It’s been a full year since the passing of Marriage Equality in Australia – and GayWeddingGuide.com service providers have been making dreams come true all year! In this series, we will be chatting to some of the amazing service providers that don’t discriminate, and spread love all around our great country… we got to catch up with the one and only Shona Tough from Aye Do Weddings to chat about the amazing people that become celebrants, what they do and the impact a year of equality has had on the profession.
Hi Shona! Thanks for chatting with us – so what it that made you want to become a wedding celebrant?
I was looking for a career change after 20 years in Senior marketing roles I had enough of being stuck in an office all day. I love public speaking and have always had an interest in theatre and drama. I was invited to a wedding in the UK, an outdoor festival wedding, glamping and dancing under the stars. I loved the vibe and thought it would be great to be part of such a special occasion. I decided to take the course in 2014 and qualified in 2015. I felt like I could bring a young, modern and fresh approach to being a celebrant.
So bringing such a fresh approach to the profession - what is your style as a wedding celebrant?
It depends on the couple, it’s their special day and I am there to facilitate it and make sure it is everything they wish for. I listen to each couple and understand what would be appropriate to meet their needs. I like to tell their story and bring out their personalities. I am a fun and friendly person and that comes through in my ceremonies. I have had plenty laughs and smiles from guests, I am never too serious, it's a special celebration so it should be fun and friendly (or funky and flamboyant as one couple asked for!)
How do you see the differences between same-sex couple and heterosexual couple's ceremonies?
The same-sex couples are very emotional because a lot of these couples have waited many years to be able to make their commitment. The older couples generally have family members that they want to involve and this makes it really special. I have had gay men being given away by their daughters, a lesbian couple involving their daughter, one couple who had their young niece and nephew as witnesses. These family members fought long and hard for equality so to be part of the day is an honour and quite emotional for everyone.
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