Wedding under the Sun with the SunflowerJanuary 24, 2018
Contemporary Inspiration to Decorate your Secular Wedding CeremonyJune 7, 2018
Like every year, the Unique Ceremonies team takes advantage of the winter to perfect its knowledge and improve its services during a training session.
As always, the Unique Ceremonies officiants took pleasure in meeting up, exchanging their experiences from the 2017 season and identifying areas for improvement.
Magali, founder of Unique Ceremonies, devoted the first day of training to the theoretical part which covers various important points such as:
The history & evolution of the profession of officiant in the world of marriage
The qualities & skills required of a good officiant
The position of the secular ceremony in relation to religion, civil ceremony, etc.
At the end of this theoretical training, we wanted to share our findings with you:
When he arrived in France in the early 2000s, the secular ceremony was more of a default solution rather than a choice for one of the following reasons:
- Couple of different religions
- One member of the couple has previously been religiously married
- The couple already has one child
- The couple is not practicing/not believing
- One of the members of the couple is not, for example, baptized
- The members of the couple are of the same sex.
Over the years, things have evolved and the secular ceremony has become a choice for many couples who are not concerned by any of the above criteria.
When the secular ceremony appeared in France, couples decided to reproduce scenes from American series by calling on a loved one. At that time, there were few professional officiants and, above all, couples did not see the point of paying someone to do something, which, according to them, could be done by anyone, like in the movies !
Today, the profession of officiant is starting to become more commonplace, in the same way as that of wedding planner, the added value of which no one really saw a few years ago.
The good news is that more and more couples prefer to avoid the amateur side of a ceremony celebrated by a loved one and use the services of a professional officiant.
The bad news is that, to the extent that the profession is not regulated, more and more people want their share of the pie and proclaim themselves officiants without prior preparation or training by offering ridiculous prices. It is therefore the responsibility of well-established companies like Unique Ceremonies to professionalize the profession of officiant and to explain to couples that being a secular ceremony officiant cannot be improvised and that, to obtain a truly personalized quality service, it is essential to plan a realistic budget, just like for the photographer, the DJ, the caterer, etc.
The profession of officiant requires great listening skills, empathy and kindness as well as patience and diplomacy. The officiant must have capacity for synthesis, organization, attention to detail and must make it a point of honor to respect deadlines. Finally, he must of course have a strong taste for writing and be very comfortable speaking in public.
The practical training was an opportunity for Unique Ceremonies officiants to each celebrate a ceremony, participate in role plays, etc.
Virginie, ceremonial officiant in Provence and Richard, English-speaking ceremonial officiant in New Aquitaine were unfortunately unable to join this session but will participate in the next one. Present were Magali and Rachel, bilingual secular ceremony officiants in New Aquitaine, Sébastien, French-speaking secular ceremony officiant in Touraine, Center Val de Loire and Estelle, French-speaking secular ceremony officiant in New Aquitaine.
Rachel – Ceremonial Officiant
New Aquitaine region
Sébastien – Ceremonial Officiant