their babies, to coming of age ceremonies for their tweens/teens, blessing their homes, loving ceremonies to pay tribute to their animals, vow renewals, anniversary and birthday milestones as well as; companioning and officiating the funeral, memorial, scattering ceremony at the time of a loved one’s passing. It is an honor and privilege to serve my client families as they meet those passages that are essential to the very nature of being human and being alive.

Organizations, Schools, Sleep Away Camps, Non-Profits, Hospitals

I welcome the opportunity to speak with you about the ways in which custom ritual or ceremony might serve your organization, your staff and your community. You might already have rituals and ceremonies that are part of the culture of your organization. Are you considering revisiting and retooling your graduation ceremony? A promotion ceremony for an individual? An acknowledgment ceremony for an individual or a team on your staff? Ceremonies honoring donors? Ceremonies to recognize your giving volunteers? What about transitions within your company or school? You might wish to archive these, record these or draw special attention to them. We can collaborate on how ritual enhances and enriches your organizational culture and as a result creates lasting community connection.

Invest in that which makes your school, camp, or non-profit unique! Choose to work with your own CELEBRANTEER!

908-962-0642     dorry@circleoflifeceremonies.com ©2017 All Rights Reserved.