Wedding ceremony ideas with Paul the Stand Up Celebrant

Jul 22, 2019

Wedding Ceremony Tips

Tips for how to have a memorable wedding ceremony with our Podcast guest Paul the stand up celebrant.


A stand up celebrant! Indeed there is such a thing. This week we had the pleasure of speaking to Paul Bonadio about what, in his view, makes for a memorable wedding ceremony. He offers some great advice and a few good laughs too, heads phones on folks – enjoy

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Paul I think more than anything these days ceremonies are drifting away from what is traditionally used to be like. It was a bit more of a kick something off at the start of the day. So the couples married but these days I think more than anything it should set the vibe and set the tone for what the rest of the night’s going to be like.

Anthony Anthony here from video boutique bringing you another podcast with some amazing supplies and advice from couples who we’ve had the pleasure of working with. Today we do speak to a supplier. And this time around it’s Paul the stand up celebrant. And yes there is such a thing. Paul is fantastic at what he does. He brings not only a lot of humor but manages to bring a lot of sentiment to a ceremony when it matters most.

Anthony  Today we talk to him about what it takes to have a really amazing memorable ceremony. And he’s got some really great tips so enjoy. Guys let us know what you think. And remember we’ve got plenty more of these podcasts coming so do follow.

Paul Paul speaking. Hello Paul. How are you. Good night. How are you. Good thanks. Where are they going, busy

Anthony mate it’s a it’s a crazy day with employing a new editor. So we’re inducting her one of our machines conveniently went down so I had to run down to the computer shop. It’s just one of those you know.

Anthony  How well you going to get better. It’s true isn’t it. It’s better already.

Anthony  Now that I’m talking to you Paul please stop blushing over here you can’t see it. Thanks for doing this. Really appreciate it. Firstly you know a lot of couples come to us and for whatever reason they normally choose to you know lock their venue venues in first and then the normal way they go about planning their wedding is you know videography photography and then you know celebrant and all the rest of it. So they’re often asking us you know what are your thoughts on the ceremony what should we be doing. And we have our own views. But you know I’m really keen to hear what your thoughts are on firstly you know organizing an impactful wedding ceremony what what do you normally advise your couples.

Paul I think more than anything these days ceremonies are drifting away from what is traditionally used to be like it was a bit more of a kick something off at the start of the day. So the couples married but these days I think more than anything it should set the vibe and set the tone for what the rest of the night’s going to be like. I mean you were having a few ceremonies obviously a lot of ceremonies over your time and maybe seen how they’ve changed.

But I think these days people want something that’s a bit more relaxed with some humor involved as well and some of that’s going to be memorable something that guests are going to talk about once the ceremony is done and dusted and they’re having a few drinks at reception and thinking about you know what that was.

There was something different we really enjoyed that there wasn’t a cut copy script that I’ve heard a million times and all those lovelorn cliches you’ve heard a million times so I think the best approach is to go in with that mindset that it to be something to set the rights of the rest of the night.

Anthony Good one. And that’s the potentially you know potentially that’s more your clientele and that’s why they’re reaching out to you you know because you your approach is very unique. It is very different. And what about more on the you know on the practical side of things are there any you know is it the usual you know bride walking down with her father or we kind of know the wedding ritual and you know the rules if you like but. How about breaking them and is that something you have done and do and suggest. What are your thoughts.

Paul Yes it is still a lot of those rituals. That I  think they definitely have their place like the giving away of the bride and groom, readings,  the asking all those little bits and pieces that stuck around the stuck through the years because they’re there for a reason they have impact and they mean a lot to the couples.

I think the changing is more in the way the celebrant is presenting the ceremony. So I know from from past and I could be wrong here but it was more, was more or less about the couple and more about focused on on love and what it means in society and all that sort of thing. But I think things are drifting more towards the story of the couple and how that can be told in entertaining and occasionally humorous way. And there is also room for for new things and for and ceremonies to evolve. Which is always exciting as well.

Anthony Now the big one the vows. Personally as a videographer I really like it when couples write their own vows I think it’s a really nice touch. And then and then when they don’t. I always wonder why. But I I wonder what your thoughts are on writing your own personalised vows versus not.

Paul  Well I think the biggest tip would give couples is to not keep your vows too long because it just puts too much pressure on yourself and your partner because you’re in the middle of a wedding your own wedding and there’s so much anxiety and everything else going on at the same time.

The last thing you want to be doing is reading from two pages of paper. I can understand why some couples don’t decide to go with their personalised vows, they might just not like speaking out in front of people. It can be pretty intimidating thing to do. But I think for the most part as I said before I think having personalised vow is a nice thing and it’s a good touch. And it’s also as we spoke before one of those rituals that stuck around and stuck around for a good reason.

I think it’s good to in a way challenge yourself as well if you are umming and arring about doing a personalised vows I reckon go for it but only need to keep them to two or three paragraphs in and keep them maintainable throughout the ceremony.

Anthony  Yeah definitely. I spoke to a bride recently who was thinking of whether she should or shouldn’t. And then she decided that she wouldn’t. And it’s not because she didn’t think it was important.

She said if I write my own vows it’s gonna be way too sentimental and I’m just going to cry all the way through it. And I know that’s probably a good reason if you feel you want to get overly emotional and you don’t want to do that then you know don’t write those personalised vows you know.

Paul At the same time, I don’t mind seeing few tears at a ceremony.  It just shows how much it means to them church. There’s no shame in crying out in front of people doing anything. You get to do it at your wedding for sure.

Anthony It depends what sort of Crier you are. If you’ve got a videographer team there you know. Yeah I can see why someone might hesitate.

Paul It’s a close up of the make up dripping and that sort of thing.

Anthony We’ve heard some cracker readings in the past.  Like they don’t have to be you know overly you know sentimental. It could be all sorts of stuff. What what are your suggestions there?

Paul The tough thing that can happen if you’re doing a reading someone who doesn’t like to speak in front of public doesn’t like to think themselves is very funny. If they try something humorous it can fall on its face. So if they’re more of a sentimental person go for that more sentimental side for readings. But it’s got to be in line with what the person is.

I still like readings. That’s true. Well it breaks up the ceremony as well and gets people involved that’s one thing. It’s always nice if there’s someone that’s not quite part of the bridal party and you can bring someone involved. Just this down just just on the cusp. So bring them off the bench and do a reading. It’s a really nice way to bring them into the wedding.

Anthony And it’s like every decision from the music of the other ceremony to the readings in the vows it’s gotta be true to the couple

Paul It’s got to be genuine.

Anthony Okay now a little bit about you. Paul I know you’ve been around for a long time. You know what I really like about your approach is that you know you bring humor into it. And and I think that’s that’s fantastic. So tell me a little bit about you know how you got into becoming a celebrant. Was it stand up comedy first then celebrancy or what. What was the order?

Paul Anthony was it doing standup and I couldn’t even tell you the reason why I started to do standup I think I just want to try something completely different. I did stand up for a couple of years and loved it. It was great especially when it went well. When it didn’t go so well not so great.

But that’s the nature of trying to do stand up comedy. So did that for a couple of years and then started MC’ing a lot of friends weddings and they seem to really enjoy it. I got a good friend Simon Van Damme who is also a musician played a lot of the same weddings I did. And said, just become a celebrant it’s it’s it’s a great thing to do it doesn’t take off all of your day and it’s it’s a massive part of people’s weddings you can play real genuine part and it become a full time job.

Now I am pretty lucky I couldn’t be happier doing it. It’s a pretty amazing job. So yeah a lot of people I don’t know if this happens with yourself a lot of supplies get wedding fatigue but the two and a half years in a three years in, I haven’t really felt that as yet. So it’s a pretty great job.

Anthony Definitely definitely. How do you weave in your comedy with couples. I mean what’s the usual process?

Paul That’s a good question. It’s definitely got to be a mix between comedy and sentimentality, so it can’t be just going out and roasting the couple.

Anthony No you don’t want to do that. All the scripts are different each one’s personalised and again it comes back to that genuineness. We talked about before. It’s got to be true to the couple and it’s going to be something that’s true to them and it’s going to relay with the rest of the crowd as well.

So I’ll go back and forth with the couples many times they like with the script, to make sure it’s all good to go and all great for the day. But it can be a careful balance. But I think after a hundred and fifty odd weddings and it’s at balance I’ve gotten quite used to it. So yeah it’s just mixing them both is between sentimently and comedy is really important. How are they involved in the process?

Paul There’s a couple options. I’ve got an online ceremony builder which they can fill out and go through. The pick out the structure and the content and write down how they met and all that sort of thing that’s good in a way. I like that for couples who are quite, who live quite a way away.

But I prefer to meet up with couples and chat with them about how they met, traits and habits and create a story that’s fun humorous non cliche as well and something is personalized to both of them. They do have a pretty pretty massive say what goes on what doesn’t go into a script.

Anthony Tell me about your pimp my service and my celebrant buddy, which I think are a really great ideas. Tell our audience a little bit about those two you know service options if you like.

Paul I’m not exactly sure where it came from but I thought I’d just give couples the option to let me choose. Let them choose what they want me to wear for the ceremony. Yes.

So there’s a few, mostly normal ones there, formal ones, non formal ones in there is bogan classic. This is a bit of a jokey outfit to be honest but a few couples have picked it for this ceremony but I didn’t end up wearing it. Basically me in a torn singlet and sparky shorts and a cigarette, beard yeah.

Anthony For anyone who hasn’t been on your website and checked out the video that’s on there, they really should I reckon. So what what would be the typical outfit that you’re year your couples are choosing you to wear.

Paul It’s pretty it’s pretty standard usually the vest shirt and tie combo. There’s a couple of outlandish ones. I had a couple who wanted me to dress up as a dinosaur and walk down to the theme of Jurassic Park.

Anthony  But the options are open aren’t they Paul? Oh yeah if they put it out there, look I’m willing to do it. I think some of these couples of yours need to, need to up the ante a little bit and you know get you wearing some unique stuff.

Paul Don’t give them to many ideas Anthony, nah I’m open to anything and everything. It’s all about a bit of fun and having a good time with it for sure.

Anthony And also my my celebrant buddy how does that all work?

Anthony Excellent Paul.

Paul No worries Anthony. No not really appreciate having a chat and yeah really intrigued to see how it all comes out.

Anthony You’ve got a good celebrants voice mate so we won’t have to do very much. Awesome. Thanks again. I really appreciate it. No worries. Thanks for your time Paul. See ya.

Anthony And there you have it. A great conversation with Paul the stand up comedian funny guy, lovely dude. And you know if you want to celebrate he’s gonna do things a little bit differently do reach out to him. We do highly recommend him, he is great on the day. Thanks for listening. We hope that was helpful. We’ve got a lot more great content coming to you soon which we hope will help you plan your very own wedding.

Anything that is struggling with or would like some information on please reach out to us. We’re more than happy to help. Until then take care. Happy wedding planning and bye for now.