** This post was first published on Ivory Tribe.
Chloe Jetson is a special kind of celebrant.
Having honed her craft over the last few years, we’ve seen Chloe become one of Victoria’s most popular celebrants due to her personalised ceremonies full of love and laughter, as well as her warm and down to earth nature.
We couldn’t resist sitting down with Chloe and exploring the subject of ceremonies, and how a couple can make a grand entrance on their most special day.
Take a scroll and get to know Chloe as she shares with us her expertise and top tips!
Chloe, you are a celebrant in hot demand, so you have no doubt seen and experienced some wonderful and creative ceremonies in your time. For couples looking to shake things up – how can they buck tradition and ensure they make an entrance?
I love it when the groom and his groomsmen enter at the beginning of the ceremony. Almost like they have their own walk down the aisle moment! It completely lifts the mood when I gather the guests in, get them on their feet and ready to let out a cheer for our dapper groom and his mates – then the guys enter to a really cracking tune. It diminishes the nerves, saves everyone sitting awkwardly looking at the groom standing out the front, and sets an incredible vibe for the bride’s entrance.
Walking down the aisle – is this a custom reserved only for the bride? Can couple’s walk down the aisle together?
Absolutely! I’ve seen some amazing variations on the traditional aisle walk that really set the tone for the ceremony. You can enter together, which is always fantastic, or, if the “first look” is super important to you, have one of you wait behind the guests so you get to experience that beautiful walk towards your fiancé. Then together you can make you way down the aisle, hand in hand.
Some of my couples haven’t wanted to make a big entrance, so they’ve mingled with their guests before hand and when the time is right, simply stepped into place together.
For those wanting to set the tone for the rest of their day, tell us how they might tailor their ceremony plans accordingly.
Think about what will make the guests most comfortable from the moment they arrive. Create a space that feels like a party; with your favourite music playing, drinks being served, even nominate an outgoing guest to welcome people to the space. I love it when there is time for guests to enjoy a drink and a chat before gathering in for the ceremony. Guests always seem to feel far more relaxed and then more receptive to the ceremony.
Choosing a celebrant who is entertaining, warm and light-hearted will also make a huge difference to the energy of the guests during and after the ceremony. It’s also important not to have the ceremony go on for too long; these days we really only remain focused for 20-25 mins, no matter how engaged we are in what is being said!
What are some of the most unique ceremony inclusions you have been a part of?
I love it when couples include important people in meaningful ways. Introducing the bridal party with a few snappy lines about their relationship to the couple instantly helps everyone feel they are part of a group, as well as creating laughs early on in the ceremony.
Sometimes I’ll include some “words of wisdom” in the ceremony from family members or friends as a surprise for the couple, which can be hilarious and beautiful. Sometimes at the same time.
I also love it when couples have their dogs at the ceremony. Seeing a huge golden retriever sitting lovingly at her parents feet as they said their vows during a recent ceremony was a definite highlight.
Talk to us about music. Can music also help set the scene for the celebration ahead and how can you incorporate music into the ceremony?
Think of any great party you’ve ever been to. Was there music playing or was it dead silent? There is ALWAYS music, right?! I don’t think a wedding ceremony should be any different. I love to ensure there’s background music playing from the moment the guests enter the ceremony space, to help subconsciously indicate that this is a celebration, not an awkward formal occasion. Live music is great, but if your budget doesn’t stretch that far just make sure your celebrant has your favourite playlist ready to go.
I’ve also performed a few ceremonies where the couple have asked their DJ to play a soundtrack for their ceremony – so whilst I’m speaking, there’s music playing in the background. I love this, and find it really helps to lift the energy and create an incredibly vibrant mood.
What advice would you offer a couple who is interested in making some changes to the typical ceremony structure, but are concerned that it will take away from the gravity and importance of the situation?
Remember that light and shade are equally important. Nothing can take away from the significance of the moment, and the promises you are making to one another. A good celebrant will create that beautiful balance between fun and laughter and allow space for all those significant emotions and feelings to exist. I find that a minute or so into my ceremony, my guests and the couples will be smiling and laughing, and I see the nerves subside and everyone settles. Once everyone is relaxed and allowing themselves to have fun, they also allow themselves to feel those deeper, more significant emotions. I find the laughter and the joyful tears go hand in hand.
But also, if you are the sort of couple who may be more serious, who prefer a quieter, more profound ceremony, that is absolutely valid also! You and your guests will walk away feeling absolutely moved by a ceremony that felt completely reflective of who you are. So be true to what feels comfortable for you!
Will doing any of the above impact the legalities of the marriage?
Absolutely not. Your celebrant will ensure that the few legal requirements are included in a way that does not dampen the fun, but is woven seamlessly into the ceremony.
Finally, give us your top three tips when it comes to keeping a celebration completely unique to the couple.
· Don’t feel pressure to incorporate things “because it’s what is done”. These days, wedding traditions are becoming few and far between. If you do want to incorporate certain traditional elements into your ceremony, do it because it’s important to you as a couple, not because you feel you should. And that goes for the “cool, fun” ceremony styles as well. If that doesn’t feel like you, don’t feel pressure for that style of ceremony – choose a celebrant that listens and understands who you are as a couple, and can realise the feeling you want to create in your ceremony.
· Don’t try and be “unique’! There’s nothing worse than jamming your ceremony full of gimmicks just for the sake of being different to everyone else. You and your fiancé are different to any other couple on the planet, I guarantee it. If you celebrant has captured that in your ceremony and you’ve been authentic in your choices of what elements you include, it will be memorable and special for all the right reasons.
· Consider your life together, and what makes it special. If it’s that you have an amazing circle of friends, or your entire insta feed is dedicated to your fur babies, or that hiking mountains around the world together makes you tick, share this with your celebrant so they can work out how to weave these elements into your ceremony. This is what will create a unique, incredible celebration that will leave your guests in the perfect state of mind for a fabulous party!